Catoptromancy (or Enoptromancy)
A type of divination using a mirror, described thus by the
second-century Greek traveler Pausanius
‘‘Before the Temple of Ceres at Patras, there was a fountain,
separated from the temple by a wall, and there was an oracle,
very truthful, not for all events, but for the sick only. The sick
person let down a mirror, suspended by a thread, till its base
touched the surface of the water, having first prayed to the goddess
and offered incense. Then looking in the mirror, he saw
the presage of death or recovery, according as the face appeared
fresh and healthy, or of a ghastly aspect.’’
Another catoptric method was to place the mirror at the
back of the head of a boy or girl whose eyes were bandaged. In
Thessaly, the response reportedly appeared in characters of
blood on the face of the moon, probably represented in the
mirror. The Thessalian sorceresses derived their art from the
Persians, who always endeavored to plant their religion and
mystic rites in the countries they invaded. (See also crystal gazing)