Hydromancy is the means of divination using water. The means by which the future is foretold through water are many and varied, and include keen observation of the ebb and flow of a body of water and even human sacrifice. It would seem that it was less the location of the water, than the ritual surrounding the act that was important. Nothing so extreme as human sacrifice at Efenechtyd however.
It was a common belief that should a young woman wish to discover the identity of her future husband, she should go to a river or a water spout (pistyll), taking two pieces of wood with her and a piece of clothing. She should then begin to wash and beat the piece of clothing, using a piece of the wood she had brought for that purpose. She should also recite the following:
‘Am gyd-fydio i gyd-ffatio,’ which translates to, ‘We’ll live together to strike together.’
At that point the image of her future husband would appear, take up the second piece of wood and help his soon to be wife in the washing and beating of the clothes. It was commonly thought that the marriage would happen within six months of the incident.
At Efenechtyd, a young woman did exactly this, and diligently recited the verse. Almost immediately, a hand appeared, took up the wood she had brought and began to beat the clothes alongside her. She recognised the hand as that of a close acquaintance of hers, and perhaps through disappointment at the knowledge, she threw away her wood and fled the scene. Despite this, she was indeed married to the man within a year.