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Charm Casting: The History of Charm Casting

There are many forms of divination, one of the oldest and most diverse being casting. Casting is a divination method in which small objects are assigned meanings, scattered or arranged across a surface, and then interpreted for spiritual messages. The objects used for casting will have designated meanings, but insight is also gathered from how and where these objects land on your divining space.

Runes, bones, sticks, stones, seashells, dice, coins, charms, and other small objects are the tools used for casting. Specific casting tools and practices can be found in the histories and traditions of many different cultures throughout the world. Below are just a few examples of specific casting tools with historical and contemporary significance.


Runes - The Futhark Runes are an ancient alphabet that was used in Germanic and Scandinavian countries before the adoption of the Latin alphabet. The symbols of the Futhark runes are connected to Norse mythology and belief, with each runic symbol representing a specific idea or power.

Bones - Bone casting, also known as ‘throwing bones,’ has origins in many cultures across Africa, Asia, the Americas, and the Mediterranean. One unique form of bone casting is Shagai, a Mongolian divination practice that uses four anklebones from a sheep or goat. Each of the four sides of the anklebones represent an animal: a horse, a sheep, a camel, or a goat. When cast, the animal combinations and positions of the bones are interpreted.

Staves - Wood is a popular material to make casting tools out of. Ogham Staves are a divination tool based on an ancient Celtic alphabet. The 20-25 symbols of the Celtic alphabet are representative of a specific tree and meaning. In some Ogham sets, each stave is made from the tree it represents.

Shells - Different shells have spiritual significance in many cultures. Divination using Cowrie Shells originated with the Yoruba people of West Africa. Cowrie Shells were specifically used in Obi divination, where four shells are cast and interpreted based on sixteen different possible outcomes.

Lots - You may have heard the term “casting lots” used to signify a decision made (seemingly) by chance. This practice can actually be connected to ancient Israel, where the casting of lots sometimes included arranging marked stones or broken pieces of pottery as a way to make decisions, selections, or interpret God’s will. A set of Lots may also refer to a divination set of 22 disks marked with the Hebrew alphabet.

Charms - The use of charms, trinkets, and found objects as casting tools can make for a very personal and unique form of divination. Charms can be natural or manmade objects than one finds, purchases, or creates. The important aspect of using charms for casting is only that the objects have a meaning, intention, or association that can be intuitively interpreted by the user.


Casting Supplies

In order to practice casting, the main components you will need are your set of objects, information about your chosen divination process, and a space to perform your casting. When visiting Downtown Tarot Company you can find books on many different casting methods, tools, and histories. One of the specific casting tools offered at Downtown Tarot are Futhark rune sets made of materials such as wood, crystal, and bone.

Downtown Tarot Company is also introducing their own Downtown Oracle: Charm Casting Kit next week! This exciting new product offers a unique and fun way to explore divination and self-discovery.

The kit comes with a jar containing 26 hand-crafted charms, each with its own unique design and symbol. The kit also includes detailed instructions on how to cast the charms and interpret the results. Whether you are a seasoned diviner or a beginner looking to try something new, this kit is sure to provide you with a fun and enlightening experience.

The Downtown Tarot Company's Charm Casting Kit is perfect for those who are looking for a new way to explore divination and self-discovery, or for those who simply want to add a unique and fun activity to their daily routine.

Downtown Tarot is also excited to announce our new Casting Cloths are in production, designed by our team. A casting cloth is a piece of fabric decorated with symbols, words, images, or grids. The purpose of a casting cloth is to aid in the process of interpretation when casting. Not all methods of casting require a casting cloth, but for methods that do, it is important to find the cloth that resonates with you. DTC Casting Cloths each feature a unique design template that includes sections for Past, Present, Future, Known and Unknown, and Yes, No, Maybe. Casting Cloths can be used with pendulums as well. We will be posting updates of their production on our social media!

For those looking to learn more about different forms of casting, in March 2023 DTC will be hosting an Introduction to Casting Class. This class offers an overview of the history of casting, different tools and methods of casting, and how to use casting in your divination practice. Visit our website to learn more about Introduction to Casting.

Crystal Fact of the Week

Leonardo da Vinci apparently believed that amethyst has the ability to sharpen intelligence and dispel evil thoughts. Yay amethyst!

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