Lesson 8) Podomancy and Oculomancy
Professor Cattercorn was reviewing a stack of essays when the students arrived. As the class began to fill up, she could be heard muttering about “essay prompts” and “simple directions” as her quill ran across the top parchment, leaving marks and notations throughout the essay response. Sighing in disappointment, she dropped her quill and got up from his seat. Flicking her wand toward a portable blackboard, the words “podomancy” and “oculomancy” appeared in white chalk.
Welcome back class! I know that you are probably all studying hard for your upcoming finals and getting excited about your break! Today, we will be working our way through an introduction into two lesser-known forms of divination: podomancy and oculomancy. This lesson should offer a fresh approach to the whole hand divination practices and yet be similar enough to understand the basics.
A Foot in the Door
Before we start oculomancy, let us begin today’s lesson with podomancy, a branch of divination that is concerned with divining one’s characteristics or future in the lines of the soles and other parts of their feet. This practice is also called solistry. I’m sure that you have noticed the tubs of soapy water in front of each of you. Please remove your shoes and socks to soak your feet in the tub before we begin today’s lesson, as it is much easier to see the lines with fresh, clean feet. Instead of giving the usual history lesson, let us get straight to the method!
The features we are going to be examining on the foot are the toes, lines, toenails, and arches. While it would be lovely to go over every single line and its significance, alas, time constraints mean we can only cover so much in our short year together. If this divinatory method interests you, by all means I encourage you to continue to research this in your own time. For now, let’s break these features down to see what they can tell us.
From an early age you have taught yourself that you can only depend on one person to get you through life, and that is you. You are a highly motivated individual and you have a fair amount of intelligence as well. You are a very positive person, typically, but don’t allow yourself to let your dreams carry you away.
Low Arch, or Flat
You are a realist, typically you look at the negative aspects to life, rather than the positive. You tend to lean on others a little more than depending on your own abilities. Allow yourself to dream from time to time.
Lines on the Feet
There are no generalizable lines of the feet like there are with palms, so there won’t be much talk of specific lines, rings, girdles, or mounts. Instead, we are going to speak of general traits that can be observed in the feet. For example, if many lines point towards your big toe, you can expect a very wealthy life as well as be more likely to give to charity organizations. However, if only one line points to the big toe, you can expect to have a very hard life, full of manual labor.
If overall the lines on your feet are unclear or broken up, it can indicate problem areas in your health depending on where the line is (if this is the case, please refer to the chart at the bottom of the podomancy lesson segment). Also, deep lines can mean a troubled life whereas shallow lines indicate that you have a passionate nature.
Additionally, one last interesting tidbit about foot lines is that if you are a female, a line that that leads to the second toe may mean an early and very loving marriage
This Little Piggy
Now, let’s shift gears to examine the toes. To do this we must first examine a toe chart, stating what each toe represents. It’s also important to realize that there is a difference between left foot and right foot toes when doing a reading. Please review the chart to the right and look back at it as many times as you need. I recommend printing it out if you are able to do so. I will not lay out the meanings of both short and long toes, but rather lay one of them out and let you know that it is safe to assume the opposite is true for the opposing toe length.
Should you have a large toe, this means you are a person who has an abundance in that particular area of your life. For example, If someone has a large fourth toe on the left foot, they have an abundance of love in their life, according to the chart above. A short toe, however, represents that this area of your life is rather restrained.
A rounded toe means that you are a sensitive, tactful person. A pointy toe can represent that the energy of that particular aspect of your life comes and goes in bursts and that you have little control over it.
A rectangular toe, on the other… foot, says that you are well-balanced or possess common sense in the area that the toe represents. Lastly, if you possess a “spatula” toe, you have a lot of energy in that particular aspect of your life.
Interestingly, unlike with fingers, angle can play a large role in the interpretation of toes. For example, if any of your toes are bent towards the big toe it means that you are being kept back by your past and not allowing yourself to look towards the future in that particular aspect of your life. If more than one has this angle, this increases the importance of the reading. Alternatively, if any toes point in the opposite direction, towards the little toe, you are rushing head first into the future without any hesitation, be careful of this. Finally, a crooked toe means that you are flexible with your opinions and let others affect your opinion on that aspect in your life. Should your toe simply be straight like the majority of people, this does not contribute anything additional to your reading.
...And here students I will mix things up a bit. There is a rather extensive list of features found upon a foot, and while they are quite interesting, they are rather hard to imagine without a physical example. Therefore, I asked our esteemed faculty for prints of their own feet in a project that has been called “that weird foot thing Ornitier wanted” in the staff lounge. Of course, I included my own foot in the collection and hope to illustrate a few key features as listed above.
Let us begin with the delicate sole of former Ancient Runes professor and current magiarchaeologist, Mathilda Stevens. Of average size, Ms. Stevens’ foot clearly exhibits toes of a standard length. Her toes are more on the rounded side, allowing us to identify the rather sensitive nature we have all come to witness in our beloved runes scholar. Moving towards the big toe, the rather round shape signifies the intelligence present within the former professor. Sadly, the lack of a ‘fat’ toe alongside the big toe means that she will not come into sudden wealth during her 30s. No quitting your day job, Mathilda!
Moving on to my own foot, please excuse the drier skin as I tend to walk around my chambers without shoes on!
What do you notice first apart from the lovely beauty spot on the left of the foot? The most evident feature at first is the small size of my foot. I come from a line of witches who are small in stature, and this extends to shoe size. But moving on, notice the smaller toes? While still rounded like Ms. Stevens’, my toes are noticeably shorter.
I know it is difficult to see in these pictures, but the sole of my foot exhibits quite a few shallow lines, a signifier of a passionate nature. It is also difficult to see in the photograph, but the arch of my foot is actually higher than most, alluding to the fact that I learned to rely upon my own devices from a young age.
Window to the Soul
For now, we will leave our study of the soles to look at the windows to the soul. That’s right, we’re onto our last topic of the day: oculomancy. No, no, not occlumency -- the devilishly difficult practice of blocking mental intrusions into your thoughts from a Legimens. Instead, oculomancy is the divinatory technique by which a seer may predict the personality or future path of an individual by studying the size, shape, colour, and sometimes the reflections seen in a person’s eyes. As has been discussed earlier in divination, the “how and why” of specific divinatory practices are often very limited, and this art is no different. Very little documentation exists around the ‘how’ of oculomancy. Typically, this indicates that it is one of those divinatory techniques by which you either have a knack for or you don’t. What is known, however, is often discussed within physiognomy, particularly the colours of the eyes and eye shapes, which we will be covered in some detail next week.
When it comes to seeing or witnessing a vision in the eyes of an individual, the seer in question must remember the fact that what is seen is subjective and open to interpretation. Of course, the more practiced the seer, the more reliable the reading. Often, these visions include omens, which are reflections of the self and possibly flashes of an individual’s true nature. These are witnessed as shapes in the eye and as with all readings, the seer must use their knowledge and intuition to decipher their meaning before sharing with the individual. Because of the similarities, some seers and scholars prefer to classify this as a form of scrying. However, regardless of how you categorize it, it is certainly a mysterious practice.
I thank you again, class for your attendance today, and look forward to seeing you next lesson for our final lesson of Year Four. We will be covering our last topic, physiognomy, and briefly review our year and before, aptly, looking forward to the future. For the assignment this week, there will be a short quiz and then I will leave you to study for your upcoming finals!
By the way, Friday will be warmer than usual so I suggest letting your owls and other critter companions out for some much needed warmth and sun!
Until next time!
Original lesson written by Professor Octavia Proctor
Specific feet photos provided by Mathilda Stevens and Octavia Proctor, respectively
Other image credits here