Bibliomancy is a form of divination that uses specific words, phrases and verses from sacred books. The use of this form of divination is universal, with all religions and cultures practicing it. It is thought to remove the ‘negative’ entities in one’s life. Bibliomancy is used in the same way Stichomancy and Libromancy are used. These are a form of divination that seeks the future by selecting random passages from a book, often from a sacred book. 

Bibliomancy is often referred to as a specialized form of stichomancy. ‘Biblio’ in context of divination refers to books in general rather than to the Bible. While divining through bibliomancy, the Christians most commonly use the Bible, and across all Islamic cultures, the Koran is used. During the Middle Ages, The most common usage for bibliomancy was Virgil’s Aeneid.

Chartomancy is considered as another form of bibliomancy. In this form of divination, the literary writings and the writings in musical works, in official papers, in letters, manuscripts, and in documents, among others, are interpreted. Chartomancy comes from ‘charta,’ which is Latin for ‘paper.’

How It Is Done

In the context of bibliomancy, the Jewish Encyclopedia quotes: What the Vedas were to the Hindus, Homer to the Greeks, and Ovid and Virgil to the Romans, the Old Testament was to the Jews, the Old and New Testaments to the Christians, and the Koran and Hafiz to the Mohammedans.

Some practitioners of this form of divination use a dice, or some such item, to select the page to be opened. This is because most practitioners have their favorite passages in their books, and the pages often open at the same pages. As a variant to this, some practitioners of bibliomancy randomly select a book at the library, and open a random passage from it. If the book happens to select itself by falling from the shelf, so be it.

This is how you go about it:

• Pick any book you wish to select the passage from.
• Balance it on its spine and let it fall open.
• Close your eyes and randomly touch any passage with your finger.
• View that passage as an indication for your future.

Many great religious figures throughout history have been known to use bibliomancy to seek guidance from the divine. St. Francis of Assisi thrice randomly opened from the book of the Gospels in the church of St. Nicholas. It is said that each time he opened the passage in which Christ told his disciples to follow him.

St. Augustine converted to Catholicism after reading a random passage in the volume of the Apostle asking him to put his faith in Lord Jesus. According to him all doubts vanished after reading the passage.

The ancient Greeks used passages from Homer’s Iliad for practicing bibliomancy.

Sors Vergiliana, or sors Virgiliana is a form of bibliomancy where random passages are selected from Virgil’s Aeneid. This was avidly practiced in the Roman Empire and during the Middle Ages, as Virgil was considered to have magical powers or the gift of prophecy. He was considered not only a great magician but also a prophet who had foretold the birth of Christ.


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