Cromniomancy is a form of divination by onions. Originating from the Greek word ‘cromnion’ which means onions. There are many forms of cromniomancy, from divining the weather to choosing a lover.
One method is to place onions on a sacred altar to learn about friends and family far away and out of contact. The names of the people are inscribed on individual onions and left undisturbed until they began to sprout. The faster the sprouting, the better health and happiness was enjoyed by the person named on the onion.
Onions also provided romantic advice for the love-lorn. A maiden trying to choose between suitors would carve out their names on separate onions. The one that sprouted first would reveal the suitor most worthy of her affections.
Answers to any question could be sought by inscribing ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ on two separate onions and planting them to see which sprouted first.
A method practiced in southern Germany to predict the weather for the following year was at Silvester Evening which is the 31st December, the day of the Feast of Pope Sylvester I. Select twelve similar sized onions, the tops are cut off and several of the inner layers removed to form a cup shape. They represent the months from January to December. Then a grain or pinch of salt is put into every onion, and they are left overnight in a darkened room without heating, but also without frost. The amount of liquid in each onion represents how much rain or snow there will be in the respective month.
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