Authors note: This is not a (how to) article on bone reading. It is simply a practitioner’s reflection on an amazing form of divination.
Bone reading is almost a lost art of divination. When I was a baby psychic back in the mid 1990’s I was mentored in the esoteric science of psychometry (psychic touch). After that is was card reading, which came very easy for me as well. It was not until my late thirties that I was called to be a bone thrower. Prior to the “call” of bone reading I used to think of it as some strange backwoods type of fortune-telling. My grandma read the bones. I remember as a child taking walks with her in the Arkansas Ozark woods. She would often come across old bones of either a squirrel, deer or opossum and “read” them. She did this by looking at how the bones rested on ground and what direction they indicated. She kept most of what she saw to herself. At times she would mutter under her breathe a prediction or two. I remember how strange it was that she knew grandpa was going to end up getting sick that week, so she prepared an herbal cold remedy ahead of time. She also saw that “bad times was comin’” concerning money that month, but it was not going to last too long. She was always right. She even saw someone’s death by reading some bird bones one day. That afternoon a screech owl flew up to the living room window and grandma said that someone who was close to her was going to die. I was terrified it was me. Three days later, her cousin died.
You can see why bone reading was not something I jumped at in the early days of my psychic beginnings. It seemed mysterious, foreboding and sometimes a bit creepy with its accuracy. My grandma came form the old school of Ozark folk magick and superstitions. It worked for her and her generation, and a bit of that mountain magick ancestry lives in me. When I began heeding the call of the bones later in life, I tried reading “how to” books on the subject and was always left with a feeling of disappointment. I felt many of the authors delved to much in convoluted details and layered “history” lessons. Don’t get me wrong, I want all the knowledge I can get, but if I’m not feeling the spirit move me while I’m reading, it’s not going anywhere for me. One day I tossed the books aside and sat down with my own collection of different bones, nuts, roots and charms. One thing I did gain from the reading material was that bone reading is not always centered specifically on animal bones; it can be a variety of curios that make up a bone divination collection. Many of the bones I already had familiarity with due to my practice in conjure and folk magick. For example, a black cat bone carries the energy of luck and magick. A horsetail bone carries power and valor. An alligator claw, for me, represents aggressiveness and control.
Each piece has a specific energy or spirit that will communicate with you, if you just hold them and listen. Certain charms like the evil eye can represent the need to put up your psychic shields. A chicken foot charm communicates that it’s time to do a spiritual cleansing on yourself. There are so many ways these curios can convey messages. Bone readings can offer general meanings, but they can be specific depending on the readers level of psychic skill and intuitive interpretation. Also, spirits seem to eagerly communicate via this type of divination method. I have found that the helpful dead, ancestors and even certain deities use the bone reading method to share their communications. For centuries, bones, roots, and shells were often used to divine and connect with the spirit world.
I encourage those that are called to the bones to seek out a starter kit, many are available online. You can also add to your kit by using the things you may find in nature. Bead stores are also an excellent source to find charms and talismans that you might want to add. The most important thing to do is to create a one on one relationship with each object in your set. Connect and communicate with them. What does each individual piece express to you? What is their meaning for you? Listen to them. Meditate on them. Bone reading is not a strict occult science. It’s up to you to discover your own personal flow with it. This is also a wonderful divination practice to exercise your psychic muscles and spiritualistic skills. Enjoy the journey of the bones and get ready for a mystical joy ride.
© Darrin W. Owens