What is bibliomancy?

What is bibliomancy?

by Lindsay on February 15, 2012

in Intuition, Paranormal

Photo credit: YeahYeah Photography

“Divination tools are like training wheels to intuition” – Slade Roberson

Ouija boards (like we talked about last week) are just one divination tool you can use to tap into the spiritual world. Although I wouldn’t recommend it.

Here’s another divination tool (and an equally weird word!) – and it’s one that’s not scary. Bibliomancy.

I’ve always had a love for books — they open us to new ideas, spark our imaginations, take us to places we’ve never been, across centuries. My bookshelf is stacked with everything from historical fiction to my Angel Numbers books. Aside from teaching us and helping us grow, books can also be used as a divination tool! Who knew?!

Bibliomancy is a form of divination in which you seek spiritual insight by randomly selecting a passage of a book. It’s also very easy to do: Ask a question. Pick up a book. Thumb through the pages, stopping at a randomly chosen page. Without looking at the page, poke your finger anywhere on it. Read what your finger landed on. There’s your answer.

Bibliomancy has been in practice for over 3000 years. In fact, the Ancient Greeks often used Homer’s Iliad or Odyssey for guidance. In the middle ages, Virgil’s Aeneid was a popular choice. The I Ching and the Bible have also been used in more recent times.

You don’t have to use a sacred text or the Iliad to practice bibliomancy, though. Any book will do! Well, all except perhaps “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell”

Having trouble choosing which book to practice with? You might want to close your eyes and run your fingertips along the spines on the shelves until you feel a subtle change in your sense of touch signal for you to pick that book.

Once you’ve picked a book, take a moment to ground yourself and connect with Spirit. Take a few deep breaths, think of your question, and pray for Divine guidance. Then close your eyes as you hold the book on its spin and allow it to fall open. You can also run your fingers along the pages and let them guide you to a page. There’s no right or wrong way.

Keeping your eyes closed, use your finger to guide you intuitively to a place on the open page. Open your eyes and read the word, sentence or paragraph: voila! Your answer.

Since we’re talking about it, I decided to practice some bibliomancy for the readers of today’s article (you!). I walked to my bookshelf, closed my eyes and pulled “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson. Here’s the sentence my finger landed on:

If this book has a lesson, it is that we are awfully lucky to be here – and by “we” I mean every living thing. To attain any kind of life in this Universe appears to be quite an achievement.


Have you ever practiced bibliomancy? Would you like to try? Experiment and let us know in the comments what you get! 

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Julie February 16, 2012 at 11:10 am

I did this ALL the time as a kid, usually using my Mom’s books. She had a great selection on dreams, numerology, psychology, Tarot, and astrology. In retrospect, it’s no wonder I ended up this way!

I didn’t know there was a name for it, though!

My Dad tells a great story of one day decades ago when he and my Mom had the family bible out (not a common occurrence as neither are religious), and they must have been grappling with some issue. One said to the other, “I wonder what M would say about this?” (my father’s mother, who had passed). My Mom put her finger blindly on a passage in the bible, and apparently it hit the nail on the head. Both of them were shocked, surprised and amazed by the incident.

Lindsay February 16, 2012 at 11:26 am

You got an early start as a kid! And I didn’t know your Mom was into this sort of thing — how cool! No wonder you are this way. Your Mom must’ve been really intuitive too, eh?

Love the Bible story, btw. 🙂

67 Not Out - Mike Perry February 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I remember doing this years ago and was often surprised with the results. Nowadays I do something similar if I’m looking for something to write as a blog post. Pick a book at random, open it up where it feels right, let a finger roam and see if there is something useful there to get the mind on track.

Lindsay February 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Mike that is a fantastic idea! Writing a weekly blog post is no easy task. Actually, the biggest challenge for me is picking what topic to write about. I’ll use your method next week! 🙂

D'Arci Redditt February 16, 2012 at 11:10 pm

I loved your article. I (like Julie) used to do this all the time with my twin sister, but we never knew there was a name for it, either. I remember our mom showed us this.

Thanks for sharing such great info!

Going to forward this along to my family:)

Lindsay February 17, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Seems like quite a few people have been doing this and didn’t know there was a name for it – so cool! You guys are lucky to have such a cool mom.

Thanks for sharing this, D’Arci!

Ängry umlÄut May 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I liked doing this with a dictionary…it was very eerily accurate too. Allows for room for interpretation as words often have slightly different meanings based on context. This is helpful when a book is hard to choose. Also..tucker max! Oh lord how i loathe that individual misongynist personified!

Lynne May 15, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Add me to the list of people who thought they invented this. I did this for a while as a teen when I wanted to ask the Universe if some guy liked me. It’s the same as asking the Magic 8 Ball (remember that thing.). Well, then for decades I stopped asking for signs but lately I’ve been doing so again. I think I believe in it more now than in high school.

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