There are so many different forms of divination, and we are constantly looking for a way that relates to us on a level we can easily understand. The opening preface of the book that accompanies these 'stones' reinforces this belief.
This kit includes 35 'stones', a bag for storage and a book for interpretation of the stones. The symbolism on the stones draws from the Craft, both ancient and modern, and for those who find Runic symbols a bit hard to interpret and who focus more on witchcraft rather than Norse interpretation, you will find these symbolisms interesting.
While I did have problems with some of the information in the book, such as the reference to Wicca as an 'ancient Craft' and the use of 'witch' and 'pagan' as an interchangeable term, the idea of using more familiar symbols for divination seemed a sound idea. A set of stones for someone beginning to practice and study forms of divination is a good way to get a feel for the art.
Going further into the book, there are the basics of setting up your working space as well as laying out the stones for readings. Then there are the meanings as laid out by the authors.
The symbolisms on the stones include the phases of the moon and a sun sign, symbols for the God and Goddess, various tools to represent points in your life, some universal symbols, such as the sign for infinity to represent Rebirth, or the Pentacle, and symbols for the seasons.
What is disappointing is that the 'stones' are not stone, but plastic. Not very environmentally friendly nor does plastic hold any natural feel for me. They sound dull when they bump against each other in the bag and have no energy on their own even when attempted to be charged. Poor choice on the part of the manufacturer.
The book, as I mentioned, does have 'sticky' points that I did not agree with in the matter of interpretation. But, as in all things, it is not the book that determines the interpretation of the stones; it is the person who is doing the divination and what they pick up from the reading. Interpretation is a matter of the who, not the reference book. One would do well to remember that and follow your own instincts when it comes to working divination.
All in all, a possibly good idea for a beginner who is looking for a starting place in divination. My opinion, though, stands that plastic stones have no place in my workspace and this would only serve as a possible teaching tool rather than a tool for proper divination. boudica
The Witching Stones kit includes a book, small velvet pouch, and thirty-five divination 'stones' painted with symbols familiar to neo-pagan witchcraft. In the preface Madigan and Richards explain that the kit is intended for novices, or those new to the Craft. They use the words 'witch' and 'pagan' interchangeably, while at the same time acknowledging that not everyone may see it that way (I don't). But as they note, 'no one tradition can be said to be more correct than any other' and mention that they have 'tried to draw from as many sources as possible', further stating that 'in cases where conflicting information was gathered, [they] attempted to provide as many differing viewpoints as seemed appropriate, without becoming overly confusing' (pg xii).
The book contains a purification/banishing ritual to cleanse the ritual space, as well as a blessing for the stones. Several different divination layouts are presented ranging from simple to more complex draws.
Each symbol is discussed in alphabetical order of the symbol name, with a bit of history detailing what each symbol represents and its divinatory meaning. There are no reverse meanings, and there is no blank or 'wyrd' stone, as the authors point out 'these stones are not just are not just another set of rune stones' (pg xvi). Instead each symbol has a past, present, and future meaning associated with it, depending on where it falls in the layouts offered in the book.
While the ideas represented in the symbols are explained in a neo-pagan paradigm, neo-paganism is not explained or discussed in much detail outside of a brief description of the Threefold law, and the Wiccan Rede. As noted, there are numerous books that do this already. The history of the symbols themselves is rarely discussed and it would have been interesting to see when and where each symbol originated from.
Toward the end of the book a selection of spells, divided into two sections, one for 'Simple Spells' and another for 'Advanced Spells' using the stones.
However, the 'stones' themselves are not in fact made of rock or even clay, but plastic. I don't equate the magickal properties of rockand oil myself. Those with a preference for tradition may like to simply buy the book, as it is available to purchase separately at a fraction f the cost, and simply make one's own stones. It might be fun for someone who wants to try something a little different.