Lecanomancy is the ancient art of divining the future using pebbles and a basin of water. The ancient Assyrians would drop precious stones into the water, seeking wisdom from the pattern of ripples left on the water’s surface.

A thin layer of animal fat covered the oil, which was kept in a special bowl. The question was asked, and the diviner would drop a stone. These stones were consecrated, often marked with strange symbols. Not only were ripples studied, the diviner also studied whether the oil separated to determine the future.

Ripples on water created by water striders. Courtesy Wikipedia.