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Cleromancy (Dice & Dominoes)

Cleromancy is defined in the dictionary very simply as ‘divination by means of casting lots’.  It involves an assortment of objects being randomly thrown and then interpreted depending on how and where they land.  Based on the principle that everything in the universe has been pre-planned, Cleromancy is built on the idea that even the most seemingly random act or outcome has a particular significance or meaning.  Interpreting these seemingly random, (but not really random) outcomes and deriving meaning that relates to our lives is a very special skill in the psychic world, but that is what Cleromancy is all about.

The origin of the word Cleromancy derives from ancient Greek, where 'cleros' means 'lot' and ‘manteia’ refers to divination, but there is evidence of the practice existing as far back as the second millennium BCE in China.  Throughout history, there are references to the use of random lots being used for divination, from ancient Rome to Germanic tribes in the first century, and from Biblical references to ancient West African religions.

Cleromancy has, therefore, been an almost universal form of divination for many centuries when animal bones would have been used to cast the lots.  Since then, people have been known to use many different types of object to perform their readings; anything with different colours, irregular shapes or unusual markings is fit for purpose, which means that everything, from pebbles to beans, has been used in this ancient art form.

As civilisations began to develop, so did techniques in cleromancy.  From around the 12th century CE, dice and dominoes were used for divination purposes, initially in China and then throughout the rest of the world.

Cleromancy using Dice

Some people genuinely believe that dice can be used for divination, although many more are still to be convinced.

Standard Dice

Two standard 6-sided dice are normally used, but very ambiguous meanings are assigned to each number thrown, thus the skepticism.  For example:

Number Thrown Meaning Number Thrown Meaning
1 - 1 No way! 3 - 3 Yes
2 - 2 You can't know 2 - 1 Maybe not
3 - 2 Almost certainly 3 - 3 Yes - if you act accordingly
4 - 1 Most likely 4 - 2 Unlikely
4 - 3 Yes 4 - 4 Maybe yes, maybe no
5 - 1 Fifty, fifty 5 - 2 Maybe
5 - 3 If you're lucky 5 - 4 Impossible
5 - 5 For certain 6 - 1 A definite outcome
6 - 2 No 6 - 3 Probably not
6 - 4 Yes 6 - 5 Likely
6 - 6 Absolutely

Meanings of a Single Die

Number Meaning
One Victory and success.  Your plans will work out, and you will be hopeful of greater success
Two A good sign if you are having a business-related issue.  You will have all the support you need for your next financial venture, and your investment will go well.
Three A sign for professional success; you have reached a new high and your journey to a better economic state starts now.
Four This is all about opening new doors when opportunities will rush into yours, and you will have to choose wisely for a better future.
Five Stands for respect, integrity, and recognition in your field.  People will now count on you and will look up to you.
Six Do not fret, your investments will bring you good profit with big margins giving you the best of your business project.

Astrological Dice

Astrological dice are a specialised set of 3 x 12-sided dice, using the concepts of astrology and containing astrological symbols for the planets, the zodiac signs and the astrological houses.

The first die represents the planets, the Sun, the Moon, and two nodes (North and South Node), the second die represents the 12 signs of the zodiac, while the third represents the 12 houses.  In simplified terms, the planets could represent an 'actor', the zodiac signs could represent the 'role' being played by that actor, and the house could represent the 'scene' in which the actor is playing.

Rune Dice

Rune dice are another specialised set of dice designed for 'rune casting', using the symbols of the runes printed on the faces of each die.  They are a modern invention, and there are numerous permutations and ways of using them, so you are encouraged to research and develop a method that works well for you.

This page explains how you can set up the configuration of your dice, to help you understand how they might be used in your own practice.

  • Each die is inscribed with six runes.
  • Each die loosely contains one each of six areas of concern: Boon, Challenge, Action, Time, Race, and Luck. This equals four runes of each area.
You should experiment with many different configurations for each Rune Dice set, for other sets tend to double-up meanings, or throw nonsensical readings fairly often.  There are many sites on the internet explaining how to set up and read the runes, so no further explanation is needed here.  One such site is

The dice are designed so that you can throw a single die for a simple reading, or throw all four for a more in-depth one.  Some people throw sets of dice in multiple succession for longer, more detailed insights.  How you use them will be determined by the meanings you attribute to each rune, and how many runes you typically use in a reading.

The four ‘Races’ detailed by the runes are Humans, Gods, Giants, and Norns -- representing the mundane, the Divine, the elements, and fate, respectively.

Luck encompasses everything from spiritual health to the power of the Ancestors in influencing a current state.  To the ancient Norse, luck was an important aspect of a clan’s soul and power in the world, luck being a persistent condition of the clan, tribe, or kinship as a whole.  Some luck builds through successive generations of kin, whereas other forms of luck are tied to the associations a person makes through friends or business.

Some Fascinating Tricks Using Standard Dice

Should you wish to amuse and impress your friends with a few simple tricks, the following utilise the mathematical properties of dice.  However, before trying any of these tricks before an audience, practice them to ensure you can complete them smoothly and confidently.  Having successfully performed your trick, never reveal how you did it as it will detract from the performance and the audience will no longer be impressed by your 'magical' abilities.

1.  The Amazing Mind Reading Dice

Give someone three dice along with a piece of paper and a pencil or pen (it might be an idea to give your volunteer a calculator as well).  For the purpose of this exercise we will assume the 'someone' is male.  Turn your back on him and ask him to roll the three dice.  Now ask him to put the dice in a row and write down the values shown on the upper faces of the dice to make a three digit number.  He must then append to the three digit number the values on the bottom of the dice, in the same order, to make a six-digit number.  Now comes the 'clever' bit.  Ask him to divide the six-digit number by 111, subtract 7 and tell you the result.

For example,

Let us assume he has thrown a 3, a 6, and a 2. 362
The three numbers on the opposite sides of the dice will be 4, 1, and 5.  Ask him to append these to the numbers thrown. 362415
Now get him to divide this sum by 111.  This might be where he can make use of the calculator. 3265
Ask him to subtract 7 from the result. 3258
You can now tell him what the values of the dice he threw are simply by dividing his answer by 9. 362

2.  The Astonishing Dice Vision

Ask someone to balance three dice, squarely, on top of each other to form a tower as in the example to the right.  You can now inform him that you can magically ascertain the sum of the five faces hidden from view, i.e. the face on the bottom of the tower and the four faces where the dice touch.

Because opposite sides of a die always add up to 7 you know that the hidden faces of the bottom two dice add up to 14.  The number on the top die, facing down, is 7 minus the value of the upper face (2) - in this case 5.  So the result is 14 + 5, or to simplify matters it would be three 7s (or 21) minus the top face.  Feign concentration whilst looking at the dice tower as if you can see through the dice to the sides hidden from view.

To astound your volunteer or possibly audience by now even further, you can repeat the trick with an extra die.  Simply add another 7 to the total for every extra die used, so in this instance the answer would be 28 (four 7s) minus 1 = 27.

3.  The Baffling Numbers Trick

  1. With your back turned to him, get a volunteer to roll three dice.
  2. Ask him to add together the three values thrown.
  3. Now, ask him to pick up any one of the dice thrown and add the number on the reverse face to the total.
  4. Finally, ask him to roll the die he picked up and add the thrown value to the total.

You can now turn to face the dice and baffle your volunteer by announcing the total he arrived at.

  1. Because the opposite sides of a dice add up to 7 simply add 7 to the total of the three values now showing on the dice.

4.  The Bartender's Psychic Dice Trick

This is an old bartender's favourite but very simple trick.  Ask a volunteer to drop three dice into a glass of water.  Then ask him to hold the glass up and add the numbers on the bottom faces of the dice, and then put the glass back down.  Now dip your fingertips in the water, rub them across your forehead before revealing the total your volunteer has.

Remember, the opposite sides of a die total 7 and 3 x 7 is 21, so all you need do is subtract the total shown on the upward faces of the dice from 21.

5.  The Clock Face and Magic Die Trick

Ask a volunteer to pick any number from a clock or watch face without revealing what it is.  Then tell him to find the opposite number on the face. For example, 1 is opposite 7, 3 is opposite 9 and so on.  Notice that the opposite differences are always six.  Now tell him to subtract the lowest number of the two from the other (which will always result in 6).  Finally, ask him to add 1.

You can now say that you will roll your magic die and that the uppermost face and the opposite, or bottom face, will add up to the number that he has.  Irrespective of numbers chosen on the clock face, this number will always be 7.

6.  The Pentagram and Dice Trick

For this trick, slightly more complex than most, you need to draw a pentagram and have two dice available.

  1. With your back turned, ask your subject to roll one of the dice and then cover it with a handkerchief or dice cup.
  2. Turn around and begin to explain the significance of the pentagram along these lines:

    Note that the pentagram has two 'horns' which point up for black magic and down for white magic, so please multiply the number on the die by two.
    A pentagram has five sides (the outside angles), an important number, so add five to your total.
    A pentagram also has five points so multiply the new total by five.

  3. Now, with your back turned again, get the volunteer to roll the other die, add the number rolled to the total, and cover it as he did the first die.
  4. Finally get him to write the number at which he arrived in the centre of the pentagram.

You can now turn to face your volunteer and the pentagram.  Slowly study the number written in the centre of the 'magic pentagram'.  To ascertain the values of the dice thrown, simply subtract 25 from the number written by your volunteer.  He will be astounded.

How it is done?

For example, let us suppose your volunteer threw a 4 with his first throw and a 2 with his second and last:

4 x 2 = 8
8 + 5 = 13
13 x 5 = 65
65 + 2 = 67

You then subtract 25

67 - 25 = 42

or, in other words, the dice thrown were a 4 and a 2.

7.  The Three Dice Guessing Trick

This is a very impressive trick requiring some simple mathematics and three dice.  Give your volunteer the three dice, along with a pencil/pen and a piece of paper (or possibly a calculator if you are dubious about his mental arithmetic capabilities).  Turn your back and ask him to roll the three dice.  Then ask him to follow the simple steps below so that you can miraculously guess the three numbers he threw.

For example, let us assume he threw a 4, 2 and 5, get him to:

  1. Multiply the number on the first die by 2.  4 x 2 = 8
  2. Add 5.  8 + 5 = 13
  3. Multiply this number by 5.  13 x 5 = 65
  4. Now add the number on the second die.  65 + 2 = 67
  5. Multiply this number by 10.  67 x 10 = 670
  6. Now add the number on the third die to this total.  670 + 5 = 675
  7. Finally, get him to subtract 125 from this total.  675 -125 = 550

Is this where you become the greatest mind on earth?  Try to make this last step seem difficult; you are, after all, using some hidden magical power!  The irony is, all you now need to do is to ask your volunteer for his resulting number and subtract 125 from it, which will give you a three digit number, each digit representing a number thrown on the dice.

550 - 125 = 425 or 4 - 2 - 5

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Cleromancy using Dominoes

Dominoes work in a similar manner to that of dice, values or meanings being assigned to each of the 28 dominoes in a set.  There are several different layouts, many based on those used for Tarot card readings, the most basic of which is a simple line of three horizontal tiles representing past, present and future.  I do not intend to show any layouts on this page as there are many sites on the internet devoted to this method of divination.

A quick way of foretelling the near future is to shuffle the dominoes and leave them face downwards.  This pile of dominoes is often referred to as the boneyard.  The querant draws just one domino with his/her left hand and turns it over to reveal its value; it can then be interpreted from the quick reference below.  It is suggested that your querant never draws more than three dominoes in this way during a sitting as trying to tie them together becomes difficult.  Always replace the domino back in the pile with the others and re-shuffle them before drawing the next one.  Different interpretations are given depending upon how the domino is placed down, e.g. 3-0 differs from 0-3.  In the quick guide below, the first interpretation is for the higher part of the domino (3-0) showing to the left, the second, obviously, is for the lower part to the left (0-3).  As stated under Cartomancy, the interpretations are a guide only - the more you practice the more proficient you will become.

An unlucky domino, indicating probable unforeseen trouble or disappointments, including monetary loss.
This domino suggests a stranger will be coming to help or advise you, probably from abroad.  Another interpretation is an enemy threatens your happiness.
You will get great joy and happiness through meeting someone new who will become very close and dear to you.  Alternatively it can suggest poverty.
You will become estranged from an old friend through jealousy.  Alternatively you can expect trouble from your love of money.
You have upset a dear friend and must seek to rectify the situation immediately.  Alternatively it can mean farmers can expect good crops, but signifies money troubles for others.
You will be of great comfort to one of your friends who has had some bad news.  Alternatively it indicates an unhappy marriage
Beware of an ingenuine friendship - someone who wishes you ill is plotting against you.  Scandal is likely.
Grab the bull by the horns.  A bold step now will cause you to improve your position - don't hesitate.  It could also mean a reunion with someone you have not seen for a long time.
You can expect the loss of some personal property in the near future, or an old friend will pay you a visit.
Expect some startling news which may be of great service to you.  Alternatively it can mean a successful business trip.
Your financial worries seem justified.  A settlement of a debt or debts which will leave you very short of cash for a time.  Another meaning could be a childless marriage.
Beware of an exciting, passionate love affair.  It may well lead to an unhappy ending.  Another meaning is you may receive a proposal or attend a social event.
Your worries and troubles will soon be over, the source of them being removed.  The alternative meaning is you will probably marry twice, but the second marriage will be much happier.
A wish may be granted or there will be a happy marriage in the near future in which you will play a prominent role.
The next few days will be unlucky for you.  Avoid taking risks and games of chance.  Alternatively, an old debt will be repaid.
You have recently met a charlatan, a swindler and/or a hoaxer.  Be on your guard.  Alternatively it indicates a loss from theft.
There will shortly be a birth of a child to a member of your family.  The other meaning is defeat in your attempt to gain public office.
You can expect to receive a useful gift soon, or you can expect good luck in your business affairs.
Either there is some rivalry in your love affairs, which is causing you consternation, or you can expect a windfall.
You are troubled by fears of disappointment.  These are totally unfounded.  Alternatively, you can expect happiness in love.
This domino suggests you can expect a visit soon, possibly from someone who will advise or help you.
A short journey for your own good seems likely, or someone will give you a welcome gift.
You can expect to go to a surprise party, probably at the house of a stranger.
A financial windfall through a sound investment.  Do not reinvest this gain.  Alternatively you can expect a very pleasant surprise.
This domino foretells of arguments leading to lawsuits, resulting in a loss.  Alternatively an early marriage is predicted with several children resulting.
Relocation will bring either happiness or a change of fortune.
You will join a charitable organisation to help others.  The alternative meaning here is if you are seeking employment you will find it - if not you can expect a pleasant day out with a friend.
Wow!  You can expect not only great success, but an important financial gain and happiness, happiness, happiness!

The basic meaning attached to each number is as follows:

  • blank  relates to the querant
  • 1  relates to travel
  • 2  relates to close friends and family
  • 3  relates to love and romance
  • 4  relates to finances
  • 5  relates to job and careers
  • 6  relates to luck

Golden rules when divining by dominoes are:

  • You should never attempt to read your own fortune.
  • You should never read anyone's fortune on Mondays or Fridays.

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