If someone gave you a set of fifty bones, told you what they meant and told you to start reading them, it would be a challenging task. Learning what the individual bones mean takes time. Learning how to interpret them in groups takes time. Learning how to interpret where they land on the cloth and in relation to the client piece takes time. But you don’t have to learn this all at once. You can work yourself through the process by taking intermediate steps along the way.
Some of these methods are also useful if you just want to practice or if you just want a quick read on something simple. Give them a try and see if any of them work for you. If they do, there is no reason to try and master a method that you find less useful and unwieldy. While I do not currently read using these methods, I have used them all at some point, and they were important steps in me devising my current method.
You don’t have to throw all of the bones in your set. Some readers only use a handful or some other sub-set of their bone reading set.
When I first started reading, and my set was still growing, I found it easier to just reach into my container and grab a handful of bones to throw. I was also using a marked cloth that helped me make my interpretations, vaguely based on the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread.
I found this method easy to do, as I was not overwhelmed with pieces to interpret, and I could easily tell what aspect of the client’s life we were talking about – past/future/conscious world/subconscious world. If you are having difficulty throwing and interpreting your complete set, you might want to give this a try. You don’t even need a marked cloth – you can just imagine the cross on your cloth. You can pull a handful of bones yourself to throw, or you can have the client pull a handful to throw.
This cloth is marked with the Chakras. Your cloth can be marked with any system that you are familiar with and comfortable interpreting – Astrology, the Elements, the Directions, or a system totally of your own creation.
Full Set with Marked Cloth
When I got a chance to take some lessons from a bone reader, my teacher had me do a reading for her, and I used the partial set/marked cloth method described above. She then had me do another reading for her, this time throwing all the bones at once. Although I was apprehensive, I could do the reading. My cloth helped me, and I got through it. If you have a large set of bones, say forty or more pieces, try throwing them all at once. Start with your client piece and see where your eye takes you from there. If you still find it overwhelming, go back to throwing a handful. Then try two handfuls until you feel comfortable with the larger number. Keep working up to a handful at a time till you are throwing the full set. There is no hurry – you have the rest of your life to master this. I have been reading for several years now, and I am still always learning something new. I am sure that I will always be learning for as long as I am throwing the bones. So relax and move forward at your own pace.
Full Set with Plain Cloth
At the end of my first lesson, my then teacher recommended I try reading without the marked cloth. I did, and I was surprised to find that it was quite liberating, if somewhat terrifying. I was forced to rely on my intuition and be spirit lead rather than being confined to the dictates of the cloth. It was scary at first, but I had a deep sense of accomplishment when I found that I could do it. I put my marked cloth away and have not looked back.
Try these methods and see which works best for you. If you start to feel unsure or overwhelmed, allow yourself to try a different method. These are by no means “beginner methods,” though they may help you gain confidence in the beginning. If you decide to stick with one of these methods as your primary way of working, it does not make you any less of a bone reader. Some of the best bone readers I know use a marked cloth and a handful of bones. The method used is unimportant if it yields reliable results.
This set from OldWayAlchemy on Etsy, has its own reading/interpretation method. If you purchase a set like this you can use the method that comes with it, or you can use the pieces with your own method.