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What is Lithomancia?

Lithomancia is the practice of divination by reading stones. In some cultures, stone casting was considered fairly common – much like checking his daily horoscope in the morning paper. However, because our ancient ancestors did not leave us much information on how to read the stones, many specific aspects of the practice were lost forever.

One thing that is clear, however, is that the use of stones for divination has existed for a long time. Archaeologists have found coloured stones, probably used to predict political results, in the ruins of a bronze-age town in Gegharot, in what is now central Armenia. The researchers suggest that these, along with bones and other ritual objects, indicate that "divinatory practices were essential to the emerging principles of regional sovereignty."

Scholars generally believe that the earliest forms of lithomancia included polished stones inscribed with symbols – perhaps they were the precursors of the runic stones we see in some Scandinavian religions. In modern forms of lithomancia, stones are usually associated with symbols related to planets, as well as aspects of personal events, such as luck, love, happiness, etc.

Create your stone set for lithomancia

By creating a set of stones with symbols that are important to you, you can create your own divinatory tool to use to guide and inspire you. The instructions below are for a simple set using a group of thirteen stones. You can change any of them to make the set more readable for you, or you can add or subtract one of the symbols you want – it's your set, so make it as personal as you like.

You'll need the following:

  • Thirteen stones of similar shapes and sizes
  • Paint
  • A square of fabric

We will designate each stone as representative of the following:

  1. The Sun, to represent power, energy and life.
  2. The Moon, symbolizing inspiration, psychic ability and intuition.
  3. Saturn, associated with longevity, protection and purification.
  4. Venus, which is linked to love, fidelity and happiness.
  5. Mercury, which is often associated with intelligence, self-improvement and overcoming bad habits.
  6. Mars, to represent courage, defensive magic, battle and conflict.
  7. Jupiter, symbolizing money, justice and prosperity.
  8. Earth, representative of the safety of the house, family and friends.
  9. Air, to show your wishes, your hopes, your dreams and your inspiration.
  10. Fire, which is associated with passion, willpower and outside influences.
  11. Water is a symbol of compassion, reconciliation, healing and purification.
  12. Spirit, linked to self-needs, as well as communication with the Divine.
  13. The Universe, which shows us our place in the grand scheme of things, at the cosmic level.

Mark each stone with a symbol that tells you what the stone will represent. You can use astrological symbols for planetary stones and other symbols to signify the four elements. You may want to dedicate your stones, once you've created them, as you would for any other important magic tool.

The Draw

Place the stones in the fabric and tie it to form a bag. The easiest way to interpret the messages of the stones is to shoot three stones at random. Put them in front of you and see what messages they are sending. Some people prefer to use a pre-marked board, such as an alcohol board or even a Ouija board. The stones are then cast on the board, and their meaning is determined not only by where they land, but by their proximity to other stones. For beginners, it may be easier to simply pull your stones out of a bag.


Like reading Tarot maps and other forms of divination, much of lithomancy is intuitive rather than specific. Use stones as a meditation tool and focus on them as a guide. As you become more familiar with your stones and their meaning, you will find yourself better able to interpret their messages.