Cowry Shell Divination

Cowry Shells have many different sizes and colors. The ones we are most familiar with are about 1/2 inch long. They can get as large as 2-3 inches in some cases. They are beautiful very feminine shells. Boasting beautiful colors, round womanly shapes, and very feminine lips. Treasured for thousands of years by many different cultures this prized shell can make an excellent bath divination tool. 

My Bathtub has a nice little corner which I have made into a altar space to the Water Spirits, Mermaids, and Sulis. (And yes there is a little Bast in there too! My cats like to take baths with me, what can I say) Here in a little offering bowl shaped like a godess I hold many little sea treasures. Inside is a 1.5 inch Cowry shell. I use this shell durring my spiritual baths for simple yes/no answers. 

First I have "trained" my shell. Spoken to it and told it that the slit or mouth side up is a "yes" and the lips side down (rounded side up) is a "no" if the shell lands on its side it is a maybe/unknown. I sit in my bath, candle lit, in a meditative state. I wait till the waters calm and hold the shell veritcal just under the surface of the water. I ask my questions and let the shell fall. If it lands with the lips facing up the answer is yes, if it falls with the rounded part up it is a no. If it lands on its side it is a maybe/not now/more info. 

When you are selecting your shell, try to use one you have found, if you can not find a large enough one, you can buy it. Make sure to cleanse it. Before you train it, let it drop several times to make sure that the shell is able to fall all 3 sides a number of different times. Once you have been successful train the shell with your yes/no/maybe. Give it a try and let me know your results! 


by Annwyn Amar

     Have you ever been reading a book and feel yourself whisked away to a completely different place or time? Have you ever read a book and a few chapters in have the answer to a problem that has been plaguing you for weeks? Well then you might be a Bibliomancer. I have never met anyone in the pagan community that has said “I don’t like books and I will never read them” in fact it is quite the opposite. If you are like me then you have stacks of books all over the house, you have 50+ books in your Amazon cart, and a list you want to borrow from a friend.
     Ever since I was a child I had a hard time “focusing” when I was reading books. I was constantly in trouble for being a slow reader and a daydreamer. At one point my parents got me glasses for my 20/20 vision just so I could focus. Needless to say it never worked. As I grew older, I came up with tricks to train myself to focus; eating while reading, constantly moving or fidgeting etc. You see my problem was not the fact that I couldn’t focus, the problem was that by the time I reached paragraph three I was in a completely different world.
     Recently my mentor and I have decided to read the “White Goddess” for a project we are working on. If you have read it or even seen it you know it is a hard, long book and the language isn’t the easiest to read. I highly respect Robert Graves for his monumental work, but we have spent more time on the phone talking about how hard the book is that actually reading it. My mentor recently called me and said “I have figured it out!” and she began to unravel her method of reading the book. As she spoke I was astounded, I had been doing this since I was a child. Why didn’t I think of this? What an amazing concept! Read the book through divination, gain the knowledge of the book and the hidden meanings in both the book and the subconscious!
     How does biblomancy work?  One simple way is to let spirit guide you to a book.   For example, if the subject is about love then grab a romance novel, or a spell book on love. Ask your question and close your eyes, allow your fingers to open the book, to any place in the book, front back middle etc. Slowly flip through the pages and ask your question over and over again. When you feel your hand snag on a page, or when you feel that “yes this is the page” then stop, open your eyes and begin to read. Is the page positive? This would be a yes. Is the page negative? This would be no. Do the words on the page form the answer for you?
     This is not the only way to biblomance. As you progress and become more comfortable, take it to the next level by inducing a trance through reading.  If you are a regular trance practitioner then this should be a wonderful addition to your trance work. If you are new, no worries! Sit in a comfortable position, back straight, and legs crossed if you wish.  Push the shoulders down, extend the neck up and head forward this will help to ease you into a trance state. As you begin to read, you allow the words to take you somewhere.  Do not worry about the content but just say the words one after another, allow yourself to be free, and remember that you are not reading for the content. If you reach the bottom of the page without any luck then go back to the top and read the same page. If you try this several times with no luck, then try a different page or book. Remember that the words must trigger the mind shift, so let it be a book that you really resonate with. If you want to work with the Fae, then don’t read a science fiction novel. If you are trying to connect with Isis, don’t read a book on herbalism, but find a book that is about Isis. As you begin to shift into the other world allow yourself to go. This can be the hardest part, letting the imagination run free; the imagination is the bridge to the other side. Without this bridge, you cannot cross the veil. Be sure to keep a notebook handy and write down your experiences. You may find that other body positions are better such as reading on a couch or lying down. If you happen to slip into a dream state let yourself drift off.
     Though many people have not heard of or practiced bibliomancy, it is actually a popular practice, and is featured in many films, and books. Alice in wonderland is a prime example.  In the first paragraph of Lewis Carroll’s work “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, more commonly known as” Alice in Wonderland”, she is sitting on the bank, (a tween place) and was peeking at the book her sister was reading. Just a few lines later is when the rabbit appears, and down the rabbit hole she goes. Alice in Wonderland is more than just an example of biblomancy, but it is also a shamanic underworld journey. As your bibliomancy skills increase with practice, take it to the next level and begin to journey. I hope that you have many wonderful meditations, and that the words on the pages part the veil for you.


I am pleased to announce that the local Pagan newsletter "A Grain of Sand" has asked me to do a series on Divination. You can find the first installment "Pendulum Divination" here, Enjoy!

by Triskele Rose
     Divination is the art of seeing the unknown, the interpretations of symbols, the act of crossing the veil to see the unknown.  Since the beginning of time we have craved knowledge, knowledge to understand the present, past and future. When we first think of Divination, we think of tarot cards, and though this is a very popular and successful way of divining, I wanted to start with something a bit more simple, yet mysterious. Divination with the pendulum can be a very rewarding practice, and is a great starting point for anyone interested in becoming a Master Diviner. I know some people that become so attached to their pendulum that they wear them as necklaces, creating a bond both physical and energetically.  A necklace pendulum, weather this is a regular pendulum that has been turned into a necklace, or a necklace that has been turned in to a pendulum, is great to have in an emergency divining moment, on vacation, at the store etc.
    When choosing a pendulum it is very important to find one that you are attracted to. This is a very simple, yet extremely effective way of finding one that you resonate with.  Visual and energetic attractions are the key to finding a pendulum that will work for you. It is vital to find something that you are harmonious with.  Though this might sound silly, if you think it is pretty then there is a good reason for that, and a good chance that it is the right one for you. This is the easiest way to find a pendulum. If this is too simple for you, then go deeper and start to feel the energy. If you choose one that is metal, look for a shape or symbols that you resonate with, if it is a crystal, then go with something that you can feel, and hold it for a while.  Ask yourself, your guides, and the pendulum if this is the right one for you. If you find that you get a yes, then take it home! If not then keep looking, you will find that certain shapes, colors, and styles will attract you. You can also make one yourself. I have always felt that the most magickal tools were the ones that I put so much care and craft into. Basic supplies can be found in nature, or the craft store.
    Once you have acquired a pendulum that you resonate with, it is good to cleanse it and then consecrate it. I personally love to use white sage, but if your crystal is not negatively affected by water, then you could create “holy water” from rose petals and moonlight. Sprinkle the pendulum with the water, sunlight can also be very effective. After I have smudged my pendulum, I like to create invoking pentagrams over the base of it, helping to solidify the positive energy, and start to activate it. The Cho Ku Rei Reiki symbol is also very effective if you are a Reiki practitioner. I pass it through each of the elements to consecrate it and help to align it with each energy. I have heard of some giving names, or breathing life into it; these are also very effective methods to enhance your connection with it.  Once it is properly cleansed, and consecrated, it is time to program it. Many occult stores sell beautiful embroidered velvet mats that have yes, no, maybe etc on them. If finances do not allow for this is it simple to use a piece of paper with these same words written on it. Simply hold the pendulum between the thumb and first finger lightly and very still, you can then let the pendulum start to swing on its own in which ever direction it wants, when it has reached a good speed see where it is swinging on the paper, and begin to chant the words over and over again. If you find that it doesn’t swing on its own, then begin to swing it in the direction of Yes, as it is swinging chant over and over YES YES YES. After this is done, continue on for the rest of the words. Do this repeatedly till you feel that the energies are aligned, then take the mat or paper away and begin to try it on your own.  Ask a simple question that you know the answer to, and see if the pendulum will swing in the correct direction. When you find that this is working perfectly then begin to try it on things you do not know the answer to. I personally like to use it on chakras, when I am working on a Reiki client, I will pull out my pendulum and hold it over the chakras, and see how it swings, watching for different movements, vibrations and patterns, a simple way to use it on your own chakras is, get in a comfortable position, hold the pendulum over a chakra, watch to see which way it swings. Whatever you programmed as “no” would be a chakra that needed work or is “small” or “dirty”, and whatever was programmed as a “Yes” would be a chakra that would be healthy and balanced.
    Skeptics will say it is your own hand that is creating the swinging, that you are influencing the direction it swings, I personally don’t agree. I think that the subtle energies are moving the pendulum, but for argument sake even if they are correct and it is the hand that creates the direction, isn’t that the point? To find the hidden things of the mind, to have a visual confirmation of what is going on in our subconscious, too create trust, and encouragement to follow one direction.