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Confidence in Change

For some 3,000 years, people have turned to the I Ching, the Book of Changes, to help them uncover the meaning of their experience, to bring their actions into harmony with their underlying purpose, and above all to build a foundation of confident awareness for their choices.

Down the millennia, as the I Ching tradition has grown richer and deeper, the things we consult about may have changed a little, but the moment of consultation is much the same. These are the times when you’re turning in circles, hemmed in and frustrated by all the things you can’t see or don’t understand. You can think it over (and over, and over); you can ‘journal’ it; you can gather opinions.

But how can you have confidence in choosing a way to go, if you can’t quite be sure of seeing where you are?

Only understand where you are now, and you rediscover your power to make changes. This is the heart of I Ching divination. Once you can truly see into the present moment, all its possibilities open out before you – and you are free to create your future.

What is the I Ching?

The I Ching (or Yijing) is an oracle book: it speaks to you. You can call on its help with any question you have: issues with relationships of all kinds, ways to attain your personal goals, the outcomes of different choices for a key decision. It grounds you in present reality, encourages you to grow, and nurtures your self-knowledge. When things aren’t working, it opens up a space for you to get ‘off the ride’, out of the rut, and choose your own direction. And above all, it’s a wide-open, free-flowing channel for truth.

For I Ching Beginners -

How do you want to get started?

There are two different ways most people first meet the I Ching. There’s,

‘I’m fascinated by this ancient book and I want to learn all about it,’

and there’s,

‘I need help now with this thing (so I’ll learn whatever I need to know to get help with The Thing).’

Learning about the I Ching, or learning from the I Ching?

In the end, these two ways aren’t actually different. It isn’t possible to do one without the other, and people end up wanting both: the ‘learn about Yi’ people draw on its help more as their knowledge grows; the ‘learn from Yi’ people find they want to know more, once they’ve got the help they need.

But... they are different at the beginning:

Not a beginner?

Welcome - I’m glad you’ve come. Clarity’s here to help you deepen, explore and enjoy your relationship with Yi. You might like...

And so you can get to know some like-minded Yi-enthusiasts and we can keep in touch, do join Clarity

Hello, and thank you for visiting!

I’m Hilary - I work as an I Ching diviner and teacher, and I’m the author of I Ching: Walking your path, creating your future.

I hope you enjoy the site and find what you’re looking for here - do contact me with any comments or questions.

Clarity is my one-woman business providing I Ching courses, readings and community. (You can read more about me, and what I do, here.) It lets me spend my time doing the work I love, using my gifts to help you.

(Thank you.)

Warm wishes,
Hilary”

From the blog

How often have you heard someone say they need to consult with Yi (and perhaps need help with the interpretation) because they’re ‘too subjective’ or ‘too emotionally involved’ with the topic?

In a way, that can be true. We can be too close to something, too caught up in its ins-and-outs, and need to step back to find space to see the situation from a new angle. That’s something readings help with. Remembering Yi’s response to, ‘What do we give, when we give a reading?’ – 34.1.2.3.4 to 2 – it seems to me that this is what happens at line 4 –

‘Constancy, good fortune.
Regrets vanish.
The hedge broken through, no entanglement.
Vigour in the axle straps of a great cart.’

– when we break through and are no longer trapped inside those thought-hedges that block most of the world from sight.

However, what we’re escaping here is not emotional involvement; in fact, the idea that emotion gets in the way of taking decisions turns out to be exactly wrong.

There have been famous medical cases of people with brain injuries that left their rational intelligence perfectly intact, while they lost the capacity to feel emotion: people who, in effect, are compelled to take decisions without emotional involvement. They either make atrociously bad decisions or make none at all.

An anecdote from a case history: a man with this type of brain damage is offered a choice of two dates for his next appointment. He pulls out his diary and begins enumerating the pros and cons of each option, lucidly and in detail. Thirty minutes later, he is still weighing the pros and cons; finally, the doctor tells him which day to come, and he says, ‘OK, fine’ and leaves.

So for this man stuck in an endless loop of ‘on the one hand… on the other hand…’ the problem was a lack of subjectivity. His situation is extreme, and tragic – but I think still has something in common with the kind of indecision we bring to the oracle.

To look at this from the opposite direction for a moment, think of that commonly-taught way of motivating yourself by tapping into the emotion associated with the end result. You vividly imagine attaining your end result, deliberately become aware of its full emotional impact, then connect that emotional state to the work you need to do today. Emotional involvement gives you the power to break through the hedge and get started.

And… I think readings, especially readings about decisions, work in a similar – if subtler – way. From what I’ve seen of how people struggle, where we get stuck and how we get unstuck, readings don’t work like a list of pros and cons. Instead, we ask ‘What about doing this?’ ‘What about doing that instead?’ and Yi says, ‘Here is what that would be like.’ It gives you a picture of the experience, something you can imagine yourself living, so you know how it feels.

Sometimes, of course, it also tells you that what you’re contemplating is objectively a good or bad idea (good fortune, pitfall…), but often the reading experience is more completely subjective than you might realise at the time.

This is something that’s easier to see when you watch other people respond to their readings. Someone might be discouraged by Hexagram 46, Pushing Upward (‘Do not worry, set forth to the south, good fortune!’) because they can’t face the prospect of a long, step-by-step climb. Someone else might welcome Hexagram 44, Coupling (‘Do not marry this woman!’), because they enjoy risk and uncertainty. Hexagram 29, the Repeating Chasms, might be greeted with ‘No, not that again!’ or ‘Yes, that’s how deeply I’m committed to this.’ And in each case, that unique and wholly subjective emotional response is what makes a decision possible.

In other words… Yi isn’t a way to become less emotionally involved; it’s more like the opposite. It gives us a clear and direct emotional connection to our reality, so we can rediscover the capacity to choose.

Identical doors in a grey wall

A friend who works as a coach/counsellor, who’s learned from and drawn on probably hundreds of sources as she develops her own way of helping, has recently had a couple of teachers ask her for payment for her use of their intellectual property.

I was bemused, because this is something I’ve never needed to think about at all. Which is just as well… imagine if I were paying Stephen Karcher for use of the terms ‘relating hexagram’ and ‘change pattern’, and Bradford Hatcher for every time anyone on this website mentions ‘fan yao’ or refers to a reading with the shorthand he developed of ‘23.4 to 35’. I’d be living in a bin bag.

(Note… I don’t mean copyright. Yijing authors, like other authors, claim copyright in their work and do their best to stop people from stealing it. When I found my whole book on a file-sharing site, I wasn’t slow to ask the person who put it there to remove it. But copyrighting your words is not the same thing as trying to own the ideas they express. My friend isn’t trying to copy chunks of her teachers’ books into her own work, but to use adapted versions of processes – guided meditations and the like – that she learned from them. And she needs to pay to do that.)

Happily, no-one seems to use ‘Yijing’ and ‘intellectual property’ in the same sentence. I’m very grateful –  and I also wonder, why not?

In the first place I suppose it’s because the Yi itself is about as far from anybody’s property as any human activity can be, except perhaps breathing. Anyone trying to claim ownership of any of it would feel ridiculous. What we can own – our translations, our writings, our own work – is obviously a drop in the ocean. (Bradford says something in his introduction about the great dragon, amused, allowing people to scrawl their names on its scales. That sounds about right.)

Also, it’s peculiarly difficult with the Yi to work out whose idea it is anyway.

Take for instance how we think about the changed hexagram of a reading: the one that results from changing any moving lines to their opposites. Most books will tell you that it represents the future, what happens after all the lines have happened – and as you probably know, that isn’t necessarily true. It’s more like a background, a ‘where-you-stand-in-relation-to-this’ hexagram, which is very much present at the moment of casting. That’s a pretty fundamental concept for understanding Yi; who owns it? Well… I think I must have learned this from Stephen Karcher – he’s certainly the first person I encountered who actually wrote this down. But whenever the subject’s come up at the I Ching Community, there have always been plenty of people who’ve come to the same conclusion on their own, simply by learning from their own readings.

It’s the same with more technical aspects of readings: if there is something to notice, more than one person will probably notice it. I believe LiSe Heyboer noticed ‘line mirrors’ and Stephen Karcher noticed ‘looms of change’ at much the same time. (I call these ‘line pathways’; they are not my idea.) Or change patterns – the hexagram-shape made visible by looking only at which line positions are changing, so for instance the ‘pattern’ of any reading with line 1 changing is either hexagram 24 or 44. This is another thing I learned about first from Stephen Karcher, who mentioned the yin pattern (but not the yang) in his How to Use the I Ching book. I adopted it, adapted it, looked at the yang one too – and subsequently found both yin and yang patterns described in lots of different ways by several different people around the internet, all of whom had ‘discovered’ them for themselves.

And I think it’s the same for our ideas of hexagrams, too. Who owns the idea that Hexagram 29 can mean, ‘Here you go again, back with this stuff you really need to learn’? Or that 16 can mean ‘castles in the air’? Anyone?

Putting technical things and hexagram ideas together… suppose I teach people that hiding your light from view, so no-one can really see who you are, is a way of doing the inner work of liberation. So too, I might say, are sitting in stillness, or doing one’s own work with authenticity and without inflation. And then, perhaps surprisingly, so is a focus on expressing truth (or an aspect of it) beautifully to make it fully visible.

I could unpack these ideas at some length – but that doesn’t make them mine: they’re encoded in nuclear hexagrams. Although I haven’t come across anyone talking about them in the same way, the odds are that someone else has said all this before me, and with greater understanding.

Everything we can notice about the Yi has always been there for anyone to see, and Yi is unimaginably ancient. Apparently nuclear hexagrams (as opposed to nuclear trigrams) are a comparatively recent discovery, so that leaves a mere millennium or so for someone to have got there before I did. Really, who is going to dare claim to be the first person to know anything about Yi?

Also… Yi is ancient, and it is present. Lots of people turned out to have noticed that the changed hexagram was not a future hexagram, because Yi had shown them as much in their own readings. I’ve just shared some ideas about nuclear hexagram 40, and maybe one of these days you’ll notice Yi is using a pattern of 40 as nuclear and primary hexagram in your readings to speak to you. If that were my ‘intellectual property’, what could I do about it? Invoice Yi for its unauthorised use of my ideas?

vast ocean

I wrote before about why we want to do readings for other people – in essence, because we want to help, and we know what Yi gives, and we want to share that. As I prepare for the Reading for Others Class that begins this month (starting on the 19th), I’ve really been learning a lot from the in-depth responses people have sent me to the preliminary survey – about why they wanted the class, what they hoped it would cover, and where the sticking points were for them.

Here are a few of those sticking points, and some pointers on how to get unstuck:

Recognition

When you read for yourself, you naturally recognise how the answer is speaking to you. Recognising even a small part of the reading (‘ah yes, that line is exactly how I feel when this happens…’) gives you a doorway into the whole.

When you read for someone else, recognition doesn’t work in the same way. It might not happen at all. You might be unsure whether you’re truly recognising the person in the answer, or just your own preconceptions and/or baggage around this kind of question. And sometimes you’re going to recognise the answer as something you need to hear yourself, which can be thoroughly disconcerting if you weren’t expecting it.

Two things help here: really listening to the person talking, and taking time to ensure that the question they put to Yi is the one they’re really asking.

In your own relationship with Yi, you might have become quite relaxed about questions: you might be able to ask for a yes/no answer on the understanding that Yi will answer the question behind your question; you might not normally use a question at all; you can probably recognise those moments when Yi isn’t answering your question, but instead addressing a deeper underlying concern that you maybe should have asked about in the first place.

This is all beautiful, and none of it’s likely to work with someone else’s reading. To hear Yi answering their question, a beginner needs to hear the question they’re asking. And being able to hear the conversation is vital for you, too, as interpreter – it gives you a more solid place to stand, as you work to separate out your own preconceptions from what Yi’s saying.

Communication

An interesting thing about that survey – I asked, ‘Why are you interested in a class on reading for other people?’ and people talked about wanting to help, and wanting to share the experience of relationship with Yi. There’s the ‘aha’ – whether all at once, or unfolding over months – the inner shift, when the pieces fall into a new kaleidoscope pattern. That unique, individual experience of meaning is what we cherish and want other people to have.

Nobody wrote that they wanted to tell their friends, family or clients what Yi says. I think that’s because we know they need to hear Yi say it.

It’s one thing to understand someone’s reading, and another to be able to give it to them. So there’s a whole section of the class dedicated to this – I’ve called it the ‘bucket’ (poetic, I know…), because it’s about the container for the reading.

When you look at a reading, you may see multiple layers of meaning: hexagram text, hexagram shapes, trigrams, perhaps nuclear hexagrams, perhaps some associated myth and history, perhaps some reading experiences of your own that paint the whole thing in vivid emotional colours. And here is someone asking you, ‘What does it mean?’ and you need to somehow distil all that richness down into an essence they can take and use, so it’ll make a real difference for them.

The temptation here is to follow in the footsteps of the ‘simplified I Ching for modern times’ brigade and try to explain what it means – to say ‘making a transition’ instead of ‘crossing the great river’ or ‘being very careful’ instead of ‘treading the tail of the tiger’. Advice: don’t. Abstractions are forgettable; tigers are not.

You will need to invite your querent in to the imagery, encourage them to make themselves at home in a world where nothing travels faster than a horse, tigers are protector spirits that also eat people, and wading rivers is dangerous. You may need to choose one image from among the many you can see in text and trigrams. But giving a reading always means giving imagery.

One other tip: be clear in your own mind about the basic structure of the reading: what the primary and relating hexagram represent, how the diverse moving lines work together. This is essential to the health of your ‘well rope’ – the interpretive skill with which you draw out a reading’s meaning – and so I’ve provisionally sorted it into that part of the class (though what we work on in each week’s video meeting will depend on the questions participants have at the time). But it helps in communication, too, to be able to say things like, ‘This one is your hexagram,’ or maybe even, ‘This line gives a voice to your inner teenager.’

Keeping your head above water

Five years ago, I was burned out and had no idea whether I would ever do readings again. I’d been ‘open for readings’, barring a week off here or there for family responsibilities and emergencies, for over ten years, and I’d run out of everything and needed to crawl away and spend a long, long time sitting with an old oak tree and having no plans at all.

It’s true that divination is significantly different from counselling or coaching, because the real source of help is Yi, not the diviner. (That’s probably why I lasted 10 years, not 10 months.) All the same, being the conduit for its help is work. So yes… don’t do what I did, and make yourself absolutely unconditionally available to carry absolutely anything and everything for everybody at any time, indefinitely.

I dare say you, like most people, would have the common sense not to put yourself in that situation in the first place… But even if you’re only reading occasionally for family or friends, you still bear a weight of their expectations – maybe that you’ll come out with something succinct and wise on the spot? – and of responsibility.

I don’t have any universal answers about this – I think the best I can do is share some of the big questions and the personal answers I’ve found. Your answers may be different, but you should probably go looking for some before you do many readings.

How do you need to look after yourself?

I need time outdoors, I need time off from full readings, I need sky and trees, and occasionally if I’m worried about the person I’m reading for I need someone to share my worries with, in confidence.

And you…?

How do you understand your responsibility as a diviner?

I’m responsible for giving them the reading, as completely and as well as I possibly can.

If the querent doesn’t get it, I must keep on trying new ways of communicating until I’ve run out of ideas. If they resist what it says now, I must do my best to make it memorable so they can use it later. If they miss calls, I’ll write up my notes and email the reading. If someone requested a refund before the reading, I’d send it – and I’d also send the reading. Someone else’s reading in my hands is sacred, and I must do everything I can to give it to them. If the zombie apocalypse happens when I’m working on someone’s reading, I suppose I’ll just have to write it out on paper and get on my bike.

And… I’m not responsible for what happens next. Not even for how the person understands the reading – and absolutely not for what they decide to do. I trust the Oracle to do its thing, and I trust the person to walk their own way. Or at least, this is what I keep trying to do.

(And you…?)

cat stuck on tree trunk

Hexagram 8 is called Bi  – 比 – a very ancient, simple character that originally depicts two people side by side. It implies both that they’re together, and that they can be compared to one another, and so the word means belonging, seeking union, holding together, comparing, neighbouring, side-by-side… really, to translate the name of the hexagram we need a single English word for ‘the-desire-for-union-that-inspires-comparing-and-hence-sensing-affinity-and-hence-being-drawn-to-belong-and-stand-together’.

Yi says,

‘Seeking union, good fortune.
At the origin of oracle consultation,
From the source, ever-flowing constancy.
No mistake.
Not at rest, coming on all sides.
For the latecomer, pitfall.’

So the first thing to know about Seeking Union is that it is lucky, it is blessed – just in itself, with no added conditions.

Next, that this is the ‘origin of consulting the oracle, from the source, ever-flowing constancy, no mistake.’ Since ‘constancy’ also refers to divination – to the whole act, from insight to carrying that truth through into the world – this section reads as a single statement about divination. Richard Rutt groups the words slightly differently, and translates,

First divination: supreme [offering].
Long range augury: no misfortune

There is an immediate initial connection to the divine, and then what flows from there, how it works out over time, is without mistake.

Only… what has that to do with Bi? What connects

‘Seeking union, good fortune.’

with

‘At the origin of oracle consultation,
From the source, ever-flowing constancy.
No mistake.’

And come to that, what connects either of them with,

‘Not at rest, coming on all sides.
For the latecomer, pitfall.’

?

To begin at the end – those lines about the restless ones who come, and the pitfall for the latecomer, allude to the story of Yu the Great. After decades of hard toil, he had conquered the floods, and he called the lords and spirits together to found a new world. The character translated ‘on all sides’ is Fang, and it was Fang Feng who came late to Yu’s gathering and was executed. (Fang Feng was a ruler of winds, that blow to and fro; in practice, in readings, there’s often a demon of indecision and procrastination to be dealt with.)

Wilhelm explains the underlying natural logic of this: the straggler who arrives after bonds have already formed between people is automatically excluded. The story of Yu further suggests an act of exclusion of whatever doesn’t belong. Really, these are ways of seeing the same thing: Yu is the embodiment of the group’s natural inner power of cohesion and attraction, which excludes the hesitant latecomer.

Yu’s flood work, that makes this Union possible, was to cause the rivers to flow over the earth to the ocean – you can see this in the component trigrams of Hexagram 8, which show flowing water above, earth below:

::::|:

(You might also see the ‘story until now’ in the preceding hexagrams of the Sequence.)

Yu separated earth from water, and he also separated people from demons separating earth and water; separating people from demons. According to stories cited by Anne Birrell in Chinese Mythology, he both killed and banished demons, and also forged vessels to represent hostile beings:

‘He forged cauldrons in the image of these creatures. He took precautionary measures against all living things on behalf of the people, to make sure that they knew which were the malign spirits. Therefore, when the people went on rivers or entered marshes, or went on mountains or into forests, they never came across adverse beings; neither goblins nor trolls could ever run into them.’

It seems to me that Yu’s work was to bring together what belonged together and separate out what didn’t – that he did comparing-contrasting work.

To do this bi work, you have to be able to identify what belongs – and this is where divination comes in. The core line here:

原筮元永貞
Yuan shi, yuan yong zhen
Origin(al) oracle-consultation, source/supreme ever-flowing/long-range constancy/augury

(Those are two different characters both pronounced yuan, and with overlapping meanings of ‘original source’. The first of them means specifically the source of a spring, and yong ‘ever-flowing’ in its oldest form shows a human figure swimming in the current of a river – the watery imagery a reminder of Yu’s labours.)

The oracle consultation referred to here is clearly, specifically divination with stalks: the first such divination, its origin. Why stalks, not the more ancient tortoise plastrons? Could it be because the tortoise oracle says, in essence, either ‘Yes, the spirits are with you in this idea of yours’ or ‘no, they aren’t’, but the stalks say, ‘Here is an image of how it is’? Like Yu, Yi makes images for us so we can recognise what we’re seeing.

I think that’s what we really ask Yi for: a picture, a pattern for comparison. ‘What’s happening?’ ‘Here – this is.’ ‘What if I did this?’ ‘You’d be doing this – here, have a look.’ We look at the picture Yi offers and recognise the pattern it invites us to see. ‘Oh,’ we say, ‘It’s like that.‘ We get a feel for the situation; we get the picture.

Looking back for a moment through the Sequence: Hexagram 6, where the waters rage below heaven, says, ‘No, not that!’ Hexagram 7, where the waters flow under the earth, gathers energy around that unacceptable thing in order to resolve it. To switch metaphors midstream, Hexagram 7’s creative centre is like the grit in the oyster. Hexagram 8 is more like the formation of a crystal: it has an inner organising principle.

The Zagua (Contrasting Hexagrams) says Seeking Union is joy and the Army is sadness or anxiety. I’ve just realised this doesn’t only refer to how the hexagram makes you feel, but also the nature of its motivating force: one says, ‘No, not like that,’ the other says, ‘Yes, like this.’ (But as the Xugua (Hexagrams in Sequence) indicates, awareness of ‘like this’ is an emergent property of the crowds Hexagram 7 gathers.)

‘Seeking union, good fortune.
At the origin of oracle consultation,
From the source, ever-flowing constancy.
No mistake.
Not at rest, coming on all sides.
For the latecomer, pitfall.’

To Seek Union, to compare and see what belongs together, you divine to see the pattern and inner nature of things. From that original awareness flows a consistent, cohesive way of being; everything – people, ideas, actions – will hold together and will not fall out of alignment. This alignment works like lines of magnetic force to draw people towards you, just as the many beings came to Yu’s gathering to found the Xia dynasty, and just as many potential allies were drawn to the harmonious realm of the Zhou in their early days under King Wen. And for those who hesitate and come late – pitfall.

Snowflake

 

 

In 2014, Sheffield’s half marathon was cancelled. It was some kind of last minute organisational shambles: not until the spectators were lining the route and the runners waiting at the start did the organisers report that their water supplies hadn’t shown up, so they couldn’t go ahead.

The runners started running anyway – and as word of the missing water supplies spread along the 13 mile course, spectators started fetching water. Bottles they bought themselves (until the shops ran out), cupfuls from coffee shops, even rinsed-out milk cartons… hands reached out offering water, all along the route.

Well… of course they did. We know what it’s like to be thirsty, and we know runners need water.

Wanting to give someone a reading is very much the same: we know what it’s like to be stuck and adrift, and once you have the experience of what Yi does and gives, you want to share that.

So wanting to share comes of wanting to help, as anyone would. But what we’re giving with Yi is not so easily bottled, I think.

Presence

Certainly you start with the fundamental human gift of presence, attention and empathy – yet even that seems to me to take on an added significance in a reading. A (the?) core experience of meeting Yi is the sense that you’re being heard by the oracle. When someone meets Yi through you, then your listening is the first they experience, as a sort of place-holder. (Which is a fearsomely daunting thought.)

And then… Sheffield’s spectators did not line the route with banners reading,

‘You Must Be Really Thirsty!’

We don’t only want to listen, but to help – to make change possible for this person. But giving a reading is not ‘helping’ in any way we’re used to. It’s not offering our advice or sharing our opinion – it’s not even, ‘I really want this outcome for you, so let me help you get it.’ (Although we almost certainly do want something for them, so this part is tricky…)

Openness

In fact, I think part of giving a reading is to help the other person to take a few steps back from looking directly for solutions – to move instead towards an overview, finding how things flow, and escaping from problem-wrangling. Which is also not easy, because when someone’s in mid-wrangle it’s natural to want to line up with them, pitch in and help them work it out. ‘What are the pros and cons?’ or ‘Have you thought of this?’ or ‘Maybe he didn’t call because he didn’t realise you’d expect him to, so maybe you should call him,’ or ‘Look, he’s just not that into you and you really need to move on.’

Sharing a reading bypasses all of that. After all, if I were sure I knew the solution this person needs, what would be the point of involving Yi? I need to find my starting place in curiosity and openness – loosening my grip on anything I ‘know’ until it becomes only something I’m wondering about. Yes, that is a real puzzle; no, I don’t know what’s happening, I don’t know what’s true, I don’t know the way through… I wonder what’s true; I wonder what Yi will say.

(One of the joys of reading for others: finding more and more worlds of experience I know nothing about. After listening to a querent and helping them find their question, before they cast their reading and email me the results, there is a beautiful long moment for sinking into not knowing, wondering what Yi will say, looking forward to seeing the picture unveiled.)

Then you give the reading – and what you’re giving is the power to break out of problem-wrangling altogether. A reading can carry someone out of the traps in their thinking, away from the places where they’re stuck, into a bigger and more real world. (I think that’s just as true when the reading says, ‘This is falling apart; there is nothing you can do.’)

Connection

How does it do this? (What is the experience of a reading that we want to share?) I’ve heard so many descriptions, but I think the core of it is reconnection. Reconnecting with a wider reality, when your field of vision’s narrowing and your world’s shrinking; reconnecting with your own strength and confidence; restoring your awareness of connection with a cosmos that speaks with you. Which is probably, in the end, all the same reconnection.

And what makes this possible? What gets someone to ‘escape velocity’ from the gravity of their problems?

Trust in the oracle, of course – there’s no reading without the willingness to listen that first opens a channel of communication. But really, that’s something the querent already has; that’s how they could ask the question.

No… I think what the reader brings is smaller and subtler: the sure knowledge that this works. In interpreting someone else’s reading, you lend them your relationship with Yi – a relationship that’s made of practice and hindsight, of ways of engaging with and understanding a reading, of individual experiences with hexagrams and lines. This will hold the reading together, so it can carry the querent through.

Behind the scenes…

…there are a couple of reasons why I’m sharing this now.

First because I’ve been doing readings, and reflecting on what I’m doing. Then because I asked Yi the question, ‘When someone gives someone a reading, what are they giving?’ and received 34.1.2.3.4 to 2 – an answer you’ll probably recognise in the post above…

And also because all this is part of preparing for the Reading for Others class next month.

It’s going to be especially important for this class to get together a group of people for whom it’s a good fit – people for whom my approach to the Yi resonates, and who can happily work together and bounce ideas off one another as we share readings and feedback. So another reason for sharing this post is as another step towards finding that ‘good fit’ group – to see whether it makes sense to you and whether it describes something you want to do.

If this resonates, and if you’re interested in next month’s class, then do make sure you’re signed up for notifications. (The next steps will probably be an ‘Is this for you?’ questionnaire followed by a conversation.)

Water bottles offered to runners

From the I Ching Community

How often have you heard someone say they need to consult with Yi (and perhaps need help with the interpretation) because they’re ‘too subjective’ or ‘too emotionally involved’ with the topic?

In a way, that can be true. We can be too close to something, too caught up in its ins-and-outs, and need to step back to find space to see the situation from a new angle. That’s something readings help with. Remembering Yi’s response to, ‘What do we give, when we give a reading?’ – 34.1.2.3.4 to 2 – it seems to me that this is what happens at line 4 –

‘Constancy, good fortune.
Regrets vanish.
The hedge broken through, no entanglement.
Vigour in the axle straps of a great cart.’

– when we break through and are no longer trapped inside those thought-hedges that block most of the world from sight.

However, what we’re escaping here is not emotional involvement; in fact, the idea that emotion gets in the way of taking decisions turns out to be exactly wrong.

There have been famous medical cases of people with brain injuries that left their rational intelligence perfectly intact, while they lost the capacity to feel emotion: people who, in effect, are compelled to take decisions without emotional involvement. They either make atrociously bad decisions or make none at all.

An anecdote from a case history: a man with this type of brain damage is offered a choice of two dates for his next appointment. He pulls out his diary and begins enumerating the pros and cons of each option, lucidly and in detail. Thirty minutes later, he is still weighing the pros and cons; finally, the doctor tells him which day to come, and he says, ‘OK, fine’ and leaves.

So for this man stuck in an endless loop of ‘on the one hand… on the other hand…’ the problem was a lack of subjectivity. His situation is extreme, and tragic – but I think still has something in common with the kind of indecision we bring to the oracle.

To look at this from the opposite direction for a moment, think of that commonly-taught way of motivating yourself by tapping into the emotion associated with the end result. You vividly imagine attaining your end result, deliberately become aware of its full emotional impact, then connect that emotional state to the work you need to do today. Emotional involvement gives you the power to break through the hedge and get started.

And… I think readings, especially readings about decisions, work in a similar – if subtler – way. From what I’ve seen of how people struggle, where we get stuck and how we get unstuck, readings don’t work like a list of pros and cons. Instead, we ask ‘What about doing this?’ ‘What about doing that instead?’ and Yi says, ‘Here is what that would be like.’ It gives you a picture of the experience, something you can imagine yourself living, so you know how it feels.

Sometimes, of course, it also tells you that what you’re contemplating is objectively a good or bad idea (good fortune, pitfall…), but often the reading experience is more completely subjective than you might realise at the time.

This is something that’s easier to see when you watch other people respond to their readings. Someone might be discouraged by Hexagram 46, Pushing Upward (‘Do not worry, set forth to the south, good fortune!’) because they can’t face the prospect of a long, step-by-step climb. Someone else might welcome Hexagram 44, Coupling (‘Do not marry this woman!’), because they enjoy risk and uncertainty. Hexagram 29, the Repeating Chasms, might be greeted with ‘No, not that again!’ or ‘Yes, that’s how deeply I’m committed to this.’ And in each case, that unique and wholly subjective emotional response is what makes a decision possible.

In other words… Yi isn’t a way to become less emotionally involved; it’s more like the opposite. It gives us a clear and direct emotional connection to our reality, so we can rediscover the capacity to choose.

Identical doors in a grey wall

A friend who works as a coach/counsellor, who’s learned from and drawn on probably hundreds of sources as she develops her own way of helping, has recently had a couple of teachers ask her for payment for her use of their intellectual property.

I was bemused, because this is something I’ve never needed to think about at all. Which is just as well… imagine if I were paying Stephen Karcher for use of the terms ‘relating hexagram’ and ‘change pattern’, and Bradford Hatcher for every time anyone on this website mentions ‘fan yao’ or refers to a reading with the shorthand he developed of ‘23.4 to 35’. I’d be living in a bin bag.

(Note… I don’t mean copyright. Yijing authors, like other authors, claim copyright in their work and do their best to stop people from stealing it. When I found my whole book on a file-sharing site, I wasn’t slow to ask the person who put it there to remove it. But copyrighting your words is not the same thing as trying to own the ideas they express. My friend isn’t trying to copy chunks of her teachers’ books into her own work, but to use adapted versions of processes – guided meditations and the like – that she learned from them. And she needs to pay to do that.)

Happily, no-one seems to use ‘Yijing’ and ‘intellectual property’ in the same sentence. I’m very grateful –  and I also wonder, why not?

In the first place I suppose it’s because the Yi itself is about as far from anybody’s property as any human activity can be, except perhaps breathing. Anyone trying to claim ownership of any of it would feel ridiculous. What we can own – our translations, our writings, our own work – is obviously a drop in the ocean. (Bradford says something in his introduction about the great dragon, amused, allowing people to scrawl their names on its scales. That sounds about right.)

Also, it’s peculiarly difficult with the Yi to work out whose idea it is anyway.

Take for instance how we think about the changed hexagram of a reading: the one that results from changing any moving lines to their opposites. Most books will tell you that it represents the future, what happens after all the lines have happened – and as you probably know, that isn’t necessarily true. It’s more like a background, a ‘where-you-stand-in-relation-to-this’ hexagram, which is very much present at the moment of casting. That’s a pretty fundamental concept for understanding Yi; who owns it? Well… I think I must have learned this from Stephen Karcher – he’s certainly the first person I encountered who actually wrote this down. But whenever the subject’s come up at the I Ching Community, there have always been plenty of people who’ve come to the same conclusion on their own, simply by learning from their own readings.

It’s the same with more technical aspects of readings: if there is something to notice, more than one person will probably notice it. I believe LiSe Heyboer noticed ‘line mirrors’ and Stephen Karcher noticed ‘looms of change’ at much the same time. (I call these ‘line pathways’; they are not my idea.) Or change patterns – the hexagram-shape made visible by looking only at which line positions are changing, so for instance the ‘pattern’ of any reading with line 1 changing is either hexagram 24 or 44. This is another thing I learned about first from Stephen Karcher, who mentioned the yin pattern (but not the yang) in his How to Use the I Ching book. I adopted it, adapted it, looked at the yang one too – and subsequently found both yin and yang patterns described in lots of different ways by several different people around the internet, all of whom had ‘discovered’ them for themselves.

And I think it’s the same for our ideas of hexagrams, too. Who owns the idea that Hexagram 29 can mean, ‘Here you go again, back with this stuff you really need to learn’? Or that 16 can mean ‘castles in the air’? Anyone?

Putting technical things and hexagram ideas together… suppose I teach people that hiding your light from view, so no-one can really see who you are, is a way of doing the inner work of liberation. So too, I might say, are sitting in stillness, or doing one’s own work with authenticity and without inflation. And then, perhaps surprisingly, so is a focus on expressing truth (or an aspect of it) beautifully to make it fully visible.

I could unpack these ideas at some length – but that doesn’t make them mine: they’re encoded in nuclear hexagrams. Although I haven’t come across anyone talking about them in the same way, the odds are that someone else has said all this before me, and with greater understanding.

Everything we can notice about the Yi has always been there for anyone to see, and Yi is unimaginably ancient. Apparently nuclear hexagrams (as opposed to nuclear trigrams) are a comparatively recent discovery, so that leaves a mere millennium or so for someone to have got there before I did. Really, who is going to dare claim to be the first person to know anything about Yi?

Also… Yi is ancient, and it is present. Lots of people turned out to have noticed that the changed hexagram was not a future hexagram, because Yi had shown them as much in their own readings. I’ve just shared some ideas about nuclear hexagram 40, and maybe one of these days you’ll notice Yi is using a pattern of 40 as nuclear and primary hexagram in your readings to speak to you. If that were my ‘intellectual property’, what could I do about it? Invoice Yi for its unauthorised use of my ideas?

vast ocean

I wrote before about why we want to do readings for other people – in essence, because we want to help, and we know what Yi gives, and we want to share that. As I prepare for the Reading for Others Class that begins this month (starting on the 19th), I’ve really been learning a lot from the in-depth responses people have sent me to the preliminary survey – about why they wanted the class, what they hoped it would cover, and where the sticking points were for them.

Here are a few of those sticking points, and some pointers on how to get unstuck:

Recognition

When you read for yourself, you naturally recognise how the answer is speaking to you. Recognising even a small part of the reading (‘ah yes, that line is exactly how I feel when this happens…’) gives you a doorway into the whole.

When you read for someone else, recognition doesn’t work in the same way. It might not happen at all. You might be unsure whether you’re truly recognising the person in the answer, or just your own preconceptions and/or baggage around this kind of question. And sometimes you’re going to recognise the answer as something you need to hear yourself, which can be thoroughly disconcerting if you weren’t expecting it.

Two things help here: really listening to the person talking, and taking time to ensure that the question they put to Yi is the one they’re really asking.

In your own relationship with Yi, you might have become quite relaxed about questions: you might be able to ask for a yes/no answer on the understanding that Yi will answer the question behind your question; you might not normally use a question at all; you can probably recognise those moments when Yi isn’t answering your question, but instead addressing a deeper underlying concern that you maybe should have asked about in the first place.

This is all beautiful, and none of it’s likely to work with someone else’s reading. To hear Yi answering their question, a beginner needs to hear the question they’re asking. And being able to hear the conversation is vital for you, too, as interpreter – it gives you a more solid place to stand, as you work to separate out your own preconceptions from what Yi’s saying.

Communication

An interesting thing about that survey – I asked, ‘Why are you interested in a class on reading for other people?’ and people talked about wanting to help, and wanting to share the experience of relationship with Yi. There’s the ‘aha’ – whether all at once, or unfolding over months – the inner shift, when the pieces fall into a new kaleidoscope pattern. That unique, individual experience of meaning is what we cherish and want other people to have.

Nobody wrote that they wanted to tell their friends, family or clients what Yi says. I think that’s because we know they need to hear Yi say it.

It’s one thing to understand someone’s reading, and another to be able to give it to them. So there’s a whole section of the class dedicated to this – I’ve called it the ‘bucket’ (poetic, I know…), because it’s about the container for the reading.

When you look at a reading, you may see multiple layers of meaning: hexagram text, hexagram shapes, trigrams, perhaps nuclear hexagrams, perhaps some associated myth and history, perhaps some reading experiences of your own that paint the whole thing in vivid emotional colours. And here is someone asking you, ‘What does it mean?’ and you need to somehow distil all that richness down into an essence they can take and use, so it’ll make a real difference for them.

The temptation here is to follow in the footsteps of the ‘simplified I Ching for modern times’ brigade and try to explain what it means – to say ‘making a transition’ instead of ‘crossing the great river’ or ‘being very careful’ instead of ‘treading the tail of the tiger’. Advice: don’t. Abstractions are forgettable; tigers are not.

You will need to invite your querent in to the imagery, encourage them to make themselves at home in a world where nothing travels faster than a horse, tigers are protector spirits that also eat people, and wading rivers is dangerous. You may need to choose one image from among the many you can see in text and trigrams. But giving a reading always means giving imagery.

One other tip: be clear in your own mind about the basic structure of the reading: what the primary and relating hexagram represent, how the diverse moving lines work together. This is essential to the health of your ‘well rope’ – the interpretive skill with which you draw out a reading’s meaning – and so I’ve provisionally sorted it into that part of the class (though what we work on in each week’s video meeting will depend on the questions participants have at the time). But it helps in communication, too, to be able to say things like, ‘This one is your hexagram,’ or maybe even, ‘This line gives a voice to your inner teenager.’

Keeping your head above water

Five years ago, I was burned out and had no idea whether I would ever do readings again. I’d been ‘open for readings’, barring a week off here or there for family responsibilities and emergencies, for over ten years, and I’d run out of everything and needed to crawl away and spend a long, long time sitting with an old oak tree and having no plans at all.

It’s true that divination is significantly different from counselling or coaching, because the real source of help is Yi, not the diviner. (That’s probably why I lasted 10 years, not 10 months.) All the same, being the conduit for its help is work. So yes… don’t do what I did, and make yourself absolutely unconditionally available to carry absolutely anything and everything for everybody at any time, indefinitely.

I dare say you, like most people, would have the common sense not to put yourself in that situation in the first place… But even if you’re only reading occasionally for family or friends, you still bear a weight of their expectations – maybe that you’ll come out with something succinct and wise on the spot? – and of responsibility.

I don’t have any universal answers about this – I think the best I can do is share some of the big questions and the personal answers I’ve found. Your answers may be different, but you should probably go looking for some before you do many readings.

How do you need to look after yourself?

I need time outdoors, I need time off from full readings, I need sky and trees, and occasionally if I’m worried about the person I’m reading for I need someone to share my worries with, in confidence.

And you…?

How do you understand your responsibility as a diviner?

I’m responsible for giving them the reading, as completely and as well as I possibly can.

If the querent doesn’t get it, I must keep on trying new ways of communicating until I’ve run out of ideas. If they resist what it says now, I must do my best to make it memorable so they can use it later. If they miss calls, I’ll write up my notes and email the reading. If someone requested a refund before the reading, I’d send it – and I’d also send the reading. Someone else’s reading in my hands is sacred, and I must do everything I can to give it to them. If the zombie apocalypse happens when I’m working on someone’s reading, I suppose I’ll just have to write it out on paper and get on my bike.

And… I’m not responsible for what happens next. Not even for how the person understands the reading – and absolutely not for what they decide to do. I trust the Oracle to do its thing, and I trust the person to walk their own way. Or at least, this is what I keep trying to do.

(And you…?)

cat stuck on tree trunk

Hexagram 8 is called Bi  – 比 – a very ancient, simple character that originally depicts two people side by side. It implies both that they’re together, and that they can be compared to one another, and so the word means belonging, seeking union, holding together, comparing, neighbouring, side-by-side… really, to translate the name of the hexagram we need a single English word for ‘the-desire-for-union-that-inspires-comparing-and-hence-sensing-affinity-and-hence-being-drawn-to-belong-and-stand-together’.

Yi says,

‘Seeking union, good fortune.
At the origin of oracle consultation,
From the source, ever-flowing constancy.
No mistake.
Not at rest, coming on all sides.
For the latecomer, pitfall.’

So the first thing to know about Seeking Union is that it is lucky, it is blessed – just in itself, with no added conditions.

Next, that this is the ‘origin of consulting the oracle, from the source, ever-flowing constancy, no mistake.’ Since ‘constancy’ also refers to divination – to the whole act, from insight to carrying that truth through into the world – this section reads as a single statement about divination. Richard Rutt groups the words slightly differently, and translates,

First divination: supreme [offering].
Long range augury: no misfortune

There is an immediate initial connection to the divine, and then what flows from there, how it works out over time, is without mistake.

Only… what has that to do with Bi? What connects

‘Seeking union, good fortune.’

with

‘At the origin of oracle consultation,
From the source, ever-flowing constancy.
No mistake.’

And come to that, what connects either of them with,

‘Not at rest, coming on all sides.
For the latecomer, pitfall.’

?

To begin at the end – those lines about the restless ones who come, and the pitfall for the latecomer, allude to the story of Yu the Great. After decades of hard toil, he had conquered the floods, and he called the lords and spirits together to found a new world. The character translated ‘on all sides’ is Fang, and it was Fang Feng who came late to Yu’s gathering and was executed. (Fang Feng was a ruler of winds, that blow to and fro; in practice, in readings, there’s often a demon of indecision and procrastination to be dealt with.)

Wilhelm explains the underlying natural logic of this: the straggler who arrives after bonds have already formed between people is automatically excluded. The story of Yu further suggests an act of exclusion of whatever doesn’t belong. Really, these are ways of seeing the same thing: Yu is the embodiment of the group’s natural inner power of cohesion and attraction, which excludes the hesitant latecomer.

Yu’s flood work, that makes this Union possible, was to cause the rivers to flow over the earth to the ocean – you can see this in the component trigrams of Hexagram 8, which show flowing water above, earth below:

::::|:

(You might also see the ‘story until now’ in the preceding hexagrams of the Sequence.)

Yu separated earth from water, and he also separated people from demons separating earth and water; separating people from demons. According to stories cited by Anne Birrell in Chinese Mythology, he both killed and banished demons, and also forged vessels to represent hostile beings:

‘He forged cauldrons in the image of these creatures. He took precautionary measures against all living things on behalf of the people, to make sure that they knew which were the malign spirits. Therefore, when the people went on rivers or entered marshes, or went on mountains or into forests, they never came across adverse beings; neither goblins nor trolls could ever run into them.’

It seems to me that Yu’s work was to bring together what belonged together and separate out what didn’t – that he did comparing-contrasting work.

To do this bi work, you have to be able to identify what belongs – and this is where divination comes in. The core line here:

原筮元永貞
Yuan shi, yuan yong zhen
Origin(al) oracle-consultation, source/supreme ever-flowing/long-range constancy/augury

(Those are two different characters both pronounced yuan, and with overlapping meanings of ‘original source’. The first of them means specifically the source of a spring, and yong ‘ever-flowing’ in its oldest form shows a human figure swimming in the current of a river – the watery imagery a reminder of Yu’s labours.)

The oracle consultation referred to here is clearly, specifically divination with stalks: the first such divination, its origin. Why stalks, not the more ancient tortoise plastrons? Could it be because the tortoise oracle says, in essence, either ‘Yes, the spirits are with you in this idea of yours’ or ‘no, they aren’t’, but the stalks say, ‘Here is an image of how it is’? Like Yu, Yi makes images for us so we can recognise what we’re seeing.

I think that’s what we really ask Yi for: a picture, a pattern for comparison. ‘What’s happening?’ ‘Here – this is.’ ‘What if I did this?’ ‘You’d be doing this – here, have a look.’ We look at the picture Yi offers and recognise the pattern it invites us to see. ‘Oh,’ we say, ‘It’s like that.‘ We get a feel for the situation; we get the picture.

Looking back for a moment through the Sequence: Hexagram 6, where the waters rage below heaven, says, ‘No, not that!’ Hexagram 7, where the waters flow under the earth, gathers energy around that unacceptable thing in order to resolve it. To switch metaphors midstream, Hexagram 7’s creative centre is like the grit in the oyster. Hexagram 8 is more like the formation of a crystal: it has an inner organising principle.

The Zagua (Contrasting Hexagrams) says Seeking Union is joy and the Army is sadness or anxiety. I’ve just realised this doesn’t only refer to how the hexagram makes you feel, but also the nature of its motivating force: one says, ‘No, not like that,’ the other says, ‘Yes, like this.’ (But as the Xugua (Hexagrams in Sequence) indicates, awareness of ‘like this’ is an emergent property of the crowds Hexagram 7 gathers.)

‘Seeking union, good fortune.
At the origin of oracle consultation,
From the source, ever-flowing constancy.
No mistake.
Not at rest, coming on all sides.
For the latecomer, pitfall.’

To Seek Union, to compare and see what belongs together, you divine to see the pattern and inner nature of things. From that original awareness flows a consistent, cohesive way of being; everything – people, ideas, actions – will hold together and will not fall out of alignment. This alignment works like lines of magnetic force to draw people towards you, just as the many beings came to Yu’s gathering to found the Xia dynasty, and just as many potential allies were drawn to the harmonious realm of the Zhou in their early days under King Wen. And for those who hesitate and come late – pitfall.

Snowflake

 

 

In 2014, Sheffield’s half marathon was cancelled. It was some kind of last minute organisational shambles: not until the spectators were lining the route and the runners waiting at the start did the organisers report that their water supplies hadn’t shown up, so they couldn’t go ahead.

The runners started running anyway – and as word of the missing water supplies spread along the 13 mile course, spectators started fetching water. Bottles they bought themselves (until the shops ran out), cupfuls from coffee shops, even rinsed-out milk cartons… hands reached out offering water, all along the route.

Well… of course they did. We know what it’s like to be thirsty, and we know runners need water.

Wanting to give someone a reading is very much the same: we know what it’s like to be stuck and adrift, and once you have the experience of what Yi does and gives, you want to share that.

So wanting to share comes of wanting to help, as anyone would. But what we’re giving with Yi is not so easily bottled, I think.

Presence

Certainly you start with the fundamental human gift of presence, attention and empathy – yet even that seems to me to take on an added significance in a reading. A (the?) core experience of meeting Yi is the sense that you’re being heard by the oracle. When someone meets Yi through you, then your listening is the first they experience, as a sort of place-holder. (Which is a fearsomely daunting thought.)

And then… Sheffield’s spectators did not line the route with banners reading,

‘You Must Be Really Thirsty!’

We don’t only want to listen, but to help – to make change possible for this person. But giving a reading is not ‘helping’ in any way we’re used to. It’s not offering our advice or sharing our opinion – it’s not even, ‘I really want this outcome for you, so let me help you get it.’ (Although we almost certainly do want something for them, so this part is tricky…)

Openness

In fact, I think part of giving a reading is to help the other person to take a few steps back from looking directly for solutions – to move instead towards an overview, finding how things flow, and escaping from problem-wrangling. Which is also not easy, because when someone’s in mid-wrangle it’s natural to want to line up with them, pitch in and help them work it out. ‘What are the pros and cons?’ or ‘Have you thought of this?’ or ‘Maybe he didn’t call because he didn’t realise you’d expect him to, so maybe you should call him,’ or ‘Look, he’s just not that into you and you really need to move on.’

Sharing a reading bypasses all of that. After all, if I were sure I knew the solution this person needs, what would be the point of involving Yi? I need to find my starting place in curiosity and openness – loosening my grip on anything I ‘know’ until it becomes only something I’m wondering about. Yes, that is a real puzzle; no, I don’t know what’s happening, I don’t know what’s true, I don’t know the way through… I wonder what’s true; I wonder what Yi will say.

(One of the joys of reading for others: finding more and more worlds of experience I know nothing about. After listening to a querent and helping them find their question, before they cast their reading and email me the results, there is a beautiful long moment for sinking into not knowing, wondering what Yi will say, looking forward to seeing the picture unveiled.)

Then you give the reading – and what you’re giving is the power to break out of problem-wrangling altogether. A reading can carry someone out of the traps in their thinking, away from the places where they’re stuck, into a bigger and more real world. (I think that’s just as true when the reading says, ‘This is falling apart; there is nothing you can do.’)

Connection

How does it do this? (What is the experience of a reading that we want to share?) I’ve heard so many descriptions, but I think the core of it is reconnection. Reconnecting with a wider reality, when your field of vision’s narrowing and your world’s shrinking; reconnecting with your own strength and confidence; restoring your awareness of connection with a cosmos that speaks with you. Which is probably, in the end, all the same reconnection.

And what makes this possible? What gets someone to ‘escape velocity’ from the gravity of their problems?

Trust in the oracle, of course – there’s no reading without the willingness to listen that first opens a channel of communication. But really, that’s something the querent already has; that’s how they could ask the question.

No… I think what the reader brings is smaller and subtler: the sure knowledge that this works. In interpreting someone else’s reading, you lend them your relationship with Yi – a relationship that’s made of practice and hindsight, of ways of engaging with and understanding a reading, of individual experiences with hexagrams and lines. This will hold the reading together, so it can carry the querent through.

Behind the scenes…

…there are a couple of reasons why I’m sharing this now.

First because I’ve been doing readings, and reflecting on what I’m doing. Then because I asked Yi the question, ‘When someone gives someone a reading, what are they giving?’ and received 34.1.2.3.4 to 2 – an answer you’ll probably recognise in the post above…

And also because all this is part of preparing for the Reading for Others class next month.

It’s going to be especially important for this class to get together a group of people for whom it’s a good fit – people for whom my approach to the Yi resonates, and who can happily work together and bounce ideas off one another as we share readings and feedback. So another reason for sharing this post is as another step towards finding that ‘good fit’ group – to see whether it makes sense to you and whether it describes something you want to do.

If this resonates, and if you’re interested in next month’s class, then do make sure you’re signed up for notifications. (The next steps will probably be an ‘Is this for you?’ questionnaire followed by a conversation.)

Water bottles offered to runners

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