The Library Angel. That was Arthur Koestler’s name for the shelf elf that arranges that a certain book appears (or disappears) in unusual ways at just the right moment.

To get the attention of the Library Angel, pick any book, open it at random and see whether there is a clue for you on the page you are now looking at..

You may find you have a favorite book for this game, or a succession of them.

“Bibliomancy” is the fancy name for divination with books. When you get your message from the first line or two on the page, the more exact term is “stichomancy”, which means divination with lines or stanzas.

My favorite books for games of this kind are my own dream journals. Opening one at random is the only practical way for me to keep in touch with my “old” dreams now that they fill many thousands of pages.

Here’s an example of how the Library Angel came to play with me when I opened an old dream journal: 

Catching up with the Black Sneakers 

While working on my book Dreamways of the Iroquois early in 2004, I opened a 1993 journal at random and was struck by a small detail in a dream report: “I am wearing a pair of black sneakers”. At the time of the dream, I did not own a pair of black sneakers and never had. At the time I rediscovered the dream report, eleven years later, I was wearing my very first pair of black sneakers. I had purchased them just two months earlier.

It seemed my waking life had caught up with something I had dreamed eleven years earlier. But wait. If one detail from an “old” dream had manifested, wasn’t it possible that there were other clues in the 1993 dream to what was going on now, or might happen in the near future? I pored over the details of the 1993 dream report.  I noticed this:

I found some loose index cards, covered with my own handwriting. I know these contain treasure.

I wandered my house with these words in my mind. In a guest room we were using mainly for storage, I found that loose index cards had spilled out of a cardboard box. I would normally have stuffed them back in the box.

Because of the “old” dream, I carried the cards into my office. I had written on them even earlier than 1993, back in 1987-8, a time of visionary encounters with wisdom keepers of Iroquois tradition. My handwriting was easier to read then than it was later. I found the “treasure” promised eleven years before. The information on the cards gave me the inspiration for two vital chapters in Dreamways of the Iroquois that I had not planned to write until the spirit of synchronicity helped me to pick the right page in an old journal.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

It’s incredible how different sports have turned out to be perfect hobbies to a number of people. Nowadays, the shift to action hobbies is taking place at an alarming rate. People don’t just want to sit down and read a text; they want to be involved in the making process of their hobbies. Through hobbies, […]

Owning a boat opens more opportunities for outdoor fun in the river, dam, lake, or ocean waters. Summertime welcomes hundreds of boat owners who take their families or friends for fun-filled weekends in many places across the US. If you lack creativity, your weekend or holiday can be boring but there are many activities you […]

During a slowdown, store owners need to be creative and look for ways to cut running costs. This does not mean that they need to cut on the quality of service. What it does mean is that store owners will need to innovate to provide the same or even better service by going about their […]

The reasons for selling a house can vary considerably and personal circumstances, such as financial troubles or changing relationships, often play a strong role. In many cases, it is wise to hang on to your investment but there are certain occasions when it is wise to sell. Changes in relationships If you’re getting a divorce, […]