What is lithomancy?

I've started to give crystal readings using my self-designed lithomancy kit. This is a personal collection that I've curated to connect with a spirit teacher to offer insight to those I'm reading. Since I'll be giving quick readings all weekend at Prairie Love Festival, I wanted to share my process and some unique things about my kit. Especially because this is something you can make for yourself as well!


WHAT IS LITHOMANCY?

Firstly, lithomancy is a form of divination - like reading runes, tarot cards or tea leaves. It involves casting or picking stones to interpret an omen, foretell the future, or to seek insight on a specific subject. I've also heard of people reading the stones based on how the light hits them. However, my kit is very personal, and follows the lines of another divination called sortery. I wrote about sortery and other divinations like augury, journeying and more, for the Body Book which you can read here.

Sortery is when certain objects have been assigned a meaning or characteristic. This is a shamanic practice, and something that I studied initially using other objects. However, since I have a special connection with crystals, I wanted to blend lithomancy and sortery to create a really personal divination method that I could offer to others for a really unique experience. So I assigned a special meaning to each crystal sphere in my collection.

Tarot cards are a form of sortery. Each card is assigned a title and meaning, like the Hermit, the Moon, or the Six of Pentacles. The cards are then placed in various spreads (like the Celtic Cross), and then interpreted by the reader for the querent.

Check out some of my tarot spread designs here.

In my kit, a line is drawn through the sand by the querent. The querent then picks the stones out of a bag and drops them down into the sand. This can be done one at a time or all at once. The stones, each with their specific meaning, are then interpreted based on where they fall near the line the querent drew at the beginning of the reading.

When the querent puts her hand in the bag, she drops the stone into the sand in a pretty smooth/quick motion. She isn't pulling a stone out and identifying it. It happens organically, spirit coming through to guide the sphere into an appropriate position in the sand, some near the line and some far from the line. The distance each sphere is from the line is important, and also, which other spheres are near it in proximity.


HOW DO YOU INTERPRET THE STONES?

This is a little more complex. When I began designing this personal kit, I journeyed on it. Listening to my drum, I travelled to the upper worlds to meet with an upper world teacher who would teach me the "rules of the game" (this is how it is interpreted in shamanism), and help me learn the collection, specifically what each crystal would represent.

On my first journey, I learned the rules of the game, and knew that I needed to find a board that I could put sand in because there needed to be a line drawn in some sort of sand. Depending on how this line is drawn (straight across, short, squiggly, diagonal), I am able to measure the personal vitality or character of the querent. The spheres that land near this line are either important to the querent or currently in balance in the querent's life. 

The spheres that are farther from the line are either unimportant/out of focus to the querent, or perhaps, out of balance. This is for me to interpret based on help from my spiritual team. These rules of the game were explained to me in my first journey, as were a few of the stones and what they meant, like rose quartz representing love/romance, and jasper representing home.

It's really important to read the stones with their proximity to each other. For example, in the above photos, the green aventurine sphere (health), is near the brown onyx sphere (family), which tells me there may be an unhealthy family member (below the line), that the querent is currently worried about.

It could also mean there is some sort of hereditary illness that the querent is currently dealing with.

Do you see how there could be more than one interpretation? This is a fact that comes with all methods of sortery. Tarot cards can be interpreted many ways depending on what the card is, where they fall in the spread and what other cards surround them. What's important is how the reader interprets the information, and it helps to have a strong connection with your spiritual team to become really good at this technique.

Here's another example: the copper sphere is at the absolute bottom of the board. That stone represents money. Right away, I would interpret that as the querent being stressed about money. But the career/work sphere (honey onyx) is no where near the copper. It's at the top of the board near the purple amethyst (happiness). So this person is happy with their career. Where is the money stress coming from?

Also on the lower part of the board is the jasper (home) sphere. Could this person have too many bills or maybe an expensive mortgage?

Hmm, that brown onyx (family) is also on the lower half of the board. Is this person paying for care for a family member? Or do they owe their parents money?

I think these are good questions to ask the querent to help give you, the reader, a better understanding of the situation. I think is absolutely OK to ask questions in readings to be sure you're interpreting the information correctly. When I ask these type of questions, that's when I most often receive information from spirit that offers insight to the querent.

"Don't worry about your father's health."
"Set yourself up on a payment plan to pay back that loan."
"Try to look for a roommate."


DESIGN YOUR OWN

If this is piquing your interest and you just have to get your hands on something similar, you don't have to follow my technique. This is a very personal practice. You may find your kit is comprised of raw crystals - or sticks you found in your yard. Maybe your kit uses various dried herbs or flowers. Maybe it's completely random objects you found around your house. These are all acceptable!

When you journey to learn the rules of the game, and what your objects represent, you can't go wrong.

The best part? Your kit can grow with you. For example, there is no limit to how many spheres that my kit can include. I may find a really amazing sphere that I know needs to join the group of stones. I would then journey on it and learn what that stone was to represent in the reading.


Have you designed your own? I'd love to hear about your kit! Tell me about it in the comments below. Need help? I'd be happy to offer some input below.