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Catoptromancy (or Enoptromancy)

Catoptromancy (or Enoptromancy)

A type of divination using a mirror, described thus by the second-century Greek traveler Pausanius:

"Before the Temple of Ceres at Patras, there was a fountain, separated from the temple by a wall, and there was an oracle, very truthful, not for all events, but for the sick only. The sick person let down a mirror, suspended by a thread, till its base touched the surface of the water, having first prayed to the goddess and offered incense. Then looking in the mirror, he saw the presage of death or recovery, according as the face appeared fresh and healthy, or of a ghastly aspect."

Another catoptric method was to place the mirror at the back of the head of a boy or girl whose eyes were bandaged. In Thessaly, the response reportedly appeared in characters of blood on the face of the moon, probably represented in the mirror. The Thessalian sorceresses derived their art from the Persians, who always endeavored to plant their religion and mystic rites in the countries they invaded.

(See also crystal gazing )

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Scrying

Scrying

Divination by gazing into crystals or at shining surfaces. Scrying is commonly simple crystal-gazing but also includes the use of a magical mirror in ceremonial magic.

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