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Traditional Bone Reading with Chicken Bones​

Updated: Apr 23, 2023

So you want to be Bone Reader? Before I go any further I would like to address a few misconceptions about reading the bones. They are: Real Bone Readers Didn't / Don't Read Chicken Bones- There are those who say that real (i.e. authentic) readers never used chicken bones for divination but rather possum bones were used instead. The reasoning for this seems to be due to the fact that possums are nocturnal creatures who are often spotted in graveyards and so they are more connected to spirits and the ancestors. This may also be due to the fact that in certain families or regions folks have an affinity, or connection, to possum and so they use their bones for divination. Naturally these beliefs get passed down through the generations, not only through the people who read the bones for also to the people whom they read for and as such information becomes more and more scarce the result is a belief that only possum bones were used to the exclusion of all other types of bones. In today's culture, for whatever reason, the chicken is associated with cowardice and being afraid. But you shouldn't be afraid to read the chicken bones. I would argue that the chicken has just as much connection to spirits and the ancestors, if not more, than that of the possum. It is no secret that in the religion of Voodoo, chickens were often used as part of a ritual sacrifice to appease the spirits and petition their favor. In the practice of Hoodoo, however, there are many roots (spells) that call for the use of chicken parts.

For example: Eggs - used in spiritual cleansing, cursing others, as container spells, etc....

Feathers - the feathers of hens can be tied together and used like a whisk broom to sweep over the body for spiritual cleansing and to remove unnatural illness and other messes; they are also sometimes included in mojo bags for protection as well as in the making of doll babies for good or evil.

Chicken Foot - due to the fact that chickens often scratch and dig up things in one's yard (such as hidden roots or spells laid to cross you) the dried and preserved foot of the chicken is a powerful root (talisman) carried for protection; alternately a chicken foot can be hung on the rear view mirror of your car or hung in your home for protection.

Bones - other than divination, most folks may be familiar with the 'crossbones' amulet made famous by Ray Marlborough in his book Charms, Spells, and Formulas and which are made from the two bones of a chicken wing and is which is carried for protection. The chicken was a very valuable commodity to our ancestors. A lot of time, energy, and resources went into their care and feeding so every part of the chicken was used in some way, nothing went to waste which accounts for dishes such as neck-bone stew and fried well as throwing the chicken bones to foretell the future. You Can't Learn To Read Bones from a Book, Website, Class etc... This is both true and false, I say that this is both true and false because you actually can learn about bone reading from a book, class, or website but you can only truly learn bone reading by putting what you learn into practice. Like other forms of divination, however, such as the tarot, playing cards, astrology, etc... you have to have a certain amount of talent for reading the bones. Another aspect to bone reading includes a strong relationship with one's ancestors as it is believed that it is the ancestors who are speaking to you through the bones. ​Obtaining Your Bones One benefit of reading chicken bones is that they are easily obtainable. A cooked hen purchased at my local grocery store. Before I explain the bones and their individual meanings, I would like to describe the process used for preparing them. 1) First, the hen was fully cooked and all meat which could be consumed had been eaten the remaining carcass and bones were boiled in a large pot of salted water for approximately two hours and then allowed to cool. 2) The bones which are intended to use were gently removed and washed in tepid water with a stiff brush to remove any remaining meat or cartilage which was honestly very little after the process of boiling. 3) Then placed the bones in a large mason jar of water along with some dish soap. The bones remained in the jar for a week and shake the jar once every morning and again at night. This is done to extract any remaining grease / oil from the bones. 4) Then the bones were placed in a bowl of peroxide for 24 - 48 hours to bleach and whiten them. It should be noted that you should never actually use bleach to whiten your bones because it will cause the bones to break down over time. 5) Next, the bones taken out of the peroxide and rinsed in cool water. Then they were laid on a dry cloth and spritzed with Florida Water before being laid out in the sun to dry.

The Bones & their Meanings 9 bones are used. It should be noted at the outset that there are two leg bones as well as two wing bones used here. However, one of each type of bone has been broken and has a different meaning that those of the whole, intact bones. The bones and the corresponding meanings are as follows: Whole Wing - Travel by air, communication, messages, healing, freedom, happiness, improvement in one's condition.

Broken Wing - Lack of movement or improvement on an issue or condition, delay, stagnation, sickness, disease, injury.

Whole Leg - Travel by land. Forward motion, stability, support, getting off on the "right" foot.

Broken Leg - False start, delay, setbacks, slow progress, lack of support, instability

Wishbone - Wishes, dreams, hopes, goals, luck (good or bad) possible gift or a windfall.

Neck Bone - Poverty, loss, fear, bad choices but also influence (the head is the seat of consciousness, but the neck turns the head in any direction it desires).

Rib Bone - Limitations, blockages, restraint, struggle, entrapment

Thigh Bone - Spirit, spirits, spirituality, ancestors, endurance, spiritual trials, one's gifts.

Breast Bone - Love, creativity, romance, the heart's desire, friendship, beauty, one's passions In some instances, with a little imagination, the bones may suggest specific symbols such as a desk, car, or tree. In these instances such symbols are read in accordance with your own understanding of them. For example a car may suggest movement; or a tree may represent slow growth, strength, health, etc…In other cases the bones may form a letter or number that, when brought to the attention of the seeker, may hold some specific meaning of consequence. Adding to Your Bone Set In addition to the bones listed above, which may be harvested from a whole hen fryer, you may wish to add additional bones to your bone set. Below is a brief list of bones which you may wish to add. ​Small Skull- A skull would represent your thought, where you head is, or where you attention is directed (look to where the skull is facing for clues).

Nutmeg- Nuts are associated with money.

Skeleton Key- A key would represent opportunities, the removal of obstacles, opening the way, etc..

Jaw Bone- This bone would represent communication and speech.

Cowrie Shell- Shells represent emotions of all kinds.

Dice- The force of luck, good or bad. The number that falls face up is often significant and relates to the question or the person asking the question.

Eve Eye Bead- Negativity, jealousy, evil intentions, etc... ​​Reading the Bones Traditionally, the bones are tossed inside a circle drawn in the dirt. This circle is often divided into four equal quadrants called the Crossroads. When reading the bones the four areas may be designed for various aspects of life such as love, money, health, and the unknown. Alternately the bones may be tossed onto a specially marked cloth on which the Crossroads have been embroidered. Some folks even toss the bones of a plain white or red-cloth and either read the bones intuitively, being led by spirit, or by imagining the crossroads in their mind. When read the bone or bones which fall in the center of the Crossroads often represent the central issue, heart of the matter at hand, or the strongest prevailing issue or condition in the life of the seeker at that moment. As you move further away from the center of the Crossroads you move further out in time either into the past or the future.

​Bone Scrying Bone Scrying is an aspect of bone-reading that not all bone readers practice. It involves the interpretation of the patterns in which the bones fall despite the individual meaning of the bone itself. In those instances that a bone reader observes such patterns, it is one of the first things the reader will look at before interpreting the individual bones and their relationships to one another. Bone Scrying is highly intuitive and one is said to be led in this by the spirit of the bones themselves. Some common patterns are as follows: Upright Triangle- When the bones form an upright triangle it is indicative of growth and manifestation of something. The bones that form the triangle will give an indication of what is growing or manifesting.

Reversed Triangle- A reversed, or upside down triangle means some influence or condition is shrinking away.

T- Shape- This pattern indicates blockages. The energy of one bone is blocking another. Parallel Lines- Bones that form parallel lines (like an equal sign) indicate a balance between the energies represented by the bones

X - Shape- Bones that form an X indicate a strong wish; the bones the form this pattern can either work with one another or against one another depending on what they are.

Vertical Lines- Vertical Lines are masculine and dynamic. They represent a yes answer.

Horizontal Lines- These lines are feminine and receptive. They represent a no answer.

Diagonal Lines- Diagonal lines represent separation. Look to the bones on either side to see what is being separated.

Horseshoe- When the bones form a U-Shape, or horseshoe, it represent good luck; but when the U is upside down it represents the loss of luck. ​Bone Relationships When thrown, the bones are not only read in relation to where they fall within the circle and by the patterns they create when they fall, but also in relation to one another. In this way, the meaning of a bone in a reading may expand, diminish, or other wise be altered according to its relationship to other bones. For example:

Wing + Thigh = a message from the ancestors, guides Wish Bone + Wing = a wish comes true Wish Bone + Broken Wing = your wish will not come to pass Neck Bone + Breast Bone = the end of a relationship Wish Bone + Breast Bone = a new relationship Breast Bone + Wing = love of travel Broken Wing + Rib Bone = crossed conditions, being kept down Rib Bone + Wing Bone = freedom from restriction, spiritual cleansings, removal of curses. Thigh Bone + Breast Bone = Spirit of Love Thigh Bone + Neck Bone = Spirit of Loss, and Poverty Thigh Bone + Wish Bone = Spirit of Increase, Abundance These are just a few example of how the bones can be read together to bring an added dimension to your bone readings.

Make sure to check the blog: Bone Reading: A basic guide

Please check out my website and go to the wicked reads to find your next book to purchase and make sure to subscribe on my website to be a wicked subscriber and get free printable and readable pdf downloads and more!

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