by Craig Shrives

What Is Lampadomancy?

Lampadomancy is divination involving the flame of a lamp. It is type of pyromancy and has its origins at least as far back as ancient Egypt. In the most common method, the seer observes the movement of the flame.

Common Interpretations in Lampadomancy

Common interpretations were:
  • Single point on the flame — good fortune.
  • Two points on the flame — bad luck.
  • Bent flame — illness.
  • Sparks — news pending.
  • Extinction of a flame — very bad omen.
In an alternate method, the seer reads the spots of carbon deposited on paper sheets held over the flame. In another method, the seer uses the lamp to attract spirits to the flames to ask them about future events. (In this method, a special lamp with grotesque forms is used.)

Lampadomancy: Divination by Flames of Lamps

Lampadomancy, derived from the Greek words "lampas" meaning lamp or torch and "manteia" meaning divination, is a form of divination that involves seeking insights and predictions through the observation and interpretation of the flames of lamps or torches. This ancient practice is rooted in the belief that flames carry symbolic meanings and can reveal hidden messages from the spiritual realm.

The origins of lampadomancy can be traced back to various cultures throughout history where lamps and torches held significant symbolism. In ancient times, lamps were used for both practical purposes and in religious or spiritual ceremonies. The flickering flames were seen as a link between the earthly and divine realms, making them an ideal medium for seeking guidance and illumination.

The process of lampadomancy typically involves lighting a lamp or torch and observing the flames closely. The practitioner pays attention to the flame's behaviour, colour, movement, and any patterns or shapes that may appear. These observations are then interpreted to derive insights and meanings.

Interpretations in lampadomancy rely on the symbolism associated with flames and the intuitive perception of the practitioner. Here are some common aspects considered during the interpretation:
  • Flame Behavior: The behavior of the flame, such as its stability, height, or intensity, can be interpreted as signs or messages. A steady and strong flame may signify positive energy or stability, while a flickering or wavering flame could suggest uncertainty or change.
  • Flame Color: Different flame colours are believed to carry specific meanings. For example, a blue flame may represent tranquillity or spirituality, while a red or orange flame might indicate passion, energy, or potential challenges. The interpretation of flame colours can vary depending on cultural associations and personal beliefs.
  • Shapes and Patterns: The shapes or patterns that appear within the flames can be significant. Some practitioners look for specific symbols or figures, while others interpret the overall shape or movement as indicative of certain messages or insights.
It is important to note that lampadomancy, like other forms of divination, is subjective and relies on the practitioner's intuition, experience, and personal beliefs. The interpretations are not definitive predictions but serve as tools for reflection, self-discovery, and potential guidance.

In modern times, lampadomancy may be practised by individuals who find value in connecting with ancient traditions or exploring alternative forms of divination. It can be adapted to various settings, such as spiritual rituals, meditation practices, or personal introspection.

Lampadomancy serves as a reminder of humanity's fascination with the symbolism of light and fire, and our desire to seek guidance and illumination from the unseen realms. Whether through the interpretation of lamp flames or other forms of divination, lampadomancy offers a unique and intriguing way to tap into the symbolism and potential wisdom carried by the flickering flames.

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