Cephalonomancy (also known as cephaleonomancy or kephalonomancy) is an ancient form of divination which involved heating the skull of an ass or goat while reciting various phrases, often the names of criminal suspects. If the skull crackled or the jaw moved while a name was spoken, this was taken to identify the guilty party.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
cephalonomancy — divination by boiling an ass head Divination and Fortune Telling … Phrontistery dictionary
Methods of divination — This article is about the numerous varieties of divination. For divination as a whole, see Divination. Innumerable methods of divination can be found around the world, and many cultures practice the same methods under different names. During the… … Wikipedia
Divination and Fortune-Telling — This list defines 163 terms for kinds of divination and fortune telling, ranging from very common (runes, tarot cards, or horoscopes) to extraordinarily rare. In fact, you won t believe the range of methods that people have developed to rip other … Phrontistery dictionary
cephaleonomancy — /ˌsɛfəliˈɒnəmænsi/ (say .sefuhlee onuhmansee) noun a form of ancient divination in which the head of a donkey was burnt on hot coals, the point at which the jaw fell from the skull being taken as prophetic. Also, cephalonomancy, cephalomancy.… … Australian English dictionary