Although bibliomancy is a craft that requires practice in order to get used to it and utilise it to its limit, it is a much simpler form of divination to pick up than Tarot. Whereas Tarot tends to require vast amounts of both intuitive and academic study to bring a student to a deep understanding, bibliomancy is a simple technique which can quickly become second nature and doesn't have any specific systems or procedures behind it to learn. All you need to do is consider a question or focus area and then open a chosen book to a particular sentence or passage. Read the words and equate them to the chosen area of focus. From there, your intuition should guide you and you should be able to make links between the words and the knowledge you wish to obtain. Here are a few of my top tips for beginning your journey with bibliomancy.
1. Select your book with careful consideration. If your area of focus involves love or romance, perhaps a collection of love poems would be suitable. I think it's advisable to select a book which resonates with you and that you already own. If you're interested in starting up with bibliomancy and you don't actually own many relevant books, you can begin a collection which will be geared towards that form of divination. Either way, selecting a book that is appropriate for what you seek to find out is going to give value to the experience. I have several different books that I return to, depending on the focus area and how I'm personally feeling.
2. Practice interpretations before giving serious readings to others. Interpreting words in line with a particular question can be rather like solving a riddle. Your relationship with symbols and their meanings will become stronger as you further your journey, but at first it may be difficult to forge a meaning from a passage. Practice using random questions or focus areas and pretending you're speaking to a querent. As you improve, your intuition should sharpen and your interpretations will flow and become smoother and more confident. Don't worry too much about whether your interpretation is the 'right' one. Each person who uses bibliomancy would be likely to give a different interpretation with the same passage. It's all about the personal connection you make with the words.
3. Centre yourself before doing a reading. Make sure you're in the right mindset to receive and unravel messages that come from a deep level. Obviously, using divination to help and direct others can be challenging and mentally exhausting, so it's good to prepare through getting focused, channelling your energy and generating feelings of calm and receptivity. Bibliomancy requires concentration, inspiration and a oneness with your personal intuition. I would suggest breathing exercises, a short meditation or any kind of energy preparation work you'd usually utilise to get you in the mood for this kind of activity. When you're closing your eyes and randomly selecting a passage and page, keep the question in mind.
4. Allow yourself to elaborate. You don't need to just stick to the passage you've read. The words should invite other ideas and messages from your own intuitive mind. Think of the chosen passage as a story prompt. From that original offered spark of potential, you should be able to build up the rest of the story in an organic way through piecing the various messages that come to you together.
5. Keep a journal to record your progress. When you're starting out with a new form of divination, a journal can encourage you to stick with it when it gets tough. Journalling is also a great way to sign post your improvements and discoveries, giving you the ability to look back over your journey and take note of what worked well and how your learning progressed. Giving readings for others using any divinatory system can be enhanced and made more powerful through recording your thoughts and feelings about it afterwards. If you do bibliomancy readings for yourself, perhaps record any significant or highly accurate ones in a journal or your diary.
Here are some of the books I favour for bibliomancy:
- Rumi's poetry
- 1001 Meditations
- Complete Brother's Grimm Fairy Tales
- Anne Sexton's poetry
- The Bhagavad Gita
- any books of mythology, particularly Indian, Norse and Celtic
- love poem collection
- modern poetry collection
- book of I Ching
- selected self-help books
Depending upon the question or focus area, I will decide which text is most appropriate.
Bibliomancy is a creative and deeply nurturing form of divination which often offers profound results. I highly suggest giving it a go.