Divination from the belly, an ancient method now generally
believed to have been ventriloquism, the voice sounding low
and hollow, as if issuing from the ground. Eusèbe Salverte, author
of Des sciences occultes (1834), put forward this opinion, adding,
‘‘The name of Engastrimythes, given by the Greeks to the
Pythie (priestesses of Apollo)[,] indicates that they made use of
this artifice.’’
Another method of practicing gastromancy connects it with
crystal gazing. At one time vessels of glass, round and full of
clear water, were placed before several lighted candles. In this
case, a young boy or girl was generally the seer, and the demon
was summoned in a low voice by the magician. Replies were
then obtained from the magical appearances seen in the illuminated
glass vessels.
Salverte, Eusèbe. Des sciences occultes. Paris, 1834.
Waite, Arthur Edward. The Occult Sciences. 1891. Reprint, Secaucus,
N.J. University Books, 1974.