Lithomancy – Divination with Stones Given Meaning

You need at least thirteen stones (not big rocks) which are about the same size and shape.You’re going to put them in a bag you can shake up a bit so you don’t want to have something too heavy or clunky to carry around. If you like tiny and micro you could work with little pebbles (pessomancy) but you need to be able to tell one from the other.

They can be wild stones collected from the beach, the garden,. a park, the side of the road, your driveway… or polished stones, tumbled and shiny. You could pick stones that have something in common with the symbolism you give them. Of course you can paint the stones, write on them, but you could also choose odd stones with a hole in the middle, a very green stone, a stone found on your vacation. The stones don’t need to be exactly the same size, or weight. If you find a unique stone in an unusual shape or colour, use it.

I’ve heard lithomancy is about analyzing the shine on stones, but that would not work so well on the common garden or road found stone. I’d rather use a common stone I found than buy fancy, shiny stones. If you get to the point of focusing on the shine on a stone, maybe you have gone too deep and need to make things just a little simpler. But, that’s just my thought.

If you really want to keep things simple have just two stones. One for “yes” and the other for “no”. Ask yes or no questions and see which stone comes closer to you when you give them a toss up.  Or, if you don’t want to go searching for a lost stone you threw just a bit too far and wide… have three stones. The third stone is your personal stone. When you pour your three stones out of the bag the personal stone is you. So, yes or no, depends on which stone is closer to your personal stone.

The stones represent/ symbolize:

  1. The Universe – Represents the entirety of life on the cosmic level.
  2. The Spirit – Embodies your inner self.
  3. The Sun – Symbolizes energy, life, and power.
  4. The Moon – Signifies psychic ability, intuition, and the power of the mind.
  5. Mercury – Corresponds to intelligence, wit, and improvement of self.
  6. Venus – Is the symbol of love and happiness.
  7. Mars – Represents courage and bravery, but also conflict.
  8. Jupiter – Signifies finances, prosperity, wealth, and other money matters.
  9. Saturn – Stands for health and longevity, as well as protection.
  10. Earth – Corresponds to family and the home.
  11. Water – Embodies healing, cleansing, and compassion.
  12. Air – Symbolizes desires, wishes, dreams, and aspirations.
  13. Fire – Shows passion, determination, and will power.

(The above list comes from Tana Hoy).

  • 1 Stone for each of the 7 Planets.
  • 1 Life stone.
  • 1 News stone.
  • 1 Luck Stone.
  • 1 Lovestone.
  • 1 Home stone.
  • 1 Magic stone.

(This list comes from Good Witches Homestead).

Using the stones:

You may just straight forward pull three stones out of the bag and consider them in answer to whatever question you asked (out loud or quietly, to yourself). Divination is mainly about interpretation.

You could make a board and pour the stones onto it. See which stones land near various things you add to your board. Which stones are close to each other and which are far apart? Do some stones point towards something or away from it? (Assuming the stones are not completely round).  A board can be about your life, include your family, friends, work, school, the future, the past. It’s up to you. Think about what you most want to know about. What matters most to you. Make a new board as your life and your questions change.

I think of all divination as inspiration, and a chance to figure out what you really want when you stop trying to think so hard. Like losing your keys and going all over the house trying to remember, finally taking a break and then… you remember you left them outside on the deck last night when you had lemonade and hamburgers. It’s when your mind stops trying so hard that it sometimes gives your subconscious a chance to be heard. Subconscious being that part of your brain not always in charge.

Last of all, I had not even thought of making your own stones.

Making and Reading Tell Stones

These were not called Runestones, but “Tell” stones, and were simply a method of divination.

Tell stones were made from clay and were rounded into fairly thick stone shapes. Some were made into a definite ball shape and these were rolled within a wooden frame, about two feet square. The flatter ones were preferable, though, as they could be thrown on a table or onto a flat surface without rolling away. One stone, which represented the querent, was fashioned of plain clay. It was placed on the table, with the other stones held in two cupped hands as the question was asked. These were then thrown onto the table towards the querent stone.

The stones landing neared the querent were closer in time or importance. Any group of stones was read in conjunction with each other. Those that landed with the symbol hidden were removed as they were not communicating. If one landed on its side then its answer was iffy and could go either way.

Although this was a very simple method, with practice a lot could be obtained from these stones. As with any method of divination, the more they were used, the more the practitioner learned of their meanings.

The tell stones had the following symbols on them:

A five-barred gate – News, letters, ideas

Water – Journeys, distance to be crossed symbolically someone traveling.

An even-armed cross – Parting, angry words, quarrels, bad feeling

A door – A death of something, a finishing, some kind of severing.

A ring – Marriage or a joining of some kind, either people or things.

A gold spot – health, wealth, happiness.

A crescent moon – A waiting time, possibly a woman involved, intuition.

A silver spot – Hopes, wishes, dreams, and ambitions.

An Apple – The fruition of something; a harvest; combined with the gold spot, could mean the birth of something new.

These, with the plain stone to represent the querent, are the complete set of Tell stones. They can be made from handcraft clay, a stone color being used and the emblems pained in colors or colored clay can be used, a different color for each, and the symbols painted on in a complementary color. I do not think it matters if the colors are altered, as long as the user knows which is which.

For myself, I use my own wild stones and I like the symbols used with the tell stones. Switch them out for what feels right to you. Consider your own symbolism for relationships, health, happiness, career, etc. Whatever magick there is, comes from you. So add your magick to it, every step of the way.

Happy stone throwing… I mean, divining.