Favomancy or divination by beans is a an ancient form of divination that comes from ancient Greece and Rome. I don’t know how the ancient Greek and Roman seers performed it. What I describe is my own method, which I devised long before I even knew that there was an established form with a name to it and everything.But first I will describe the way it is done in Central Asia
The form practiced by the shamans of Central Asia in Kazakhstan is called Kumulak, which means “sheep droppings,” but in modern times, and in areas beyond Kazakhstan, it is practiced using coffee beans, small broad beans, and other types of beans. rather than “sheep’s beans.” The method is to use 41 beans. They are placed on a grid with 9 squares depicting parts of the body of a horseman of the steppes.
3 2 1
EYE HEAD EYE
Koz Bas Koz
6 5 4
HAND HEART HAND
Qol Jurek Qol
9 8 7
FOOT HORSE FOOT
Ayaq At Ayaq
The 41 beans are divided into three piles, one below each column. Four beans are removed from each pile until there are left only one, two,three, or four beans in each pile. These beans are placed in square one. Repeat the same operation for each square until they all have beans in them. The best combination is four beans in each square in the bottom row. This is known as “Mother Earth,” and indicates that nothing can go wrong.[pp. 287-288 The Fortune-Telling Book,Raymond Buckland, 2004, Visible Ink] The article I’m quoting doesn’t say what the other squares mean, but if you have acquaintance with numerology, and rulership of the parts of the body, you can read the squares according to that.
But my version of Favomancy is much simpler than the above method. You can use any kind of dried beans, any number, since no counting is used. What I do is, when I’m making baked beans (New England style with ham bones, onions, molasses, brown sugar, mustard, and pepper) I wash and sort the two pounds of beans before I soak them. I take out all the beans with spots on them. These are my divination beans. Any number will do, just so you have enough to form images when you throw them. Divining with them is a lot like reading tea leaves or coffee grounds. If you wear glasses, take them off. If you wear contact lenses, remove them, as you need a soft focus to your eyes.If you have perfect 20/20 eyesight or better, like my daughter does, you're on your own. I don't claim that this method of divination is for everyone. The images formed by the clustering of the beans come through better if your vision is a bit blurred like a Renoir painting. Clear your mind and let the voice of Spirit come through. It will tell you what the images mean so that you can interpret them for your client or your friend. You may go through whatever rituals you perform before the reading. If you are a meditator, meditate for fifteen minutes or so before the reading. Light candles, incense, cast a circle, mark sacred space, however your tradition dictates. Keep your beans in a container you have reserved for the purpose. I keep mine in a container that held candies that is shaped like Darth Vader’s helmet.
It is good to keep notes of your readings so that you can keep track of your progress as you teach yourself this divinatory method. Favomancy is an effective economical means of divination. Where else can you obtain a divination tool that you can purchase with food stamps? I use Great Northern beans. If you belong to a food bank program, you might even get them for free.
If you have any questions, ask them as replies to this discussion. But Favomancy, as I practice it, is pretty free-form. Feel free to experiment with such things as adding small tumbled and polished stones to your throws, and keep me apprised of your experiments in this regard. Together we can learn and grow in this means of learning what the Mighty Ones have to tell us.