5 (more) Historical Hacks for Predicting the Future

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Would you like to know what the future holds but don’t want to (or can’t) leave the house?

Then have I got the divination methods for you!

Unlike those I posted in 2020, the following fortune-telling techniques don’t require arrows, entrails or live chickens and instead use items you already have in your home.

So if you’re curious about what lies ahead, and you have a bit of time on your hands, read on to find out you can transform a block of cheese, water, candles and a copy of Atlas Shrugged into powerful soothsaying tools!

(AKA Reading Too Much Into It)

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What you’ll need:

A book

The ability to read between the lines.


  1. Grab a book, traditionally the bible was used but nowadays any meaningful text will do.

2. Ask your question.

“Will this ever end?”
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3. Flick through the book until you feel the impulse to stop, then drop your eyes to the page.

4. Divine guidance will direct your eyes to your answer:

Elaine Conte drove her pale-blue Mercedes slowly down La Cienega Boulevard. She drove slowly so as not to chip her nails…

Jackie Collins, Hollywood Wives
Um, I don’t get it.
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A recurring motif in the Mike Leigh movie Career Girls, (1997) bibliomacy, like all the clairvoyance techniques listed, requires the suspension of disbelief and a lot of creative licence.

aka It Gets Cheddar

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The spiritual and savoury cousin to tea-leaf reading, tyromancy is the study of cheese; its holes, mould patterns and even its smell.

What you’ll need:


Creative vision


  1. Hold a question in your mind.
  2. Stare at the cheese. What does it say to you?
“Eat Me.”
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3. Interpret with wine and crackers.


AKA “It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness”

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Ceromancy is the art of interpreting the random shapes made by melted candle wax in water.

What you’ll need:

A candle

A basin (a sink or bathtub will do)

The ability to make sense out of nonsense.


  1. Light candle
  2. Angle candle so the wax drips in the basin of water
  3. Interpret the drips and blobs

If you don’t have any candles but you do have kids and crayons. Melt them.

The crayons. Not the kids. Obviously. Kids take way too long to melt.

Crayons – easier to melt than a toddler.
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Aka waterworks

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Said to have originated in Ancient Babylonia, Lecanomancy involves reading the ripples in a bowl of water or oil in water or just the water itself. ‘

Given that we’re talking about water drawn from wells in the ancient world and the middle ages there was probably quite a lot to see.

Most of it terrible.
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What you’ll need:

A bowl (a sink, bath or kiddie pool will also suffice)



  1. Pour water into chosen receptacle.
  2. Stare into said receptacle and look for images.

NOTE: If you’re using a bathtub, remember to remove bath toys beforehand.

Lest all your visions be yellow and duck-like.
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aka Lord, Give Me a Sign

How convenient!
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The attribution of meaning to random or chance events or words, Cledonomancy is occurring anytime you hear someone say: “Ooh, that’s a sign” while looking at something that is not an actual sign.

Originating in Ancient Greece, Cledonomancy was featured in Homer’s The Odyssey (when a thunder clap is read as a message from Zeus) as well as the 2002 film “Signs”.

Cledonomancy can also be found in romantic-comedies like Sleepless in Seattle and the diary entries of lovestruck teenagers.

What you’ll need:

A functioning pair of ears/ eyes

A belief in the concept of omens and auspices.

Although not a fortune telling method that requires a modus operandi, I have provided one for those of you who prefer your clairvoyance to be methodical and orderly.


  1. Ask your question either aloud or to yourself.
  2. Go somewhere you will be undisturbed, like the Aegean coast or the Shrine of Hermes.
    Failing that, a library, mall food court or suburban backyard will do
  3. Close your eyes and listen.
  4. The words you overhear, mishear or misinterpret will answer your question.
Purple. Monkey. Dishwasher…Looks like I am getting that promotion!
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  1. Ask your question
  2. Close your eyes
  3. Open your eyes
  4. The first words you see will give you the answer you seek.
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Read about 5 more ways to predict the future here.

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