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I Ching and tarot together

Something I just tried, that seems to work quite well: putting a question to Yi, reflecting on the answer – and drawing a single tarot card as a cue – or a clue – to ways to think about it. Asking what I needed to reflect on about helping more people to connect with Yi, I received 45, Gathering Together, changing to 32, Enduring. When I drew the Hierophant (from the Haindl tarot) by way of ‘clue’ to this one, it opened the floodgates for a stream of ideas. The Hierophant ( image here) passes on a tradition: divination is not just a problem-solving technique, but a way of connecting to an inherited wisdom. To use divination to discover the spiritual forces acting in your life, you need to have access to stories that allow you to name and recognise them.

Which of course sparks off whole new ranges of ideas – does that mean Yi wants to connect us to the Chinese tradition, or that it can become a new way of unlocking our own tradition? (And what on earth is ‘our own tradition’ in the modern West?)

3 responses to I Ching and tarot together

  1. This is really cool! I love these kinds of ideas, thanks :).

    “To use divination to discover the spiritual forces acting in your life, you need to have access to stories that allow you to name and recognise them. … does that mean Yi wants to connect us to the Chinese tradition, or that it can become a new way of unlocking our own tradition? (And what on earth is ‘our own tradition’ in the modern West?) ”

    I think learning the Chinese tradition is essential to applying the I Ching in modern times: like you said in a recent entry, how can we possibly make useful sense of a reading involving “horses” for example if we don’t understand what horses meant to the ancient Chinese who used them as symbols when they were writing the I Ching? We certainly can’t just go by what horses mean to most of us in 2005!

    I wonder if “access to stories that allow you to name and recognise them” is also pointing right at your I Ching Resources site. Conveniently (or prejudicially) I was just thinking that Annietyme’s last thread might be a really good one to excerpt to that collection if it would be okay with her. To me, at least, her story added to a story of mine has clarified a line that (to be blunt) I was seriously irritated with up until the last half hour.

    Her thread is at:
    http://www.onlineclarity.co.uk/I_Ching_community/messages/48/4900.html?1122646972

  2. I’ve started getting back into tarot again recently. What draws me to the tarot is that the tarot has a larger number of reading possibilities (oh yes it does . . .). The I Ching has 4096 possible readings. The permutation function on my pocket calculator tells me that the number of 3 card permutations from a deck of 78 tarot cards is 456456. If it’s 4 card readings, that makes 34234200 possible readings.

    10 card readings? 4566176969000000000!! (roughly)

    If it takes more than a lifetime to fully understand the I Ching, I think I’ll need a few million re-incarnations to get my head around the tarot! Maybe if one of those re-incarnations was as Einstein, that may help.

    My gut feeling, however, is that numbers don’t have a whole lot to do with it. It’s your brain that does the work, or maybe your brain plus whatever that thing we don’t quite understand is . . .

  3. Sorry, I forgot to mention. It’s interesting to associate a tarot card with a hexagram. For instance, The Heirophant with Hexagram 4, The High Priestess with Hexagram 61, or The Chariot with Hexagram 35. I’m wondering if you could build a system where the Major Arcana cards could relate to the hexagrams, and the pip cards could relate to the hexagram lines? I’m going to see what I can find with this idea, and I’ll keep you posted.

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