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Bibliomancy: Using Books for Divination

Bibliomancy - A bookshelf stacked with books

This week our Magickal Moment takes us to the art of Bibliomancy, using books for divination. This method has been used for many generations, most likely since books first became available.

Bibliomancy is similar to Stichomancy or Libromancy (“divination from lines”), which involves selecting a random passage from a random book of any nature.

Bibliomancy uses a sacred book, or a book with special meaning, in order to answer a simple question. Traditionally this book has been the Bible, but the Quran, and other sacred texts have been used. I personally have a couple of books that I use, depending on the type query. It’s also fun to just grab any book off the shelf and use it to add an extra dose of randomness to the process.

To perform your Bibliomancy grab your book and place it in front of you on a flat surface. You would then ask your question. While keeping your eyes closed, flip through the pages of the book. Once you have selected a random page, point at a line or passage in the book. Upon opening your eyes read the word or line that your finger is on and interpret that phrase with regards to your question.

Alternately, you may use a small, flat stone or piece of metal or wood. Flip through the pages and then drop the stone onto the book. The phrase that the object lands upon is the answer to your question.

My Bibliomancy Experience

Bibliomancy - A copy of Warrior Goddess Training
My copy of Warrior Goddess Training

For my Bibliomancy today I am using the book Warrior Goddess Training by Heather Ash Amara. My question was ” Where am I in my spiritual quest” I then flipped through the book to a random page. I set my finger down at the top of the book and landed on the first line “Opening your heart starts first with compassion and respect towards yourself.” I’d say I got a fairly clear answer to that question.

Bibliomancy - The phrase I chose today

Bibliomancy can be an insightful, simple and yes, fun way to divine answers to your questions. Why not give it a try today?

Blessed Be!

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Favomancy: Divining with Beans

Lately, I have been on a quest to unearth some of the older forms of Witchcraft. After more than 20 years of being a Witch, of working with covens, groups and as a solitary, I still understand that I have but scratched the surface of my Craft. There is so much more to discover, more than one can learn in a single lifetime. During this quest I’ve been studying different and unusual forms of Divination. This has brought me to Favomancy: divining with beans.

What is Favomancy?

Favomancy, the art of divining with beans, is a type of cleromancy that involves throwing beans on the ground and interpreting the patterns in which the beans fall. The term comes from the Latin faba for “bean”.

There are various forms of Favomancy present across the world’s cultures. This form of divination was once practiced by the Seers in Russia, most specifically among the Ubykh peoples. Though the exact methods they used remain a mystery it is thought that they used a set of 41 white beans. These beans were shaken, then thrown onto a cloth or flat surface. Seers would then interpret the patterns of the thrown beans to find the answers to the seekers question. Today, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a similar method is used, similar enough that they most likely had similar origins.

Today I’ve chosen to share with you a much simpler method than its ancient counterpart. It’s economical – using only simple, everyday items – and it takes just a bit of practice and time to begin using it as a reliable method of divination.

Using Beans for Favomancy

For our Favomancy set you will need:

  • Three large light-colored dry beans – I’ve used dried Lima beans in the example
  • Black paint and a paintbrush or:
  • Black permanent marker (Sharpie)

Using the permanent marker or paint, color one side of your beans black. Cover it completely so that little or no white is showing. Try and get the edges blackened as well.

Favomancy: Divining with beans
Paint brush, black paint - black permanent marker
Paint or color your beans black on one side.

Once the paint or ink has dried completely the beans are technically ready to use. However, I recommend carrying the beans with you for at least three days or placing them under your pillow for a similar amount of time. By doing this you are allowing your energy to come into contact with the beans. This energetic contact will in turn bring greater accuracy to your readings.

Similar to pendulum work, readings are done for questions that require a “yes” or “no” answer. Once a question has been asked, the beans are thrown onto a cloth placed on a flat surface and then the answer is given depending how they fall. The answer is interpreted in the following fashion:

One (1) bean with black side up : Yes

Favomancy: Divining with Beans
1 black side up - yes
“Yes” answer

Two (2) beans with black side up: No

Favomancy: Divining with Beans
"no" answer - two black sides up
“No” Answer

Three (3) beans with black side up: Maybe

Favomancy: Diving with Beans
"Maybe" three black sides up
“Maybe”

That’s all there is to it! Simple, effective, and fun! The accuracy of this method is on par with pendulum readings but I find it a refreshing change of pace. I hope you enjoy trying Favomancy: divining with beans and perhaps you too will add it to your list of “go to” divination techniques.