Crowstones have been around for about six years. For a long time, I passed on them – I didn’t dislike them, they just weren’t a priority. They seemed simplistic, and I was immersed in the complexity of the Lenormand Grand Tableau, the Grand Jeu Lenormand, and about a half dozen other things. But every now and then I’d come across praise from one respected reader or another. Everyone loves their accuracy, so last summer I took the plunge. Yes – they’re quite accurate, and very easy to use. The biggest difficulty I had was amending the rhyme in my head from “One is for sorrow, two is for mirth…” to “One is a message, two is for mirth…”, etc. Once you’ve got the rhyme, you’re all set.
They’re hand painted on your choice of colored glass (Robyn paints everything, she’s always creating decks and oracles, and a glance at her facebook page shows she’s painted her entire reading tent. So don’t sit still too long around her, she might paint you. 😀 ) I don’t know what the process is, but she’s done something with them so the paint doesn’t chip – I use mine often and they’re still like new. So yes, they’re a “don’t miss” item, very affordable, and as of right now (December, 2013) they’re on sale – so click the “Add to cart” button! http://tarotgoodies.webs.com/apps/webstore/
Jiaobei blocks aren’t well known here, but they seem to be common in Asia. They’re paired wooden blocks in the shape of almost-half moons, commonly used in temples. Their use is a bit ritualized, but that seems to help with the accuracy of these yes/no-type oracles – otherwise, you might as well toss a coin.
Traditionally, they first should be purified by circling the incense burner three times. Kneel while clasping the blocks together in your hands. They then state your name, date of birth, where you live, and your question. After giving all the necessary details, pray for guidance with the jiaobei raised to the forehead, after which the blocks will be dropped on the floor.
The answers are produced by the pattern of the jiaobei’s landing:
If the jiaobei land with one round side up and one flat side up, that represents balance, the Tao – it’s a ‘yes’.
If they both land on the flat sides (rounded sides up), it’s a ‘no’. By falling flat on the floor, it is said that the gods are showing their displeasure or anger with the question posed. It’s not necessarily ‘no’ forever, but you need to wait for some time before posing the question again.
If they both land on the round sides, flat sides up, sometimes it’s referred to as an “angry answer”. It’s said that your question annoys the gods. But if they land like that and they’re rocking (and I’ve never known them not to rock), it’s a “laughing answer” – the rocking motion symbolizes a show of laughter. IOW, the gods are laughing because 1) The question is not clear enough 2) The divine reply is not sincerely sought as the questioner has already decided what to do 3) The questioner knows the time is not ripe for the matter posed and yet still wants to seek divine direction.The question posed is therefore considered irrelevant, or 4) The questioner already knows the answer, is just looking for reassurance, and the consultation isn’t necessary.
(Note: If there is still no clear answer after several attempts of tossing, the divination session should be terminated. For repeat consultation of this same problem, the next divination session should only be held after a lapse of some time.)
Jiaobei can be used alone, or in conjunction with fortune stick oracles like the Kuan Yin. Here is a video of a man showing his daughter how to cast the jiaobei:
If you’re handy with woodworking, jiaobei would be quite simple to make. I’m not, so I got mine here:
Now also available from Feng Shui Bestbuy here http://www.fengshuibestbuy.com/HH8704-deityenquiryindicator.html
and here http://www.fengshuibestbuy.com/HH8703-deityenquiryindicator.html