A branch of Podomancy, Pedomancy is a form of divination by examining a footprint of the person to be divined upon, or by the lines in the soles of a person's feet. This mode of divination is of great antiquity in the Orient, particularly among the Chinese.
The footprint should be cast in clay. Diviners used either special magical clays, or special magical materials mixed with the clay.
According to Thomas Blount's Glossographia (1656), Pedomancy is "a kind of divination by the lines of the sole of the feet."
It was once believed that a person's feet were the "symbol of the soul" and would reveal their personality and future when certain characteristics ― such as size, shape and lines ― were properly interpreted by a skilled Pedomancer.
Foot lines that are unclear or broken signify problem areas according to the line. When more than one line points towards the big toe, the person will be wealthy and share his/her riches with the less fortunate; a single line pointing to the big toe means that the person's life will be difficult and hard. Deep lines indicate a troubled life, shallow lines reveal a passionate nature.
Pedomancy, like most divinatory systems, is quite ancient, and has been practiced since time immemorial.
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Sources: (1) Spence, Lewis, An Encyclopedia of Occultism, Carol Publishing Group; (2) Dictionary of the Occult, Caxton Publishing; (3) Dunwich, Gerina, A Wiccan's Guide to Prophecy and Divination, Carol Publishing Group; (4) Buckland, Raymond, The Fortune-Telling Book: The Encyclopedia of Divination and Soothsaying, Visible Ink Press; (5) Pickover, Clifford A., Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction, Prometheus Books.
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