This type of divination is particularly associated with both Witchcraft and Shamanism world-wide. In France the French word for witch, “sorcier” is used for a male witch and “sociere” is used for a female witch. The witch or sorcier/sorciere is one who practices Sortilege, literally one who casts lots for the purpose of divination.
There are a number of different ways of doing this. I will give details here of one that requires thirteen stones and gives good results. The witch must collect these stones himself/herself, at an appropriate time.
Example: By using Astrology or the Moons phases, (increase of the Moon) or by seeking it on the Great Sabbats. Sometimes a stone will find you – you will be instantly attracted to it and pick it up or buy it, or a stone may be given to you by some one who cares for you. The best place to look for your stones is on the beach, along river beds, during nature walks and picnic outings and in your local gem shop. Look for stones that are curiously marked or have appealing colors. All the stones must be roughly the same size, the essential point is that all the stones should appeal to you personally as being right for their purpose. If you are using semi-precious gemstones from a gem shop, check your gem charts for the correct attributes before you go shopping.
Thirteen stones are used:
One Stone for each of the seven Planets.
One Life stone.
One News stone.
One Luck stone.
One Love stone.
One Home stone.
One Magic stone.
Some examples are:
Moon: Moonstone, White Quartz, White pebble, stone with silvery markings.
Sun: Sunstone, Citrine, Topaz, Amber, Tigers eye, any stone with golden markings or flecks.
Mars: Bloodstone, Ruby, Garnet, Flint or any red colored stone.
Mercury: Agate, Mica, Any variegated stone, streaked or spotted.
Jupiter: Amethyst, Lepidolite, Suglite.
Venus: Emerald, Jade, Peridot, Any green stone.
Saturn: Coal, Apache Tear, Jet, Any black stone.
Magic stone: Any unusual stone, Fossil stone or a stone marked with a star.
Luck Stone: Cross stone, Holey stone, Opal, or any stone that feels lucky to you.
Life Stone: Petrified wood, Agate, Carnelian or any red or flesh colored stone or a pebble with an ankh marked all round the stone or on its various sides if it is square in shape.
Home Stone: Moss agates, Sapphire, or any stone that is square or reminds one of home.
News Stone: Multi-colored stone or pebble, its streaks or spots of colors are used to show if the news is good or bad.
Love Stone: Rose Quartz, Botswana Agate or any pink stone or a stone that is roughly in a heart shape.
-A special bag is made for these stones with a draw string, (runes and symbols can be used on it, but not on the cloth/leather used for spread) soft leather is best.
-A black velvet cloth or a large piece of soft leather is used for the divination spread and a cord to form a circle on the cloth/leather.
The stones, cord, bag and cloth are cleansed ritually with the four Elements during an Esbat rite. Place all beneath your pillow for one full month, at the next Esbat rite take all outside and offer them up to the Moon before using. Ask the Lord and Lady for wisdom, guidance and then meditate on each stone (while holding it in your receiving hand) on what it now will represent in your future divination readings.
The divination is made from the way in which the stones relate to each other as they fall. The diviner must be guided by intuition, as well as by some knowledge of what the different Planets govern.
Here are a few generalized indications, it may be said that:
The SUN is a good influence bring light and cheerfulness into a situation.
The MOON indicates journeys over water, also feminine matters and motherhood together with psychic things.
MARS brings strife and struggle and the strength courage and energy to meet them.
MERCURY governs communications, writing, travel and gaining of knowledge.
VENUS is the Planet that governs love matters, beauty, and artistic things.
SATURN indicates restriction, change, time, slowness and sometimes misfortune.
JUPITER brings good fortune, expansiveness and gain of wealth and money.
THE ACTUAL PROCEDURE OF DIVINATION IS AS FOLLOWS:
The stones are thrown within a circle made by the cord or witches’ garter, coiled around upon the cloth or skin which is laid out smoothly upon the floor or table. The words of an Old Welsh Charm are used when casting the stones: “ADA ADA IO ADA DIA.” It is pronounced like this:
“Ah-da, ah-da, ee-o ah-da dee-a”.
Exactly what it means is now lost in the mist of time, but it is a traditional divination rune or formula of words of power, probably Celtic in origin.
Light a candle and stand it by your cord circle. The room should be dimly lit, or darkened if it is daylight. Light some incense and bless both flame and incense smoke. Bless both salt and water, then place a pinch of salt in the water and stir with wand or finger deosil 3 times, now with your wet finger and mark your third Eye and eyelids. Take time to relax and do some deep breathing, then think about your question.
Now take up your stone bag and hold it to your third Eye for a moment and then return it to altar or floor. Take your athame and consecrate the cord circle with it, circling 3 times round the cord circle while saying these words:
“Witches’ Garter, bind the spell.
13 Stones, the truth foretell.
Earth and Water, Wind and Flame,
Magic in the Old One’s Name!”
Now lay your athame aside and take out your stones. Hold them in your hands and warm them, shake them from hand to hand as your recite “Ada Ada Io Ada Dia” 3 times. When you are ready, cast stones completely at random into the cord circle, Then look carefully at the way they lie and consider and interpret them. You may throw the stones three times at a sitting, but no more. This will allow for a general reading and two questions. (This stone divination may also be done with Coven Esbat rites.)
To answer a question “YES” or “NO”, a slightly different procedure is followed. In this case, you use just three stones, one for affirmation, one for negative and one for the indicator, laying the rest aside. You use the MAGIC stone for the indicator.
If you are asking the question, “Shall I follow such and such a course of action?”, then you use the JUPITER stone for affirmative and the SATURN stone for the negative. SHAKE THE STONES TOGETHER and RECITE THE RUNE AS BEFORE. Cast them into the circle, the answer will be told by which of the stones are nearest the indicator stone. If both are at equal distance, the answer is doubtful and can indicate that the question was frivolous or insincere.
If however, you seek for guidance upon matters of a higher plane, clairvoyance by one of the various methods of scrying will be more suitable. Alternatively, you can make use of your Tarot cards, which have the advantage of being able to give insight into affairs of either the most mundane or the most metaphysical. Although Tarot cards are now very expensive to own or collect, many modern Wiccans, Pagans, Shamans and others, are photocopying as many different packs as possible and pasting them on good quality cardboard. (please look up the copyright laws in your area before doing this – Gwalchmai) These can be successfully used for readings and meditation. If you are artistic create your own Tarot pack by using the symbolism in any other pack that appeals to you. No one should be without the Tarot as a tool for magical work.