The Art of Darkness

Astragalomancy

October 2nd, 2007 by Cobwebs

Why do so many divination techniques sound like a cat hacking up a hairball? Just asking.

Anyway, similar to bluffing your way through the Tarot, astragalomancy is an extremely easy way to come over looking all mystical and premonition-having.

This term has been conscripted to mean divination with dice, but it originally referred to “throwing the bones;” the knucklebones of a sheep most usually. If you don’t happen to have some of those laying around, you can use oxtail bones from the supermarket (oxtails are super-yummy when braised; eat ‘em and save the bones) or any other bones that strike your fancy. You need four bones (or, really, non-bony objects. Get creative!) with these properties:


  • One that’s large, or at least larger than the others. This will represent strength and a promise of good fortune.

  • One that’s long. This will indicate that the outcome will take a while to come to fruition.

  • One that’s damaged. This will caution that care must be taken, as all is not well.

  • One that’s small. This will indicate that the outcome will not have much substance to it–it will be low-energy and lightweight.

Now the technique: Hold the bones in your right hand, ask your question, and scatter them before you. The bone that falls nearest to you gives the answer.

How easy is that? It’s like “Divination for Dummies.”

You could do ten readings on your coffee break. Although I suppose your boss might ask why you were carrying oxtails around in your purse. Better think up an answer first.

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