Sometime last week, I had discovered the Story Cubes while I was looking for games I could give my niece and nephew for the holidays. They are originally meant as a game and/or language learning exercise where you throw all dice and then make up a story that includes all the images (for example, a plane, a sheep, an eye, a question mark, a pyramid, a rainbow, an alien face, and many more).
However, “Nine dice with a picture on each side? 54 different pictures altogether? Sounds like an oracle to me!”, I thought and ordered a set, while telling myself they’d be a great gift for my nephew who has just started to write his own stories.
The Story Cubes arrived today. I was very, very tempted. I know it’s not quite the best of behavior to test drive things you intend to give to others as presents, but I simply couldn’t resist. So I opened them. There wasn’t much packaging anyway, just a taped-shut plastic bag around the dice themselves, which I also applaud from an ecological perspective. The storage box is small, square, sturdy, and really pretty (it closes with an invisible magnet). The dice themselves are made from plastic that feels very nice. The images are embossed into the surfaces and colored with black. All in all, it’s a attractively packaged set of high-quality items.
But what interested me most were the oracular qualities of the dice. So I asked a friend I was chatting with if she wanted a quick reading with the Story Cubes. She agreed and asked me about a new romance in her life that currently occupies her to the point of distraction. She first wanted to know why she was so smitten with that person. (Of course she also agreed to me posting this!)
I put all the dice into the pocket of my big, cozy knit jacket, mixed them around with my hand and then pulled three of the dice out. I then rolled these dice and gathered them together in a line. This is what she got.
I told her the Cell Phone was referring to them having more contact than they initially planned to (they live in different cities),which kept the emotions very present to her. I read the Tower as something unavailable, which in this context meant that the longing itself was fueling the way she felt. It also meant that her careful defenses against anything unforeseen were pretty useless in this situation (which she didn’t like much). The Clock referred both to their round-the-clock communication and her feeling that this could develop into something more long-term than she initially expected. Her direct feedback confirmed all these things, but we also noticed that she pretty much knew all this already.
At that point my gaze was drawn towards the front sides of the dice. It seemed they wanted in on the reading. We decided they would be about the more hidden aspects of the situation.
Tree – Lightning Bolt – Lightbulb
The most apparent one was the Lightning Bolt, signifying a surprising turn of action with a great impact. The Lightbulb represented some illuminating and inspiring aspect of their relationship, something that shines a light into an area that had been lying dormant/idle for a while. My friend confirmed that her new romance partner did indeed address parts of her that she wasn’t used to having addressed, especially in terms of gender dynamics, which was mostly confusing but also interesting to her. She recognized a need to talk to her new romance partner about that in more depth. The Tree was something solid to me, something that had been there a long time. Since the two had already been girlfriends many years ago, I suspected their common past might influence her current feelings as well.
We finally decided to do another throw of an additional three cubes to see what would be the best way for her to deal with the situation. These were to be read together with the previous three.
The Die said that asking the oracle was a good idea already. My friend added that it also meant to her that she should leave things to happen the way they wanted to instead of trying to control the outcome. Trust coincidences and serendipity and all that. I took the Flower to mean she needed to relax and enjoy what was currently happening. The Apple symbolized learning something to me (via the American association of teachers and apples). This could be referring to the unfamiliar sides and gender dynamics that had come up, but it could also refer to learning more about how to live in a polyamourous constellation (which she already does, but this new partner still adds a new aspect to the whole existing dynamic). That theme appeared again when we examined the numbers on the Die, which all seemed meaningful in her current context.
All in all, this apparently touched on some themes that had come up for her more generally, too.
For me, it was a fun way to find out that these cubes do indeed work well as an oracle. The images offer a lot of possibilities for different kinds of associations, which are much multiplied by all the combinations that are possible. So I went to order another set for me. I promise, if it arrives in time, my nephew will get the brand-new one… ;-)