Items to Use when Bone Casting
I’ve always had an affinity for tiny interesting objects. Skeleton keys, charms, tiny compasses….they each hold a specific memory. These memories and such are why I figure some groups suggest that the ancestors are accompanying you during your readings – because you have sentimental nostalgic associations with certain things and remember things you’ve been told or been taught by the people in your life. If you've collected all these items one at a time & they're each special in their own way, you have a connection with them & of course, it's going to seem like they come to life & "speak" to you. Just go with it.
For example, I have a pin of a little dog that my aunt gave me before she passed, and I’ll always associate that pin with different things my aunt would have told me. So, if that pin comes up in a casting, I would interpret it as such, depending on what all else was in the casting – what would aunt Mary have said about this situation – what would her influence have been. However – I would never suggest that there are ancestor spirits just sitting around out in the spirit world waiting for me to do a bone casting so that they can communicate with me personally.
Your set can be as small or as large as you want, and there are no specific "must have" items, although I find it helpful to have a bone or item in the throw that specifically represents the client - usually the man or woman figure. You can throw as many of them as you want, from a small handful to "all" of them. Some people like to "pick out" a specific group of items to throw from their larger set, depending on the question. I like to just reach in the bag, shuffle them up, grab a handful & let em fly. Here are some typical items and their meanings, although, you can assign your own meanings. Some say you should never let others touch your items but I don't see the harm in it, myself, although no one has ever bothered to try to touch them. You can include items that correlate to Tarot if you relate the most with Tarot, but it would be extremely limiting and not helpful if you ONLY made a Tarot casting set. This is a great time to expand your horizons a little. A lot of the bones you can mark but I'll explain that later.
BONE SAFETY NOTE: Folks, be smart. if you're using bones from an animal (like a chicken dinner) - sanitize them. For me, this is my process but by all means, look up how to safely clean bones & do the most sanitary thing possible: I pick ALL meat off & loose cartilage, then I boil just the bones alone, then I stick them in the microwave for 20 seconds, then I put them in a jar filled with hydrogen peroxide for at least a week. Then, I take them out & wash them again, and microwave them around 20 seconds. This may seem like overkill, but, salmonela. Bleach isn't recommended because it makes them brittle.
Charms & Other Items
Airplane: Dreams, aspirations taking flight. Travel.
Angel: Someone will assist. Guardian angel.
Apple: Temptation, sometimes poison
Arrow: Direction. Look at which way it is pointing.
Bat: Creature of the night, bad omen, mysterious, unlucky
Bee: Community, brightness, personal power. Follow the bee to discover your new destination.
Bell: Alarm or warning concerning whatever it's next to.
Binoculars: Examine whatever is near closely.
Bird: Something taking flight. Freedom. Message from the spirit world.
Bracelet: Items within the circle reflect issues that are being controlled & lessons learned. Foreshadows pivotal period where the seeker is confronted with these issues so they can recognize them & integrate them in a new way.
Butterfly: Change, freedom, evolving spirit, hope, releasing old ways. Look to where it's flying.
Buttons: Can be masks, obstacles or indicate attachments
Carousel Horse: Nostalgia. Childhod memories.
Chain: Links one item to another.
Coins: Money matters. Notice face up or down.
Compass: Things are moving in this direction
Cross: PAIN, burden, sacrifice, faith, destiny, fate, suffering, religion. It can represent good things, such as something being destined, if there is a positive bone/item next to it.
Crown: Highest authority, father.
Dice: Gambles, taking chances, and from there it depends on the number the dice lands on & other factors
Dog: Obedient. A follower. Loyal friend.
Elephant: Good luck – good omen. Memory. Person over elephant = being in control over something you thought was too big for you to handle. Gun with elephant = having to give up something that was important to you (lifestyle, status, property).
Evil Eye bead: Envy, bad intentions
Flower: Romantic gifts, blossoming love, fresh
Frog: (prince) status change
Grapes: Resurrection, life, rebirth
Green jewel: Fertility. Renewal. Family. Advancement.
Gun: Conflict, anger, Volatile situation
Hat: There are many types of hats, with many different associations - sometimes it's all about "where you hang your hat". A cowboy hat could represent a wandering spirit/free spirit. A sombrero could represent anything south of the border - siesta, fiesta, hard-working, sacrifice, etc.
Handcuffs: Restriction. Limitations due to mistakes or bad decisions.
Hand Mirror: How you see yourself. How you want to be seen by others. Inner reflection. If it seems like it’s falling away from other things it represents things about yourself that you don’t want to face. If hidden behind something else, you’re lacking clarity.
Heart: Matters of the heart / relationship / love
House: Present position where you stand. Security where you live.
Key: Presents a solution or advice - an opportunity. Access.
Knife: Cutting away, surgery or separation
Lock: That which is kept secret. Yet to be unlocked.
Locket: Love from afar, a hidden love interest
Male/Female figures: represents seeker & significant other.
Monkey: "The monkey on your back" - a burden you can't shake.
Mouse: THEFT. Something is slowly losing its force or strength - like a relationship that may be crumbling, or hope that is slowly fading.
Palm Tree: Victory, triumph, peace. Could also be a vacation.
Pink Rose: Romantic love interest
Purse: Keeping a tight grip on your money.
Ring: All types of agreements, ranging from business deals to marriage and civil unions. It's about strong connections and being bound to something or someone. Committed.
Roadrunner: Quick to think on your feet = mental agility.
Safety pins: Safety & attachment.
Skull: Death, challenges, worries, fears, endings. Alternatively, this can mean "where your head is at"
Spiral: Cycles, repeating patterns, things spiraling
Star: Hope, or being the shining star in this area.
Thimble: A kiss
Tear: Emotional issue, sadness, loss
Tree: Ancestry, roots, family traditions
Watch Face: Keeping an eye on the time. Timing. Time running out.
Watch parts: Inner workings - behind the scenes
White Rose: Innocence, purity, Sometimes marriage
I like to have one set with only chicken bones. I like how they sound. I don't like stark white bones, though, so after cleansing and sanitizing I like to stain them or paint them. I like to collect things over time, so I'm not big on all the bones have to be from the SAME chicken, etc.
If you get lost determining which bone is which, there's a great video naming all the bones:
I recommend just marking your bones rather than memorizing - the important thing is what each bone represents, not exactly what anatomical piece is.
Neck Bone: Poverty, loss, fear, bad choices
Rib: Need, restraint, obstacles, blockages
Leg Bone: Where you are walking or grounded, travel by land.
Wing Bone: Travel by air, communication, messages, healing, freedom, improvement, what you reach for
Wishbone: Good fortune if curved up.
Vertebrae: Fears & concerns, areas of influence depending on what they're surrounding, the intensity of which depends on how many there are around each item or how close to the center. Least number in center circle = weak, then increasing in strength as more are added, depending on how many in your set.
Broken Bones: Setbacks, delays, sickness
I like to use a coin but nuts are also associated with money.
ACORN: If at the top of spread = success & gain, if at the bottom = good health.
Buckeye: Drives away evil or unwelcome guests. New employment.
Chestnut: Harvest, abundance, preparation.
Mojo Bean: has the power to make wishes come true.
Nutmeg: Money (leaving if at top, entering if at bottom)
Pistachio: Happiness, joy, good health, fortune
Walnut: Toughness, masculinity, a broken shell is a good omen - breaking through barriers.
Blessing & Cleansing the Bones: This isn't my thing, personally, but for those who are into it, it's an important part of it. Bless & cleanse according to your own personal belief system using your own methods. Make it special and make it yours!
Alligator Tooth: Luck in gambling
Badger Tooth: Luck in gambling
Bird Beak: Pecking order, Gossip, Communication
Buffalo Tooth: Strength & endurance - overcome obstacles
Coyote Penis Bone: Trickster & teacher
Herbivore tooth: Breaking down information in order to understand it better – chewing on something.
Human Finger Bone: Extreme luck in gambling
Human Tooth: Biting or obtaining something by force. Also Revenge. Can also mean Angry or regretful words. Things we’ve outgrown or no longer need. A CHIP OF A TOOTH indicates a situation is crumbling.
Raccoon Claw: Let go of a situation, belief or habit
Raccoon Penis: Sex & sexuality
Shark Tooth: Protection. Keeps danger at bay. Friendship
Snake Vertebre: Shedding our illusions or limitations. Death/rebirth
Trilobite & Crinoid Fossils: Transformation, personal growth, long life
Turkey Claw: Abundance, fruits of one's labor
Turtle Shell: Stay grounded amid chaos
Wolf Tooth: Loyalty, intuition, cunning, long distance traveler
Divination with stones is called Pessomancy. Some call them "Wise Stones". There are just too many to list. Use other resources to identify which crystals are associated with things like calmness, bringing money, love, etc. I don't use a lot of crystals in my set. They're heavy, and they can chip & break or if they're polished they get scratched & scuffed up, and they don't tend to symbolize the things I need to see in the readings. Here are a few:
Dark Moonstone: Inward journey. Secrets locked. Taking one deep into SELF to retrieve what’s missing. Intuition & inner knowing.
Peach Moonstone: Soothes emotional issues like anger & depression. Eliminates worry & fear. Digestive, reproductive organs. Relieves stress, balances hormones.
Flourite: Harmony & stability, sharp mind – clearing away distractions.
Mookite (brown & white) – Slowing the aging process.
Shiva Lingam – makes whatever it lands on or near stronger & greater vitality.
Tiger’s Eye: Deep passions & spiritual compass for creativity, boldest matters of the heart.
Turquois: Feminine, calming, Intuition, loyalty, friendship.
Green Jade: Good luck, long life, connection between physical & spiritual worlds. Bond between people.
Abelone: Sooths & calms & releases anxiety, fears, sorrow, negative emotions.
Cat Paw: Claws out = danger, anger, spats. Claws in = friendship, warmth.
Cat's Eye Shell: Indicates that there has been slander and/or harmful tales told by covetous neighbors, back-biters, and/or hidden enemies posing as friends, and protection is needed.
Clam Shell: Love & matters of the heart
Cockle Shell: “warming the cockles of the heart,”
love, friendship, relationships, emotions.
Coral: Red coral = Jealousies. White coral = links to the past. Pink = Compassion. Blue = communication & creativity. Black = family/protector.
Cowries: Female matters & emotions, fertility, pregnancy, birth, menstrual problems, difficult menopause and female sexuality.
Cones: Take charge
Jingle shell: Matters of money, making money, income, charity, loans, enterprise.
Limpets: Courage, confidence, strength.
Limpets with keyhole: Finding a way out of a situation.
Moon snail: Lunar magic, psychic, peace, life unfolding
Moon Shell: Lunar timing, psychic awareness
Mother of Pearl: Soothes emotions. Creating balance, healing, sensitivity, adaptability.
Olives: Healing, hope, friendship
Oyster: Frustrations & attempt to protect someone
Pearl: Special thing that has been hidden. Being true to ones self.
Pearl (Black): Dark secret revealed. Flaws in your thinking could lead to mishaps in the near future.
Pen Shell: Writing needs attending to
Scallops: Travel & movement
Sundials: Timing, victory, success
Whelks: Taking control. Get a grip on yourself or a situation. It is also a good shell to use when you wish to retain the status quo, or when you are needing stability in your life.
Storing the bones: Store them in anything you like. I prefer the zippered bones bags that I make, because they are large enough to fit my huge collection, they're padded, my hand fits in the bag perfectly to shuffle and grab a handful, and it zips shut so nothing gets lost.