Agalmatomancy is an ancient art of practicing divination with statues or idols. Closely related to Idolomancy, agalmatomancy was hugely popular in ancient times. Statues or Teraphim, which are images of human forms mostly mounted on walls, are the main objects in use in this practice. They have been known to be hung on walls in ancient households. A combination of Greek words agalma, and mantiea meaning statue and prophecy, agalmatomancy was generally used by select individuals, usually priests, who had the power to make these statues come to life. These priests were given the highest status in society and these statues, known as automata, were created by the priests themselves.
The theory behind making statues come to life was that the priests had the power to make spirits inhabit these stone idols, and thus make them give out predictions of the future. Not only were the automata required to come to life, some priests could even make predictions by studying the design and change in the statues. All the statues were not necessarily of the human form, phallic idols were also used for oracular and divination purposes apart from worship by the primitive cultures.
A popular practice during the early history of Israel, Hebrews believed that Teraphim could communicate with people outside their frames, and would walk around in it, while making predictions. Though agalmatomancy is not much in practice today, enthusiasts of this art will need to do extensive research, especially through old texts. A keen interest in ancient forms of divination, religion and spiritualism is a must for people looking to take this practice up as a hobby.
Variations of Agalmatomancy
Many variations of agalmatomancy can be seen in some cultures even today, and though not to the extent that these ancients practiced it, agalmatomancy is still in use in some of these cultures. Reading up on the different variations of this practice is another great way to get more information on agalmatomancy itself. Do not expect it to produce spectacular results, as this art has no proven records and leans more to the occult side than other forms of divination.