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BIG LIST: Looking Ahead

Friday 27 January 2012, 10:17AM

If you want to know what the future has in store, you could always head to your local market and grab some asparagus. However, “asparamancing” is only one of many wacky ways of divining your fortune:


Say cheese:

We’ve all heard that eating cheese before bedtime can give you nightmares. But apparently a humble piece of cheddar can also help you find your dream partner. In Europe during the Middle Ages, young country girls used what was called ‘tyromancy’ to predict who’d be their future husband. They’d write the names of prospective suitors on a piece of cheese, and the name where mould grew first was the ideal love match. Mouldy cheese – where romance blossoms.

 Feline forecast:

Ailuromancy – also known as ‘felidomancy’ – is literally the cat’s whiskers when it comes to determining the future. Simply observe the way your feline friend moves or jumps and you have an insight into what’s about to occur – especially when it comes to the weather, apparently. Every twitch, yawn, sneeze or stretch foretells some forthcoming event. If it’s hissing and arching its back, for example, it’s probably about to swipe you in the face.

 The future? My a**e!

Rumpology is not just an excuse to stare at people’s behinds. Sure, that’s probably part of it, but who are we to judge? Where palmistry experts see all through your hand, rumpologists go for the bottom line, meaning you never need to be behind the times again.

 Navel gazing:

The shape of a belly button reveals all about a person’s personality and life expectancy, according to Berlin psychologist Dr Gerhard Reibman. If you have an “outy” – protruding – omphalomancy tells us you’re optimistic and enthusiastic. If it’s round, you’re shy and retiring. If you’re the guy pictured above, well, then you’re just an idiot.

 Bookish behaviour:

Choose an important book, let it open on a random page and read the first passage you see. That’s your fortune according to bibliomancy. We tried it with a phone directory and apparently have a life to look forward to as a male escort after journalism.

 Don’t wine:

Seems like a real waste of a decent drink, but spill wine on to a piece of cloth or paper and the subsequent stains can be read by the right people (usually sober people). The Romans believed oinomancy, as it is known, was best carried out by a priestess of Bacchus, the god of wine. If you can’t find a priestess of the god of wine though, then a local drunk will probably suffice.


Many of us might be able to tell where people have been by the state of their shoes. But only a rare few can tell where they’re going from a quick glance at someone’s footwear. ‘Scarpomancy’ relies on predictions based on the wear patterns, tongue deformation and lace fraying of shoes. From the wear on your shoes, I predict you will buy a new pair soon.

 Wee will rock you:

Urine samples are used by medical professionals to indicate the state of a person’s health. But, according to ‘uromancy’, the bubbles in wee can reveal future events. If the bubbles are big and far apart, expect good things. If they are small and close together, something appalling may be around the corner – something like proteinuria, vesicocolic fistula or urinary tract infection, for example, all of which list urine bubbles as a symptom.

 Faecal fortune:

Scatomancy involves human excrement being scrutinised to tell the future. In ancient times, ‘scatomancers’ were often influential members of their community. Today, handling people’s poo and prophesising the future will probably land you in a psychiatric facility.

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