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(wc 672)

For today’s picture, I’m showing you the female tiger swallowtail that wasn’t around the day I snapped her mate or brother.  Next day, she showed up for a photo session, and I managed to catch her holding still just long enough for a quick snap.

On to our vocabulary lesson – get out your crystal ball (or baked ass’s head, whichever you prefer)!  It’s time to try to divine, “what were these people thinking?“:

As I have been researching words for my Wednesday posts, I have become increasingly aware of the number of ways there are to divine the future.  As a matter of fact, I have discovered that there is virtually nothing you can think of that cannot be or has not been used as a fortune-telling device.

I have been floored by the variety of objects that people over the centuries and/or millennia  have used as aids in seeing into the great unknown.  We have already learned about kephalanomancy – divination using a baked ass’s head.  You will see down the list for today that you don’t have to use just the head – or even to bake the rest of the ass to be able to prognosticate and/or divinate.

I made the decision that for this week’s list of words – the letter “O” being the featured alphabetical star – I would give you divination terms exclusively!  have fun.  You are also invited to make up a few forms of your own – not necessary to have them begin with “O,” but I bet you could come up with some “O” word to divine with!

oenomancy  – divination by studying appearance of wine; I want the method where you have to taste it!

oinomancy – divination using wine; Ask and ye shall receive!

ololygmancy – fortune-telling by the howling of dogs; And in your future I see lots of salivating, tail-wagging, and empty-bowl staring. . .I see lots of four-legged furry/hairy barking creatures begging to be fed.  Uncanny!

omphalomancy – divination from the knots in the umbilical cord; Does knot-less mean future-less?

oneiromancy – divination by dreams; I suppose any accuracy here depends upon who is doing the divining – the dreamer or the dreamee.

onomancy – divination using a donkey or ass; I am getting frustrated.  I decided to accept that the baked ass’s head can be useful, and now I learn that I don’t have to go through the whole decapitation and baking process, just use the whole animal – dead or alive, I guess.  Why did no one tell me this before I slaughtered the poor thing?

onomancy – divination using proper names; OK.  Asses/proper names.  Yeah!  I see the correlation – at least with some proper names.

onychomancy, onymancy – divination by the fingernails;  Why use that pesky “cho” when you don’t need it, right?  That would be kind of disappointing if you find out you had just trimmed off the best part of your life. . .

oomancy – divination using eggs; Whatever the future is, it can’t be good for the egg – which sort of negates the whole symbol of an egg, doesn’t it?

ophidiomancy – divination using snakes; Fine by me, as long as I don’t have to handle them.

ophiomancy – divination by watching snakes; Once again – ask and ye shall receive!  Much more to my liking if snakes have to be used.

ornithomancy – divination by observing flights of birds;  Big deal!  Flying north means winter’s ending, flying south means winter’s coming!  And flying in a “V” formation means some poor sucker up front is doing all the work.

oryctomancy – divination by using excavated objects; As long as those objects aren’t bones.

ossomancy,  osteomancy – divination using bones; Uh-oh.

ouranomancy – divination using the heavens; You have your choice of which one or ones to use, I guess.  I understand there are at least seven.

So there you have your means of divination for the week!  It occurred to me that there are likely forms of divination for every letter of the alphabet, and as today is for the letter “D,” according to the A to Z Blogging Challenge for this month, perhaps I will fill you in on a few of those today as well.  Aren’t we having fun?  Enough. . .?

(Words and definitions for my “Wednesday’s Word and Picture” posts are most often found at the following highly-recommended site:  Phrontistery )

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