From the word itself “pyros,” which means fire in Greek, and “manteia,” which means divination. This is a form of magic or ritual using the fire. It is an act of divintation to foretell the future through fire.
Sacrificial fire is not the only tool to predict the future, fires from candles or torches were also used. It is believe that pyromancy started when burnt offerings to the gods was still practised. REading images produced by the fire or its coals to predict what the future may bring. Aside from images from the flames and coals after the cracklings, a seer would also observe how the smoke has gone up or down, or if is it scatteres of if it just rose up calmly. The sound the sacrificial flames that would produce was also observed.
Another method, aside from staring at the flames, a seer would also wait until the fire has died down and wait for the bed of coals to glow, the seer would then scatter salt over the coals and wait to see images that would warn them of either a misfortune or prosperity.
ASide from salt, laurel leaves was also popularly used in this divination. Listening to the sound of the burning leaves, if will it bring harmony or bad omens.
Pyromancy was once considered a forbidden form of divination. Even to this day, some superstitious would unknowingly try to decipher a simple state of a candle flame, whether the person who lit it is happy or sad or might have a rough time coming his way.
There are several kinds of pyromancy:
Osteomancy – divination using bones
Capnomancy – divination by smoke
Alomancy – divination by salt
Causinomancy – divintaion by burning any thing that one may need
Botanomancy – divintaion of burning plants
Empyromancy/Daphnomancy – divination by burning laurel leaves
Sideromancy – divination by burning straw
Plastromancy – divination using turtle plastrons
Scapulimancy – divination by scapulae