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Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Magickal Lamp Divination
Lampadomancy is the ancient art of divining via a lamp. Magick lamps may be crafted from brass or stone, however the most common traditional lamp is formed from earth, terracotta. The oracle is determined by the appearance and duration of the flame. Lampadomancy was once a very common form of divination, dating back to the days of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Because candles were once rare and expensive, magick lamps were more commonly used.
Magick lamps haven't changed much, basically consisting of a terracotta dish filled with oil, the sides proportionately high so that oil and flames are contained. A coiled linen strip resting in the oil and hanging over the edge creates a wick. Similar lamps, reproductions as well as ancient artifacts, are available through antiquarians, but this is a very simple, even child-like design, easily crafted or improvised. A quick google search will show that hand made oil lamps can be created with bottles, tea pots, and a variety other containers.
The type of oil used in the lamp varies. Although olive oil evokes associations with The Arabian Nights, Aladdin, genies in bottles and magick lamps, actually in ancient days olive was among the more expensive oils in Arabia, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. The Egyptians, who even by modern standards possessed an extensive repertoire of oils for perfumery, cooking, sacred healing and magickal purposes, apparently favored palm oil for lamps: an oil still popular in many African and African-derived spiritual traditions.
Although lampadomancy retained its popularity in India and Arabia, it fell out of favor in the West. With the arrival of kerosene lamps in America in approximately 1869, lamp magick was revitalized. The revival was strongest in Louisiana, where it still retains some popularity.
The Louisiana Magick Lamp is typically a hurricane or kerosene lamp, fueled by some blend of castor oil, olive oil and kerosene - usually two parts kerosene to one part oil. It is read in similar manner to the ancient oil lamp.
Here's the traditional method of divination via Magick Lamp:
Charge and consecrate a magick lamp. Formulate your question. Light the wick and read the response. Gaze at the lamp, focusing on the flames, as well as any shadows cast behind the lamp.
Watch the flames; analyze the number of points of flame. Observe in what direction the flame leans, whether it's high, low, dim bright, noisy and sputtery, or silent. This is a patient art. Does the flame burn clean or is it smokey? If the flame goes out abruptly, this is not a positive sign.
From: The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells