Introducing the messenger
All the various offerings at this site - readings, courses, downloads, everything I can think of to help you connect with the I Ching - are my own work. In all of this, I'm just the messenger: the connecting device to let you 'plug in' to an omnipresent source, or (to borrow a better image from the oracle), the worker who keeps the Well in good repair so you can easily reach the water you need.
Quick introductions... my name's Hilary Barrett, and I live in a small village in Oxfordshire with my husband David (who's extraordinary - but that's for another website). If you're visiting Oxford and would like to meet up, please do get in touch.
Why do you work with the I Ching?
Because this is what I love to do, a way to use my innate gifts and the skills I've acquired over the years, and put them to the best of all possible uses. I spend my working day helping people to attain a sense of meaning in their lives - both on the large scale, the 'what am I doing here, what am I for?' scale, and on the smaller, 'what's going on here, what does this have to tell me?' scale.
The Yijing (aka I Ching) is an extraordinary, huge and wonderful way of connecting - with all the dimensions of yourself, with those you love, with every aspect of your experience. It offers the possibility of feeling truly at home in the world, right where you are now - and this is something I love to share.
People contact me after their readings to say they not only know what to do now, they also know clearly why they're doing it. Or to express a feeling of connectedness, or of rightness, or just sheer delight as they discover the cosmos's powerful will to communicate with them.
One of the best experiences is when someone comes to me at first for a reading, and then gets to a more peaceful and grounded place where he wants to learn to use the oracle for himself. I'm increasingly drawn to helping people start their own relationship and conversation with Yi on a firm footing. My formal 'system' for this would be the I Ching course, though in practice people who have readings or mentoring with me tend to develop their own divining abilities as we go along.
So in a nutshell... working as a diviner brings remarkable job satisfaction :) . It's a more-than-full-time job for me. When I'm not reading for someone, or coaching someone in reading for themselves, I'm generally doing other business-ish things: website tweaking, article writing, email answering, and the like.
What else do you do?
When I get away from the business altogether? Then I might be walking in the woods opposite our house, or out with David, or occasionally looking after my mentally handicapped brother (also called David), or lost in a book, or seizing the opportunity for some 'cello practice.
I'm a very enthusiastic orchestral 'cellist, and spend each Tuesday night rehearsing with a local amateur orchestra. During the day on Tuesdays, I do voluntary work at the Willows, a local day centre for the elderly. It's a wonderful place - I owe the people there a great deal. (One side effect of this is that if you email me on a Tuesday, you probably won't hear back straight away.)
How did you get into this?
Before I ever heard of the Yijing, I studied modern languages (French and German) at Oxford. By the time I completed my M Phil there, I was pretty sure there had to be something else I was meant to be doing. A while later, I read that the Yi was a good way to get in touch with your own intuition, and bought a battered copy of the Legge translation from a charity bookshop.
As far back as I could remember, I'd always been steeped in spirit, always known that the divine was present - though that awareness was quietly fading away by this time. But it had never occurred to me to try divination, or to regard it as anything other than random, superstitious, etc, etc. I had it all very neatly pigeonholed.
Then I started noticing that these 'random' readings I was doing... actually weren't. I can still remember the full impact of this realisation. Actually, I still feel this now and again - that almighty wake-up call from the cosmos: 'Hello, talking to you!'
Talking with the I Ching proved to be more challenging than anything I'd tried before - as well as immensely fulfilling. It felt like something I was made for. One morning (I think it was in 1999), I woke up with a little voice inside me asking "Why not interpret the I Ching for other people?"
... and so I do. It's demanding, engaging, mind-expanding (way beyond the comfort zone!) and joyful. I'm truly grateful to the people who do me the honour of asking me to read for them. I founded Clarity to share some of the sheer joy of the I Ching with other people. This website serves the same purpose - I hope you enjoy it!
Please do get in touch if you'd like to - here are my contact details. I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts, comments or questions.