Aeromancy or Cloud Omens or Cloud Reading is a form of augery or divination outdoors in nature. The word aeromancy comes from the Greek word "aero" which means "air" and "manteia" which means "divination". It is the divination by observing events in the air or wind including cloud shapes, weather conditions, rainbows, changes in weather patterns, storms, and atmospheric phenomena (including comets and meteors). It can also be used to foretell or predict weather or climate. Its history is popular as far back as use by the Greeks and Romans. Particular attention was paid to cumulus clouds and the shapes, sizes, forms, and pictures they would create. Clouds through history form shapes, faces, fantastic landscapes, mythical creatures, and wonderous images. Theories behind these images are based on one's intuition trying to create an order out of randomness and some believe are reflections of the workings of the inner self. Seers look for these images not only in clouds, but fire embers, nature, water, smoke, and entrails of sacrificed animals in order to establish auguries and portents for the future. Aeromancy can be achieved by studying wind paterns such as with the seer tossing sand or dirt into the wind after asking a question and the answer being retrieved by the nature of the dust cloud. Another method involves throwing a handful of seeds and observing the pattern that the seeds form on the ground. This is sometimes referred to as Austromancy. To many ancients, the wind was the actual breath of life of their God/desses and was one of the most divine of elements. Alternatively, some believed that heated winds were the work of demons. Observing clouds is the most popular form.
Some popular cumulus formations that are known meanings are the Pegasus Cloud represents the mythical Greek God Pegasus. This usually represents meaning that a person will be rising above a problem or escaping from something that is worrying them. It can also be symbollic of someone achieving something great such as in the myth where Bellerophon tried to fly Pegasus to Mount Olympus and can take on a meaning of a Olympian endeavor being accomplished in someone's life. UFO Clouds appear like an Unidentified Flying Object in clear skies or over deserts and when refracting light from the setting sun gives such an image. Carl Jung philosophizes that modern man wants to see flying saucers as he yearns for the wholeness of the inner self symbolized by the shape of a circle. In the East these can be seen as mandalas to aid meditation to establish the inner equilibrium. These can mean wholeness and completion. Grim Reaper Clouds are usually death-like images or symbols in cloud patterns that usually represent death of the old so the new can emerge. These can be seen as positives. Angel Clouds have been seen as portents of untimely death or as a messenger or a blessing that all will go well. During Elvis Presley's cross-country roadtrip in 1964, he claimed he saw a angelic vision in the clouds of Stalin and believed it meant that God was displeased with him. This face then turned into a smiling face of Jesus which he believed was a portent of his untimely death. Rocket Ship could mean a symbol of rapid movement in one's life, breaking free of physical limitations, or explorations of one's personal or inner space and time. By viewing patterns of clouds in the sky, it is believed that one achieves the opportunity to examine what they see and what questions the mind wants to see based on the symbology and patterning of the clouds. It is very similar in practice to the modern psychology pracice of ink blot testing. Based on how a person interprets a pattern can determine much about intuition and train of thought.
One recommended method of cloud prophecy is before looking into the skies, is to ask a direct question, relax, and allow the mind to accept whatever it sees. Before making out a specific patern, use your imagination to see what might be the connecion and do some research into the meanings of different symbols.
Related forms of prophecy are "Eromancy" which involves divination by taking omens from the air, "Austromancy" as divination of studying winds and cloud shapes, "Anemoscopy" as divination by studying the winds including studying the speed, direction, and sound of the wind or observing certain objects blown by the wind. "Nephomancy" is divination by studying clouds and their colors, shapes, and positions in the sky. This practice was called "neladoracht" by the ancient Druids. "Chaomancy" is a form of aeromancy looking for visions in the sky such as in the shapes of clouds and cloud formations. "Ceraunoscopy" is divination by observing thunder and lightning.
"Brontoscopy" is divination by listening to the sound of thunder. "Roadomancy" or "astromancy" is divination by observing stars, comets, and meteors. "Cometomancy" is specifically the taking of omens from comets as "meteormancy" is from meteors.