Casting Lots is a very old method of divination. This is another divination method which comes to us through the Bible, being mentioned in the Bible at least twice. “…and for my clothing, they cast lots” thought Jesus Christ, as he hung on the cross and watched Roman soldiers gamble for his clothing. When Jonah was swallowed by the whale, this drastic fate was precipitated by a ferocious storm which came upon the vessel he was a passenger on, and the method his shipmates employed to determine who the Gods were angry with–casting lots.
I was first introduced to Casting Lots at a workshop at Starwood Festival 2001. The workshop was run by an Israeli Pagan who used to be a general in the Israeli army. (Fun Fact! In ancient Israel, only war-leaders were allowed to divine). The 2000 election in the U.S. was recent history then, and the result was somewhat controversial in some quarters of the populace, so when my turn came to ask a question of the Lots, I asked a rather open-ended question of the Lots about the election, and got the simple, straight-forward, non-illuminating answer, ‘Yes’.
This taught me an important lesson about the Spirit of the Lots: it is a precise no-nonsense Spirit. You must ask definitive questions of it, not seek commentary, as you might with book divination. Ask a vague question of the Lots, you’ll get a vague answer. Ask a precise question, you’ll get a precise answer. You must have it clear in your own mind what it is you wish to have answered. Otherwise, you’re just wasting the Lots time and your own. The upside of this method is, like Urim and Thumin, the other Biblical divination method we’ve discussed, the Lots can be asked any number of questions. Which is good, because based on my observation, one answer from the Lots often leads to more questions. The three-questions-only rule does not apply here.