Otherwise known as reading stones, Lithomancy is a divination method, popular in the British isles, using either 13 or 16 stones depending on the variation you use to cast a reading from. There appears to be very little recorded history on the subject but it is believed to have begun in Constantinople, now modern day Istanbul in turkey. There are 2 variations commonly used the first being the 13 stone set and the second being the 16 stone set.
13 stone set
This one is used the most commonly and comprises of 13 different stones or crystals each with its own subject or idea these are as follows.
LOVE, MAGICK, LUCK, HOME, LIFE, NEWS, MERCURY, VENUS, MARS, JUPITER, SATURN, SUN, MOON.
16 Stone set
Is used more by the Wiccan and Neo Pagan paths again have 16 different stones or crystals with their own topics and ideas, which are
MALE, FEMALE, LOVE, JOY, DEATH, SORROW, PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE, EARTH, AIR, FIRE, WATER, SUN, MOON and a CENTRE STONE.
This is also my preferred method or path.
So what stones should you use?
Well the thing with Lithomancy is you can use whatever stones you like making acquiring a set really easy. Although the obvious preferred method would be ones you have collected yourself, if you cant, buying them is just as good and viable way of gaining a set, below are the two sets I use and the stones I have chosen for each subject, just as an example when you create your own adapt it to suit yourself….
13 Stone Set
16 Stone Set
Ok so now we have our sets there is a few extra things you can use to keep them safe and help perform casts. Mainly a container I store mine in a cloth bag inside a wooden box alongside a white casting mat when not in use, I would say a bag is essential especially when performing certain castings it makes things a lot easier but as long as you look after the stones they will work for you.
Next we look at the interpretations of each of the stones, as with most divination methods each casters interpretations will be different, but tend to have a basic root theme, so with the tables below we will look at what the root themes are for each of the subjects, from there it is up to you the caster to find and feel your own interpretations, as with all magick adapt these to whatever works for you these are just examples of what works for me.
13 Stone Set
16 Stone Set
Ok so at this point we are now set to start using our sets, we have our kits and a basic knowledge of how to interpret the stones so the next stage would be to get ready for a casting. Firstly I like to charge each of the stones before using them and to do this you would first wash the stones in spring water, then place them on your altar. Visualize a white aura surrounding your body, then visualize this energy flowing into the tool in front of you, allow this to continue until you feel the stone is fully charged.
Take some consecrated salt water, to do this take a bowl of water, regular tap water is fine but you can use spring or bottled water. Fill a small bowl and pour in salt, being very generous as salt in magick is well known for being able to absorb magickal energies and as spiritual protection in rituals. In this instance it will clean away and absorb any residual energies, be it positive or negative items fully cleansed. Take your index and middle finger and hold them together just above the water. Start to breathe in slowly and deeply. On the in breath visualize a white energy gathering around you like a white aura. On the out breath let the white aura flow down through your body and fingers and into the water, whilst doing this resist the urge to push the aura out let it flow naturally out your fingertips, also try not to tense up, relax as much as possible. When you get the sense of a total peace, that is the time to stop. Sprinkle the water over the stones and speak the words
“I now charge you with Water and Earth”
Now take up the stones and hold them over a smoking incense of your choice, sage is a nice common one to use, and speak the words
“I now charge you with Fire and Air”
Your stones are now charged and ready to use, repeat with all the other stones you need.
Ok so there are two variations I like to use when casting the stones, as with all magick there are many ways to cast and it is all about finding what works for you but for the purpose of starting out I Find there is two great methods I can show you and they both work for both sets of stones
The 3 Stone Cast method
Firstly I start by meditating and getting myself focused before casting much like when casting runes or tarot. I do this for about 10 mins. Whether it is for yourself or for someone else take up your bag and In your mind think of the question or situation you want the stones help with and focus on it, if it is for someone else ask them to also focus on that statement or question before you draw 3 stones one after the other laying them from left to right in front of you, if it is with someone else ask them to draw them from the bag and lay them in front of themselves. It is now for you the caster to make a reading, only you will know what feels right when you look at them but here is a basic example to give you an idea
If you draw
Serpentine (FUTURE) Rose Quartz (LOVE) Pink Calcite (A Woman)
You could interpret it as
“in the future you will fall in love with a woman”
Thats a three Stone cast which is a great starter one to use
A full cast utilizes all of the stones so as before firstly I start by meditating and getting myself focused before casting much like when casting runes or tarot. I do this for about 10 mins. Now if it is the 16 stone set you are using take up your center stone and place it in the middle of a flat surface or casting mat, if not just take up the bag of stones. Whether it is for yourself or for someone else take up your bag and In your mind think of the question or situation you want the stones help with and focus on it, if it is for someone else ask them to also focus on that statement or question, speak the question or statement out loud as if asking the center stone and ask the other person to do the same. Cast all the stones over the center stone from a small height about 6 inches is best and take note of how they fall and in what order.
As with runes you read from the center stone outwards but you disregard any stone which lands more than 6 inches from the centre stone from the final reading.
So if you cast
Fossil (PAST) Rose Quartz (Relationships) Pearl (CHANGE) Citrine (SUMMER)
Then using their meanings you could interpret it as
A past relationship will change in the summer
As I have already said it is mainly upon you to decide how to interpret these are just two methods to use on the road of Lithomancy, and you will be able to feel what is right when you begin to cast more Regularly.
For now keep practising and researching until you become more adept at the skill, learning more and more as you go…