Illustration depicting a woman wind winnowing. By Chapman, publ. in 1861. This could be how the particulate form of wind divination began–agricultural folk bringing in the harvest.

The fourth method comes from Eva Shaw’s Divining the Future: prognostication from astrology to zoomancy. For this method, a somewhat windy day is desirable, or a day on which occasional strong gusts can be expected. For this method, you want to have on hand a quantity of dust, sand, seeds, seed husks, corn grits, wheat-chaff, or any other lightweight particulates that can be lifted by wind. You may need to keep this loose material under some sort of cover, until it’s time to throw it in the air. You simply state your question out-loud, throw a fistful of your chosen particulates in the air, then study the patterns it makes in the wind.

Ideally, you’re supposed to divine according to the pattern or images the particulates make in the air, but the direction in which the particulates blow and land, and the form it takes when it returns to the ground, may be of significance too. This form of wind divination calls for a good sense as to what sort of wind conditions would lend themselves well to practicing it, and an ability to discern messages in the pattern of the particulates. You’ll have learn to discern images formed by the particulates in the air very quickly, because it dissipates fast. I’d say it’s like tea-leaf reading, but with tea-leaf reading, the leaves stay inert in the cup. This is done on-the-fly. You might want to have someone on-hand, ready with their mobile phone to take pictures, so you can study them at your leisure.

As the illustration above suggests, this form of wind divination may have come about as a side-product of grain harvesting, which would put its age as being somewhere around 10,000 years old. I suspect this form of wind divination is one of those practices which may have started as a whimsical thing, becoming a serious form of divination over time.