from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Divination by means of the behavior of molten lead, conclusions being based on the number, form, etc., of the drops.
Confused about the difference between molybdomancy and myomancy? We're not surprised. Molydomancers tell the future by dropping melted lead into water; myonancers tell the future by watching the behavior of mice.
[Doctor Leonhard Vychperger] von Erbach explained that astragalomancy or divination by inscribed tablets, cephalomancy or divination by an ass's head (a method in vogue among the Jews), molybdomancy and alectryomancy were too trifling processes hardly appropriate for the momentous issue at stake.
This word comes from the Greek ‘molybdos,’ lead, plus ‘manteia,’ oracle, divination. 'Molybdomancy' is a common New Year tradition in Nordic countries as well as Germany and Austria.