The Philosophy of Natural Magic, by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, L. W. de Laurence ed. , at sacred-texts.com
Moreover, the Elements themselves teach us fatal events; whence those four famous kinds of divinations, Geomancy, Hydromancy, Aeromancy, and Pyromancy, have got their names, of which the sorceress in Lucan seems to boast herself when she saith:
The first, therefore, is Geomancy, which foreshows future things by the motions of the earth, as also the noise, the swelling, the trembling, the chops, the pits, and exhalation, and other impressions thereof, the art of which Almadel, the Arabian, sets forth. But there is another kind of Geomancy which divines by points written upon the earth by a certain power in the fall of it, which is not of present speculation, but of that we shall speak hereafter.
Now Hydromancy doth perform its presages by the impressions of waters, their ebbing and flowing, their increases, and depressions, their tempests, colors and the like; to which, also, are added visions which are made in the waters. A kind of divination found by the Persians, as Varro reports, was that of a boy who saw in the water the effigies of Mercury, which foretold, in a hundred and fifty verses, all the events of the war of Mithridates. We read, also, that Numa Pompilius practiced Hydromancy, for in the water he called up the gods and learned of them things to come. Which art also Pythagoras, a long time after Numa, practiced. There was of old a kind of Hydromancy had in great esteem amongst the Assyrians,
and it was called Lecanomancy, from a skin full of water, upon which they put plates of gold and silver and precious stones written upon with certain images, names and characters. To this may be referred that art by which lead and wax, being melted and cast into the water, do express manifest marks of images of those things we desire to know. There were also in former years fountains that did foretell things to come, as the fathers' fountain at Achaia, and that which was called the water of Juno, in Epidaurus; but of these more in the following chapter, where we shall speak of Oracles.
Hither also may be referred the divination of fishes, of which kind there was use made by the Lycians in a certain place which was called Dina, near the sea; in a wood dedicated to Apollo, was a hollow in the dry sand, into which he that went to consult of future things let down roasted meat, and presently that place was filled with water and a great multitude of fish and strange shapes, unknown to men, did appear; by the forms of which the prophet foretold what should come to pass. These things doth Atheneus more at large relate in the history of the Lycians.
After the same manner, also, doth Aeromancy divine by airy impressions, by the blowing of the winds, by rainbows, by circles round about the moon and stars, by mists and clouds, and by imagination in clouds and visions in the air.
So also Pyromancy divines by fiery impressions, and by stars with long tails, by fiery colors, by visions and imaginations in the fire. So the wife of Cicero foretold that he would be consul the next year because, when a certain man, after the sacrifice was ended, would look in the ashes, there suddenly broke forth a flame. Of this kind are those that Pliny speaks of—that terrene, pale and buzzing fires presage tempests, circles about the snuffs of candles betoken
rain, and if the flame fly, turning and winding, it portends wind. Also torches, when they strike the fire before them and are not kindled. Also when a coal sticks to a pot taken off from the fire, and when the fire casts off the ashes and sparkles; or when ashes are hard grown together on the hearth, and when a coal is very bright.
To these is also added Capnomancy, so called from smoke, because it searcheth into the flame and smoke; and thin colors, sounds and motions when they are carried upright, or on one side, or round, which we read of in these verses in Statius.
Also in the Æthnean Caves and Fields of the Nymphs in Apollonia, auguries were taken from fires and flames—joyful, if they did receive what was cast into them, and sad, if they did reject them. But of these things we shall speak of in the following chapters, amongst the answers of the Oracles.