Divination by the Laurel Cubes
Journal of The Theosophical Society, February, 1884
From a private letter, written by a perfectly reliable and very learned Theosophist in Europe, we copy the following, omitting however the names of the parties:—
“I do not know whether you are acquainted with a certain practice of divination by means of little blocks made of the sacred laurel wood, on which the letters of the alphabet are written. After the question which you desire to ask is composed, the blocks are thrown by the questioner into a silver vase which is consecrated to Isis. Mad. F—— then takes one after the other of these blocks, and arranges them in a circle upon a metallic disk, and the answer appears written upon the same blocks which were used to ask the question.
Miss B——, a lady of high position, who has become well known through her self-sacrificing and humanitarian labours during the war, and Mad. F—— were about to make the experiment with those blocks of wood, when their attention was attracted by a series of raps on the metallic-disk sounding like little electric detonations. Then a sustained rush of air was heard ending in a loud ring such as is made with a silver bell.
Miss B—— had been reading Mr. Sinnett’s book, and had put the question, whether it would be possible for her to communicate with the Brothers of the Himalaya. What was her surprise, when she received the written answer: “Yes, if you merit us. Koot Hoomi.”
Whether or not the response came from the Master named, it bears at least the one great mark of genuineness that it affirms the very first, most cardinal condition of personal intercourse with our teachers. “First deserve, then desire” is the key-note always. Moreover, as every Chela knows, nearly every communication from the Masters is preceded by a very peculiar sound—that of a silvery bell.