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What is Divination With Stones vs Lithomancy?

INSIDE: There are two divination practices that are often confused as equal: divination with stones and Lithomancy. Join us as we break apart their similarities and differences.


Historically, humans have been drawn to understanding certain aspects of life through connection to a higher power. Whether we are looking to understand an event in the present moment or to predict the future, there have been countless strategies recorded from various parts of the Earth to do so.

The blanket term for connecting spiritually to an external power to predict an event or outcome is called divination. This practice is known to be traced back to as far as 500 BC and is still seen in a variety of forms in all parts of the world to this day.

What is Divination?

Divination is a widely practiced strategy used to tap into the divinity or a higher power. This practice originates from the word “divinare” which means to “forsee” or “predict.” Historically this practice has been used by those who desire to gain insight from an external power outside of their own natural senses, capabilities, or time.

It manifests in a variety of different forms, many of which use small objects such as tea leaves, tarot cards, pendulums, crystals, and stones as spiritual conduits to connect to the divine.

Let’s focus on two divination practices that are often confused as equal and break apart their similarities and differences: divination with stones/crystals and Lithomancy.

Crystal Jewelry

What to Use for Divination?

There are a wide variety of strategies and tools used for the practice of divination, including the use of tarot cards, tea leaves, astrology, coins, crystals, and stones.

Depending on where you are in the world, divination may look different, but each strategy uses a tool to connect you to source. In Europe you’ll find many people practicing divination with tarot cards, while countries in Asia practice I-ching or coin reading.

Divination with stones and Lithomancy are our main focus here and both are practices we can pick up today with just a few crystals or stones.

What is the Difference Between Crystal Divination & Lithomancy?

The specific type of divination we will be focusing on today uses stones and crystals as our spiritual tools or conduits. There are two specific methods of divination with stones: Crystal Divination and Lithomancy.

What is Crystal Divination?

Crystal Divination, or divination with stones, involves the use of crystals as a tool to connect with the Divine.

A variety of crystals can be used within this practice though we suggest choosing crystals you feel a strong connection with. Our favorite crystals to use for divination with stones include Amethyst, Lapis Lazuli, and Labradorite to name a few.

Head over to this article to read our top 10 favorite psychic crystals to use to tap into your innate ability through a variety of divination practices.

What is Lithomancy?

Lithomancy is similar to crystal divination as it uses stones as a spiritual conduit to predict a future outcome. However, lithomancy involves personally collecting stones from a natural environment to connect to the Divine.

By hand collecting stones for lithomancy, we create a special spiritual bond/energy to the stones, which strengthens our ability to conduct a powerful reading.


How to Practice Divination With Stones

It’s no secret that crystals are a magical tool for metaphysical healing, and the benefits they provide are endless. One method of tapping into the power of crystals that is a well kept secret is crystal divination.

How to Use Divination With Stones

There are many different approaches to divination with stones due to the variety of crystals that are available to us. If you are a beginner to these practices, they are easy to pick up but can be difficult to master.

Here are some of the easier crystal divination practices you can pick up today:

The Yes/No Method

The yes/no method is a simple form of divination with stones that involves three dark crystals and three light crystals. Here's how it works:

  • Gather your crystals
  • Place your crystals in a bag
  • Ask a question that involves yes or no responses
  • Reach in the bag to grab the crystal you are energetically drawn to

For a more complicated version of this crystal divination, assign or incorporate each crystals’ meaning into the reading.

The Pendulum Method

The pendulum method can be used with yes/no questions or more in-depth questions when using a pendulum board.

With a crystal necklace or pendulum, tap into the energetics of your pendulum by first asking questions you may not be emotionally attached to.

You will notice the pendulum will begin to move in certain directions but due to the neutrality of your questions, the movement won’t be swayed by a desired outcome.

Once familiar with the pendulum, begin to ask more personal questions and embrace the magic of this crystal divination.

Click here for more in depth instructions on how to use a pendulum.

Gemstone Collections

How to Practice Lithomancy

While crystal divination uses a variety of crystals and stones to tap into the Divine, lithomancy requires the use of lithomancy stones.

These stones have been collected in nature, are similar in shape and size, and are collected for the purpose of being used for lithomancy. For a traditional lithomancy practice, collect 13 stones around the same size as one another.

While there are many strategies of divination with stones, we will be talking about one of the simplest methods that can be adopted today by beginners.

Step 1: Take a Walk in Nature & Collect Your Stones

While enjoying a walk outside, set an intention to find and collect 13 stones for the purpose of a Lithomancy practice. These stones should be similar in size and shape to one another.

Step 2: Paint Your Stones

With the 13 stones collected, assign each one a distinct aspect of life. For traditional lithomancy, there are 13 themes connecting you to a meaning:

  • Universe
  • Spirit
  • Sun
  • Moon
  • Mercury
  • Venus
  • Mars
  • Jupiter
  • Saturn
  • Earth
  • Water
  • Air
  • Fire

Paint these stones with either a specific color, symbol, or whatever you need to do to differentiate them.

Here are the meanings behind each suggested theme for a lithomancy practice:

  • Universe - Life on a cosmic big picture level
  • Spirit- Connection to the inner self
  • Sun- Life force, energy
  • Moon- Connection to the mind, psychic ability, intuition
  • Mercury - Self-development, intelligence
  • Venus - Love and happiness
  • Mars - Courage and bravery
  • Jupiter - Prosperity and wealth
  • Saturn - Health and longevity
  • Earth - Family and home
  • Water - Healing and cleansing 
  • Air - Dreams and desires
  • Fire - Willpower and determination

    Step 3: Find a Vessel to Put Your Stones In

    Similar to reading tarot cards, close your eyes and ask a question. Next grab the three stones you are most drawn to. For a simple interpretation, each stone represents a moment in time - the first representing your past, the second your present, and third your future, but you may also interpret the drawing of stones as a whole.

    When it comes to the practice of divination, trusting your intuition is more important than struggling to memorize meanings or listening to how others interpret your drawings.

    Crystal Divination

    The Board Method

    Another method of practicing lithomancy is to use a pre-marked board to cast your stones upon.

    More complicated than the bag method, this divination with stones strategy involves interpreting the location of where the stones have been casted and its proximity to the other stones on the board.

    Consider investing in a divination cloth or board with symbols and themes to make your reading easier. With a proper intention in the casting and through listening to your intuition, you may be able to interpret your lithomancy casting without a divination board.

    1. To cast your stones, hold them between your palms about 2-3” above the casting area while considering the question you would like an answer to.
    2. Then drop your stones while focusing on your question at hand.
    3. By tapping into your intuition, use the associated meaning of each stone and the area of where your stones landed to determine the answer to your question.

    Final Thoughts

    Although lithomancy and divination with stones can be easily confused for one another as both rely on the use of crystals and stones as divination tools, each practice has its own unique methods and quirks.

    Just as crystals have a variety of healing properties, there are many unique methods we can use to hone in on the Divine for answers, such as the yes/no method and the use of a crystal pendulum. On the other hand, lithomancy mostly focuses on the casting of collected stones on a pre-marked board to receive answers from a higher power.

    When it comes to divination as a whole, this practice are seen in all parts of the world with a variety of spiritual conduits that range from tarot cards, to tea leaves, and many other objects in between.

    Although each practice is unique, the responses received from these divination practices rely on the intuition of the practicer and their unique spiritual connection.

    How to Choose a Crystal

    * Crystals and stones should not be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Please read our full disclaimer notice here. 

    What is Divination With Stones vs Lithomancy

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