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Agalmatomancy (Divination using Statues)

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Agalmatomancy (Divination using Statues)

Post  LyxisMorgan on Tue 3 Jan 2012 - 12:51

Derived from the Greek agalma (figure) and maneia (divination) is the divination of ancient statues or idols and was popular during the time of ancient Greece. It is closely related to Idolomancy.

In ancient times, when temple priests were trained in the art of making automata, allegedly huge metal or stone statues were made to come to life and make utterances about the future. Also there was a widespread believe that spirits were capable of inhabiting statues, and could be made to reveal secrets of futurity by those who knew how.

Statues or Teraphim, which are images of human forms mostly mounted on walls, were the main objects in use in this practice. They have been known to be hung on walls in ancient households. 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.

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