Saturday, December 31, 2016

Bringing in the New Year by the Book

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. And of course I will pay special attention to my dreams for clues to what the year ahead holds. Here's a game of book-dipping you may enjoy playing. Let's call it Bibliomancy by the Numbers. You can do it on New Year's Eve or on New Year's Day. The essential number is that of the New Year: 2017. Applied to book divination, it gives us a few options. You could go to page 20, line 17. Or to page 201, line 7. Or to chapter 20, line 17. You get the idea. You might set the general intention: "Show me something I need to know about 2017", or something more specific.
Give it a try. And yes, you're allowed to do it more than once, with more than one book. But don't go on asking about the same thing once you have gotten a message (whether you like the message or not); this annoys the oracle.
  Record what you discover in your journal. Go back to that entry in the course of the months ahead and check how your message may relate to what unfolds. By the way, your journal, kept over many years, will be your best book to use for bibliomancy.

I gave the Bibliomancy by the Numbers game a test-run just now. I set that creative intention I mentioned above: 

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

 I plucked a  book from the pile at my left hand on my desk. It is a Seth book, Dreams and Projection of Consciousness. Page 201, line 7 gave me:

visit certain locations and bring back information.

Fine. There is plenty of world travel in my 2017 calendar! But this is a Seth book, so you know there is going to be more.
    I turn to the previous line and now have the following message:

You will direct your dreaming self to perform certain activities,
visit certain locations and bring back information.

Alright, then. Game on!

May your best dreams come true in 2017!

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

1 comment:

nina said...

May everybody has good conditions for practice, may we all recognize our true nature and when the time is right, may we all dissolve into the pure light!