Magic Words: A Dictionary
Upmanship Tricks: Secrets of One-Upping Magicians
The Pencil Witch
Seance Parlor Feng Shui
The Care and Feeding of a Spirit Board
Divination By Punctuation
Heirs to the Queen of Hearts: Tracing Magical Genealogy
How to Believe in Your Elf
The Skeleton Key of Solomon
The One Minute Mystic
The Egyptian Secrets in Your Name
The Original Cloudbuster (iOS App)
Oracle of the Two-Fold Gods
The Young Wizard's Hexopedia
Of Feeding & Caring For Sheet Ghosts
ESP Symbols: An Entire Language For Psychic Spies?
Of Drinking in Remembrance of the Dead
Nostradamus Predicted Your Next Diet
How to Hoodoo Hack a Yearbook
Magic Archetypes
Astragalomancy: A Loaded Guide
The JINX Companion
Machinarium Verbosus
A Field Guide to Identifying Unicorns by Sound
The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine
Trump L'Oeil: Tarot of Portmeirion
The Magician's Hidden Library: Select a book to read online or get one for your shelf
Unique resources to inspire pure wonder and awe
Astragalomancy book cover

Astragalomancy: A Loaded Guide
Intriguing Readings of 21 Discrete Dice Throws

Dice Duality There is perhaps no better way to conjure up the spirit of great antiquity than to roll dice.  The very ancient game of throwing knucklebones dates back to the Trojan War (ca. 1194–1184 BCE), if we are to take Sophocles’ word.  The original knucklebone was technically a bone in a sheep’s ankle, the astragalus, hence divination by astragalomancy.

The great Greek philosopher Plato traced dice even farther back, to the ibis-headed Egyptian god Thoth, inventor of magic and writing and science, divine arbitrator, judge of the dead, and maintainer of the universe.  Plato himself played dice not only with cubes but also tetrahedrons, octahedrons, dodecahedrons, and icosahedrons — the famous “Platonic solids” of geometry.  Plato said, “God geometrizes,” and that’s a key to why dice have always been associated with divination — the geometric solids, as building blocks of the universe, embody truths on higher planes.

Over the centuries, several rules have been associated with throwing dice for divination.  “However, it is entirely a matter of personal choice whether these are followed or ignored.  Many of these rules are arbitrary and were probably developed to add mystery and significance to divination by dice.  Do not be afraid to develop your own guidelines, nor to be completely spontaneous, using the dice in different ways according to your instincts at the time.  Trusting your instincts is the best way to get a good reading.”

  • Platonic Solids Tumbling Through Time
  • The Spirit of This System
  • How to Begin
  • 21 Discrete Dice Combinations
  • Using Blank Dice For a Weirder Approach
  • Desiging Blank Dice for a Customized Approach

About the Author

Craig Conley is a magic enthusiast and scholar.  Recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation,” his intensive and eccentric research has led him to compile a true masterwork entitled Magic Words: A Dictionary.  He has also authored One-Letter Words: A Dictionary, among other strange and unusual lexicons, and is a regular columnist for Pentacle magazine.  Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time.  He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan.  His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size.

Featured Works:
  • Magic Words: A Dictionary
  • Magic Archetypes: The Art Behind the Science of Conjuring
  • The Skeleton Key of Solomon
  • The Collected Oldest Trick(s) in the Book(s)
  • Esoteric Articles
  • Trump L’Oeil: Tarot of Portmeirion

    Published Works
    Published Works by Craig Conley

  • Online Resources

  • Jeff McBride’s
  • Eugene Burger’s
  • Rebuilding a Mystery
  • Abecedarian blog
  • Magic Words blog
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