If you have not done so already, you will soon discover that rootwork, like other kinds of folk magic, is almost impossible without some kind of divination for diagnosis and assessment. That’s not to say you can’t make things happen without a reading first, but it’s like trying to drive or shoot blindfolded.
Magical work requires an awareness of the intangible — of the Spirit — which comes to some people naturally in dreams or visions, and to others only after a thorough study and much practice with cards, crystal ball, or Bible (or any one of myriads of other systems).
Learning to read cards, the crystal, or any kind of omens or sortilege is about as difficult as learning to read and write; and if you are reading this page, you probably have forgotten long ago how difficult that was. I remember — dimly — my struggles with the alphabet at the age of five. For months, I absolutely dreaded the letter J; it was almost painful to draw it the “right” way. And it can take weeks or months to progress from making the sounds of the letters to eliding them effortlessly into words.
And even when you can blend sounds into words, you’re not done: Cat and dog are easy enough; but what about amethyst, garage, or even simpler words like first and look? These are all words in which the sounds of the letters change each other, just as the meanings of cards or verses affect each other, and only experience will show you how that works.
It’s the same with divination systems: long after you know the meanings of individual cards or signs, you struggle to weave them into a story that is both coherent and true.
Another problem with divination is knowing when to stop. Many people get discouraged because they stop too soon, thinking that if the first verse or card doesn’t provide an answer they understand, they’re just magically tone-deaf.
Consider this lady who tried bibliomancy for the first time with a question about reconciliation:
first I did a quick prayer and asked for an answer to a question.
I asked if I would ever have contact again with someone who I care for. I asked for my heart to be healed by getting the chance to reconcile…
So I opened the book 3 times and made a figure eight like the directions until I felt compelled to stop. This is what I got but I’m not sure what to think..
Come see the glorious works of The Lord: see how he brings destruction upon the world. He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear, he burns he shields with fire.
So he brings destruction ,but causes wars to end… I can’t tell if I should look at this in the negative but I would really like to look at it as positive since he causes wars to END.
Well, which way does it go? Destruction or peace?
I almost never stop a bibliomancy session after the first verse, unless the answer is much clearer than this.
So if you’re taking up bibliomancy, study the history and the cultures, and even the other sacred literature of the time that didn’t make it into the Bible (seriously, they were weeding out the canon of Bible books as late as 400 AD). This will give you some idea of what phrases like “every man that pisseth against a wall” meant to those who said or heard them three or four thousand years ago.
Now, let me just give an example of how bibliomancy might work:
Say I want to check in with one of my spirits and ask if the work I do is pleasing. I open the Bible without looking, and land on — for instance — 2 Kings 3. My finger creeps unobserved to verse 17: “You shall not see wind or rain, but that stream-bed shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your cattle, and your beasts.”
Well, that is heartening and flattering! I could stop there, but I hoped to have that spirit’s aid for a client, so I ask, “Why is my client’s candle burning black, even though it is on your altar?”
The answer is 2 Samuel 1:4: “The people have fled from the battle, and many of the people also have fallen and are dead; and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.” Since this was banishing work, it sounds like victory.
But in the original context, the death of Saul is unwelcome news for King David, even though they are at war. The messenger claims to have killed King Saul with his own hand; David has him killed for this presumptuous act.
Well, then: is this background important to my client? Will she regret the work I’m doing for her?
Isaiah 28: 6: “a spirit of justice to him who sits in judgment, and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.”
Is this work justified or not, then?
Haggai 2:19: “Is the seed yet in the barn? Do the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree still yield nothing [because autumn and harvest are still far off]? From this day on I will bless you.”
Whether this piece of the work fails or not, or is justified or not, does not matter; the client has other projects on my altars, and she will achieve her goal anyway.
And that’s one way bibliomancy is done.