How to Acquire Bones and Other Zoological Remains Regardless of Where you Live
This post is the second in a series on the use of zoological remains in Witchcraft, which explores the why’s behind the use of bones, teeth, claws, hides, and such as well as the more practical side, such as acquiring bones, cleaning bones, preparing zoological remains for use, and how to use zoological remains in witchcraft. The previous post is An Introduction to Working with Zoological Remains.
To the witch who wants to expand their practice to include the use of bones and other zoological remains, trying to figure out how to get bones can be daunting. Not everyone has access to wild spaces or the inclination to hunt, so what options are there? Depending on how you would like to use bones and such in your practice, there are actually a few options available to you –regardless of whether you are an urban witch or a rural witch. No hunting or trapping required, so even a vegetarian or vegan witch can ethically acquire bones and other animal bits and begin using them with the respect and sacredness owed to them.
As providing a recommended reading list is damn near obligatory for anyone who puts themselves out there in the online witchcraft world, I finally present my own list. Big important note here: this is a recommended reading list for witches, a recommended reading list for Pagans can succinctly be summed up in “consult the mythology and historical cultural spread of the Deity or pantheon of your interest” with little else of worth to add. In a similar spirit of practicality and functionality, in alphabetical order, I offer the following reading list.
Candles flicker, casting strange shadows onto the walls. Ever so carefully, I place another small spoonful of incense onto the charcoal. Clouds of white smoke, fragrant and heady, billow upward, spilling across the bottom of the shelf holding spirit houses and other attachments of my family’s ancestors. The air is noticeably thicker, both physically and spiritually. I dip my fingers into the oil, anointing candles and letting a few drops fall onto the charcoal. I anoint myself and breathe deeply.
It’s the beginning of the third day of a twelve-day long festival that comes every November. There will be further rites necessary to work this evening, but for now I must attend to the morning rites. In total, there are seventeen holy days this month, with other necessary rites dependent upon the results of some of those feast days. It’s a busy, busy month, one that greatly taxes my patience and determination. But I do it because it must be done. I do it because I am a priestess.
This post is the first in a series that will cover the use of zoological remains in witchcraft. Future posts will cover acquiring bones and animal remains, cleaning, consecration, and how to use zoological remains in your own practice.
The use of zoological remains has enjoyed a historical presence in witchcraft so much so that the two nearly go hand in hand. Of course, while it is not necessary to work with zoological remains in order to practice witchcraft, many a witch have found a deepening of practice in doing so. And engaging in something that reaches far back in our collective witch history has a way of bringing comfort, confidence, and direction that one may otherwise find missing from their practice. However, it is critical to note that the use of zoological remains does not make for a more “authentic” witchcraft practice, nor does it make you more of a “badass witch.” Rather, it’s just another avenue of using natural objects in your craft in order to create the changes that you wish to create.
Throwing the Bones
Whether you're struggling with something spiritually or in everyday life, bone divination can highlight areas where focus is needed and identify alternative ways forward.