I only just stumbled across this excellent article from Harmen about the origin of the character Yi. Read and enjoy! I relish Harmen’s own willingness to change his own mind, too; it’s easy to get married to one’s own theories and settle down into undisturbed domestic bliss – I catch myself doing the same – and this doesn’t seem to me a good way to catch the spirit of the oracle.
One of many reasons I’m grateful for the article: Harmen takes the time to suggest how his research is relevant to divination –
“You might wonder if this is all relevant for the use of the Yi as an oracle. What I personally like about the old meaning of yi is the emphasis that is put on positive change. A situation might be bad or unpleasant, but with yi you have the tool to change that. The old usage of yi makes us aware of our ability to bring positive changes to our lives. Maybe you will have to sacrifice a little bit, but in the end the outcome will be an improvement of the situation you started with. Change is not something which befalls you. Change is a verb: you do it, and by doing it, you change your situation for the better.”