Saturday, May 17, 2014

Stones O'Leery and Divination (Gypsy Runes)

Whatever the path of people involved in druidry, witchcraft or any other kind of neo-paganism, or no spiritual path as such, divination is a possibility for everyone. Taromancy (tarot) is one of the more popular – there is also runecasting (futhark), pallomancy (pendulum), scrying, I Ching, and… well, countless other methods of divination.

A man conducts a geomancy reading
for a friend at a Medieval Banquet,
Gloucestershire, England, July 2006
I’ve never been one for divination. Not everyone is – some people just go about their lives and make their own future! (Even more sensible than reading tarot every week and relying solely on it). It’s like reading your horoscope. People who don’t read them lead perfectly healthy, full lives. But divination, while serious, can also be fun – or rather, a way to see what powers you have, what possibilities can be challenged. As I said, divination has never been my thing, but I’ve done some pallomancy, and these days, futhark runes and the gypsy runes appeal to me much more, especially the gypsy runes.

Stones O’Leery, as far as I’ve been told, should be created from flat, smooth stones gathered from river beds. Smooth and tumbled by water for many years, they’re naturally formed by nature, very appropriate for divination. Pick each stone personally, and create your own set of stones.

Gypsy runes or Stones O’Leery consist of 10 runes. I have since learnt that there are witches’ runes which are very similar, but have either 8 or 13 runes – several of the stones’ symbols are similar in the witches’ runes, and also are very similar in meaning.
Image from AlaskaLaserMaid

The 10 Gypsy Runes - their symbols and meanings

 Eye – all-seeing eye, significant. Represents the querent/enquirer – third eye, intuition, pay attention to your gut feelings.

In the Witches’ Runes it has the same meaning.

 Moon – Female energy, cloudy sight. Delays, unseen forces (usually hostile) acting on the querent. Something is clouding your vision – your perspective du to emotion – use your feminine intuition, be careful about what you are doing – have a think about it before you make decisions. Next to the waves stone, it implies an extended illness or an accident. Next to the birds stone means a sudden illness with poor chance of recovery.

In the Witches’ Runes, this stone represents change.

 Star – Hopes, Wishes (unfulfilled if with the moon stone). Clear vision - follow the vision, things are clearer for you, you are not stuck anymore, follow your decision. A light in the dark. Next to the waves stone, heralds a birth within the querent’s family.

 Crossed Spears – Conflict, Quarrels, War – either with family, work, career, social life, partner. Implies great danger and strife against the querent. Be careful what you are saying to people – conflict with self, or someone else. Next to the rings stone, it heralds a romance or a revived romance. For health questions is denotes a swift recovery from illness.

In the Witches’ Runes it represents arguments and negativity.

 Waves – The Moving stone. Represents journeys. Constant flowing, something ongoing, moving, could be emotion – the end is coming, but it is moving through what it needs to move through to get there. Next to the sickle stone, implies a parting. With the star stone, implies a change of job.

In the Witches’ Runes it represents friends, family, and travel.

 Grain – The stone of the Harvest, reward for physical work. Reap what you sow. If you are doing something really good, and working towards something, you are going to get the benefit of it. It CAN go the other way – if you’re doing something that you should not be doing – you will reap what you sow there. Next to the moon stone indicates an accounting for past actions, with possible legal implications.

In the Witches’ Runes, is represents unexpected news, old growth.

 Birds – Inspiration stone, bringing ideas or news. New Arrivals – a baby, a message, a journey that you are going on. Can mean children or birth when the wheat and rings stone are with it.

In the Witches’ Runes, it means good luck and success.

 Sickle – A Death, an ending, cutting off or cutting down. Severe deep change, tragic ending to something, a break-up.

 Rings – Marriage or joining. Connection – a marriage, re-union with someone, a new business venture. A deep connection, a bond, a binding action. Next to the wheat stone represents and business partnership. Next to any 3 others stones (but not the eye stone) means it relates to the querent’s family, rather than the querent.

In the Witches’ Runes, is means love and relationships.

 Sun – Male energy. Prosperity, Wealth, Happiness – A positive aspect of the reading. Sun is coming out, something good is happening, closure to something going on, a happy ending. Warmth of the sun. Next to wheat and rings stone implies the completion of a project. With wheat and birds or birds and waves, implies a birth.

In the Witches’ Runes, it means success and progress.


Shake stones while thinking of questions or chant this:

‘Stones O’Leery, Stones O’Leery,
Tell me truly, tell me clearly
Give to me an answer true
Show me what I am to do
Let my eye see clear and bright
That I may see my future right.’

Ask simple questions – ‘What is my day going to be like?’ ‘What’s going to happen today?’
Stones that show symbols should be read, ones facing downward have no meaning.
The runestone furthest away from you is the leading stone and the most important. The others decrease in importance as they fall nearer to you.
If one lands on top of another and they both show symbols, those 2 stones carry the answer.
Another way of casting the runes is to separate the eye stone (representing yourself) and place it in front of you on the floor – when you cast the stones, whichever stones showing that land nearest the eye stone are the most important ones.
If you cast and no symbols show, it means it is not the right time to ask – wait 7 days and try again.
Casting Runes is divination, not a game.

AlaskaLaserMaid from Etsy

Here is a
PDF for you to print up.

See how you go with this form of divination. Make your own stones – gather smooth stones from riverbeds or beaches and paint the symbols on yourself. With this guide you can read your fortune. Alternatively you can purchase them from
AlaskaLaserMaid from Etsy.
Good Luck!


  1. I don't think my comment posted so I'll try again. Thank you for this post. Its good information on an illusive subject. Any ideas on how the name O'Leary is attached? Thanks again!

  2. Thanks Patrick, it certainly is an illusive subject, I gathered all the information I could to write this. Not sure about the name O'Leary, I can't remember what my friend told me about it. Perhaps the word 'leer' is related to it!

  3. Have u ever heard of a stone with a z on it and a dot just by the bottom of the z thanks x