Knock three times, and call to spirits & ancestors, give offerings.
Allow client to hold bag and ask question, or ask the question yourself.
Hold bits in hand and ask question, then cast.
The closer to the middle the more immediate and important it is.
Things outside the circle are either not involved, on the way out, or on the way in.
The direction things are “pointing” matters.
Something to consider: Casting on a hard surface works much better than a soft surface (such as grass, a bed or pine needles) as the pieces won’t roll properly.
It takes a little more time but looking at the pieces and how they lump, clump and flow together can create “stories” as in you can write paragraphs.
When doing a reading I will try not to ask leading questions, such as “I see the romance/love stone is in the west, how is your love life right now?” I feel rather like this is cheating. I also don’t like to pry. If there is information that I need or that the client is willing to share, they will usually offer it to me without prompting.
My job is not to tell people what to do or how to do it. Nor is my job to tell people what is going on in their lives or impress them with my special knowledge or any such silliness, my job in not even to tell their fortune. The gods/spirits/ancestors use the collection to communicate, it my job to translate, to facilitate a dialogue between the client and the spirits. That is all.
I will ask the client if there are certain groupings or pieces that have a stronger draw or that feel more significant to them. I will also ask if they feel that any pieces or grouping are connected to each other.
I also encourage the client to tell me their own impressions of the casting. What a grouping might mean to them. I will give them a brief description of the meaning behind the pieces and a general idea of what a combination of pieces might mean and allow them to come to some of their own conclusions, should they have any. Allowing the client’s thoughts and feelings help to direct the reading can be very helpful. Many of the pieces are self explanatory and people will often know what their meaning is without needing me to tell them. A key means more or less the same thing to everyone, as does a wedding ring, a coin or a turtle.
I don’t allow them to do the actual casting as I find it requires a certain amount of practice to cast a collection that contains pieces of varying shapes and sizes properly. It is much easier to cast lots or stones that are roughly the same shape and size.
I do not actively encourage the client to touch the bits, but I do allow it. I watch carefully which pieces in collection the client seems most drawn to touch, poke, shift and pick up. This can give me additional information that will help me with the reading.
Most of the time I cast with all pieces, though on a there are occasions when I select only certain pieces. Sometimes I will go with only one piece, usually the one signifying the question, or I choose a stone as they roll the best. Typically I find that pieces with no significance to the reading will make their way outside of the casting cloth however.