Archaeologists use the word “Anasazi” to describe a collection of Native American tribes sharing a common culture in the southwestern United States from about 1200 B.C. to A.D. 1300. Sometimes called “the Ancient Ones”, these peoples were accomplished builders , basket-makers, astronomers and farmers.
The Anasazi Oracle is a system of divination based around casting stones of different colors onto a field covered with a particular pattern, with meaning derived from the positions of the stones in relation to each other and within the field. While much about this oracle remains a mystery, this page spells out the basics of how you can use it for your own prognostication.
Rather than casting a set number of stones, the person seeking answers (referred to here as the “querent”) would pull a small handful of stones from a basket containing hundreds. Before the selection, both the querent and the reader would mix the stones in the basket. The basket typically contained equal numbers of each color of stone.
The stones are small, no bigger around than a fingernail, and one of the following colors, roughly speaking:
It is fairly certain that turquoise beads were used most often for the blue/green stone, leading some to suggest that the other colors were also represented by semi-precious minerals. The typical suggestions are usually:
While the result would have been visually appealing, there is more likely source for the other colors: corn. After blue/green, the remaining colors sync quite well with the colors found in so-called “Indian corn”. Dried kernels of such corn would be about the right size and easily available.
Modern users may use either of these materials or use more easily found equivalents, such as glass beads. Users who are not worried about ritual “purity” might consider using rainbow candy, though you will need to substitute green for blue green and purple for indigo/black. An individual package of such candy can substitute for a handful, though you may also fill a basket with the contents of a larger bag.
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Uncertainty surrounds the exact nature of the field onto which the stones are cast. The field might have been simply painted on the ground or perhaps a woven mat of some kind. It is known the field, as a representation of the four cardinal directions, needed to be aligned carefully.