Oomancy: The Truth About Egg Fortune Telling

Halloween calls for plenty of macabre entertainment, but if you want to do something a bit different at your Halloween parties this year, you can engage in some fortune telling with nothing more than the common foods you have in your kitchen.

Fortune telling, or "divination," is the practice of interpreting signs using occult methods. The practice goes back to the raucous pagan Celtic festival Samhain, which was eventually combined with All Saints Day to become what we now know as Halloween, according to Thrillist. The ancient Celts believed October 31 to be the day when the material world was most aligned with the spirit world, so practicing divination at this time was likely to yield the assistance of spirits, and thus, be extra reliable. But the ancients didn't have Ouija boards or tarot cards, so when they wanted to predict the future, they used what they had on hand.

Interestingly, many foods have long been used in divination rituals, according to Mental Floss, including cheese (tyromancy), or — per Thrillist — apple seeds, oranges, nuts, and tea leaves. The other benefit of using foods is it's also a bit easier to master since tarot can take a while to learn.

Oomancy, divination through eggs, relies on symbols and the diviner's intuition in interpreting these symbols. Self-described clairvoyant Colette Brown, author of "How to Read an Egg: Divination for the Easily Bored," says the secret to effectively reading eggs lies in careful meditation on the messages your food is sending. "Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and try not to have a preferred outcome for your question before you start," she told Thrillist.

Understanding the symbols in your eggs

Oomancy basically works by interpreting the shape an egg white takes on as it floats and solidifies in water. To practice oomancy, start by filling a large glass or a clear bowl with warm water. The warm water will allow the egg white to become somewhat firm. Then, concentrate on your question and pierce a small hole in the egg's exterior with a knife or other object that will create a hole through which the egg white can ooze out of the shell and into the water.

Next, examine the egg white and look for images in its shape. Be sure to look at it from all angles so that you get a three-dimensional view. According to the website Joya Energy, some symbols you might see include a clover, which indicates hope, happiness, and prosperity; a horseshoe, which foretells good luck in finances; and an arch, which is a harbinger of discord with coworkers or family members,

The website Mystic Mysteries advocates cracking the entire egg, whites and yolk, in the water, and says other symbols to watch for include anchors or bells, which can mean a wedding or an engagement — or numbers and letters, which provide hints about those who have the "evil eye" on you (or might conversely hint at travel, good health, money, and love).

How reliable is oomancy? We can't say, but it does have its own following on Instagram (most use the whole egg method), and you can see some of the results searching the hashtag. And according to clairvoyant Colette Brown (via Thrillist), Halloween is the best time to do it: "By doing divination at this time, we are likely to have a few spirit helpers joining in."