Cartopedy, also known as podomancy or pedomancy, is the art of divining a person’s future by studying the feet, much as palmistry studies the hands.

To ancient Persians and Indians, cartopedists were valuable in determining the good or bad fortune of upcoming events. Cartopedists were consulted for many occasions, even when a bride needed to be chosen.

Each foot was carefully measured – the shape and size of the foot, heels, and toes was noted. Lines and markings on their feet were studied for clues. The results were believed to tell a person’s character, abilities, and even destiny. This could be a long process, with diviners requiring weeks of effort to find an answer.

This ancient practice is still used in conjunction with palmistry across India and Pakistan. Employers use cartomancy when hiring new employees; similarly, parents seek the advice of a cartomancer when selecting a spouse for their children. Even the police study footprints in hopes of identifying criminals.

Today, this form of divination is alive and well. The footprint is recorded in special clays, or clays to which special materials have been added.

Soles of male (left) & female (right) feet. Courtesy Wikipedia.