Abacomancy, also called Amathomancy is a form of divination in which a person looks for symbols in sand, dirt, dust or even ashes at times when one has been cremated. The word itself relates to sand so it is likely the original material used in this type of divination was sand and other materials were added later on. While this form of divination is thought to be ancient, there is no conclusive information attesting to its use in ancient times.
Often times a reader will put sand or other substances on a flat surface and look for symbols that can be used by the practitioner to give future information.
One site states when using ashes of a recently decease person, the person whom cremated the body, being required to sift through the ashes, would do so on the tenth night after the person passes. The person would leave a whole in the center of the ashes and place a basket over the vessel. The ashes were examined the following day and any symbol (footprint of an animal) found was thought to have been placed there by the spirit of the departed to show what animal form the deceased had taken. Keep in mind the information regarding this was not sourced therefore the validity is questionable.
Abacomancy, possible meanings
Some people list the following as possible meanings for symbols found in the material, though with any form of divination, the theories behind the symbols often differ depending on what the symbol means to the practitioner him or herself.
Large circles could mean the elements at work or protection. It could also mean a person has come to a full circle on a journey indicating a life phase is completed and a new phase is about to begin.
Small circles may mean an uncertainty where the practitioner is being prevented from seeing the full picture of what is come due to being confined by the practitioners own small mindedness.
A triangle may mean a source of power or that a goal can be completed with the balancing of energies given the triangle is of equal lengths. This could indicate a person should remember to keep ones feet firmly planted to the ground while reaching for the sky to ensure success.
A square could mean an upcoming endeavor or obstacle will approach that will require a strong will and passion along with persistence. It is said the square warns of not being able to look outside the box to attain the knowledge needed for the upcoming endeavor.
Long lines are generally thought to indicate a journey of a physical, mental, or spiritual nature. In terms of mental or intellectual journey, this could indicate the practitioner will be profoundly changed after reaching the objective.
Short lines could mean a short journey physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually with a few possible stops along the way. Whether the stops along the way are to gain perspective or incite or due to issues in ones path, the practitioner will have to find for her or himself.
Spiral markings may mean a person is ready to move on to a higher plane mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. This may indicate a practitioner will need to have inner strength to deal with external issues.
Heart symbols may indicate an experience of emotions or love entering into the picture. In some circumstances, ones broken heart could affect the thinking process.
An X could mean negative forces in your life need to be gotten rid of.