One of the most useful pieces in my set is the piece I use to represent the person I am reading for, whether I am reading for myself or someone else. I think that this piece is the reason I was able to move from relying on a layout pattern on my reading surface, whether drawn or imagined, to just throwing onto a blank cloth in free-form and being able to make sense of what I saw. A piece representing the querent gives you a starting point in the reading. Pieces nearby can be interpreted as what is happening around the querent. Pieces further out might be interpreted as possible future events. If the piece you choose for this has two easily identifiable sides you can interpret them as the person being aware or unaware, involved or uninvolved, enthusiastic or apathetic, accepting or in denial, interested or disinterested, or any other set of meanings you choose.
You can use anything for this piece. I use a raku ceramic figure, but I have several pieces in my extras box that would serve well for this. I include several pictures here to give you some ideas. You could also use a bone already in your set, a shell, or a curio. In her book Throwing the Bones, cat yronwode discusses using a domino or die as the “client’s representative in the situation.” You can then get further insight by interpreting the whether the domino is face up or down, or by interpreting the number showing on the die. Whatever you choose, it is helpful if it is large enough and/or different enough to spot easily in a jumble of pieces allowing you to locate it right away to start the reading confidently. If you have not been using such a piece you might want to give it a try.
Happy Bone Reading!