Cleromancy (Dice & Dominoes)
Cleromancy is defined in the dictionary very simply as ‘divination by means of casting lots’. It involves an assortment of objects being randomly thrown and then interpreted depending on how and where they land. Based on the principle that everything in the universe has been pre-planned, Cleromancy is built on the idea that even the most seemingly random act or outcome has a particular significance or meaning. Interpreting these seemingly random, (but not really random) outcomes and deriving meaning that relates to our lives is a very special skill in the psychic world, but that is what Cleromancy is all about.
The origin of the word Cleromancy derives from ancient Greek, where 'cleros' means 'lot' and ‘manteia’ refers to divination, but there is evidence of the practice existing as far back as the second millennium BCE in China. Throughout history, there are references to the use of random lots being used for divination, from ancient Rome to Germanic tribes in the first century, and from Biblical references to ancient West African religions.
Cleromancy has, therefore, been an almost universal form of divination for many centuries when animal bones would have been used to cast the lots. Since then, people have been known to use many different types of object to perform their readings; anything with different colours, irregular shapes or unusual markings is fit for purpose, which means that everything, from pebbles to beans, has been used in this ancient art form.
As civilisations began to develop, so did techniques in cleromancy. From around the 12th century CE, dice and dominoes were used for divination purposes, initially in China and then throughout the rest of the world.
Cleromancy using Dice
Some people genuinely believe that dice can be used for divination, although many more are still to be convinced.
Two standard 6-sided dice are normally used, but very ambiguous meanings are assigned to each number thrown, thus the skepticism. For example:
Meanings of a Single Die
Astrological dice are a specialised set of 3 x 12-sided dice, using the concepts of astrology and containing astrological symbols for the planets, the zodiac signs and the astrological houses.
The first die represents the planets, the Sun, the Moon, and two nodes (North and South Node), the second die represents the 12 signs of the zodiac, while the third represents the 12 houses. In simplified terms, the planets could represent an 'actor', the zodiac signs could represent the 'role' being played by that actor, and the house could represent the 'scene' in which the actor is playing.
Rune dice are another specialised set of dice designed for 'rune casting', using the symbols of the runes printed on the faces of each die. They are a modern invention, and there are numerous permutations and ways of using them, so you are encouraged to research and develop a method that works well for you.
This page explains how you can set up the configuration of your dice, to help you understand how they might be used in your own practice.
The dice are designed so that you can throw a single die for a simple reading, or throw all four for a more in-depth one. Some people throw sets of dice in multiple succession for longer, more detailed insights. How you use them will be determined by the meanings you attribute to each rune, and how many runes you typically use in a reading.
The four ‘Races’ detailed by the runes are Humans, Gods, Giants, and Norns -- representing the mundane, the Divine, the elements, and fate, respectively.
Luck encompasses everything from spiritual health to the power of the Ancestors in influencing a current state. To the ancient Norse, luck was an important aspect of a clan’s soul and power in the world, luck being a persistent condition of the clan, tribe, or kinship as a whole. Some luck builds through successive generations of kin, whereas other forms of luck are tied to the associations a person makes through friends or business.
Some Fascinating Tricks Using Standard DiceShould you wish to amuse and impress your friends with a few simple tricks, the following utilise the mathematical properties of dice. However, before trying any of these tricks before an audience, practice them to ensure you can complete them smoothly and confidently. Having successfully performed your trick, never reveal how you did it as it will detract from the performance and the audience will no longer be impressed by your 'magical' abilities.
1. The Amazing Mind Reading Dice
Give someone three dice along with a piece of paper and a pencil or pen (it might be an idea to give your volunteer a calculator as well). For the purpose of this exercise we will assume the 'someone' is male. Turn your back on him and ask him to roll the three dice. Now ask him to put the dice in a row and write down the values shown on the upper faces of the dice to make a three digit number. He must then append to the three digit number the values on the bottom of the dice, in the same order, to make a six-digit number. Now comes the 'clever' bit. Ask him to divide the six-digit number by 111, subtract 7 and tell you the result.
2. The Astonishing Dice Vision
Ask someone to balance three dice, squarely, on top of each other to form a tower as in the example to the right. You can now inform him that you can magically ascertain the sum of the five faces hidden from view, i.e. the face on the bottom of the tower and the four faces where the dice touch.
Because opposite sides of a die always add up to 7 you know that the hidden faces of the bottom two dice add up to 14. The number on the top die, facing down, is 7 minus the value of the upper face (2) - in this case 5. So the result is 14 + 5, or to simplify matters it would be three 7s (or 21) minus the top face. Feign concentration whilst looking at the dice tower as if you can see through the dice to the sides hidden from view.
To astound your volunteer or possibly audience by now even further, you can repeat the trick with an extra die. Simply add another 7 to the total for every extra die used, so in this instance the answer would be 28 (four 7s) minus 1 = 27.
3. The Baffling Numbers Trick
You can now turn to face the dice and baffle your volunteer by announcing the total he arrived at.
4. The Bartender's Psychic Dice TrickThis is an old bartender's favourite but very simple trick. Ask a volunteer to drop three dice into a glass of water. Then ask him to hold the glass up and add the numbers on the bottom faces of the dice, and then put the glass back down. Now dip your fingertips in the water, rub them across your forehead before revealing the total your volunteer has.
Remember, the opposite sides of a die total 7 and 3 x 7 is 21, so all you need do is subtract the total shown on the upward faces of the dice from 21.
5. The Clock Face and Magic Die TrickAsk a volunteer to pick any number from a clock or watch face without revealing what it is. Then tell him to find the opposite number on the face. For example, 1 is opposite 7, 3 is opposite 9 and so on. Notice that the opposite differences are always six. Now tell him to subtract the lowest number of the two from the other (which will always result in 6). Finally, ask him to add 1.
You can now say that you will roll your magic die and that the uppermost face and the opposite, or bottom face, will add up to the number that he has. Irrespective of numbers chosen on the clock face, this number will always be 7.
6. The Pentagram and Dice TrickFor this trick, slightly more complex than most, you need to draw a pentagram and have two dice available.
You can now turn to face your volunteer and the pentagram. Slowly study the number written in the centre of the 'magic pentagram'. To ascertain the values of the dice thrown, simply subtract 25 from the number written by your volunteer. He will be astounded.
How it is done?
For example, let us suppose your volunteer threw a 4 with his first throw and a 2 with his second and last:
4 x 2 = 8
You then subtract 25
67 - 25 = 42
or, in other words, the dice thrown were a 4 and a 2.
7. The Three Dice Guessing TrickThis is a very impressive trick requiring some simple mathematics and three dice. Give your volunteer the three dice, along with a pencil/pen and a piece of paper (or possibly a calculator if you are dubious about his mental arithmetic capabilities). Turn your back and ask him to roll the three dice. Then ask him to follow the simple steps below so that you can miraculously guess the three numbers he threw.
For example, let us assume he threw a 4, 2 and 5, get him to:
Is this where you become the greatest mind on earth? Try to make this last step seem difficult; you are, after all, using some hidden magical power! The irony is, all you now need to do is to ask your volunteer for his resulting number and subtract 125 from it, which will give you a three digit number, each digit representing a number thrown on the dice.
550 - 125 = 425 or 4 - 2 - 5
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Cleromancy using Dominoes
Dominoes work in a similar manner to that of dice, values or meanings being assigned to each of the 28 dominoes in a set. There are several different layouts, many based on those used for Tarot card readings, the most basic of which is a simple line of three horizontal tiles representing past, present and future. I do not intend to show any layouts on this page as there are many sites on the internet devoted to this method of divination.
A quick way of foretelling the near future is to shuffle the dominoes and leave them face downwards. This pile of dominoes is often referred to as the boneyard. The querant draws just one domino with his/her left hand and turns it over to reveal its value; it can then be interpreted from the quick reference below. It is suggested that your querant never draws more than three dominoes in this way during a sitting as trying to tie them together becomes difficult. Always replace the domino back in the pile with the others and re-shuffle them before drawing the next one. Different interpretations are given depending upon how the domino is placed down, e.g. 3-0 differs from 0-3. In the quick guide below, the first interpretation is for the higher part of the domino (3-0) showing to the left, the second, obviously, is for the lower part to the left (0-3). As stated under Cartomancy, the interpretations are a guide only - the more you practice the more proficient you will become.
The basic meaning attached to each number is as follows:
Golden rules when divining by dominoes are:
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