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A.Word.A.Day--bibliomancy

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This week's theme: words related to forecasting and divination.

bibliomancy (BIB-lee-o-man-see) noun

Divination by interpreting a passage picked at random from a book, especially from a religious book such as the Bible.

[From Greek biblio- (book) + -mancy (divination).]

If you are having a hard time deciding between turning groupie and following your favorite band around or to stay put in your accounting job, help is at hand. Try bibliomancy. Here's the step-by-step method:

  1. Pick a book you trust a lot.
  2. Put it on its spine, and let it fall open.
  3. With your eyes closed, trace your finger to a passage.
  4. Interpret the passage as your lifemap to the future.
You could even add more randomness to the process. To do that at the macro level, visit a library and pick a book at random from the shelves. At the micro level, instead of interpreting a passage, pick a single word and let it point you to your path.

Then you could try awadmancy -- divination based on words from AWAD. Focus on the question in your mind and then click here to get a random word from our archives.

-Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)

"It was Margaret Drabble's new The Oxford Companion to English Literature, which I'd been sent, to review. I'd been picking through it idly, looking at this and that, seeing who was in and who was out, when, by a kind of obscure bibliomancy, the book fell open at page 471, and there I was, laid out drily between Robert Henryson, the 15th-century Scottish poet, and Philip Henslowe, the Elizabethan theatrical diarist." Philip Hensher; Brought to Book by the Literary Establishment; The Independent (London, UK); Sep 6, 2000.

X-Bonus

There is no coming to consciousness without pain. -Carl Jung, psychiatrist (1875-1961)

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