Charmcasting: A Divination How-To For 2016
While researching and experimenting with many new divination methods for my book ORACLE: Divination for Magical Babes, charmcasting quickly became a new favorite.
What is charmcasting? Well, as the name implies, it's basically the casting of charms and/or found objects. All you need is 15-30 small objects (charms) that represent or mean something to you. I was able to scrounge around my house and come up with a decent collection right away though you can also buy ready-made charm sets for this purpose.
One of the joys of creating a charmcasting set is the magic and serendipity involved with adding new pieces to it-- you never know when a walk through the park (or the parking lot) will turn up a shiny new object, a small bone or a lost piece of jewelry that can be added to your collection. When you set the intention to add pieces to your charm set the universe will conspire to make the most delightful scavenger hunt!
Assigning Meaning To The Charms
While you can use your charm set right away (and I hope you do!), you will find that the castings become more accurate over time as your set becomes attuned to you. To start the attuning process it is a good idea to ground the meaning/symbolism of the charms in some sort of ritual and follow it up with a little moonlight or altar-charging.
After gathering your initial charm set, prepare yourself for a little ritual (follow the steps in ORACLE if you need ideas) and incorporate a small dedication ceremony where you dedicate meaning to each charm. Perhaps you hold the charm up, announce its symbolism and seal it with a kiss before laying it down on your altar. Or maybe you announce the charm's symbolism while passing it through the flame of a candle. It's completely up to you. Be open to allowing the charms to reveal their meaning or to even evolve their meaning as you work with them, too.
As you can see in my charm set below, your charm set can take on a certain theme as well. You may even develop multiple sets with multiple themes.
I recommend assigning one charm the responsibility of representing your/the person inquiring. A human-shaped charm is great so that you can analyze charms that fall near the head (thoughts), the hands (needs) and the feet (actions). A set of dice may also be helpful for time frames. I have this set and love it because I can use the 12-sided die for months and can choose different shaped die to represent days or weeks too. For an example list of charms/symbols and more ideas on how to interpret them, go here.
How To Do A Charm Casting
Charm casting is as simple as asking a question while holding your charms and then throwing them onto a surface and analyzing what fell where and in relation to what else.
It can, of course, be more complicated than that.
Shake It Out
If you have dozens and dozens of charms (it happens) you don't have to use all the charms for every throw. You can double-up on the divination by grabbing a random handful and trusting you've grabbed what is needed. You can shake the charms in your clasped hands, in a small shaking basket or bowl, or (my personal favorite ingenious method) grab your nearest deck of oracle or tarot cards, empty the box and use it to shake your charms. While you shake, concentrate on your question.
Cast Your Cares
As I mentioned earlier, you can cast your charms onto any surface but there are also charm casting/divination mats out there. You can make your own or dedicate a small piece of cloth or a scarf as your casting mat as well. Some people like to cast their charms into a larger box or basket and read it from there. I usually use a blank table top or I grab a piece of paper and a marker and draw up a temporary mat that is specific to my question-- as I did for the example charm cast below.
Analyze The Spread
What fell where? What is on top of or near another charm? Which charms fell outside the casting area (if you had a set casting area)? Did any charms fall to the floor while you were shaking them? (What falls to the floor, comes to the door!)
Example Casting: What Can I Expect In 2016?
For this casting I simply wrote the question at the top of a piece of paper and will read it from left to right. You can read the charms to the left of the charm the signifies you as your past and charms to the right as the future. In this case I will be reading the left as January and the right as December. (not the prettiest pictures)
The first charm, a seed, represents new seeds being planted. Very appropriate as today, January 1st, is the day I launched ORACLE: Divination for Magical Babes.
The flat blue marble represents me in this case and I'm sandwiched right between new beginnings and a milagro that I chose to represent devotional practices (daily sacred rituals). Immediately below "me" is a small ring that represents dreams (actual night dreams) on top of a penny (money).
New seeds being planted in daily practices and dreams creating a foundation of money is a loose way of describing this translation. Which i take as a good sign for ORACLE and my dream journal, DIVINA.
And of course, there is an element of seeing what you're looking for but where our attention goes, energy flows.
Next we have a row of a coin, angel wings, and a bird, with a button on each end. The buttons join these three elements together in what I read to be March/April of this year. These charms symbolize travel, angels and relationships, respectively. Interesting. We'll have to see how that plays out.
There's a gap in the year around May/June-- a time of rest? Quiet?
The second half of the year looks like things get busier. It starts with the big red heart that symbolizes my passions. However, the passion symbol is turned upside down and is above the seed that represents brainpower and the quartz crystal that represents divination. Will I be pouring my passion into divination practices that will require a lot of brain power? Will I be pouring my passion into finding a balance between logic and divination? This sounds completely plausible.
Right below this is the key, which represents a "key" part of the reading, followed by 1 month and the Black Madonna (divine feminine) symbol, which is face down. I don't know how to interpret this right now, but I'm already looking forward to revisiting this around mid-year to see how it plays out.
Next to the passion heart is a small ring that represents my partnership with Andy and a shell that represents communication. Pretty obvious: keep communication open. I sense that mid-year may be quite chaotic and busy for me professionally and it will be all the more important to keep communication clear and open in my relationship. Sound advice there.
The year ends with a small yellow bead that represents false truths/warnings, a paperclip (uniting things) and a boar's tooth (difficulties). If taken into account with the key/Black Madonna/one month section, it could read as follows:
There is a warning that the following may be key (the warning bead is pointing at the key): one month where the divine feminine doesn't show her face, uniting over difficulty. Oh dear. We'll have to see how that plays out as well!
Finally, at the top of the casting there is a small piece of faceted rose quartz (love) and at the bottom is a tiny bell (truth/wisdom). Both of these charms fell out of my hands while I was shaking them. To me it says the year will have a foundation in truth and wisdom and lead to/end with a lot of love. (By the way, old jewelry is a great resource for charms if you haven't guessed.)
Let's try this same cast with a different casting surface, just to give you another example of how to use charmcasting:
Ok, right away the bell of truth fell out of my hands and onto the floor. "What falls on the floor, comes to the door," I believe. However, if this happens to you, you can discard it or pick it up and add it back to the casting. Personal preference. Since this happened with both castings however, I'm going to say that 2016 is definitely going to be grounded in truth and wisdom.
Let's start at the top of my circle:
The passion heart is overlapping my soul and work sector-- very nice. I agree. Difficulties (boar tooth) over travel (large coin), brain power over difficulties. I may have to use brainpower to overcome difficulties with travel. Eh? I just might. Don't we all. And then there is the die with a 10-- October. Will make a note to keep an eye on October and work.
The travel coin is overlapping work and health-- we certainly need to watch our health while traveling. Just last month I had food poisoning from airport food. "October" unites (paperclip) health with money but I should put my relationship above money. Sound advice. Also note that these are outside the circle, denoting outer influences on health.
Open communication (shell) is healthy for family, I'm reminded once again. The rose quartz of love is smack dab in the middle of family, a good sign. The crystal quartz of divination is smack dab in the middle of the ring of dreams. Interesting. Will have to be alert to dreams about my family and take them extra seriously.
Things get interesting here. The milagro of devotional practices overlaps family and soul. I may want to include my family in some of these practices/initiate my boys into some of them. At the very least, my devotional practices will benefit my family (happy wife happy life sort of deal). My heart of passion is exactly on top of the key-- yes my soul's passion is key! No doubt about that in this lifetime. The marble that represents me and the little bird of relationships are also in this area, as well as the warning bead which is pointing at money.
"Finding a balance between daily devotional practices and my passion is key and soul-ful relationships will spring from that place. (I'm a bit isolated here in Costa Rica and I need me some girlfriends!) But warning! When it comes to relationships, passion, soul and money, be careful."
Also soul passion and key overlap a bit into money. Lovin' it.
Finally, the outer influences for soul include the Black Madonna/divine feminine (YES!), showing her face loud and proud. New beginnings/new seeds being planted and angels. This sounds like a good omen for the course I'm planning for this year: The Black Madonna eCourse: A year-long intensive on divination, dreams and the holy mother.
The two buttons are also buttoning up new beginnings, angels, the Black Madonna (soul) and the money/work sector.
A good omen indeed.
And that, my dear, is charmcasting! If you try this out for yourself I'd love it if you tagged me or used the hashtag #divinationdiva I'd also love to help you interpret your casting.
Don't forget to write the results of your charmcast in your DIVINA Journal under the divinations section!