Oomancy: The Magick and Folklore of Eggs

These days, when we think about eggs, we may think of a delicious omelet or a fluffy yellow chick. But eggs have a long history rich in symbolism and have many uses in witchcraft. Eggs represent fertility, rebirth, creation, and abundance. Life is hatched from eggs, and a healthy chicken can lay hundreds of eggs in a year. Plus, in times when meat was a luxury, eggs were a valuable source of protein, and enough to eat meant quality of life.

Many creation myths involve a cosmic egg of various names from which the universe was born. In alchemy, the egg contains the four elements, because it represents the world itself. The shell being earth, the membrane, air, the white, water, and the yolk, fire.

Eggs, especially the shells, are also connected to protection. If you think about them as the protection around the source of food or life, it makes sense. Whole eggs were often left as offerings for malicious spirits to spare the household, and throwing the shells on your roof is said to protect the home from curses.

Blessing Eggs

Easter eggs may also come to mind, and the roots of the practice of coloring eggs can be traced all the way back to ancient Rome. The story goes that on the day when Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius was born, his mother’s hen laid a red speckled egg. She understood this to be a sign of good fortune for her son’s future. This led to a tradition of coloring eggs with red dye and exchanging them on important days to wish blessings and good luck to others. Colorful eggs are a common sight around Ostara and Easter. Many witches use this tradition to incorporate color magick and the symbolism of eggs into their practice..

An activity for witches involving eggs is called “Blessing Eggs.” These are blown-out eggs that are washed and filled with herbs corresponding with your intention. You can make these by poking a hole in the top and bottom of the shell and emptying the contents. Wash it well and allow it to dry completely. Make one of the holes large enough to refill the egg with the herbs you choose for the intended purpose. You can paint the shell a corresponding color or draw sigils or runes on it.

Another is a growth spell you can make with leftover eggshell halves. Find the spell here!

Egg Cleansing and Divination

Oomancy is the name for egg cleansing and divination, also known as ovomancy, ovamancy, ooscopia, oomancia, oomantia. The name comes from the ancient Greek word for egg “oon” and “manteia” meaning divination. This practice was common in many cultures because of the abundance of eggs and the ease of acquiring them but it is thought to have originated in ancient Greece and Rome. There are many different ways to do an egg cleansing depending on the culture, but included here is a standard version if you would like to try your hand at oomancy!

Directions

First, you will want to fill a clear glass bowl with water. Hot, boiled water may make it easier to see shapes since it will partially cook the egg and prevent it from moving more than necessary.

Next, cleanse the egg before rolling it down your body starting at the crown of your head, allowing it to absorb impurities, then crack it into the water. Below is a list of signs to look for when divining with eggs.

Divination Signs Within Eggs  

  • A bad smell or yolk with blood or a black spot indicates illness or a curse.
  • Seeing the face of a person is the one who wished harm upon you.
  • Likewise, seeing an eye means the evil eye is upon you — take protective measures.
  • Double yolk is a sign of good luck, if you are dating it could foretell marriage, or if you are expecting pregnancy, it is a promising sign and could indicate twins!
  • If you break the yolk, you will not have good luck in the future.
  • No yolk is a bad omen all around!
  • Bubbles mean you are being protected by your guides and guardians.
  • Seeing the shapes of animals can be interpreted by using the meaning of the specific animal.

Repeat as many times as necessary, cleansing and protecting between, until signs are good and there are no indications of a curse.

To dispose of the egg after the reading, bury it off the property, preferably at a crossroads or next to a tree.

Check out our Cascarilla Eggshell Spell Powder for purification and protection.

How do you work with eggs in your spiritual practice? Share with us in the comments below.

Written By: Sarah Esmae Wolfe @sarahesmaewolfe

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Oomancy: The Magick and Folklore of Eggs, Green Witch Living


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