Daphnomancy - Divination Spells - Spells

The Big Book of Practical Spells: Everyday Magic That Works - Judika Illes 2016

Divination Spells

Among the prophetic materials used at the Oracle at Delphi were bay leaves, which were burned together with other botanicals to stimulate the residing prophetess' visions. A system of household divination involves bay alone. (And yes, daphnomancy is a real word simply meaning divination through bay leaves. The word honors Daphne, a nymph, who according to Greek myth, while fleeing from Apollo's advances was turned into the first bay laurel tree.)


Armadillo is the patron of those who delve extensively into psychic realms, providing defense, boundaries and bravery.


Concentrate on a question while holding bay leaves in your hand. Either place a bay leaf onto a lit charcoal in an incense burner or seashell, or throw a few leaves into an open fire.

· If the leaves crackle loudly and burn brightly, you're received a good sign, proceed. (Actual flames shooting up from the bay leaves are extra auspicious!)

· If the leaves sputter and refuse to burn or if the flame goes out, postpone your plans or change them.


Fortune-Telling Trees

Ash and elder tree branches are prized magic wand material, while having your own bay laurel tree keeps your stock of bay leaves always freshly at hand.



State of the Relationship Divination Oracle

Place two fresh bay leaves side by side on a burning charcoal.

· If they burn quickly to ashes, your relationship is harmonious and should be long-lasting.

· If they crackle while they burn, the relationship should last but may be studded with arguments.

· If they crackle fiercely and jump apart, look for another partner!


An English folk custom reveals your future lover.


ABC Love Oracle

Lavender blossoms

Pink rose petals



1. Make an infusion from the botanicals. Strain and reserve the water.

2. Write each letter of the alphabet on small individual squares of cardboard, each of equal size and thickness.

3. Place them facedown in a pan and pour the infusion over them (perhaps reserving some to bathe in or at least wash your face in; the fragrance should be very pretty). Let it stand overnight.

4. The following morning, see which letters have turned face up in the water to give you some clues as to your future beloved's name.


Ozark Love Oracle: The Sacrificial Mullein

Another romantic divination system comes from America's Ozark Mountains and was traditionally used by men wishing to clear up any doubts regarding their honey's fidelity.

1. First you need to locate a living mullein plant. This may be easier in the Ozarks than elsewhere but there is much to be said for some mullein in the backyard. Known as “witch's tapers” because once upon a time, they were dipped in wax or tallow, set alight and carried as torches, mullein is usually the primary ingredient in herbal eardrops and is also used to remedy some respiratory conditions.

2. Bend and point the mullein stalk in the direction of your love's home.

· If his or her love is true, the mullein will grow upright again.

· If this love is not meant to be, the mullein will die.

(Either way, give the mullein a few days to decide which way the wind is blowing.)


Avian Oracle

Birds are believed to serve as messengers between humans and the Spirit Realm. Let them help you out with perplexing decisions. All you need is some birdseed or some stale bread or cookies. This oracle is based on the ancient Roman tradition of augury (literally, divination through birds).

1. Scatter the birdseed or bread and watch the birds partake. Concentrate on your question.

2. If the birds fly off to your right, the answer is affirmative.

3. If they fly off to your left, the answer is negative.

4. If they scatter and fly in all directions, you do not have enough information to make your decision yet; it's more complex than it seems.

5. If the birds refuse to partake, take this matter seriously, your query may have more significance than it originally seems. Consider all the possible consequences and rethink your solutions.