Divination Tools; Cleromancy and Runes
The Divination Tradition of Casting and Foretelling
Cleromancy is the divination art of throwing small objects and reading their placements as they fall. They can be made of stones, pebbles, bones, sticks, and other materials. The tradition spans across history and many cultures use this method to read the future or aspects of an individual’s life. Runes are stones inscribed with the Nordic or Anglo Saxon alphabets. Runes may be made of stone or wood and it is fun to source and make your own set. There are runic spreads, similar to the concept in Tarot, but creativity is encouraged to allow you to open up to your intuitive awareness.
History of Casting
Casting, also called Cleromancy, was first used in Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, and Ancient Rome. Bones, pebbles, beans, sticks, and pebbles were used to inform groups. It involved throwing small objects in the air and reading their placement or pulling one from a pile to answer queries. The god Mercury was believed to watch over Cleromancy. This form of divination, a ‘casting of lots’ led to the use of dice as divination tools, but also in games and gambling.
In Ancient China, a form of Cleromancy called Chaio-Pai used two curved bamboo sticks thrown on the ground. If the curved sides landed up, it would be positive or ‘yes’, and if the curved sides were down, negative or ‘no’. This method is still used today. In Senegal, witch doctors use small cowrie shells to foretell events. One unusual form of Cleromancy involves a bean being baked into a cake and ‘read’ when found after eating.
History of Runic Symbols
The word runes come from the Proto-Germanic “runo” means both “letter, “secret or “mystery”. No one truly knows the origin runic practice. Runes were traditionally carved onto stone, wood, bone, metal, or some similarly hard surface. The markings were traditionally sharp and angular forms. Originally, runes were developed using a symbolic alphabet by the Norse and other Germanic people. There is an Anglo-Saxon runic tradition as well, but the alphabet is not referenced as widely today. There are several variations of runic alphabets, however, the most commonly known is the twenty-four runes that make up the Elder Futhark.
Runes were letters but held greater meaning than a phonetic sound of the alphabet. Each rune had a related pictographic symbol and was believed to hold the power of the cosmos. It was believed that as a person inscribed the letter symbol it would invoke and direct forces for which it represented. Casting, also called Cleromancy, was first used in Ancient Egypt, Ancient China, and Ancient Rome. It involved throwing small objects in the air and reading their placement or pulling one from a pile to answer queries. this practice was originally reserved for the holy elders. Each rune had a name that was a clue to the magical significance of the symbol.
Much of the modern-day understanding of the significance of the runes came from a series of rune poems that were documented in Iceland, Norway, and England. The runes were never invented, rather they were considered god-sent, through eternal, pre-existent forces that Odin himself discovered and is recounted in the Norse poem Hávamál , meaning ‘Sayings of the High One’.
In the pre-Christian Germanic realm, the spoken word possessed strong creative powers. Words uttered were seen to be an energy that could not be taken back as if the word manifested in the physical. They believed words create reality, not the other way around. German society of the past believed that once a word or thought is uttered, it brought it into reality. Runes were not merely to communicate between people, but were considered a means to communicate with nonhuman beings, and powers that could conjure
Runes can be used for guidance and seeing events as they unfold. They are not considered a tool for fortune-telling. Runes offer answers that require that you use your own intuition to derive meaning.
- Meditate and get into a space of allowing.
- Think about a question or an issue.
- When you cast the runes, consider that they are not random, but rather representative of the choices made by your subconscious.
- Rune ‘layouts’ similar to the idea of tarot spreads.
- The most common are 1, 3 and 5-rune layouts.
- 9-rune layout is often favored as this was considered a magical number according to Norse Mythology.
Strictly speaking, psychics do not typically use runes in their practice, however, like any divination tool, runes may be fun and entertaining to explore intuition. Tools such as runes provide a comfortable entry point into the world of intuitive and psychic development.
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