A forum participant posted a dream and requested ideas about interpreting it.*   If I remember correctly, the dream had the requester in a beautiful field of flowers on a gorgeous sunny day.  It was raining cards. Reaching up and taking one of the falling cards from the air she saw that it had an image like the Hanged Man in tarot.  Can the bones be used to help interpret this dream? I think so. The easiest and most direct way would be to frame a question about the dream and throw the bones for it, for example “What does this dream mean?” or “What is this dream trying to tell me?”

A more complicated method would be to take the dream and break it into its component parts.**  A bone piece could be assigned to each part and then read. The pieces could be extra pieces that you have, or you could assign pieces already in your set. Either way, I would first talk to my ancestors and any spirits that I work with, explaining what I am doing. As an example using my travel set I might assign the following:

  • Hanged Man card – turtle. The Hanged Man is often interpreted as being stuck, standing still or taking a break. I do not have a piece that exactly fits this interpretation, but the turtle, especially on its back is the closest piece in meaning in this set.
  • Raining cards – Mother of Pearl bird is a message from spirit. The cards can be seen to be raining down messages.
  • Beautiful day in flower field – Child piece. Again, I do not have a piece that is an exact match, but the child piece represents play and beautiful days like this are most likely to bring out the playful child in us.

Here is a sample using the pieces given above. This is NOT a reading – just an illustrative example with some possible interpretations.


sample throw

The left shows the reading as thrown. The right has the selected pieces – turtle, MoP bird, and child, circled in red.


The child piece representing the beautiful scenery is face down in the lower right corner with nothing really nearby. The fact that it is face down could indicate that it is not important to the reading. The Mother of Pearl bird representing the raining cards also seems isolated from the pieces around it. It is face up which could be telling us that this is a message coming from spirit. The turtle representing the Hanged Man card is on its back, which can indicate not moving, or being unable to move, and it has several pieces in close proximity.


Close-up of turtle and surrounding pieces

Close-up of turtle and surrounding pieces


Next to and touching the turtle is a skull carved from bone. This piece could represent an ancestor or spirit guide. Next to it is the cowrie shell that represents a middle aged adult. This could be descriptive of the spirit or it could represent an actual living person. You would have to determine that based on information you know about your life. Next is a penny, tail side up – a small amount of money going out. This is under the cowrie coin, face up – a medium amount of money coming in. The last piece is a mirror which says to look inside yourself, use your intuition, trust your gut. The overall message could be read as a message from spirit to sit still and trust your gut. A small investment could lead to bigger returns and this is achieved by waiting or sitting still. Next you have to apply it to your own life. Are you selling a house? Thinking of making an investment of some sort? Only you can decide how this message fits your situation. Also this is just one of many possible interpretations. You may alter the meaning of some pieces to fit your own situation. For example, you have to decide if the cowrie is a living person. If you are not making any financial decisions you might decide that the coins indicate time or effort instead of money. You also have to decide whether to read the rest of the throw or limit it to just these pieces.

I personally believe that no one can interpret our dreams for us. I may ask trusted people what they make of the dream and take their input into account. Often they can show me a different way of looking at things. But ultimately I decide for myself what the dream means. The bones can shed some light on things and perhaps give us insights that we would not have come up with on our own, just as advice from a trusted friend can.

Happy Bone Reading!

*I requested and received the original poster’s permission to use their dream as an example.

** This method was inspired by Mary K. Greer’s work with Tarot and Dreams.