How To Make And Use A Powerful Bone Throwing Divination Set

Witchcraft and divination often go hand in hand. I can vividly remember my first exposure to tarot reading and being entranced as I learned to read and feel the cards. Some witches prefer oracle cards, or tea leaf reading, or pendulum dowsing. These are all amazing divination methods, but there’s one type of divination that I don’t see all that frequently in the modern craft: Bone Throwing.

It may seem like an archaic and very dated way of peering into the future, but throwing the bones can provide some unique benefits to witches that other methods can lack. This form of divination gets you really in touch with your inner voice, the psychic part of yourself that just knows and simply needs a little nudge to unlock your true potential. 

What Are Throwing Bones?

Throwing bones are essentially just a set of tools used to divine the future. They usually consist of bones (obviously), shells, trinkets, and other such miscellanies. No two bone-throwing sets will be the same. Each witch crafts and collects their bones based on their throwing style and often a set will change significantly over time.

Each piece of the set has a meaning, but the meaning of the individual pieces is not as important as how the pieces relate to each other. How they fall, where they touch, the distance or lack thereof of each piece comes together to form a narrative that helps to illuminate the question that the caster has asked.

Many people avoid bone throwing because it seems like a difficult form of divination to learn. It seems very intuitive and not terribly concrete and a lot of people are used to the fairly cut and dry meanings that you can find in beginners tarot books. While bone throwing is certainly more interpretive and intuitive than other forms of divination, it’s not difficult to learn. The creation process is actually the most vital step of learning to use them. It familiarizes you with your set and unlocks a deeper connection with your tools than you may have been able to build with commercial divination tools.

Throwing Bones: The Pros & Cons

That said, bone throwing isn’t for everyone. Here’s a quick rundown of why you may, or may not, want to give bone throwing a try.


1. Throwing bone sets are entirely personal. As you’ll see below, there’s a standard set that I recommend you begin with, but from there you can add and remove pieces, make things up, and adjust to your liking in any way you see fit. There’s no right or wrong way for your bone set to be! 

2. Bone throwing is also an excellent way to harness psychic power if you just don’t quite know how to tap into it. This method of divination will help you access those deeper psychic messages and improve your intuition massively.

3. There’s also something to be said for how straight-up badass this form of divination feels. It can help you to connect with the earth, with past generations of witches, and with your primal nature. This is a tool made from what you have available, natural items, hand-me-down trinkets, and such. It’s shaped by your reality and your circumstances and that is something that is often lost in a digital age. If you sometimes find yourself struggling to connect with the physical, human part of your spiritual self, bone-throwing can feel like a revelation.


1. Bone throwing can be a fairly volatile form of divination. If you’re not in the right headspace, are having a particularly “blocked up” day psychically, or the bones simply don’t like your question, you may get no answer at all! Thankfully, it’s usually easy to tell when this happens. A reading will feel flat and uninspired at times like this and you’ll know to put the bones away for another time.

2. If you’re not someone who has a psychic side, this kind of divination might never work for you. Now, I want to make it clear here that I firmly believe that EVERYONE has psychic capabilities, but only some people know how to access them. Some people have blocked these abilities since childhood. Some people have been told that their intuition is silly and not worth listening to. Others have discounted their imagination so many times that they think that any idea not directly related to physical reality is fake. And many of them don’t realize it! If you don’t have any kind of psychic capabilities right now and would like to learn, I fully believe that it IS possible to learn that skill, and bone throwing might be a great tool to help you work through those barriers.

3. Bone throwing sets can be quite delicate. This can make them a little more difficult to travel with and a lot harder to read in public spaces (it’s not fun to have a bone go skittering across a crowded floor to potentially be stepped on and crushed!) If you do a lot of divination in public spaces or you travel a lot, it might be hard to keep a set of throwing bones intact. There are ways to mitigate damage while traveling, but if you’re in this boat, you may want to consider making your set with sturdiness in mind.

How To Collect & Create Your Own Bone Set

Creating your own set of throwing bones should be a fun, intuitive process. It may be something you do all in one afternoon, but more than likely, this process will take you a bit longer. Once you start, the pieces tend to just find their way to you. You may start with 3 pieces, or 5, but as you go about your regular life, you’ll start noticing things that just beg to be added to your set. People will drop by with strange gifts for you, you’ll find odd items that call to you, and before you know it, your bone-throwing set will be complete.

So what kind of items are you looking for? Even though I am calling this a bone-throwing set, the items don’t all have to be bones. In fact, if you feel squeamish about it, you don’t have to include any bones! For me, collecting feathers and bones and pretty rocks was always a favorite pass time but you might lean another way. Perhaps you love seashells or you have a collection of antique trinkets. You can include things like buttons, bits of driftwood, bottle caps, crystals, carved wood figures, and pretty much anything else you can think of. The main criteria should be whether it speaks to you.

Does it feel right in your set?

Each item will represent something in your set. You will need to choose one bone to represent yourself (this should be comparatively a bit larger than the rest). What meanings you attach to each bone are up to you, below is a list of what I’ve included in my set in the past but if you do not want some of these, or you feel that you need some that are not represented here then feel free to change things up to suit your preferences. Just make sure you have enough pieces with a wide enough array of meanings so that you can get more detailed readings and not be left grasping at straws.

 My own bone throwing set. The cloth I’ve created for them is simply a black handkerchief with gold spray painted on it.
My own bone throwing set. The cloth I’ve created for them is simply a black handkerchief with gold spray painted on it.

Bone Ideas:

  1. The self
  2. Health
  3. Wealth
  4. Family
  5. Love
  6. Magic
  7. Yes (or as I prefer to call it, the green light bone)
  8. No
  9. Evil/Bad intentions
  10. Male
  11. Female (these gender bones are useful when you don’t know who is involved in a situation and want clarification)
  12. One/Many (this should be a two-sided item)
  13. Truth (this shows your heart’s true desires)
  14. Other (for if you want to read for someone else)
  15. Fated or Decision (another two-sided item indicating whether you can change the situation)

My current set does not have all of these pieces and yours doesn’t have to have every single one either. If you want what I would consider the absolute basic set, use numbers 1-6, 9, 10, 11, & 13. That’s 10 pieces and will give nice detailed readings without taking forever to collect each piece.

Please take your time with the finding process. If it falls together quickly, that’s great, but if it’s going slowly, don’t rush it. There’s nothing worse than a bone set that isn’t cohesive and won’t give a straight reading. Save yourself the frustration, give the process plenty of time, and trust your intuition when it says, “Ooh! That’s it!”

If you like, you can consecrate the bones to their purpose, but I have always found that they simply know. Those pieces that find their way into my set are meant to be there and are well aware of their purpose. 

When you have all of your pieces and you’re ready to begin learning to use them, you’ll also need a throwing cloth. This is a piece of cloth with markings on it to help the reader identify how important each piece is.

The basic setup is a cloth with two circles on it, one inside the other. The smaller circle is everything that’s directly involved, inside the larger circle are things indirectly involved, and everything that falls outside of that isn’t a factor. My throwing cloth is simply a black cloth with a gold halo spray-painted on it. Things that fall inside the circle are relevant, inside the halo area are vaguely related, and outside the halo are irrelevant. Feel free to play with this basic setup, try different styles, or make up your own. Remember, this divination set should be completely yours!

It’s also a good idea to have a bag or a box to keep all the pieces together when you’re not using them. Lost pieces can throw off an entire reading.

When you’re ready to begin using your set, it’s time to start digging deep and finding your psychic self. Don’t worry though, we’re going to take this step by step.

Begin by setting up your cloth on a soft surface. Very hard surfaces can cause pieces to go bouncing away. I generally read on a carpeted floor or a yoga mat.

Set the self bone in the very center of your cloth. Take the rest of your set in your hands (or a bowl, whatever you prefer) and focus on your question or the situation you would like illuminated. You can toy with the bones, shake them a bit in your hands or let them pour from one hand to the other if it helps.

When you’re ready, cast the bones onto the cloth. This can take some practice. You may find that when you first start everything falls in a clump all in one spot or you may find that you send most of the pieces flying off the cloth. Try it as many times as you need to get comfortable throwing the bones so that they spread out on the cloth but not off the cloth, though one or two pieces flying off the cloth can be indicative of things that are REALLY not involved.

Now comes the part that I cannot teach, this part you must learn through experience. Reading the bones is a bit different for everybody. Observe how the bones fall, make sure you know which piece represents what meaning, and then simply let your mind fall blank. Don’t overthink it. Don’t try to figure out what it says. Just be still. Listen and wait. See if anything comes up. Is there a narrative playing out in your head that matches the bones? Can you “feel” what some bones are trying to convey? Do you have a thought persistently nagging at you? Pay attention to these things. They might very well be your intuition telling you the messages that the bones are giving you.

If you don’t feel anything at first, it’s ok. Like any magical skill, this one can take time to get right. Experiment, work at it regularly, and pay attention. Half of psychic intuition is simply learning to be aware of the messages you’re receiving. And of course, have fun!

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Updated on June 18, 2024 by Avery Hart


    • Same, my friend. I’ve carried my set in my pocket for years and years, slowly adding a piece, or removing one, whatever felt right. I never threw my “bones” but a reach into my pocket to see how they lay always helped me to make choices and put my mind at ease. I was shocked to read about throwing bones, and realize how fitting my set already was.

  1. Excellent post!! I too have been collecting trinkets, stones, bones my whole life! This will be great to try.

  2. Thank you so much you have made my devination journey meaningful.
    Kindly give more information if possible because I’m starting my journey in devination.

  3. I love every email I get from you! It makes me feel OKAY to be Me. This last post on throwing the bones thrilled me to my core! Like many others I have collected special items over the years to put on my little alter! Thank you. I now will spend a day looking at my items and attaching a meaning to them. I am good at reading Angel Cards but this is a step deeper into my spiritual journey! Thank you thank you!

  4. I enjoy throwing the bones and quite like it that it has not been streamlined like a lot of the craft. I enjoy Oracle for a quick answer, Tarot for a guidance on where you are and could be going, but Bones; when I throw them it is more about what is under your skin, your inner-self, your prana and who you are. A lovely article
    and fair. It’s not for everyone.

  5. Okay have been collecting bones and other trinkets my entire life. I am very excited to go through my home and collections to find the pieces that feel right to me and start working on this. Thank you for explaining it all so beautifully

  6. This is *great*. Thanks so, so much for your super clearly written article that made it easy for me to finally place the links between things. Awesome 🖤 ✨

  7. very informative. thank you
    I found a ton of bones and I am trying to figure out what to do with them lol

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