Tuesday, 19 July 2011

21 Card Gypsy Spread and Bone Casting: Part 2, Casting The Bones....

So, we've got our 21 card Gypsy spread laid out, already we have quite a detailed narrative forming, now its time to cast the bones directly onto the cards to add an extra dimension to our reading.

Ok, Ok I know I keep saying "casting the bones" but I shouldn't really say that as its a bit misleading, Ive been informed the term I should be using is in fact "sortilege", as the objects I'm going to be throwing onto the spread of 21 cards aren't just bones, they include cowrie shells and coloured dice.

When I normally use sortilege, I use 21 objects (3x7= a powerful number with a touch of destiny about it.) These 21 objects include 13 bones from certain animals, 4 dice of different colours (red, green, black and white) and 4 cowrie shells.
However this method is a private practice and somewhat secret, so sorry, I'm not going to be sharing it here.

The sortilege method I'm going to be using here for demonstration purposes is very much a watered down version of the sortilege system I normally use and will only consist of 13 objects: 5 chicken bones, 4 coloured dice and 4 cowries.

But, its still workable and lots of fun if you want to give it a go.

You will need:
a wing bone, 2 leg bones, a broken wing bone and a rib bone all taken from a chicken.
Red, green, white and black 6 sided spot dice.
4 cowrie shells

I believe divination is a spiritual ritual, therefore it deserves to be treated as such, so take a few moments to relax and clear your mind and then follow the instructions below.
You will be surprised at how much easier it is to get into a divinatory state of mind if you incorporate little rituals like this into your divination practice.

Take the objects in your hands, with great ceremony close your eyes and breathe on them to give them breath with which to speak.
Shake them over a 21 card gypsy spread in the form of a cross: up, down, left and then right. This represents the cardinal points of the compass and is a statement that the objects will cover the world reflected in the cards below.
As you do this say the following words:

Hear this, all peoples
Give ear all inhabitants of the Earth
Both low and high
Rich and poor together
My mouth shall speak wisdom
And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding
I will incline my ear to a proverb
I will lay my dark saying upon the harp


Drop them from a height through the middle of the cross youve just traced in the air, this symbolises them passing through lifes eternal crossroads, allow them to scatter where fate wills them.
Now open your eyes....

Reading the Chicken Bones:

Look how the bones have landed, what patterns do they make? Look for shapes and interpret them accordingly in relation to the core narrative of the reading and what cards they have landed on.

Some common patterns to look out for and their possible meanings might include:

Cross bones: which bones are crossed? is it an x or is it a cruciform shape? which bone lies on top of the other? for example if a leg bone has a broken rib bone fallen on top of it in an X shape this could perhaps be interpreted as basic foundations to a situation being disrupted by an accident.

Triangles: Which direction is the triangle pointing? some folk associate upward pointing triangles with masculinity and downward pointing ones with femininity. Is it an upward pointing triangle that screams a warning to your intuition like a traffic road sign? Or does your intuition see it as an alchemical symbol? What cards are at the points of the triangle? What card lays in the centre?

"Greater than" and "less than" signs: Are two of the bones making this shape "<", or this shape ">"? If so are they indicating something is greater than or less than something? Or perhaps your intuition points at shapes like this as being crude arrows, if so what are they pointing at?

Horizontal and vertical lines: is a bone connecting two cards? or perhaps cutting one in half?

"T" shape: does the querent feel as though they are at a junction? or does your intuition suggest a path is being blocked?

Here are some associations you may wish to place on the bones themselves, these are not set in stone, just some ideas, go with what the bones are telling you:

Wing bone: flight, freedom, distant travel, victory, success

Broken wing bone: calamity, being grounded, futility

Leg bones: a journey, solid foundations, perhaps their phallic shape represents to you potency or fertility

Rib bone: a cage bar representing confinement, a precursor to a woman (think the story of adams rib), the ability to hold things together, structure

In our reading; a broken wing bone has fallen over the mouth of the king of cups, given the position of this card I interpret this as although the querent will pull through bad times, in the future he must be careful to not allow himself to listen to bad counsel given by an older man who is going through similar troubles our querent has had, this man is jealous of our querents success and seeks to discourage him on his path to happiness through spiteful envy.  

Reading the Dice:

There are many different ways to read dice, this is how I do it.

I always read with 4 dice, a black one, a white one, a green one and a red one.

Each coloured dice has its own set connotations, black is negative, white is positive, green relates to luck/money/health, red relates to love and sex etc.

The number each dice rolls are related to these connotations, however, the way they are interpreted depends on the context of the question put to them, where they land in relation to the cards and the other sortilege objects, not to mention the general narrative of the reading.
The association connected to whatever number each one rolls should be determined by the diviners intuition, after all its the diviner doing the divination, not the dice.

Here are some examples below, however bare in mind they are just examples, they are not set in stone!

The black dice is generally negative so some associations of which numbers it rolls might be as follows:
1. Loneliness, abandonment, sadness
2. Deceit, lies
3. Infidelity, bullying, aggression
4. Stagnation
5. Black magic
6. Poison, greed

The white dice is generally positive, some associations of which numbers it rolls are:
1. Joy, fulfillment, victory
2. Marriage, trust
3. Friendships, family, spirituality
4. Order, peace
5. Blessings
6. Healing, abundance

The green dice relates to matters of health, wealth and luck, some interpretations of which numbers it rolls might be:
1. Management, financial independence, a doctor
2. Business transaction
3. Uncanny turn of fate
4. Steady income, a winning streak
5. Sickness, misfortune
6. International commerce, the unseen influencing personal luck

The red dice relates to matters of love, romance, relationships and sex, some associations of which numbers it rolls might be:
1. Sexual frustration, sexual independence or awareness
2. Partnership, a relationship
3. Fertility, pregnancy, a love triangle
4. Stable relationships
5. Jealousy
6. Sex, flirtatiousness, promiscuity

Yes and no answers can also easily be determined by the dice, odd numbers for yes, even numbers for no.

So, in our example reading, a green dice has landed on the queen of wands displaying a number 3 along with a red dice displaying a number 2, given the position this card lays within the spread this omen could be interpreted as an ex lover, an emotional woman with a bohemian nature who once parted company with the querent, possibly because of infidelity on his part, still holds a flame for him and may be swayed into reconciliation if a gift is given as a peace offering.

Reading the Cowries:

I have to be a bit careful here, as not to tread on any toes, I always read with  4 cowries, however i stress this is not the 4 cowrie shell oracle of obi.
Although obi is very easy to learn in terms of how the shells land, please do not attempt it unless you are an aborisha and wish to communicate directly with Elegua.

The method here is totally unrelated to Obi divination and is just a simple form of divination, pennies work just as well as cowries for this. Think of the shells as coins, mouth side up is heads, mouth side down is tails, indicating positive and negatives.

Cowries can represent other things too, especially money, as in West Africa cowries where once used as currency. Some people also associate the shape of the cowrie with a vagina, therefore they can have associations with sex, fertility and gynaecological issues. Others associate cowries with little mouths, are the cowries speaking? It looks so in our reading....

Two cowries have fell mouth to mouth on the station of the immediate future with a black dice displaying a 3 in between them. The card they have landed on is the 10 of wands. I take this to be a warning about gossip, lies and slander, don't bitch about other people, even to close friends, it will only draw negativity and make your life more hard work by encouraging a negative mindset.

Anyways that enough for now, i would like to go into sortilege much deeper, but I simply don't have the time and energy, try it for yourself its easier than you think.......In the 3rd and finally part of this blog post I will be putting it all together to show what a reading might look like.

Thanks for reading, have fun throwing your lots.
Peace x

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