This ancient form of divination seeks clues to the future by using metal vessels. Brass is especially prized, as some believe it can repel evil spirits and demons.

Liquid is poured into the vessel. This is usually oil, ink, perfumed water, or something similar. The diviner recites prayers and incantations in preparation for the divination. He or she will gaze into the liquid without blinking. Using this method, the diviner enters a trance and may experience visions of prophecy.

In a related method, the diviner places a simple brass plate upon a consecrated altar at midnight. As the plate is placed upon the altar, the diviner asks his question. From there, he has only to wait until dawn. The answers will be written upon the brass plate in dew, although the language or symbols used is often understood only by the diviner.

A selection of brass instruments — a trumpet, foreground, a piccolo trumpet behind, and a flugelhorn in background. Courtesy Wikipedia.