Md-mo or Arrow Divination

Dear Saveta

I was hopeful you might shed some light on something for me? I have been tidying various spots around my home and came across a box of mementos my wife and I and our oldest son brought back from a trip to Tibet about 9 years ago.

As I was rummaging, I found a pouch with a couple of items plus instructions on a piece of paper with the word Mel-me written on it and some hastily written instruction on how to perform an arrow divination.

The handwriting is my son’s and I asked him, but he only remembers buying the item i

n a marketplace just before flying out on our last day in Tibet.

I know it is a longshot…any idea what this intriguing bundle might be about.

Any response would be appreciated.

I.P Ancaster, Ontario

Dear IP

Thank you for a fascinating email question. I did some digging through my reference books and here is what I have come up with.

Md-mo is a Tibetan term that translates as Arrow divination.

Divination simply means a way of seeking knowledge of the future…bas

ically how to read future events.

In the Tibetan method two arrows, one tied with white cloth and the other with black are used with this method.

First a pile of barley is gathered and placed on a piece of white wool (white representing purity.

The arrows are next spontaneously thrust into the barley while the person desiring the reading (querant) concentrates on a specific question.

As the question is being concentrated upon – the arrows are purported to begin


Possible movements for the arrows might be to fall apart from each other, fall towards each other or strike each other.

Each of the arrow movements are described in a corresponding holy text. Movement of the arrows in the same direction indicates the answer is a yes; away from each other a no and if they hit each other then there will be a conflict or confrontation in the future associated to the question asked.

If arrows land appearing like the hands of a clock…the number shown are the weeks and months until answer to question is answered.

Additionally, while I was digging for an answer to this first question, I came across another intriguing Tibetan Method of Divination called Bya-rog-kyi-skad-brtag-p or bird divination.

This method centers around observations of the behavior of a crow. Crows were considered messengers of the Gods by Tibetans. To receive an answer a person seeking a response would spontaneously and confidently voice a question to the winds then pause and listen intently for the corresponding cry of a crow.

If crow’s cry came from the South interpretation is an enemy or danger was arriving for a visit. From the East – sudden change is about to arrive. From the West an omen of unexpected financial reward, and if from the North sudden conflict with a previous ally.

Thank you for emailing a fascinating question.