interpreting the mapping of your inner world
Welcome to the wonderful world of osteomancy! Before we dive in, it's important to know a bit of the history behind this practice. Though throwing bones is most often tied to American Hoodoo or Voodoo, it has roots around the globe! Ancient Greeks used to cast sheep knuckles + interpret the ways in which they fell. In early Neolithic Asia, individuals heated bones + interpreted their cracks (pyro-osteomancy), African folk magic practitioners still use "bone baskets" to divine.
When we practice divination, what are we doing?
To divine, is to commune with the universe, Spirit, the Divine, your guardian angels, or your spirit guides. Personally, I always take time to mindfully invite in my guides before doing a reading. This is typically done by:
Having an offering- this can be a favorite snack, a small portion of a meal, or even just a cup of water + some candy
Lighting a candle- this functions as a lighthouse, of sorts. I make it clear with the energies that I work with that when it is on, my door is open to them, and when it is closed, I am ready for space
Audibly inviting them in- you can either call out to your guides, asking them to draw near, or you can ring a specific bell, and mentally call out to them
It's important to remember as well that as you practice, you make your intentions clear. State exactly who you are looking to connect with. Your guides. Spirit. God. Grandma. The Universe. I always like to add (either out loud or in my head) that only energies who enter in perfect love, and perfect trust can enter my space. Any energies that mean me, my family, loved ones, or querent any harm are not welcome. Be firm. There is power in your words.
Now that we've gotten a bit of housekeeping out the way, let's take a look at your kit!
In your kit, you will find a mix of different animal teeth + bones, alongside a few charms and other miscellaneous tokens that I've intuitively selected from my personal collections. As the bag of bones + items (what I refer to as a kit) sit now, they are nothing more than a bag of bones + items. Prior to beginning, t's important that you consecrate the kit + introduce your energy to the items.
When the time feels right, light a candle or incense and take a moment to sit with the bag of items. Here's a small meditation for "meeting your kit":
Sit comfortably, with limited distractions and holding the kit in your hands, close your eyes. Focus on the feeling of your feet or tailbone on the floor, the breath moving in and out of your body, and the bag of items in your hands.
Take a few deep breaths. And as you do so, let any thoughts, worries, or intrusions from the day drift away like a soft cloud out of sight. With each deep breath, inhale the grounding energy of the earth beneath you, and exhale your personal energy out to the cosmos.
Once you feel grounded, shift your focus back to the kit in your hands. Inhale + grow your energy. Exhale, and send it through your arms, hands, and out of your fingertips into the kit. Introduce yourself. My name is Christy Kato, I'm excited to learn about your energies and work with you.
Now, take a deep breath in, absorbing the energy of the bones. Exhale.
After this exercise, pour the bag into our hands and begin to feel through each item. Certain bones or items may immediately strike you as what it represents. Change. Emotions. Mental Energy. Information. As you discover what each item represents to you, be sure to write this down! Some, most, or even none of the items may speak to you immediately. And that's okay. If this happens, you can assign each item a meaning from the following list:
Each Element (Fire, Water, Air, Earth)
Something Hidden, Secrets
As you assign each item a meaning, be sure to tell the item what role it will be playing. Once you're finished, place the items back in the bag. Now you just need one final piece for your kit! Take a moment to poke around your home + space, and find a personal token of yours that feels representative of you. It represents your consciousness.
After finding this item, add it to your kit and invite your guides. Take a few grounding breaths, shaking the bag as you do so, and finally dump the contents onto the throwing cloth!
How do I interpret the throw?
As funny as an answer as this is, it's interpretive! Each reader interprets differently. I'll share how I, personally, interpret throws, but over time you may find that you interpret things differently.
You'll notice that the throwing cloth has two circles on it. I interpret anything that falls within that inner circle, as something that's within your core- or something that deeply affects you. Others may see anything inside of this inner circle as something that's happening more presently, while anything outside of it is representative of something further down the line.
Pay attention to the items' placements in respect to one another, as this may tell you how they're affecting one another, how closely they're tied to one another, or what may be lacking.
Certain items, like the shell, can land face-up or face-down, and each position means something different. Let's say that the shell represents your emotional vulnerability. If it's face-up, showing the hollow side, that may mean that you're feeling rather open and vulnerable. If it's face-down, that may signify that you have your guard up.
If an item falls off of the throwing cloth, or remains in the bag after the throw, this can either be interpreted as something that's no longer within your universe, or it may be something that your guides are telling you not to worry or think about. In addition to this, if all the items fall on the cloth, but you're only picking up on the interpretations of a few items, that's okay! Not all of the items in a throw speak.
And that's it! It may take a while to really get accustomed to how the kit speaks and works with you, as it does take a bit of time to calibrate. I would recommend carrying the kit with you, or sleeping with it under your pillow to create a stronger connection and give the kit more time to know your energy. Every so often, it's worth cleansing + charging, or "feeding," the kit. I will leave mine under the New Moon, offer it some incense, or charge it with selenite.
I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to reach out to me via email or on Instagram (@wisteriawitch) if you have any questions; I'm always happy to help!
Blessed be, friend!