When I got my first starter set of bone, it came with a small bell. I subsequently learned that this type of bell is called a tiger bell, or tiger head bell. They come in various sizes and while most are made of brass, I have also seen them made of copper and there are probably other metals available as well. They are found throughout Asia and in some parts of Europe.
In my set I use the bell as a warning. Most tiger bells have faces on each side. I colored the eyes of one side. If the colored eyes are face up, it is a warning. If the uncolored eyes are face up, it is silent.
My set happened to come with a tiger bell, so that is what I have been using. However, if you should decide to use a bell in your bone set, you are not limited to this type of bell. Many bead shops carry a nice selection of small bells in varying sizes.
This type of bell can be used in the same way as the tiger bell – read as a warning if upright, or silent if laying on its side.
While I use the bell as a warning, you are not limited to using it this way. Some other meanings could be:
- advice to listen
- waking up
- creative power*
- being suspended between two positions*
Bells are easy to acquire. As of this writing the Lucky Mojo Bone set available from Dr. E’s shop and from Lucky Mojo, The Mystic Cartel Pocket Bone Sets, and the Mystic Dream Bone set all come with bells included. You can also get them at bead stores, or on eBay. When I bought the bells that I did not get as a part of a set, I actually listened to several, and I picked these for their sound, even though you don’t usually hear them in the jumble of sounds a toss usually makes.
If you don’t have a bell in your set, you might want to consider getting one.
Happy Bone Reading!
* From “A Dictionary of Symbols” by J.E. Cirlot