“Through what we perceive to be random, the universe speaks.”
This snippet of text can be found on my website, and it summarizes a core paradigm of my practice, that existence is itself conscious and possessed of will in a manner we beings anchored to material vessels are currently unable to adequately conceptualize.
What we perceive to be utterly without reason, formless and random, can be used as a vehicle for the divine thought pulse of the universe, a sort of chaos current that can carry information to those capable of tuning in and listening deeply.
I posit that we are all capable of tuning in. Although I have honed my intuition over many years, I understand that the difference between my own faculties and those of a beginner are a matter of practice, not innate ability. After all, we are all equally animated by the same boundless energy, we are lights on the same circuit. While some may hone such abilities more quickly, due to myriad factors both personal and environmental, all are capable of achieving them with dedication.
All divinatory methods and methodologies are triggers for intuition. Being a truly insightful reader, in this writer’s opinion, is not about rote memorization of semiotic information, but about learning to be receptive to and thoughtful about messages from a higher light, whatever you believe the source of that light to be.
This column, the first in a series I hope to offer within a few days of the first of each month, is different from those that shall follow after, insofar as it serves to introduce you to my approach and method of divination. Subsequent columns will be monthly messages of guidance gleaned through that method. Although, I will include one later on in this entry as well.
To incite and inspire my own intuition I employ the art of cleromancy. Cleromancy is the practice of throwing significant tokens, such as runes, and gleaning meaning from them through their individual markings and/or relative position to one another or their casting surface.
I have a sample cleromancy throw on my Instagram reels, if you are more of a visual learner. However, here I can at least walk you through the typical steps of a reading, in which I employ both Elder Futhark runes and Sigil Tokens fashioned after concepts in my recently released book, Seal, Sigil & Call: A New Approach to Ritual Magic. (Llewellyn, December 2022)
In my cleromantic practice I will spend a few minutes with a querent engaged in deep breathing exercises before the reading, after which point I will ask them to draw between one and four runic tokens from my rune bag, whatever number feels correct to them. I instruct them not to look at the tokens, to preserve the random nature of the placement, and have them hand them to me one by one. I then line these tokens, in a shallow arc formation if there are more than one, at the top of my casting area in the order in which they were handed to me, from left to right. These runes set the overall theme of the reading, and how the second set of tokens fall in relation to them helps me clarify the intuitive messages I receive.
Once the runes are set, I have the querent again take a deep, cleansing breath and ask them to draw three tokens in one handful from my sigil token bag. I instruct them not to look upon these, and to place them in one handful into my palm. I then cast these tokens upon my casting cloth in such a way that they slide slightly toward the runic arc at the top. How these tokens fall in relation to one another, and the positions in which they fall, help further trigger and clarify intuitive messages.
Now that you understand the method in which I employ my cleromancy, the following reading, and all subsequent ones, will be clearer to you.
Inaugural Hand – Thrown March 2023
The purpose of this hand is to offer a guiding message on which those who read this column may meditate or reflect.
As is usual, I prepared for this hand with a short centering and attuning exercise.
In this hand, I was guided to select a single runic token from the rune pouch. The runic token set I used is my most frequented set, crafted from black clay with embedded blue and purple mica, with recessed runes inlaid with golden paint.
The rune I selected was Algiz. The broad semiotic significance of Algiz is one of protection and security, but in my methodology it is meant to trigger intuitive or oracular vision in the context of the entire reading. I placed it at the top of my casting area. For this casting I used a nebula-themed desktop pad. I find oversized mouse pads and full desktop pads such as this one make excellent casting cloths, as they cushion the tokens from the hard, flat surfaces one typically throws upon. Since I make all of my tokens by hand, I have a keen interest in minimizing wear and tear to them, as replacing them is a time-consuming process of hand sculpting.
With Algiz set, I drew a few deep breaths before selecting a hand of three sigil tokens from my sigil token bag, focusing on my desire to receive guidance for the readers of this column while doing so.
When I read, I normally avoid having querents ask a specific question. I am searching for what the universe needs to impart upon them, what they need to hear about rather than what they want to hear about. Some may chafe at this, but I read because I am following a calling to do so, so I read in the way I personally feel most honors that calling.
Having drawn my hand of Sigil Tokens, I cast them upon the cloth toward the waiting rune. Immediately, as is usually the case, I began to engage in the synaptic lightning storm of receiving intuitive epiphanies. Describing a process for which my human senses have no cognate is inherently difficult, but I can say it feels something like listening to a complex symphony to discern the notes of a specific instrument. Only, in this case the symphony is a stream of existential consciousness and the instrument is a single message. That message is as follows.
Algiz shines atop a spire, shedding a cone of protective light, a benevolent beacon upon the recipients of this message. It is a lighthouse both bidding and enabling safe travels for those engaged in the journey of highest self-realization.
In the waters below, the sigil of the third eidolon ascends as a cresting wave of Devonian trilobites. It represents the Primordial, ancient voices lost to time, locked beneath the crushing pressure of a paradigm that had abandoned and suppressed them. These are primal ways of existing with the land and the seasons, old magics waiting to be reborn, summoned to the surface by the tempestuous seas of the Anthropocene psyche.
As this living wave ascends, the sigil of the sixteenth eidolon plummets past it, receding into the blind depths. Its form is that of a rusting shackle and a broken crown. It represents the institutions of mortal artifice, the systems and paradigms which human societies invent and invest meaning within to govern their lives in varying degrees of aching separation from, or direct harm to, the rhythms of nature.
In passing, these sigils conjunct, threatening a collision, a spiritual schism. However, parallel to the descending sigil, and removed from the influence of conjunction, close to the light of Algiz, the sigil of the fifth eidolon lies in passive position. This indicates the potential for healing due to the work of unseen forces at once potent and subtle, a benevolent hand that can only be detected through its influence. It works to weave harmony from discord and reconcile the passing forces that threaten to tear at one another as they shift, one waxing and the other waning.
This reading speaks to me of a time of change on a deep spiritual level. A conjunction of opposite forces is on the horizon, but the solution to passing through it lies in a rejection of paradigms of adversity and the reconciliation of inner conflict by a mending hand. The words I pull from the aether are unification, wholeness, harmony, and above all balance, or possibly equilibrium.
Personal, material-level takeaways from this are as follows. Be aware of the opportunity to engage in shadow work, incorporating and reconciling with the parts of yourself you may be avoiding. Foster introspection, self-awareness, and all forms of self-healing and self-compassion. Engage in metacognition, think about why you think and believe as you do, with a mind toward eschewing old patterns and attitudes that no longer serve you. This is a time for accessing ancient rhythms of the natural world that can clear away stagnant patterns and grow vibrant new ones in their place.
Please note: A cleromancy reading should never be used in place of professional counseling. By accessing this article you waive any claim whatsoever against and hold harmless Fore-Cast Consulting LLC and any associated entities of whatsoever may arise from such use.
J.R. is the author of Seal, Sigil & Call: A New Approach to Ritual Magic. You can follow him on jrmascaro.com or his Instagram.