- October 2, 2021 at 8:31 am #14005DowrgiParticipant
Any thoughts on the so-called divination spoons that have been found at many Celtic/Iron-Age gravesites in Britain in France? I have a few hunches how they may have been used for divination, but I wonder if anyone else has any ideas, too. Pictures of these spoons can be found online and they’re all pretty uniform in design: one spoon is marked with four divisions in a cross, a typical division of quadrants and the other spoon, unmarked, has a small hole – usually at the upper/mid-left, perhaps for pouring or looking through.
/|\November 16, 2021 at 3:17 pm #14142EadhaParticipant
Ooo, they look interesting.
One site said maybe thick liquid or powder from the hole spoon into the cross spoon and then the shapes could be interpreted in the context of the four quarters to denote time, moon phases or stages of life.
I think it’s as good an idea of what they were as any (unless they’re making absinthe, which I doubt *grin*). To me, with divination, I genuinely think one could use anything if it works for you. So to me, it doesn’t matter if that’s what they were ‘really’ for – we’ll likely never know – but if it helps someone tap in, then go for it. I find this stuff endlessly fascinating, so thanks for that.
EadhaNovember 16, 2021 at 8:30 pm #14144DowrgiParticipant
Well, I have a hypothesis that they may have been used for molybdomancy – divination with molten lead/metal. Pouring molten metal into cold water and then divining something from the shape that forms still exists today and is quite an ancient form of divination. This was historically known in Cornwall, with the molten lead being poured through the hole in a door key handle into water. The hole in the ancient spoons made me think of a small amount of molten metal – tin, lead or perhaps gold – being poured through the hole and the splashes on the other spoon somehow signifying something according to the quarter markings. The doubt in my mind is that perhaps the spoon used for the melting part would have become far too hot to hold, but tongs of some sort may have been used.
Molybdomancy is still a traditional practice in Germany, part of central Europe and Finland at Christmas and New Year and it is also used in Turkey.
As I said, just a hypothesis – after all, we can’t be sure that they were actually used for divination in the first place.
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