Raven Whitehorse is a bone reader, and author. She was one of the first bone readers I met when I was just starting out, and we have swapped readings. Her book: Stones, Bones, and Totems describes her system, and she has created a divination deck based on her bone set as well.
How did you get started in bone reading?
Tarot in the beginning made no connections for me and I never really used it much. I had a client once who became a teacher for a while and she told me I needed to find my own divination tool that would work for me. It stems from that day.
How long have you been reading bones?
I have been reading my set for 35 some odd years. I would not say it’s a traditional set. It revolves around me and my experiences and it is personalized to me.
Did you have any teachers?
I believe my father was the first to start prepping me. Things he said when I was a kid had a large influence on me and just stuck in my memories. In my book I talk about the first piece I found – it was an arrowhead. When I showed it to my father he told me that I needed to always get straight to the point of things and to always shoot straight. I remember this day very well. I was 5 years old.
I did not have another reading teacher. It just flows out of my mouth sometimes and I can’t stop it, lol. I did have a teacher who told me once that I really needed to find my divination system since at the time tarot and other forms were not speaking to me. She was a big influence to me in earlier years. This system I use has never been taught to me, it just comes from out of my head. It has only been in recent years that I have discovered that other people read in forms like this.
Where did you get your bone pieces?
I have been collecting them over the years. They have come at different times from different places and usually there is a lesson behind them in some form. My set is always changing and I am always learning with it. When a piece came to me in earlier years I always put it in a basket because there was a lesson I learned with it and I wanted to keep it separate from other *medicine* I had around. I did not realize why till years later. One day that just became my set. The wheel I read on came from a dream I had of speaking to my elders and it took off from there.
How many bones in your set?
I have well over 3000 pieces and that total changes from day to day
How long did it take you to put your set together?
Oh hums, I don’t know if my set will ever be totally together. New pieces come and go, and old pieces sometimes leave at their whim. But I will say it was a few years before I realized why I was collecting these things.
Are you still adding pieces?
Do you use a special cloth, or reading surface?
Yes I do. It is styled after the Native American Medicine wheel, and it is leather. I made it after I was told why I was collecting all these little pieces of this and that, and what it was for was revealed after I made it.
Did you do any consecration ceremony for them?
Oh yes I do in fact, and I ask their permission to be added to the set, and to help me.
Do you cleanse them?
I do cleanse them with sage, and citrine. There are extra pieces of that in my set for that very reason of cleansing, and there is a sweet grass braid in my basket that stays. In the beginning I do use salt on some depending on what it is. Sometimes they get buried in salt. I’ll shake the basket in between readings to cleanse off the vibrations from the reading before if I am in a place where I can’t smudge. Shaking it works very well to knock the vibrations and energy off and get them ready for the next client.
Do you do anything special before a reading – invocations, prayers, etc.?
I do try to be quiet in my head, and ground and center, and I just simply ask them to show me with clarity.
How do you think the bones work?
I do believe that spirit and my ancestors are always present when the bones come out. It’s that whisper in my ear I get. However, in my experiences with my set personally it would seem that if the client is having similar problems certain pieces come out to talk so I do believe my ancestors and spirit talk back and forth with the clients spirits and ancestors to prompt me to say what needs to be heard.
Do you throw all of your bones or some subset?
My reading set sits in a basket. The person I am reading for reaches in, grabs a handful of things and drops them on the wheel, unless it’s a phone reading then I do it for them. But no they are not all thrown at once. They all would not be needed.
Do you read for yourself? Some people feel that they do not do well reading for themselves.
I have in the past read for myself and most everything in my set is a lesson I have learned at one time or the other. However I find a reading with other professionals gives a different insight to the questions I have at the time, or something I may be over looking that is part of the solution. A different point of view on the subject matter can be gained.
Do you teach bone reading?
I have done classes on what I do from time to time, and occasionally I take private students.
What advice do you have for bone readers just starting out?
Make sure the pieces feel correct for you and ask them if they will work with you before you add them to any set you plan to later use. Just because that is a coyote tooth and you need one doesn’t mean it will work for you. And just because you bless it and cleanse it don’t mean it will work in your set as well. Found this out first hand myself.
Do you read professionally?
I do read professionally sometimes at fairs or other public places, but I do not have a web page at this time. I have a Facebook page, and my personal profile.
I do phone readings, Skype readings , email readings, chat readings, etc. My phone is listed on both Facebook pages, and sometimes luck has me in the same state as someone who wants a personal reading. I travel 365 days a year so you never know where I will be, or in what state.