These small wooden dolls are inexpensive and readily available from any craft store. I include one in the sets that I make for my students. I also keep a few handy in case I need to add them to my set when needed. If you decide to use something like this, I recommend you mark it in some way to indicate which is the front of the piece.
Where to Begin
You have done your opening ritual and have cast your bones onto your reading surface. You take a quick look at the throw and see if anything catches your eye right away. If something does catch your eye right away, you can start the reading with that area if it seems suitable. If nothing really stands out or catches your eye, starting with the piece that represents the client is a suitable place to start.
I recommend that my students get a piece to represent the client and that the piece they use for this purpose be something that can be easily identified as to its orientation, or something that can be easily marked with a clear front and back. The client piece’s orientation can give you some useful information. For example, the direction the piece is facing can show where the client’s attention is focused.
Facing towards most of the pieces? The client is engaged, ready, and willing to deal with the things happening in and around them.
Facing away from most of the pieces? The client may want to put their issues behind them. If there is a piece or pieces directly in front of them, this could be where they wish to put their attention, or where they are being forced to pay attention while putting other things on the back burner.
Facing down such as their forward aspect is on the reading surface (face down)? The client may not want to deal with anything right now. They may feel overwhelmed, or they may be feeling unable to cope with anything.
Facing straight up? Their head may be in the clouds – dreaming while life goes on around them.
These are just a few ways the client piece’s orientation can be interpreted. Is the client piece crowded by or even buried underneath other pieces, or does it have space to maneuver? Is the client in the thick of the action or far removed and on the edges of the throw? Are there pieces under the client? Are there pieces at the client’s back? Near the client’s head? Under its feet?
If you use a marked cloth or a system where different areas of the cloth have different interpretations, the client’s location on the reading surface can tell you even more.
This one piece can give you a wealth of information about what is going on, even before you have moved around the cloth to interpret other pieces and groups of pieces. That makes it a natural place to start the reading.
I use one die in my set, but you can use more if you prefer. You can also purchase dice with almost any number of sides. The one to the right is a ten-sided die. If you have a knowledge of astrology and would like to incorporate it into your readings, astrological dice are available.
I also look at the die when I start a reading. The way I interpret the die is as an indicator of the “atmosphere” of the reading.* The client may or may not have told me what brought them to me, but the die will tell me if they are starting a new chapter in their life, if they are trying to make a decision, whether they are on their life path as they should be, whether they are feeling stable, or stuck, if they are experiencing stress and strife, or if they are ending a chapter of their life and ready to start anew.
Once you have a feel for the client piece, and the atmosphere of the reading if you use the die or dice that way, you can move on to interpreting other pieces. I usually start with those pieces closest to the client piece and move outward from there.
I have also seen readers who do not use a piece to represent the client. It works for them. I have seen all types of things used to represent the client as well, from small human figurines, to crystals, to stones, sticks, shells, and various carvings and charms. Experiment with some different pieces and see what works best for you.
* I have seen readers use their die or dice for other things as well, such as timing or numerological purposes, so looking at the die to start the reading might not be appropriate or helpful in those cases.
I have seen several readers use Worry Dolls to represent the client and other people in a reading. They are available in a variety of sizes.
You can use anything you like to represent the client. Here we have a bone bead, and some doll parts.