Jump to navigation Jump to search

'Bibliomancy is a traditional method of method of divination by choosing at random a passage in a book and interpreting it in light of the query. The Christian Bible appears to be the most popular book used in Europe, and other holy books in other places.

Bibliomancy means "divination by books" in literal translation. It is also called stichomancy, which means "divination by lines". Many people don't realize this and think bibliomancy was named after the Bible.


This practice seems to be among the oldest divination techniques. It was widely used by early christians, until "superstitious use" of the Bible was forbidden arround 700. The European Jews had similar practices. Another book that was widely used for this purpose was Virgils Aeneid, this was called sortes virgiliae. Virgil was believed to have been a powerful magickian by many medieval people.

In medieval Europe, the word was also used for several other magical or superstitous uses of the Bible. This could be both about the pysical book or portions of the text.

In a way, the use of lot books (late medieval/renaissance) is a more developed form of bibliomancy. Basically, these were books full of predictions or nice sayings, and dice or playing cards were used to determine which of them applied. In fact the I-Ching is a lot book too.

Modern use

Bibliomancy is quite out of fashion today. People are crazed about Tarot, Runes, I-Ching and the like, not such simple, traditional techniques such as this.

Bibliomancy can be worth a try, especially if you're not looking for exact predictions. If an appropriate book is used, it is fime to get solace, food for thought or a topic for your daily meditation. And why not ask your academic textbook where you might start revising?

Many newly invented divination methods of the internet age can be viewed as forms of bibliomancy. It is logical to use the texts for it that are easiely availiable and the media you're used to.

See also