Small white shells often used in Indian astrology and by children as a substitute for dice. In astrology, the shells are held in the palm of the right hand, shaken, and thrown upon the ground, at which point the astrologer makes a reading of the manner in which they have fallen.
Cowrie shells Term Timeline in An Astrologer’s Day
The timeline below shows where the term Cowrie shells appears in An Astrologer’s Day. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
An Astrologer’s Day
...astrologer lays out his equipment and readies for the day. He has brought a dozen cowrie shells , mystical-looking but unreadable charts, parchments, and other accoutrements. His forehead is painted with sacred... (full context)