Tutorial, Napoleon's "Book Of Fate" aka The Empire Builder's Oracle

Napoleon’s Book Of Fate, also called the Oraculum, is a form of oracle whose questions and answers are remarkably pragmatic and direct.

I’m posting this as a tutorial on how to use it, and to cover some common shorthand the Books uses and background info, because it’s a tool that can be used by just about anyone regardless of psychic sensitivity or magickal ability, since it gives the answers in a text format - in that respect it’s more like the I Ching than using a tool like Tarot.

2020 Update:

I posted this tutorial in 2014, so a lot has become clearer over the years and with the experiences of many dedicated mages and students of divination all giving their feedback, as well as my own use of the Book.

The Book of Fate seems to give the most accurate results on matters of personal/workplace politics, personal ambition, careers, and matters of that nature, and be least reliable in matters of love, possibly due to different attitudes to extra-marital sex and romance in the era it was originally created.

Most methods of divination have an average 80% accuracy rate at their best, due to various factors, and the 20% failure rate of this Oracle have largely been reported in the area of romantic love.

Please bear this in mind before consulting it. :+1:

Original 2014 post resumes:

First, this is the story behind the Book:

"The Oraculum had been originally discovered in one of the Royal tombs of Egypt during a French military expedition of 1801, and at Napoleon’s request was translated by a famous German scholar and antiquarian. Apparently consulting it “before every important occasion”, the book became one of the emperor’s most treasured possessions. It was found among his personal possessions after the defeat of his army at Leipzig in 1813 and translated into English in 1822."

The legend behind it is that as long as Napoleon heeded the Book Of Fate’s guidance, his career and empire flourished - only when his ambition caused him to ignore the guidance of the Oraculum did his fortunes decline.

The questions and answers are all very pragmatic and focused, many of them to do with loyalty, business, politics, and power.

A couple of months ago, the Book Of Fate saved my dog’s life, by advising me to ignore the vet’s advice to have him put to sleep when he fell ill (I was too wrung out from sleepless nights with him to be able to deploy any magick, and also too caught up in worry and so on) and it gave me some broad guidance on what to do (seek more information) which worked, and he made a full recovery - not the first time it’s helped, but certainly the most significant.

Important point - be aware that each question has 32 possible replies, and that Q’s 3 & 25, length of life and recovery from sickness, do have potentially negative replies (one answer for #25 tells the querent to prepare their tomb!) so a word of caution applies with those, and please don’t ask either of those if you believe a negative answer will adversely affect you in any way.

Also, don’t ask the Book Of Fate the same question twice within any calendar month, and ideally, don’t ask it more than one question per day about anything.

How to use the Book Of Fate:

You can do a reading by going to this page and reading the instructions, first:


There’s a list of the questions with my notes added to how else they can be applied for magickal purposes here:

Here’s how to use it, once you picked your question:

Take a sheet of paper (or notebook, whatever you prefer) and put the date and the question, plus the number for that question (that’s important) at the top.

Then underneath, write five rows of lines, just do a load of them right across the paper without counting. The book’s instructions say to do more than 12 but unless you leave big gaps or use a tiny piece of paper, you don’t need to count TO twelve at the start, I never do.

If you feel a strong STOP feeling, then stop, DON’T go too fast writing those lines because you want to be in tune with that, but if you feel nothing that’s perfectly okay (it happens on some readings for me, and it doesn’t affect the result) and just keep going to the end of the sheet of paper.

Sometimes, I’ve kept going right to the end of the paper and my pen slipped so it scratched down the side of the pad - in those cases I either discarded the reading if it was very important and tried again the next day, or I counted the visible lines only, and those answers were always accurate when I checked back afterwards.

If you have trouble not counting, try repeating the question to yourself as you work, or hum a tune or something to keep your mind from going “One-two-three-four…”! :slight_smile:

So what you have should look a bit like this, as a rough example - five sets of vertical lines:

| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
| | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |

Add the lines up, I like to make a tiny cross-line on them so if I lose count or my lines were messy I know where I got to, then then if it’s an odd number, it’s one dot, if it’s an even number, it’s two dots:

18 lines would be **
20 lines would be **
19 lines would be *
21 lines would be * … etc.

Start at the top (unlike the I Ching) so in my example there, you got 18 on the top line, 20 on the 2nd, and so on.

Then cross reference the number of the question, in the vertical column on that double page with the grid on, and trace down from the exact symbol (make sure you get the right on, maybe use a piece of paper or ruler) to find the alphabetical (or symbol) of the page.

Find that page, skim until you find the symbol made from the pattern of dots you got, and that’s your answer. It’s very simple once you get the hang of it, far more so that reading about it in fact!! :slight_smile:

Say you ask Question 7, and the result you get looks like this:


You go to the page with the key grid on the online version, the one that’s two clicks in, on the > arrow.

You’ll see a grid with all the ** symbols along the top, and down the side, the numbers, which denote which question.

Look up the symbol you got along the top, then the number of the question down the side, like this:


You can see on that example, you need to go to Page M and then find your symbol on that page, and the answer is the text next to it.

I started using this with no idea how it worked and every answer it’s given me has been 100% reliable, and it’s become my Go To tool when I have serious questions.

Remember that the Book of Fate speaks in metaphors and simple old-fashioned terms e.g., it uses “drunkenness” to mean every type of self-destructive or unstable behaviour, probably because it was written before people were psychologically literate.

If you get an answer that really puzzles you, post here or PM me and I’ll try and shed light on it if I can, but the answers are usually fairly simple to figure out.

It’s also a very conservative-minded book and leans on the side of caution in most things - it won’t offer encouragement if it can give you some advice instead, and it tends to favour hard work over empty optimism when you want to achieve a goal.

But I’ve found it to be totally reliable regarding the trustworthiness (or otherwise) of spirits and for giving general advice, and I regularly look back over old Q & A’s to check on this - a practice I recommend (as with any divinatory tool) to rule out wishful thinking.

Finally, if you get good results and would like to find a print edition, the version I have is published by Cico Books with an introduction by Judy Hall, the ISBN is 1 903116 597 - it’s probably the best edition to track down since some of them seem to be reprints of scans of an older book that are hard to read, whereas that one is nicely typeset and comes with a modern introduction.


Thanks for your time in posting this! I’m going to give it a go later in the week (too busy just now).

BTW, I’ve been having good success using regular playing cards for simple ‘yes, no ,maybe and most definitely’ answers to questions. Though, I haven’t been documenting my Q & A’s. Perhaps I should. I’ve been more or less exercising my “connections” with it.

Hey this is a really cool system I just had a go and ordered the book.

Seriously cool. I love the intuitive approach of it.

Thanks a lot for sharing this and…great to hear your dog survived! Oftentimes so called “experts” are wrong.

By “asking the same question more than once a month” does that mean if I ask the trustworthiness of one person, I cannot ask the same about another until the next month - or just not the exact same question about the same person?

Yes, you can ask the same question about a different person (or different situation, e.g., Q.s 8 & 9 which are very multi-purpose), but not the same question about the same person/situation in any one-month period.

If you do try to double-up, you’ll get like decreasing returns of accuracy, at least that’s what happened to me when I tried that. When that happens you end up confusing yourself, so I found that it was best to stick with that rule, and then use Tarot or other methods to get a deeper insight.

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Thankees so much gives cookies and hugs

Napoleon’s Oraculum - The book ovf Fate: is ace, its really the only form of divination i like to do because it will give you answer that you can literally read every time with a clear method, so you don’t need to be expert on tarot or anything.


OK, not to sound dense here, but if I’m thinking about this right, you use the question from the book that most closely resembles the question you’re actually asking?

For instance, if I wanted to know if I’ve contacted a spirit lover, I would use question #1? Or if I wanted to know if I was going to get a job I applied for, use #9? Am I on the right track here?

[quote=“chef1964, post:8, topic:4467”]OK, not to sound dense here, but if I’m thinking about this right, you use the question from the book that most closely resembles the question you’re actually asking?

For instance, if I wanted to know if I’ve contacted a spirit lover, I would use question #1? Or if I wanted to know if I was going to get a job I applied for, use #9? Am I on the right track here?[/quote]

yes you are

This has notes about some of the questions I use most often for other purposes, including using the question about travel (Q. 27) to judge whether an expensive purchase will be worthwhile:


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Thanks to both of you for your answers. I figured that’s how it worked, just wanted to be sure. And thank you, M’Lady, for posting this tut. Finally, a type of divination even I can use!

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Lady Eva, I used the book to ask a question on behalf of a friend who’s on the fence about a job offer. I asked if said job would be a career move for her. The answer was “Before thou buildest, reckon the cost of thy house.” To me that says she needs to think it through and make up her own mind based on pros and cons, which is basically what she’s been (unsuccessfully) doing, lol. Any thoughts on interpretation?

I think it’s saying that it might not be all plain sailing and there might be “costs” involved that she’s maybe downplaying or not aware of.

They might be avoidable, with forward planning (“reckoning”) - to build a house, and to reckon the cost beforehand indicates it may be possible to re-evaluate and downsize the house a bit, so is there any area where she’s being over-ambitious, and could scale that back a bit and still get her desired outcome (the “house” metaphor in the reading) by not being quite so ambitious?

Financially, there might be a warning there to make sure things like any health insurance, expenses that her current employer covers, and things like that are as good or better in the new job, because although the new position may have good things to offer, those being absent could be the “costs” it’s cautioning her about.

Will her terms of employment be as secure, will any of this affect her credit rating (e.g., going from secure employment to contract or self-employment), is there a greater associated cost of travel, what’s the holiday pay like, will she have to pay for clothing, uniform, equipment, transportation, anything like that which is a secondary expense, or a drop in income that’s not immediately obvious, that might turn out to be a problem if she does make this move, and so she needs to be completely sure it’s worth it before acting.

These are all things that depend upon the details of her line of work and the future choice, so I’m just putting out as many ideas as possible - if that came up for me before starting a business, I’d look at what expenses could be cut back and how to minimise debts and non-essential expenditures at the start, in other words making sure my “house” didn’t run up too many costs that were avoidable.

That’s all that comes to mind right now, I hope some of it helps… in the end divination’s only a tool and sometimes we just have to go with our heart and do what we really wanted, and then deal with the fallout from there - but this might be a warning of the kinds of things to look out for, and hopefully she can act on that and not have those “costs” cropping up and causing too many problems.


Thanks for the insight. Actually, it will cut her commuting costs in half to take this job, as well as a pay increase plus paid holidays. Paid time off seems equivalent to what she has now. As far as health insurance, uniform costs, etc., I don’t know. On the surface, there seems to be more pros than cons. I think part of the indecision is from change itself; she’s in a comfort zone right now, starting at a new company takes her out of that. She’s also going to be required to train on things she has no interest in, but ultimately will be doing what she’s doing now. She’s a great kid and I love and adore her as if she were my own daughter, so I just want to see her happy and successful. Again, thanks for offering me a deeper insight into this.

Right, that could be the “cost” - because the rest sounds good.

She may find that it requires more change than she expected, and that might be an awkwards transition.

As I said the Book can be a bit old-fashioned and tends to give advice whenever possible, instead of mindless “YOLO” kind of encouragement. :slight_smile:

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You’ve been very helpful, thank you.

I see tis book in Spanish, and tools for freedom.com,may have a copy,check it up

Ive been using this oracle for a while. At first I thought its intelligences didnt like me much, but things are going smooth now. Very cool Lady Eva, thank you!

Well I am not surprised at this point. I mean come on, did I expect anything less than distilled awesome from you, LadyEva? Holy chainsaw-juggling Odin you’re good!


Hey seriously the Book’s the best find I ever made, and it’s criminal that it’s not better known, I couldn’t find much about it anywhere, so hopefully it will start to get the recognition it deserves!