Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A bibliomancy game for the New Year

I bet you have done this some time: opened a book at random to get a thought for the day. Maybe you have done it with a question or theme in your mind, to see what response the book will give you. You can do this to get a second opinion on a dream, or on why your partner hasn't called you to day, or on what the quality of the day will be. Doing divination by the book has been going on as long as humans have had anything resembling pages that could be turned or shuffled. The Sybilline books of ancient Rome were actually a stack of loose leaves. Many, across the centuries have turned to a sacred book, as Lincoln turned to his family Bible. Many have consulted books that are reverenced in a certain culture, like the works of Homer or Virgil, Dante or Rumi. The formal name for divination by the book is bibliomancy. When you are content to work with just a line or two on the page in front of you, the exact learned name is stichomancy, meaning divination by the line or verse. You can play the game with any book at all, one you notice in the New Arrivals at a library or bookstore, one that a shelf elf pushes off a bookcase at home, one a friend is reading on the bus or the airplane. Sometimes it's fun to give yourself coordinates. You'll pick a book - any book at all - and go to a certain page and find a certain line and see what is there for you. Typically, you'll need to read around the line you selected, up and down a line or two, to get a finished sentence or thought from the book. At the turning of the year, I like to play games that offer a chance to sneak a peek at coming attractions over the next twelve months. Dreams remembered on or around New Year's Day are especially interesting. You can set the intention to dream into the coming year. I like to do this by setting an intention along these lines:

Show me the best things I can manifest in my life over the coming year,

Often, I will cast I Ching or tarot, or both, on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, for a first flavor of the coming year. This year, I am recommending to dreamers who play with me that we all do bibliomancy by the number, on or around the first day of 2016, The number, of course, is the number of the coming year: 2016. Applied to book divination, it gives us a few options. You could go to page 20, line 16. Or to page 201, line 6. Or to chapter 20, line 16. You get the idea.
Give it a try. And yes, you're allowed to do it more than once.

I gave it a test-run just now. I set the general intention: "Show me something I need to know about 2016". I took a book from my shelves that I had intended to reread in my current study of Mircea Eliade. It is his Portugal Journal, detailing his personal life from 1941 to 1945. I turned to page 201, line 6. The first three words are

write a novel

 I go back to line 5 for the beginning of the statement and on to line 7 for its conclusion. I now have

I must write a novel someday with "Foreign Affairs" in it and bring to light the strange freemasonry of these individuals. And write it I will.

Yes, Mircea, I think I must. Multumesc.


For more games of bibliomancy, please see my book Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols and Synchronicity in Everyday Life


Elyn Aviva said...

Oh my. Gary opened our book "Powerful Places in Wales" to p. 201, line 6: "And they [Elen of the Ways and the king] rule happily ever after." Since I'm Elyn, and connected with Elen of the Ways, this looks like a good omen for us both. I opened your book "Dreamgates" to p. 201, line 6--and got at the top of the page, Part Three: A Manual for the Psychopomp. Since I have been getting messages about psychopomp training for the last few months (as we have discussed on the Facebook site), I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. But I am.

Bree said...

My question - no animal totems, no magical flying, just nightmares. What are they trying to tell us?

Unknown said...

Thanks for this idea Mr. Robert Moss.
Page 201 line 6 of the mystery novel Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs which I just finished reading says "The class meant one more hour away from the square mile of paper covering my dining room table". This likely relates to one of my problems with dream study--the length of time it takes me to record and study my dreams!

Second game--added up 2016 and reduced to 9. Page 9 of Adventures of the Soul by James van Praagh features the subtitle The Spirit: The Divine Spark in answer to my question about how I would have soul adventures in 2016. Must walk the Spirit Road!

Third game--on page 20 line 16 of How to Read the Akashic Records by Linda Howe, in answer to my question "Should I read my Akashic Records" the subtitle on line 16 was Guidelines for Reading the Akashic Records, which I take as a "Yes".

This bibliomancy is great fun for one who loves reading, as do I. Also quick and easy to do. Formerly I would pick a book and just let it fall open wherever. Using numbers as well adds a new dimension which I like very much.

Robert Moss said...

Bree, dreams (including the scary ones) are not on our case, they are on our side. The cure for nightmares is to learn to stay with the dream - or reenter the dream - with determination to move beyond fear and deal with the issues on their own ground. I give very practical guidance on this in a number of my books including "Conscious Dreaming", "Dreaming True" and "The Three 'Only' Things". Following the theme of this blog, you may also want to consider playing the game of paying attention to signs and symbols in everyday life. My new book "Sidewalk Oracles" includes many such games.

Robert Moss said...

Elyn, that feels like a fabulous welcome to all that 2016 will offer.

Robert Moss said...

Marion, one of the tricks of dealing with "a square mile of paper" is to write an "executive summary" and/or a one-liner from each extensive dream report. We are practicing this and other games of creative journal keeping in a wonderful international dreaming family in my current online course for The Shift Network. You may want to check that out. Enrollment is open until January 7. Details here:

Unknown said...

Working with the Dreaming Body
Arnold Mindell. Page 20 line 16 (paragraph line 15-18)
As she was leaving my practice, she turned to me and said quite spontaneously, 'I know why I have too much milk, it's because I'm not drinking it, I ought to be mothering myself more.'
(The client had a dream in which she was an abandoned child & her breasts were full and overflowing with milk & she wanted rid of that)

Unknown said...

From Native Speaker, Chang Rae Lee. page 20 line 16: "Right.... he knew everything".
I had asked "what would be for the highest good"?

Kathy said...

Oh, my. So he continues to encourage you to do this. Perhaps 2016 will be the year the project comes to fruition. I look forward to reading it. Best wishes for the New Year.


Unknown said...

Effortless Meditation, Madhurananda, p. 201, line 6:
Stays intentionally and consciously in this state free from desire as often as possible...and all the surpressed emotions and thoughts will loose significance.

Thanks for the hint, Robert, and Happy New Dreaming!