Once in a while, a non-tarot tool for divination (i.e. knowing our divine self), insight, and consciousness comes along and catches my attention. Recently, I came across the Gifting Bones by Jesse Wolf Hardin who teaches at the Anima Center in New Mexico. I love the Gifting Bones! Hardin suggests that one could think of them as contemporary Gaian runes.
Within the accompanying drawstring bag lie 18 ceramic “bones”. There’s a symbol on each side, one red (active, overt, in motion, catalysing, etc.) and one black (receptive, inner, still, silent, etc.). Neither symbol is inherently good nor bad, but rather each is an aspect of the same spectrum of meaning. Pairings include names like Song & Silence, Feast & Fast, Molt & Armor, Humor & Gravity, Migration & Home. The tactile enjoyment of the Bones is an additional dimension to the experience of consulting them — so smooth and holdable.
Hardin roots the Gifting Bones in Nature. His approach to consulting them is very appealing to me, because it’s grounded in choice, presence, potentials, and relatedness. The creator/author suggests that one pick four bones to represent relationship to self, relationship to other people, relationship to Nature/Earth, and relationship to Spirit/Mystery/Wholeness. One receives a multi-dimensional view of one’s life and situation(s), rippling from the personal to the transpersonal. Of course, I intend to employ my own layouts with the Bones, even though Hardin’s way is wholistic and deeply satisfying. A session with them feels very much like being in council with all the beings.
Here’s a reading that I did with the Gifting Bones about themselves:
- What is the nature of your relationship with yourself? GRAVITY. The Bones take themselves seriously as agents of transformation and empowerment. They respect the authenticity of who they are.
- What is the nature of your relationship with human people? DISPERSAL. The Bones apportion themselves to people according to the needs of those people in the moment. Each bag of Gifting Bones travels to those who need it most.
- What is the nature of your relationship with Nature/Earth? FEAST. The Bones feast on the bounteous beauty of Nature. They are ambassadors of Earth’s plenty and generosity.
- What is the nature of your relationship with Spirit/Wholeness? HUMILITY. The Bones serve Spirit fully and profoundly. They are in awe of the Infinite Mystery and they surrender their self-respect, service, and generosity to the Whole.
Jesse Wolf Hardin sends background and interpretive notes upon receiving one’s order for the Gifting Bones. You can order your own set of these by scrolling close to the bottom of the Anima Center’s books & music page. May your relationship with them be dedicated to the well-being of all of life. Blessed be.