The Everyday Lore Project

22 October 2020 – Ichthyomancy

22 October 2020 – Ichthyomancy

This morning, for reasons various, I was feeling out of sorts, so I finally opened my Halloween care package which I’d been saving for such a moment. Every year my lovely friend, Karin and I swap Halloween goodies, and sometimes we get to swap them in person (she’s in the US). Those years almost always coincide with dramatic weather events that involve all of our plans going up the wazoo. But that’s another story. 

Anyhow, my sorts were promptly replenished as soon as I saw the contents. Which I’m not sharing as they are mine and not yours. However, one of my presents I will, as Karin sent me a Fortune Teller Miracle Fish. And not just any old Christmas cracker prize, this one was fancy. With gold writing and everything. And I love them.

The practice of divination by fish, or ichthyomancy, is a very old one. Usually it entails entrails, but it’s also looking to see which direction the fish swim in and how they behave when they’re doing it. Think Quint from Jaws. Luckily the Fortune Teller Miracle Fish just involves laying it on your palm and your fortune is miraculously told via the curving of its body. 

And today I was both in love and passionate. As there was a little kink from the shipping, I tried the fish right and wrong way up so the kink wouldn’t influence the result. But given that passionate is really a more exaggerated in love result, I’m taking that as read. Or red. 

Of course, there is a scientific explanation for the curling. But who needs science when you have a Fortune Teller Miracle Fish? 


Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

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