The other night, I went to an Introduction to Divination course, put on by a friend of mine. Now before anyone starts giggling about my personal beliefs or starts cracking Harry Potter jokes, I just want to say this: I already made those jokes, so let’s move on.
Ahem. One of the forms of divination that was discussed was stichomancy, also known as bibliomancy. Or, the art of divining the future from books. Whether or not you believe that you can really tell the future from this is up to you, but if nothing else, it’s an interesting little interpretive thing that can be turned to a lot of fun.
Here’s how it’s done: First, take a book. Any book, so long as it’s got words in a paragraph format. Pick a book that feels meaningful to you. (I picked Jo Walton’s Among Others, for example.) Now, close your eyes and focus on your question, which should be phrased as, “What do I need to know about _________?”
Got that question in mind? Good. Now hold the book in your right hand, and open it with your left hand to the spot that feels the most ‘right’, so to speak. The left hand is believed to be associated with intuition, which is why it’s done this way.
Now that the book’s open, keeping your eyes closed, move yoru left hand, palm down, back and forth over the two pages until you get a feeling about which page, left or right, is the one that you’re supposed to pay attention to. Some people feel this as a tingling sensation in the hand, a feeling of heat, or just a feeling of ‘rightness’. Your mileage may vary.
Got your page? Now use your index finger to point to a line on the page. Keeping your eyes closed, of course, and making sure that the place you point to feels right.
Once you’ve got it, open your eyes and read the sentence you pointed to. It’s the answer to your question, or at least something that needs to be interpreted to get the answer to your question.
Whether nor not you believe you’re divining the future this way, like I said, isn’t necessary to do this. It helps, but it can also just be a fun game. Occasionally the answers you get are completely bass-ackwards and irrelevent. Other times you may be able to get some advice from what you find. But this form of divination is supposed to resonate well with avid readers, and so where better to mention it than on an avid reader’s blog that other avid readers read?