What is it?
the casting of lots as a means of divination.
Whenever you toss some dice, flip a coin or pull a straw, to determine a course of action that is Cleromancy. Charm Casting is a form of this. Let’s dive a little deeper…
Casting lots, specifically dice, is a very old form of divination. There are some dice found that date back 8000 years. Dice have been made out of many materials over their history. Shells, fruit pits and pebbles, but the most popular was bone. Ankle bones of hoofed animals was the most commonly used. After some time dice began to be made from wood, ivory and whale bone.
By Swiss Museum of Games (Swiss Museum of Games) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons
Cleromancy has been practiced in many cultures. China, Italy, Egypt have an ancient history with dice and other forms of Cleromancy. In Rome the God Mercury was considered to be the patron of Cleromancy and dice in particular. In China there is a form of Cleromancy called Chiao-pai. It consists of two bamboo blocks shaped into a half moon shape. Once one prayed to the ancestors and asked their question, the individual will drop the blocks and see how they land. If they land the same way the answer is no, if they land one round side up and one flat side up the answer is yes. In other areas of the world, like Africa and the Americas items such as, shells, seeds, nuts, sticks and the entrails of dead animals, where used for divination purposes.
Wooden bowl containing shells, bones and nut kernels, South Africa, 1890-1924, from the Science Museum of London
Divination is an ancient and sacred practice. No one truly knows how old Cleromancy is, it is even said that there is proof of it being practiced in the bible. These are a couple of verses that people quote quite often.
Jonah 1:7 “And they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah.”
Matthew 27:37 “And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots.”
This all brings us to the present time. In today’s world we use all sorts of objects to divine from. There are also different sensibilities and sensitivities that drive our choices for divinatory materials. Today we would not use animal entrails because it is mostly considered a taboo these days. Some people may not like the idea of real bones so use plastic dice or charms like the ones I use. I will share pictures below.
In the end I do not believe it really matters how old this all is. As long as we are respectful of the cultures these traditions stem from. I do believe that if you feel called to learn a certain form of divination you should definitely research it and learn all you can. It will always be a lifelong learning, but at least learn enough to show respect to the culture it comes from when you start out. Seek out lessons and mentor-ship from someone who knows about your chosen style of divination.
Where/How do I get my charms?
So how does one go about getting their charms for Charm Casting? There are several ways to go about it. We all need to do what we feel is right and feels good to us.
Some of the places you can get your charms are from craft stores. Michael’s, Joanne’s and many other craft type shops should have a selection of charms to choose from. I suggest going in and looking at their supply and picking out what calls to you. Really look at the items and think about what they signify to you. Does that little goat charm mean something to you? Or maybe that mouse? Cool, get those. Each charm set is unique and personal to the user. Below is a picture of some that I have bought.
We can find “charms” around the house as well. Little pendants that we don’t wear anymore but have meaning to us. A paper clip, bottle cap or even a random bead. Anything can be used as a charm in our sets if it means something to us or clicks a button within our intuition. I have many charms from around my house, an old ring, pendants and beads are all in my set. Below is a picture of a few that I gathered from around my house. A bone skull bead, an old ring of mine and some pendants that are not worn anymore.
Even walking down the street or on a nature path can bring you items to put in your charm set. That small shiny rock you thought was pretty would do great. A small pine cone, a shell or acorn cap would do nicely.
How do I apply meanings to my charms?
Use your heart and intuition when choosing your charms. Each item needs to have meaning to you. The Charms with sentimental value may already have meaning that comes to mind for you. I would go with what your heart and mind say that charm should signify. Those without special significance must have a meaning giving to them.
Here is an example from my own charm set,
Bone Skull: Death
Ring: Romantic relationships
Elephant: Loyalty and Family
Unicorn: Magic and Fantasy
It does not matter what it is as long as it makes sense to you and works with your intuition. Make sure you have a range of meanings and values for your charms. Try using a tarot deck or lenormand card deck to inspire you while assigning meanings to individual charms.
When choosing charms you will need to pick one for a significator. This charm represents the individual you would be reading for. I personally use these little charms as my significators.
I chose these because I felt drawn to them and because they are quite personal. When I do a ready for someone else I will ask them their birthday and chose the appropriate token. Some people use charms that are representative of a human or animal. Some like to use charms with dangly arms and legs. You can use anything you want really as long as you know what it is for.
You will also need a surface to “cast” your charms on. This could be a soft mat of some sort, your coffee table or a tray like I use. Use whatever works for you.
As with everything spiritual, we should find our own groove. In this section I will show you how I go about doing a charm casting. I encourage you to find a process that fits you and your style. 😀
First when I get new charms, I cleanse them. I use sage and/or the light of the full moon. During a personal ritual I will ask my guides to bless the items.
When it comes time to actually use the charms this is my process. I ask my guides to be with me and help me to be open to their messages and whisperings. I shake the charms in their container and toss them onto my casting surface. Next I look at what is around the significator. Let’s look at the way the charms landed and where.
In this picture we have the Significator with the Hamsa and the Music Note charms. Notice the positions of the charms. This can tell you their significance and meaning in relation to the individual you are reading for. For example, What would you feel the music note charm above the significator would represent? Or the Hamsa charm below it? Think of it like the positioning of tarot cards in a spread.
I would then move on to other combinations on the board. Like this Lightning Bolt, Ring and Feather combo
And this Yggdrasil, Book and Lantern situation here…
Looking for combinations like these is what it is all about. Use your intuition to read them. Listen to what your guides are telling you and you will not go wrong.
I encourage any who are interested in this form of divination to research and learn. After that, go for it. There is a lot of satisfaction and joy that comes from making your own divination set. I certainly had fun and am proud of the set I have put together.
I hope that this blog has been informative and inspirational. If you have any questions on this subject please contact me anytime. I would love to chat about divination in any form.
If you decide to make your own charm set, please let me know! I’d love to follow your progress as you go through the process. You can share with me on social media or through email. I promise I’ll respond and cheer you on! You can find all my contact info here on my site.