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Saturday, February 13, 2010

MIPC Balancing the Bible

"They say that if you can balance a bible on end...that God is with you."

Seven Days, Season 2 Episode 2
Episode Title: Witch Way to the Prom
Original Air Date: May 3rd, 2000


Commentary: The Holy Bible has long been used in the practice of magic and to tell the future. Of all the books which make up the Bible, the Psalms are arguably among the most popular verses used in the practice of magic. These verses are often uttered in faith during the course of casting a spell. Typically, verses are often chosen according to tradition or for a personal interpretation of a certain Psalm (see links below).

The bible is also a popular medium used in the practice of Stichomancy, or divination by books, although any book can be used in this practice. Practitioners often have their own systems of operation but generally speaking a question is posed while holding the book, it is then opened to a random page with eyes closed and one's finger is also randomly placed onto a page. The passage on which one's finger falls is then read and interpreted.

During the Burning Times ( a period in history when Christians persecuted and tortured witches and alleged witches) many 'tests' were employed to determine a person's guilt or innocence. Many of these tests were death sentences in and of themselves. Tests were designed so that in order to prove your innocence you had to die, as in the infamous “swimming the witch” test. The test was performed as follows. An accused individual was bound, gagged, and thrown into a body of water. If, for whatever reason, the accused floated then he or she was found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to death. However, if the accused sank he or she was declared innoncence but invariably drowned.

Another test involved weighing the alleged witch against a copy of the bible. If the accused was heavier than the book it was considered sure sign of their wickedness as their guilt was weighing them down. If, however, the bible was proved heavier they were declared innocent and set free.

In the magical tradition of the granny women of the Appalachian mountains if a girl wished to know if her boyfriend loved her she would hang a bible on a string and recite a Ruth 1:16-17 (where you go there shall I follow....) followed by the name of her beloved. It is said that if the bible turns on the string so that the open end would face the girl, then her sweetheart loves her and that they will one day marry. Similar procedures have also been reported for discovering a thief as well as taking off a spell.

As we have seen the use of the Bible in magic and divination is unquestionably a very old practice. Although I could not find the bible used exactly as described as above, I believe it to be a modern version of earlier practices. Symbolically to balance a bible on end would represent being in balance with the will of god or of being upright (i.e. morally just). Like any other form of divination I feel that it must be utilized by the individual to determine if this form of divination works for you.

Carolina Dean

Links:

See the scene (begins at 4:30)


Sources:

Secrets of the Psalms
(Lucky Mojo)
Bible Divination
Ozark Magic and Folklore, Vance Randolph © 1947 page 173



1 comment:

Edward said...

One method I use is lay a three card spread on the cover of a Bible in order to get a foundation of truth. Then use bibliomancy to double check your results. I theorize that the more of the Bible you have read, the better this works. Lots of surprising things you will find in there. It is good for reinforcing oaths, pacts, declarations, etc. The 22 chapters in Rev. is good for helping understand the major arcana.