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I Ching with Clarity

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

I’ve left a longer gap between posts here than I intended, mostly because March has been very full of ’cello-y things. Still, there’s a reading from one of these that cast a new light on Hexagram 31 line 3 for me, so I can at least share that with you…

The background: I’d signed up months ago for the ’Cello Day. This is a lovely occasion where a very mixed bunch of amateur ’cellists get together and are taught by a superb, kind professional. As well as group work, there is a quasi-masterclass, in which a few people volunteer to play something and get individual feedback. Thoroughly scary, but a rare opportunity; I signed up, and had been working on the piece I wanted to play since Christmas.

And… then I learned that there would be no pianist available. What I wanted to play was very much a duet with the piano, so that the ’cello part on its own would sound very lonely and a bit daft. Should I persist with that, or switch to some solo Bach (for ’cello alone)? I prepared both, dithered and divined about which to play, and didn’t actually decide until the day to go with Bach.

So that’s why I have a reading in my journal titled, ‘Just Bach?’ Yi answered with 31, Influence, changing at line 3 to 45, Gathering.

A smidgen more background: I was playing the prelude to the D minor suite, which is an intensely emotional piece: I can’t play it without being moved – not even performing in front of a group, where I’d normally be too scared to be aware of anything much else. So you can see the Hexagram-31-ness of the moment in that. (The 45 is a combination of the setting, the amount of time I’d spent preparing, all I’d learned earlier in the day and wanted to integrate… which all meant I was emotionally invested in more ways than one.)

The line warns,

‘Influence in your thighs,
Holding on to your following
Going on, shame.’

It’s an odd, awkward line, about being pulled in opposite directions. (Aside: so are some other third lines in the mountain trigram – think of 52.3, or 33.3.) ‘Influence in your thighs’ suggests that your legs are walking you. You see something you want and your legs carry you towards it automatically. Or in my case, the music was ‘playing itself’ and my hands were following.

And then at the same time I was trying to be mindful of what I’d learned that morning about how to create a good sound. The teacher had spent a long time with us breaking down what we did automatically, so that each tiny component part was brought into consciousness and we became aware of the difference it made.

Anyway… for the most part, I played OK – except when, sometimes, I made an unpleasantly forced sound. The teacher (bless him) observed that ‘mostly’ the sound was nice and free – and when it wasn’t, that was because my shoulder was ‘locking’. I think I know what he means: I’m still moving the bow, but against the resistance of my own muscle tension.

Why? Because part of me’s moving more or less automatically, and part of me’s trying to exert conscious control over those automatic habits, to ‘hold onto my following’. I can do that with one note and nothing else to think about – but not so much mid-performance.

Back to Yi’s image: you might walk mindfully, making every movement fully intentional, if you went slowly enough. But if you tried to achieve the same level of control while racing down a hill (after a cheese, for instance), it’s safe to assume you’d fall flat on your face. We can have automatic processes moved by emotion, or conscious control, but if we try for both at once we tie ourselves in a giant knot.

Looking at the line this way gives me a different perspective on it. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with the ‘influence in your thighs’, nor yet with the ‘holding on’: it’s the combination that has you falling over your feet. Hence, a wise response to the line isn’t necessarily going to mean either ‘getting a grip’ or ‘letting go’: it might just mean becoming better integrated. (Practising good bowing technique, for instance, until it becomes habitual and unconscious.)

my 'cello posing with the Bach suites

 

(You can listen to the Bach here.)

About getting stuck…

Lately, I’ve been writing a series of sunny posts about how Yi helps: how it brings understanding and insight, of yourself as well as other people; how it triggers little inner shifts that can change your life; the odd magic of everything falling into place.

And… let’s be honest… that’s not everyone’s experience with Yi all the time. Readings can feel simultaneously utterly vague and far too complicated – the condition also known as information overwhelm. You draw a blank with a reading and go looking for help. You don’t see how the first book or forum post you come to corresponds to your question, start comparing and contrasting, and get frustrated trying to find a core meaning you can apply to your life.

And even if something does resonate, you may still be left wondering where on earth these people get their ideas from. In short, you have no confidence in your ability to interpret your own readings, and you’re stuck.

Two truths:

  1. Everyone can learn to understand their own readings. You know the name of the oracle, Yi, translates as ‘Change’, but it also means ‘easy’. There is a reason for this.
  2. Everyone can get stuck.

Three reasons why we get stuck

I can think of just three reasons for all the overwhelm and confusion that’s generated around readings:

  • not knowing what you were asking,
  • not taking time with the answer, and
  • not understanding the reading’s basic structure.

Not knowing what you were asking

This is the easiest sticking point to overlook, because by the time its effects become visible – when we’re looking at the answer – we have so much else to think about: hexagrams, lines, trigrams, imagery, and 101 interpretations of each. But to engage with the reading at all, the first thing you need to do is read it as question and answer:

‘What do I need to do?’

‘Retreat and See’

 

‘What if I tried that?’

‘Great Possession!’

…and so on. And it’s the same if I’m getting distracted in the middle of a reading by deep-diving into some obscure hexagram relationship: I need to go back to the question and ask how is this answering that? How does it clarify that?

Note:

This is not about ‘asking the right kind of question’! It’s about knowing what you’re asking – because that also means knowing what you’re asking Yi for. If you asked ‘What if?’ then you’re asking for a picture of what would happen, what you’d encounter along that road. If you asked ‘How can I…?’ then you asked Yi to describe you: what you need to do, or how you need to be.

The form of words you use for the question doesn’t matter, so long as you know what you’re asking for.

More on this – ways to find your question, with experiments and exercises to dig in and explore what you’re really asking, four kinds of question to avoid (starting with the muddling ones), questions that go deeper… – in the second module of the Yijing Foundations Course.

Not taking time with the answer

If your reading doesn’t make sense to you at once, this is OK. It doesn’t mean you’ve done it wrong, or it hasn’t worked, or you’re no good at this. It just means you need to read it through, mull it over and also just give it some time to sink in.

(I’ll do readings for people on the spot if need be, but I much prefer to have the question and answer a day or two before. That way I can read through, ponder a bit and sleep on it. Sleeping on a reading is the closest we have to sprinkling it with Magic Aha! Dust™ – highly, highly recommended.)

The initial confusion can even be part of how Yi works. First you think you know how to think about the problem; then Yi turns all your ideas upside-down and inside-out and puts them through a fast spin cycle until you have no idea what you’re looking at; then, later, you see with new eyes as the answer becomes clear. To get beyond your old ideas, you need that disorientating middle phase.

Note:

Spending time with the answer is not the same as spending time trawling through commentaries, or following links from the I Ching Community hexagram search, wonderful though that is. Those are not your answer, they’re what everyone else and their cats have to say about it. Your answer’s simply the hexagrams themselves and the words of the Yijing. (If you’re not sure whether you’re reading the words of the Yijing or someone’s commentary, see ‘How to recognise a good Yijing book‘.)

Not understanding the basic structure of a reading

Those first two reasons are quickly and easily unstuck: know what you’re asking before you ask; take time with the answer. This third sticking point is trickier and takes longer, but it is absolutely worth the time and effort.

To a beginner, a Yijing reading can look like an undifferentiated lump of text, with the hexagrams just acting as a kind of look-up key. Probably some parts of it will speak to them – that’s why beginners realise ‘Wait, this works!’ and keep going. But it’s also quite likely that the text-lump will contain some internal contradictions.

‘Blocking it, non-people.
Noble one’s constancy bears no fruit.
Great goes, small comes.’

‘Resting when blocked.
Great person, good fortune.
It is lost, it is lost!
Tie it to the bushy mulberry tree.’

‘Advancing, Prince Kang used a gift of horses to breed a multitude.
In the course of a day, he mated them three times.’

– for instance. Are you blocked? Resting? Or blessed with a gift of horses and breeding them three times a day?

Or…

‘The Well. Moving the city, not moving the well.
Without loss, without gain,
They come and go, the well wells.
Almost drawn the water, but the rope does not quite reach the water,
Or breaking one’s clay jug,
Pitfall.’

‘The well is muddy, no drinking.
Old well, no birds.’

‘The well: clear, cold spring water to drink.’

‘Flow.
Small goes, great comes.
Good fortune, creating success.’

So is it broken jug and pitfall, or Flow and good fortune? And is there water to drink, or not?

To understand the first of those examples (12.5 to 35) you need to know the difference between primary and relating hexagram – there’s a quick overview of that here, and the fifth module of the Foundations Course is dedicated to a full explanation. For the second, you also need to be aware of how energy moves up through the lines of a hexagram, and has a different feel to it at each layer – more on that here (and in modules 6 and 7 of Foundations).

The key to all this is to realise that the hexagram itself isn’t just a look-up key to find the text: it’s the bones and nerves of the reading. It carries meaning in itself – as you become aware of how trigrams and lines work together, you start to get a visual and kinaesthetic sense of your reading. And, crucially, it tells you how and where the different parts of the text apply and how they relate to one another.

Yet another note:

When I say ‘basic structure’, I really do mean basic. You can explore the structure of a Yijing reading forever, but all those fascinating extras are just that: extras. They’re not the answer; they’re simply contexts that cast light on the answer and make it easier to see. All you need to understand to get unstuck are the relationships of the two hexagrams and the moving lines that join them.

How to get unstuck

  1. Know what you’re asking.
  2. Take your time.
  3. Learn about the basic structure of a reading.

That’s all. 🙂

Help getting unstuck

I’ve mentioned the Yijing Foundations Course in this post… OK, I’ve plugged it mercilessly… because this is exactly what it’s for: removing the obstacles that stand between you and clear, confident readings; providing the essential foundations for a reading, without the optional extras. Here’s a quick preview (click any image for a larger version):

The whole thing is available inside Change Circle.

Some people are happy to go through a course like this at their own pace; some prefer a more structured class environment, meeting up with the teacher for Q&A sessions and connecting with and learning from fellow students. So I’ll be running a Foundations Class later this year for a small group of students. This will be entirely online, with live video classes and a students’ forum for support.

Would you be interested? If so, please sign up below and I’ll let you know dates and details as soon as I work them out:

Sign up to be notified of Foundations Class details

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series How Yi helps

Writing lately about ways Yi helps reminded me of possibly my favourite chapter of the Dazhuan (the ‘Great Treatise’, 5th and 6th Wings of the Yijing):

‘Yi is a document that should not be set at a distance.
Its dao is ever-changing,
alternating and moving without rest,
flowing through the six vacant places,
moving up and down without rule.
Whole and broken lines change places,
with no consistent principle:
alternation is all that happens.
Going and coming within limits
gives warning without and within,
shedding light on trouble and its causes,
not as a guide or teacher, but like a parent at one’s side.
First study the statements,
and ponder their purport;
then principles will emerge;
but if one is not the person intended,
the dao will not apply automatically.’

This is quoted from Richard Rutt’s translation – which I appreciate because it lets you read through without interpolated commentary.

Rather like the ancient text of the oracle itself, I think this passage only looks like a set of unconnected statements, and has its own internal logic.

Yi is not to be set at a distance:

  • it does not operate according to fixed rules – there is only change
  • it’s not like an instructor or guardian, but like your father and mother
  • and if you’re not ‘the person intended’, it does nothing

Those are three ways it can’t be set at a distance. To begin with, if Yi operated by fixed rules, you could use like a predictable tool that always behaves in the same way – like arithmetic, or a washing machine. It doesn’t, and so you must be close to it (or let it come close to you) to hear what it says.

Then it is ‘not like a teacher or guide‘ – which is quite startling, because we often do speak of Yi as if it were a teacher. Some even refer to what-speaks-through-Yi as ‘the Sage’. But… you are not close to a Sage: you follow their guidance and do what they say without question.

That’s an attitude to Yi I find disquieting: when someone says, ‘I wanted to do this, but Yi said not to, so I didn’t,’ I often feel there is something wrong. It’s odd in a way, because I trust Yi’s guidance absolutely in my own life. Yet it always seems important that it should at least be possible to have a conversation with Yi that goes like this:

‘How about doing this?’

‘It would be a trainwreck.’

‘OK. Thank you. I still feel it’s something I should do, so I’m doing it anyway.’

Paradoxically, I think this – reserving the right to our own trainwrecks – makes for a closer, more intimate relationship with Yi. If the Oracle becomes the arbiter of decisions, so that you automatically and without question do what it says, then you’re actually ‘setting it at a distance’ from your own intuition and moral sense.

The Dazhuan says Yi is not like a teacher but like ‘father and mother Nearing’ (the verb used is the name of Hexagram 19). Despite the cute illustration for this post, I don’t believe this means you have to be like a small child to Yi’s adult – however much it may feel like that at times! No – this is the relationship of an adult to their parents, or their parents’ spirits: made of love, respect and complete attention, but not knee-jerk obedience.

There’s a twist in the tail of this passage: first it tells you there are no rules or constant principles to Yi but change; then it says that if you study and reflect, ‘principles will emerge’ after all.

Wang Bi’s solution is to say that the ‘constant law’ you will find is change itself, which is an elegant interpretation. I have a feeling, though, that this may be following on from what was said earlier,

‘The Yi has no thought, no action. It is inert and motionless, but when activated it penetrates every cause under heaven.’

The Yi doesn’t have intrinsic principles; it has to be ‘activated’. When you pay attention to what it says and consider what it could mean – in other words, when you are considering your own reading – then ‘principles will emerge.’

Then the final line follows naturally: if you are ‘not the person intended’, in other words if this is not your reading and Yi is not speaking to you personally, then it does not apply.

The passage literally says something like, ‘If not its person, the dao does not act hollowly.’ I like Lynn’s translation: ‘the dao will not operate in vain.’ If you set the Oracle at a distance and treat understanding it as a theoretical exercise, then the dao cannot and does not engage with such emptiness: there is no reading, nothing happens. But if you let Yi be as close to you as a parent and reflect on what it’s saying to you, then it speaks.

parent and child walk across the beach

 

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series How Yi helps

Yi helps in the ways we need…

I’ve been thinking about ways Yi helps, and it occurs to me that different ways will be important to different people, or at different times of life.

An obvious example: as a business owner, my days are full of ‘What if I try this?’ questions as I look for the best way forward: there are always decisions to be made. (What to buy, what to sell, what to learn, what strategy to choose, what to concentrate on now… and so on.) Someone who worked for a bigger organisation, implementing other people’s decisions, wouldn’t ask many ‘What about…?’ questions, but they might have a lot of questions about office politics.

A less obvious example: the other day a client described how she appreciates Yi for ‘helping you understand yourself’. For her, that’s at the heart of what Yi does and how it helps, but I realised it’s not the kind of thing I often ask (though when I do, it helps), maybe because I’m more of an introvert to start with.

So how Yi helps depends partly on what demands your way of life makes on you, and partly on where you feel you need most help. I find the biggest gap in my confidence/ competence, where I find Yi helps me most, comes in social relationships. I’d imagine that someone blessed with superb social instincts and ‘people skills’ wouldn’t need to ask half the ‘relationship’ questions I do. (And in fact, looking back through past readings, I can see quite a few questions I probably wouldn’t need to ask now, because of what I’ve learned over the years – from experience and from Yi.)

How to help

An example from many years ago: suddenly finding that the person I’d be spending the next 40 minutes with had been recently bereaved. This was before I’d lost anyone myself; I didn’t even know the person that well; I had no clue how to be or what to say. I asked Yi, and received Hexagram 31, Influence, with no changing lines.

This is one of those beautiful examples of Yi giving an unchanging hexagram when you most need a simple answer. I read the Image of 31 –

‘Above the mountain is a lake. Influence.
Noble one accepts people with emptiness.’

– and imagined the solid mountain creating a secure space for the lake. I spent a very quiet 40 minutes, holding space, accepting, and this was the right way to be.

Seeing another perspective

One of the greatest gifts Yi offers is the different perspective. We have our own way of seeing, the stories we’re telling ourselves or the metaphors we’re thinking in, and then Yi shows us the world in a new way, as we’d never imagined it could be. That can happen with every kind of reading, but I cherish it especially when I’m asking about someone else: it’ll get me out of my own head, and show me what’s important to the other person and what they need.

For example… there was the time I’d managed to anger and upset someone I was working with on a shared project. (Forgive the absolute vagueness of these examples – they’re all about real people, so I’m doing my best to protect their identities.) I came home and wondered whether I should a) leave well alone, not make it any worse, and hope it blew over before I next saw them or b) send a card with an apology. I thought I should probably reach out, but I wasn’t at all sure (this was one relationship where I seemed to get it all wrong, all the time), so I asked Yi, ‘What about sending a card?’

Yi gave me Hexagram 45, Gathering, changing at line 4 to 8, Seeking Union.

‘Great good fortune, no mistake.’

I sent the card, of course. But the reading also helped me know what to write in the card: 45.4 is said to have great good fortune because it is like a minister serving a higher cause, not its own agenda. I wrote a simple apology and thanks for all this person does for the project we’re both devoted to: in other words, in the spirit of Hexagram 45, shifting the focus away from personal friction and towards the bigger shared cause. Card and message were warmly received, and the relationship was mended. (In fact, it’s been good ever since.)

Let Yi make a difference

Something you may notice about these examples: they’re going to make an immediate difference to how I act. As a rule of thumb, the readings when Yi doesn’t help are the ones that aren’t going to make a difference for you. That’s so obvious as to be tautological, but also strangely easy to miss in the heat of the moment. For example, approximately 100% of the ever-popular ‘How does he feel about me?’ readings fall into this category. (More on this in my post of advice for relationship readings.) A Yijing reading isn’t going to resolve the tension and create confidence here; only a human conversation can do that.

No… Yi is here to help when you’re heading into a conversation you don’t know how to handle, or when you can’t understand what’s going on, and you can’t ask the other person. Yi can show you the perspective you couldn’t imagine.

Recognising the limits

On a more depressing note, Yi’s gift of showing me things I couldn’t imagine is also immensely helpful when the other person’s actively hostile. Obviously you don’t want to approach a reading with the assumption that the other person has bad intentions: that way lies wild misinterpretation. But I have more or less the opposite problem: I naturally assume that everyone wants friendliness and co-operation and one another’s good, because really, what else makes sense?

And so there I was, late at night, tying myself in knots writing and rewriting emails, trying to extend olive branches and build bridges after a nasty row. I asked Yi how I was doing and received Hexagram 44 with line 4 changing.

‘In this basket, no fish.
Rising up, pitfall.’

It dawned on me gradually that the ongoing, mutually-beneficial relationship I was trying so hard to build had never been available at all, because the other person involved never had the smallest intention of creating it, only of outmanoeuvering me – which they’d done, comprehensively. With that realisation, I could let it go and sleep well.

In fact, Hexagram 44’s powerful woman who cannot be married has carried that ‘Relationship not available here, move along!’ message for me a few times now. 44.3, for example –

‘Thighs without flesh,
Moving awkwardly now.
Danger.
No great mistake.’

– when I was struggling not to upset someone. This, said Yi, was a bit like Yu the Great struggling to manage the floods – it wasn’t that I’d done anything very wrong, this was just hard.

The reading I’m most grateful for

I’ve given examples of Yi helping me be more helpful, and helping me to mend a friendship, and giving me peace of mind when there wasn’t anything I could do. The reading I’m most grateful for, though, is none of these – or all of them.

This is from twelve years ago, when my Mum was seriously ill in hospital and I was being kept busy fetching and carrying and so on. I did all she asked, but with the constant awareness of a great logjam where compassion and caring should have flowed. Probably the logjam was made of Baggage – just the normal resentments and undiscussed stuff that any mother and adult daughter might have, but in exactly the wrong place at the wrong time.

I wasn’t particularly thinking about any of that at the time of this reading, though – only about her prognosis. I managed not to ask for that, and instead asked, ‘How can I best prepare for the coming weeks and months with Mum?’

Yi gave me Hexagram 45 with the first line changing, going to 17, Following:

‘There is truth and confidence, but no completion.
Then disorder, then gathering.
Like a call, one clasp of the hands brings laughter.
Do not worry.
Going on, no mistake.’

It’s hard to explain exactly what that line gave me. I recognised the lack of completion, having no idea how this might end. (Mum’s illness was supposed to be treatable and not to affect life expectancy, so nobody said she might die – it was just that I could see that none of the treatments was working.) And I could absolutely recognise ‘disorder’: I felt completely scattered, unable to get myself together at all. And then on that same day, Mum suddenly started holding my hand – ‘like a call‘ – and I began to feel the stirrings of warmth and compassion. Don’t worry, Yi told me, don’t complicate this, just Follow those simple impulses as they arise.

From my journal the following day (Mum was in the nearby cottage hospital at the time):

‘Mum called this morning and asked for me to come over and give her a shower. I did. And compassion and caring flowed naturally, just as Yi promised.

If I just give to her, as much as she needs – how very, very simple that could be.’

And it was. The Baggage, it turned out, did not need to be unpacked all over the hospital to allow us to enjoy this simple relationship. Mum died within a month of the reading, and because Yi had opened the way, I could spend that last month experiencing and acting with love. I’ll always be grateful.

A Resonance Journal retrospective

Over four years ago now, we first brought out the Resonance Journal: software to keep a journal both of your Yijing readings and also of dreams, synchronicities and simple daily experience, and to reveal and explore how all these things connect and resonate together.

We’ve come quite a long way since then. The Resonance Journal now has three built-in translations (LiSe’s, Bradford Hatcher’s and my own) as well as a Yijing glossary (Language of Change); all the text (interface included) is resizable; you can review a random entry (possibly my favourite feature); you can protect your journal with a password; you can print your entries… and so on.

The first seven reasons

Now we’re up to version 2.1 (with easier updates and the ability to export your entries to Excel), I thought it was time I wrote again about the benefits of keeping a Yijing journal. And then I found I’d done so back in 2014, when I came up with ‘the first seven reasons’ why a Yijing journal is a good idea:

  1. You learn more about Yi.
  2. You can draw on your experience to help other people.
  3. You learn from experience.
  4. You learn from dreams.
  5. It’s an opportunity to grow your relationship with Yi.
  6. It allows everything to speak.
  7. Writing your story does you good.

(Here’s the original post.)

Reason number 8: you avoid a cartload of frustration.

(Probably this should have been reason #1.)

When discussing readings with clients, I often hear things like:

‘You know, my last reading had the same hexagram… that feels as if it’s trying to tell me something. I can’t remember what the reading was about, though…’

‘Yes, I’ve asked about this before a few times. I think the answers were positive…’

‘Well, I asked about the alternative and it said… hm, can’t quite remember, just a minute…’

– and then there’s the rustling of paper, or possibly the faint keyboard-rattling of someone searching their browser history, as they rummage about in the dwindling hope of finding what Yi had to say.

I know how this feels because it used to be me, too. It’s not that I didn’t care about the readings or didn’t keep them, it’s just that I couldn’t find them. Being an economically-minded sort of diviner, at first I wrote my readings on scrap paper and stuffed it all into an envelope…

Envelope of readings

…until I graduated to nice, substantial hardback notebooks…

Journal notebooks

…in which I still couldn’t find anything much, especially since I kept forgetting to index them properly.

As you can imagine, I’ve gone through the whole, ‘I know I had a reading about that somewhere…’ and ‘I’m sure I’ve seen this hexagram somewhere recently…’ thing more often than I can count. You know your present reading’s referring back to that one, you know it has something to tell you, you know you need to hear it, you know you’re missing out, and most of all you know this is completely ridiculous because you definitely wrote it down somewhere

So… do not be like me in the last millennium. Keep a journal where you can find the readings you needand see all their interconnections. And if you prefer to write your readings, dreams and reflections on paper, do that and use software to index them.

In short – if you don’t already use the Resonance Journal, download the free trial and get started. In addition to the features I mentioned above, it still has the most comprehensive facilities for searching for readings – by hexagram, trigram, lines changing, tag or full text – you can imagine. Your tooth enamel will thank you 😉 .

 

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