ONE OF THE THINGS I LOOK FORWARD TO when ordering Chinese food is the fortune cookie—you know the little ritual at the end of the meal when everybody sits around and asks, “What did you get?” “What does yours say?” And then you laugh at how ridiculous the sayings are. But every once in a while, people get a message that says something pertinent about their lives and are struck by the synchronicity.
Even though I always thought fortune cookies were silly, intuitively I knew that somewhere in Chinese history these things must have meant something. It’s true that many sacred traditions are diluted and distorted over time, and some are borrowed and given new appearances and names to suit their new proprietors. I assumed the same thing happened with the fortune cookie.
The only problem with researching the great sacred traditions of Divine dialogue in Asia is that you won’t find the origins of the fortune cookie anywhere—it’s actually an American invention. But if you look to ancient Greece, you’ll find its true ancestor.
Aleuromancy, which means “divination by flour” in Greek, is the true name of this tradition of using baked goods as a vehicle for Spirit messages. So all you bakers, let me show you how to create a most exciting and accurate oracle tool.
First, I’ll share a little history. As with the Delphic oracle, Apollo was considered to be the illuminating power behind this practice. The ancient Greeks wrote symbols on pieces of cloth or papyrus and then rolled them in dough that had been mixed nine times, placing the dough in the fire to be baked. Once they were cooked, the dough balls were put on a tray and passed around to a group of people who came together to ask a question of the Divine. (Many oracle experiences in ancient times were social events.)
The difference between our modern cookie messages such as “You will be lucky today” or “Eat too much cookie and get large behind” and the Greek’s messages are obvious. The ancient flour oracles were filled with messages where the symbols were sacred. Ceremony and ritual were involved, as well as invoking the god Apollo. The messages were philosophical in nature and pertained to different life experiences. They were used as a means to discern the will of the Divine in answer to a particular question. All in all, it was a little more serious than chomping on egg rolls and then breaking open the cookies to laugh at the fortunes.
Important decisions were made based on the messages received from the flour oracles of ancient times. Additionally, guidance was sought from the markings inside the bowl where the leftover flour-and-water mixture—the ancient cookie dough—remained.
There was a higher intentional consciousness invoked in the whole experience from beginning to end. And you can have an enlightening and fun time today, using this oracle in the way it was originally intended.
The Sacred Treasure Oracle
I’ve created my own version of the flour oracle based on the essential movement of 27 archetypes or Universal Unfoldments of the human experience as it unfolds from birth to death. These archetypes (which include: The Protected Child, The Shaman, The Priestess, The High Mother, The High Father, The Holy Bridge, The Lovers, The Liberation, The Well of Power, The Quiet, Fate, The Truth, The Sacrifice, The Phoenix, The Flow, The Grand Illusion, Sacred Lightning, The Great Hope, The Dream Time, The Light, The Angel, Unity, The Great Mystery, Gaia’s Garden, Oceania, The Artist, and Father Time) are found in most wisdom teachings and are represented in such complicated divination systems as the Tarot. This is a fun way to track your progress on the ever-evolving journey through life, and it makes a great gift, too!
You’ll need to mix basic cookie dough in a large white bowl using a wooden spoon. The white bowl signifies the purity of Spirit, and the wooden spoon connects the process to the natural world. The ingredients you must use are:
- Flour, to represent the power of the earth and to give manifest form
- Sugar or honey, to represent the sweetness of life
- Water, to represent the ebb and flow of life
- Fire (stove), to represent the activity and creativity inherent in all things
- Salt, to preserve and to represent the infinite soul
- Butter, to represent abundance
- Milk, to represent nourishment
- Eggs, to represent the foundations of birth
You can use any combination of these ingredients in any cookie recipe you enjoy, since the idea is to eat them after you bake them. They have to be plain, though—no chocolate chips or raisins since those will dilute the power invoked in the ritual. Make sure you have enough dough to form 27 cookies.
(If you’re not planning to eat the cookies, make a basic dough using 3 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 pound softened butter, 1/2 cup milk, and 4 eggs. Mix it all together in the white bowl. This will give you enough for two batches of Sacred Treasure Balls.)
On 27 small pieces of parchment paper (which you can find by the aluminum foil and waxed paper at the grocery store), write or create symbols for any of the 27 archetypes. Roll the pieces of paper into tight cylinders.
Make 27 balls from the dough, flatten them a bit, and put one of the paper cylinders on each of them. Roll them up to form the Sacred Treasure Balls. Place them on a cookie sheet (you may have to use a couple of cookie sheets), and bake according to the recipe instructions. (For the basic dough, bake 40 minutes at 325 degrees F. Every oven is different so you may have to play around with this.) Once they’ve cooled, you can use them for your Sacred Treasure oracle.
Within each of the dough balls is sacred wisdom to illuminate your path as you move forward. The choosing of the cookies will represent your past, your present, and the evolving future of any of seven areas of your life. If you’re using this oracle alone, you may ask one question in each of the following seven categories—one per day—over the course of a week. This will give you an overview of all these aspects of your life as they play out through the coming month.
- Health, physical
- Community, friends, family
- Work, job
- Love relationships, romance
- Creativity, communication
- Dreams, ideas
If you’re choosing to experience this oracle in a group, then each person picks three Sacred Treasure Balls—which represent past influences, the present, and a possible outcome—and then a fourth, representing the catalyst that’s accelerating personal growth. You’ll need to make two full batches for each group of five people. Because that makes 54 balls, there will be duplicates of the archetypes. If you receive the same message twice, it means that this particular experience is amplified in all areas of your life and indicates a transition to a higher consciousness through the portal of the archetype’s lessons.
As with all oracle messengers, ask to be shown the will of Spirit for the highest good of all concerned. Also pray for guidance and for the ability to accept the answers that are revealed. Do such a reading no more than once a month. It may take time to fully understand the meanings implied by the symbols and their personal relevance to you, so write it all down and pay attention to what you’ve learned in hindsight.
Don’t Lick the Bowl!
Making these flour oracles will also give you another Spirit message to study: the dough that has settled along the sides of the bowl, which is like the soup oracle. Examine the symbols on the inside of the mixing bowl before you go to sleep. For example, a woman named Kate sent me a story of how she saw a very obvious image of a large dog with specific markings on its hind leg in the bowl—it looked as if it were chasing a ball. A couple months later, through a series of synchronicities, she was led to adopt a shepherd-mix adult dog that had been abandoned by the side of the road with a broken foot. She named him Booboo. When his foot was healed, Booboo’s favorite activity was running around the house chasing a ball.
Pay attention to your dreams for the following week, as this bowl will help you bridge the seen and Unseen to retrieve messages from Spirit for the benefit of you and your loved ones. When I was experimenting with this divination technique, I saw four obvious letters in the bowl: I, Z, G, and then an O. My father’s nickname was Zigo! It’s not uncommon for symbols to show up pertaining to loved ones who’ve passed over. But if you don’t see anything recognizable after studying it a bit, perhaps Spirit in the cookie dough is just reminding you about the taste of sweetness—so go ahead now and lick the bowl!
The ancient flour oracles were filled with messages where the symbols were sacred.
Colette Baron-Reid is a popular spiritual intuitive, seminar leader, radio personality, motivational speaker, and musical recording artist on the EMI music label with a top-selling meditation CD, Journey Through the Chakras.