|This poor humble archer, lumped into article on belomancy and all that tripe|
Noun. Mid-17th century.
[from Greek belos dart + mateia divinition]
Divination by means of arrows.
Oh belomancy, belomancy, belomancy! What will we do with you? I really don't know why I like the -mancy words so much, but I find them so ridiculously funny. The methodology of belomancy does vary, but it includes observing the direction a fallen arrow points in to determine the best direction of travel if you're lost (somewhat self-determined, I would have thought, as presumably the arrow is going to point in the direction that you just shot it). Also, a belomancer might mark his arrows with such phrases as 'God wills it', 'God forbids it', and 'God's gonna let you figure this one out by yourself.' After shooting them, the arrow that travels the furthest indicates the correct answer to your question (again, rather self-determined).
Of course, in the absence of any controlled studies into belomancy's efficacy, I can't say for an absolute certainty that it's complete and utter hogwash, just as I can't with axinomancy or auspices. I also don't like to trample on the belief systems of the ancient Babylonians, Greeks, Arabs and Scythians, who all practised belomancy at some point and made profound contributions to human knowledge and advancement (it's also referenced in the Bible at Ezekiel 21:21). In the interests of fairness and open-mindedness, I did do a search for any controlled study into belomancy, but (surprise, surprise!) I couldn't find any. In the absence of such empirical evidence, I will retain my doubts and rather supercilious tone when discussing anything -mancy related.
Are you a practitioner of belomancy? Have you ever consulted a belomancer? Are you aware of, or are you currently conducting, controlled scientific studies into its validity? Please feel to comment below.