Aleuromancy

A form of divination that involves flour is known as Aleuromancy. The name "Aleuromancy" is derived from Greek, where "aleuron", means flour and "manteia", means divination. In ancient times, philosophical writings on slips of paper were baked in cookies and cakes. This would then be distributed among the people who wanted their fortunes told. The pedigree and the approach to this form of divination has been lost in time but a small version of it still exists in our modern fortune cookies.

The Greeks would write philosophical sentences on bits of paper and insert them in balls of flour, which were then baked. These balls were mixed nine times and then distributed amongst an audience. The different philosophical sentences written on the paper would reach different people who would consider it as a written prophecy for their lives.

Another form of Aleuromancy interprets patterns made by a flour-water slurry mixture, in a mixing bowl, after it has been poured out.  This form is also known as "Tea Cup Reading" and is a common practice in most divinations. The Greek god Apollo is said to have presided over such divinations and that is another explanation as to why it came to be named as Aleuromantis.

The various Ways of Aleuromancy

Aleuromancy is practiced in various ways in different parts of the world. While the Greeks put messages in hard round cakes, chosen at random, some Europeans would put coins inside some cakes and the ones who got the coinage-stuffed cakes were considered lucky. Another form of practice was to throw flour onto the floor and interpret the patterns formed. The throwing of flour into the fire and studying the pattern of embers that flew, or the crackling sound produced; or sprinkling it on a sacrifice, was also common practice in ancient times, though this was in conjunction with pyromancy due to the usage of fire. An alternative form of Aleuromancy is called Alphitomancy, which was mainly used to find out the innocence or guilt of the suspected person by feeding them with specially-made barley cakes.

Whether it gives you accurate predictions or not, the least you will get out of the practice of Aleuromancy is a batch of scrumptious cookies. Get a bunch of friends together and have a great time exchanging yummy cookies stuffed with wisdom.

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