Ceraunoscopy

Also known as keraunoscopy, this ancient form of divination seeks answers to the mysteries of the past, present, and future by studying meteorological phenomena like lightning and thunder. In the past, people believed that the gods and other mystical beings would communicate through lightning and thunder.

Ancient Romans commonly used ceraunomancy to divine the future. Lightning bolts occurring in the East were a sign of good fortune, while lightning to the west was a bad omen. Should lightning occur to the northwest, bad news would soon follow. The most ominous lightning of all occurred to the north, and foretold terrible events.

In medieval times, it was believed that thunder and lightning occurring in the winter warned of dangers – floods, war, or the death of someone important nearby.

Ceraunoscopy has two main branches. Ceraunomancy seeks to foretell the future using only lightning; brontoscopy practitioners study thunder alone.

Lightning strikes the Eiffel Tower in 1902. Courtesy Wikipedia.