Astragalomancy (Modern)

A little History

Astragalomancy is a form of Cleromancy, meaning divination by sortition or casting lots.

The name comes from the Greek words Astragaios (dice or knucklebone) along with Manteia (divination). The dice are marked with letters or numbers.

In the Mediterranean and near eastern archaeological sites marked, Astragali on sheep and goats were common, particularly at Religious and Funeral Locations.

The Greeks made their dice from sheep knuckles. The practice of rolling dice was associated with the gods Athena and Hermes.

In Roman mythology, Mercury was the patron of dice throwers and was depicted with dice that predicted the future. The olive leaf called the Lot of Mercury was sometimes thrown in for his favor.

In greek and Rome, sortation was important as the casting of lots was used to select government officials and things of that nature. It was a less corruptible form of democracy than elections.

Traditionally this was used with 5 dice or one dice cast 5 times. this will not be about the old method but about the new method.

Modern-day Casting

There are a few different approaches to the workings of Casting dice. We will focus on a few.

So the modern way of casting the dice is with modern 6-sided Dice. Draw a 12-inch or 8-inch circle.

2 Dice Method

Focus on your Question

Throw the dice into the circle

if dice fall out of the circle, they are not counted

add the number on the dice

2 – Yes

3- no

4- A surprise is coming

5- Be wise about it

6- Luck is coming

7- Of Course

8-Have Faith

9- Be patient




3 Dice Method

Dice that fall out of the circle should not be counted. These dice can suggest that things will not go as planned. If 2 Dice fall outside the circle could mean problems coming.

You can add up your dice, or you can count them individually.

When you cast them, the ones farther from you can have less impact on you if you chose

3 – Favorable, surprising news

4 – Bad luck, disappointment.

5 – Your wish is granted, but in an unexpected way, a stranger brings joy.

6 – Loss of business and money.

7 – Beware of backstabbing, which causes setbacks.

8 – Injustice caused by outside influences. Victimization.

9 – Rekindling and forgiveness after arguing. Luck in marriage and in matters of the heart. 10 – Business success, promotion, domestic bliss.

11 – Parting of ways, some illnesses.

12 – Expect well-written news, but seek counsel when replying to any correspondence.

13 – Sadness and grief.

14 – Help from a friend, getting to know a distant admirer.

15 – Beware of temptation.

16 – Safe and pleasant travels.

17 – A change of plan. Schedules may be altered by somebody abroad who is involved in your arrangements (this person is likely to have links to the ocean).

18 – Overall happiness involving prosperity and success.

Yes or no Method (One Die)

Ask a question with die in hand

roll it

Even numbers are yes 2,4,6

Odd numbers are no 1,3,5

There are many variations to the meaning, but for the most part, they all fall along the same path.

You can assign your own meaning to this system very easily

When Julius Caesar and his armies crossed the Rubicon River in northern Italy in 49 BC, beginning a civil war with the Republic, he used the expression “The die is cast.” the single die was rolled, and the choice was made – perhaps by fate – and now cannot be undone.

I offer a set of hand-carved Astragalomancy dice on my website

I will talk about the older form of This Divination from the Romans and Greeks in the coming moon with a Gaulish flavor to it.

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