Divination by observing dust patterns

I have fantastic news! Abacomancy is a thing! Finally, all you lazy fortune-tellers out there have the perfect excuse to never wash your car!

It’s divination by observing the patterns of dust on a surface—and similar to how you might divine with tea leaves or coffee grounds in your mug. Here’s how it works:

  • To begin, find a dusty surface. This may take awhile. I’ll wait here. Eh hem.
  • Notice if there are any obvious signs in the dust—pictures or images springing to mind (it’s similar to seeing shapes in the clouds).
  • Interpret the sign.

So now I must know, what are your dusty bookshelves trying to tell you?

How to read a palm

Tell her that you’re going to read her fortune. Take her hand in yours.

Look at the heart line. Point it out to her, tracing the crevice with your finger.

Notice where it begins (on the thumb-side, sometimes between the head line and the index finger, or anywhere along the top of the fingers between the index and middle finger). Is it long or short? A long line indicates a greater emotional potential. A shorter line may indicate a person who is less generous with their feelings.

Is her hand warm or cold? If her hand is cold, place yours over it for a moment. Smile at her and say, “Your hand is cold.”

Is it deep or shallow? Again, we’re talking about potential and capacity. Does the line suggest a great depth of feeling, someone overwhelmingly passionate, or does the person prefer to keep things casual and maintain emotional distance?

Give her some space in case of the latter. Hold her hand up for a moment to examine it fully. Admire it. Take it all in.

Study for color. You’ll find an entire range of shades when you closely analyze a hand—anywhere from red to blue to brown and white. Look at the whole hand to see the spectrum. If her skin pinks at the brush of yours, lean in and whisper that observation in her ear.

Go back to the lines. Hold her hand firmly again. Closer. Look for marks and feathers. A love line that is full of feathers may indicate someone who is more compulsive or neurotic about their attachments. Dots and marks might denote heartbreaks or love loss. Don’t linger over the marks, but give her palm a gentle, perhaps knowing, squeeze.

Is it broken? Does it start up again? Does it split? Is the path for emotional fulfillment straight or irregular? Without judgment, assure her that no path is wrong, no path is right, but for the soul the heart has tethered.

Check for warmth again. Release her hand, or bring it to your lips for a kiss. Learn how to read eyes to guide you.

Your mileage may vary. For external use only. Do not take alcohol while reading a palm (but order her a glass of wine if that’s what she wants).

Heartlines, part 1

I thought once how Theocritus had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years,
Who each one in a gracious hand appears
To bear a gift for mortals, old or young
And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
I saw, in gradual vision through my tears,
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was ’ware,
So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair;
And a voice said in mastery, while I strove,—
“Guess now who holds thee!”—“Death,” I said, But, there,
The silver answer rang, “Not Death, but Love.”

I actually remember reading Sonnets from the Portuguese in high school (and I was the teenage girl who actually loved it, not because it was a little book of lovey-dovey poems, but because it was a book of sonnets and I thought, how badass to sit around and write sonnets? FUCKING SONNETS? So your Byronic heroine did just that for a great long while after I graduated1).

If you’re not an English lit nerd, I’m referring to a collection of love poems written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning to the man that would eventually become her husband, Robert Browning. Reading the Sonnets, deeply and critically, truly informed my early notions of romantic love. There’s something quaint and lovely about the idea of composing love poetry during courtship, isn’t there? And here we settle for Facebook chats and kissing emoticons.

Love is in the air this week, at least, buzzing through the zeitgeist. It is Valentine’s Day on Friday. I had a discussion on facebook yesterday about this presumably “made up” holiday2. My daughter’s preschool class is having a party this week and she is required to either 1. Bring in NO Valentines or 2. Bring in a Valentine for EVERY KID. Which makes a lot of sense to me as a parent. Unfortunately, there is a little boy in her class who once threw wood chips at her on the playground, and the level of contempt she’s developed for this child has reached the limits of her generosity when it comes to scribbling her name across a red paper heart. She REFUSES to make this boy a card. Similarly, there is another boy in her class that constantly antagonizes her and she’s convinced she’s going to marry that one.

I find myself in the awkward position of forcing my child to sign a card that conveys a sentiment that she feels is untrue. You have to love this guy even though he’s a jerk! and then on the other hand, hoping that she won’t love the other guy, because frankly, he’s a jerk. Watered down, of course, to whatever kind of attachment a four-year-old can have to another.

Which reminds me that relationships are always tricky (as if I needed reminding). Matters of the heart are always complicated. And Love, as Ms. Browning so eloquently put it3, sometimes feels a lot like Death. But then, not being in love, being denied reciprocal love, being alone, or waiting on your lover can also feel super shitty. So there is an entire spectrum of human emotion that is born out of this chemical/reproductive/survivalist instinct that we have and a lot of it feels really awful4. Awesome. Let’s celebrate that with chocolates and flowers and diamonds.

Whether what holds you feels like a cherub or a reaper, I hope you’ll be easy on yourself this week. For myself, I try to follow the advice of a more modern wordsmith (and her Machine).

[quote]Just keep following
The heartlines on your hand
Cause I am.[/quote]

Come back tomorrow for Part II. We’ll actually look at some heartlines.


The simplest way of knowing

The most complex systems humankind can come up with, are in essence, made of Yeses and Nos. On and Off. The presence and absence of whatever. We are drawn to opposites. They make our minds light up with the desire to ease or inflame the resulting tensions. If the answer is Yes, we think in howevers. If the answer is No, we dream about perhaps. Whether we like it or not, in whatever reality we are basing our presence, something either Is or Isn’t (whether this is actually the case in an infinite universe, is a post for another day).

To divine is to know. It is to surmise an indication of future events. 

The simplest way of knowing is called Cleromancy. Throwing lots. There are many forms. This is perhaps the easiest. I will teach you now.

To begin, you will need a lot of things.

You can get ornate. An abalone shell full of stone beads, for example.

Some lots are more delicious than others…

I prefer my jar of lentils. I like the way my fingers feel when I dip them in a dish of dry grains.

The simplest way of knowing requires the simplest kinds of questions. Yes or No. This way or That way. Red pill or Blue pill. 

My daughter fractured her leg last week. She is going in for exrays on Monday and there is the slightest possibility she may get her cast off (there was disagreement over whether or leg was actually fractured, but the standard is to over-treat, especially for children). My question is, “Will Freyja get her cast off on Monday?”

Knowing your question, understand that 1 = Yes, 2 = No. That is, all odd numbers = 1 = Yes, all even numbers = 2 = No.

Don’t think about the next step too much, just do it. Experience it.

Scoop up some of your lot with your hand and place it in another dish or on the table.


And then count.

64. No, Freyja will not get her cast off on Monday. I’ll report back and let you know how it goes.

Now it’s your turn. Test the method as often as you can over the next week. In the comments here, on a blog post or facebook, cast your own lot. What was the result? Now report back when you can. Was your prediction correct?

Update: My prediction was true. She had to endure three more weeks in the cast.