19.4.13

Urim and Thumhim Dice: Theurgic Divination


If there is one thing that I have come to appreciate as an initiate in Afro-cuban religion it's the importance of 'analogue' yes/no style divination when dealing with spirits. Especially when dealing with questions that have some emotional charge associated with them. I find it essential to have an additional communication tool that cannot be influenced (either consciously or unconsciously) by the desires and expectations of the operator (me) to use in tandem with mediumistic and visionary communication. This kind of divination also gives very satisfying 'closure' on various questions that would otherwise remain troublingly ambiguous, thus providing clarity in confirmation. I find that this brings a certain tangibility that's very important for satisfying the rational mind when doing spirit work. This has led me to experimenting with various tools in theurgic work because although scrying is great for receiving chunks of information, there are times when you need some solid, accessible yes/no divination when dealing with angels and spirits during a conjuration - even if it is just to confirm what you have seen in the crystal as been understood correctly.

I toyed with the idea of adapting my obi shells to the task but since I use those on a daily basis to communicate with a very particular order of spirits in my ATR practice, I wasn't comfortable appropriating that tool. For one thing I didn't want to get the 'wires crossed' when attempting to divine with planetary angels and spirits during a conjuration and inadvertently get a muerto on the line. I've tried various systems of astragals in my goetic conjurations with some success but to be honest compared to the obi they just do not work all that well, spitting out too many nonsensical answers when all I want is a yay or a nay. Pendulum is out since I just don't trust its 'objectivity', and coin flipping lacks the nuance that I like so much in the obi. And believe me with yes/no queries nuance is the name of the game. You would be surprised at the detail one can receive if you are skilled at using the obi.

I finally was inspired to create my own method by combining astragals (in this case six sided dice), and the functionality of the obi with an idea out of the old testament. And so were born the Urim and Thumhim dice! There are various theories about what the Urim and Thumhim were, exactly, but most seem to agree the it was a priestly yes/no oracle consisting of two objects; probably two stones, two images, or even sacred dice - manipulated in some way by the priest to talk to God. Each object providing either a "yes" or "no" answer respectively based on the outcome of the procedure; hence Urim and Thumhim. I find the whole subject quite fascinating. And biblical symbolism is always very pleasing to me. The Urhim and Thumhim dice method below is specifically designed to operate with the Art of Drawing Spirits Into Crystals, since this is the grimoire that I am using for angelic work.  The Urim and Thumhim dice system could conceivably be used with any system of crystalomancy or scrying, however. I have never tried, though.

The Table of Practice


All that is needed is a pair of black and white six sided dice. It would be wise to consecrate these using the appropriate prayers and fumigations. If you wanted to get astrological you could buy them at your local game shop on the day and hour of mercury. I also exorcise my dice at the beginning of each conjuration using an adapted version of the prayer out of The Art of Drawing Spirits Into Crystals, by sprinkling some holy water and then laying my hand on them, saying:

Heavenly Father, just as You proclaimed “put the Urim and the Thumhim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron’s heart whenever he enters the presence of the Lord. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the Lord"*; so too, let these inanimate creatures of God, now be sanctified and consecrated as the Urim and Thumhim were; and blessed to this purpose, of revealing only true answers of the celestial intelligences and spirits descending here in this crystal. May this always be faithfully revealed, so that I may know "yes" from "no" just as surely as God divided light from darkness and night from day. In the name of the blessed and Holy Trinity be hereby duly consecrated that no evil phantasy may answer in thee; or, if they do gain ingress into this oracle, they may be constrained to answer intelligibly, and truly, and without the least ambiguity, for Christ's sake. Amen. 

*It may be appropriate to hold the dice over ones heart during the recitation of the verse to further align this biblical resonance in ritual.

Using the Urim and Thumhim dice:

The system is simplicity itself. Frame a question for the spirit whom you have conjured into the crystal making sure that it can answered with a "yes" or "no".  Shake and throw the dice on the table of practice. The die with the highest number gives you the answer. The higher the roll the stronger the answer. At a glance: if the black die's number is the highest then the answer will be a  "NO". If the white die is higher, then "YES". However, there is more nuance available by interpreting the the number of the highest roll.

White Die:

  1. "Unsure" - think about the question carefully, reformulate it for clarity and ask again to confirm.
  2. Provisional "yes", contingent on certain factors: scry in the crystal to receive a vision as to what these factors may be, and then ask more questions to confirm. (In other words "Yes, IF…")
  3. Yes, but caution is needed there is some risks/challenges involved.
  4. Yes
  5. Definitely, yes (you know this already)!
  6. Yes, with blessings from God. All will be well, you are guided in this.


Black Die:

  1. "Unsure" - think about the question carefully, reformulate it for clarity and ask again to confirm.
  2. Circumstantial "no" - based on prevailing factors. Ask more questions to find out what these circumstances are (practical, astrological, psychological etc).
  3. No, this question is of little concern or relevance.
  4. No
  5. Definitely NOT (you know this already)! 
  6. Danger, NO! Warning, Warning, Warning. (drip a little bit of holy water on the dice to 'cool' them when you receive a six)

When the values on both dice are the same (a tie), I take this to mean that the spirit is "unsure" - think about the question carefully, reformulate it for clarity and roll again to confirm.

Rolling a two on either die provides the spirit with an important opportunity to guide you in the right direction. On the white die a two tells you that the answer is a yes, provided you follow the spirits advice carefully. It's now up to you to further scry or divine said advice. On the black die a two tells us that the answer is "no" because of some salient matter influencing things as they stand (usually hindering); further scrying and divination then should offer a solution as to how to turn a "no" into a "yes", since there is the implication that it's just circumstantial. Rolling lower than one isn't possible, naturally. Resultantly, the meaning of a one is the same as that of a tie (since the only time you would read it is during a tie). As with a tie if you take a moment to think about the question, you will usually realise that you asked something that could not be answered with a "yes" or "no"; or, that the question itself was somehow confusing and needs further clarification. Keep it specific and to the point - just as you would with say a horary or geomantic chart.

7 comments:

  1. Balthazar,

    Thanks for your posting.
    The "Art of Drawing Spirits Into Crystals" sounds interesting, but seems beyond where I am as a novice mage. And could you please explain what that is in the picture above the picture of the die?

    I, too,am looking for a basic and trustworthy yes/no divination practice.

    Do you think I could use the black and white die in the way you recommended without a spirit drawn into the crystal. Or might I simply/cleanse consecrate a crystal and roll the die in its vicinity? I'd appreciate any thoughts--thanks.

    William McGillis

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  2. Good question William. You could adapt this to work without the table of practice and crystal (which is what is shown in the photo above the dice). An easy way would be to add a pebble or precious stone of some sort (of the same size as a die) and the cast all three objects - interpreting the die landing closest to the stone. In fact, I experimented with this 'standalone' method of the system and it works well. Having said that, I am a believer that divination works through the power of a spirit; in the method outlined in this post it's the spirit called into the crystal that is answering the question. Taking this into account you may want to cultivate a connection to a spirit guide or some other spirit or deity and then pose your question to that entity when rolling the adapted method I suggest in this response. Let me know how it works for you.

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  3. Balthazar,

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Sorry to pepper you with basic questions, but I have just one more, and this topic is quite interesting to me!

    I think I will experiment with the standalone method that you mentioned, but I also like what you said about divination working "through the power of the a spirit." I was wondering if you might suggest possible spirit guides, spirits, or deities with whom one might cultivate a connection and who might be good partners in divinatory work.

    Thanks again,

    William

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  4. William, that's a big question - and probably beyond the scope of a single blog comment... What I will say, putting my spiritist hat on for the moment, is that everyone has various spiritual guides assigned to them when they incarnate. These are elevated spirits of the dead, whose mission it is to guide you in various ways. So you almost certainly already have a guide (or two) that will potentially help you with your divination - you just need to establish contact and them strengthen that contact gradually. It isn't an overnight thing, but more of a process. There are various schools of practice that may be applicable. I am a Kardecian spiritist working in a creolised tradition called espiritismo cruzado, for instance - therefor this is the tradition that I use to contact and relate to my guides. There are numerous spiritualist, shamanic and new age alternatives to this topic - and some are better than others - so choose wisely, is all I can say. You could of course try using the Trithemian system to which the method above is grafted - and talk to angels instead of spirit guides. It isn't as complicated as it looks. Check out Frater Rufus Opus's website and e-books, he offers numerous accessible avenues study of the system. http://www.rufusopus.com/

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  5. Absolutely beautiful method! Will be performing this once a day for next 7 days to gauge effectiveness. I will write a blog post detailing my week long session with it and any results I find interesting and will link to the blog post here... with your permission of course :) Thanks again!

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  6. Glad to hear you found this interesting Matthew. I look forward to your post!

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