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Category Archives: Divination tips

‘DIY’ tips for I Ching divination

Readings within walls

Readings within walls

A while ago – as participants in our weekly Well Gatherings will know – I asked Yi what to write about on this blog, and received Hexagram 37, People in the Home, changing at lines 1, 2, 5 and 6 to 46, Pushing Upward. It’s a rich reading that works on a lot of layers, and one of those is the idea of writing about how we create a ‘family’ relationship with Yi – bringing it inside the home, letting it become ‘part of the furniture’ of everyday life.

So here are some thoughts prompted by line 1:

Setting boundaries to create a home

‘With barriers, there is a home. Regrets vanish.’

Hexagram 37, line 1

Barriers create a home. The Chinese word for ‘barriers’, xian, shows wood between two doors, suggesting that you’re barring the entry. It’s a very simple concept: a home has an inside and an outside, created by the barrier between them.

This reminds me of the importance of setting boundaries for your readings – drawing a line around them, knowing what belongs inside and what doesn’t. Within that boundary, you can be at home. As LiSe puts it, ‘Whatever happens, you will never be lost in a big hostile world.’

Any regrets, I think, would be about all the things you left outside. There can be lots of second-guessing around this, ‘fear of missing out’, or just a faintly guilty worry that perhaps you should be asking about something else – maybe something bigger. But within the home space you’ve created, this will pass.

Bradford Hatcher’s comments on this line are worth reading:

‘This might seem to ignore several sources of warmth, to lack in affection, or to curb spontaneous feeling. There are mistakes and regrets. But this gives each household member a firm patch of ground to stand on, and much can be done on a patch of firm ground. Even an unlimited branch must pick a direction to grow in. Rules are only a place to begin.’

Bradford Hatcher, Book of Changes

I especially appreciate that last point – rules are only a place to begin. For that reason, I reckon it’s a good idea to revisit one’s reading rules – at least those that are more like habits – from time to time. After all, the nuclear hexagram of 37 is 64, Not Yet Across. The Home, at its heart, is always being rebuilt.

What kind of barriers, or boundaries, or rules?

In other words… when do you consult, and why and how, and what will or won’t you ask about? This is a personal question, so all I can do is tell you about the barriers that safeguard my own relationship with Yi.

  • I try only to cast readings that will make a difference for me. (Unless, that is, I’m just playing .)
  • I don’t ask ‘mind-reading’ questions unless they’re in support of an existing relationship, and I’m as sure as I can be that the other person would want me to know.

(And then I have rules about what I will and won’t get involved in when reading for others – but that’s a different issue, outside the Home.)

Really, these barriers draw a circle around what’s my business, making a home for readings. Some readings, like questions about politics or global issues, naturally fall on the outside. Not that there’s anything wrong (in my book) with those readings on the outside – done out of sheer curiosity, hoping to learn something about Yi in the process. It’s just that, for the most part, I live on the inside.

Here are the last half-dozen readings in my journal –

  • What needs doing?
  • What about trying oils?
  • What if I buy x?
  • How to deal with exhaustion and demotivation?
  • Prognosis? [asking about a family member in hospital]
  • How can I be supportive now?

The ‘prognosis’ reading was outside my usual walls. After all, even if I knew beyond any doubt exactly what was going to happen (which is not how this works…), what difference would it make now? None that I can see.

And as it turns out, this reading was the least helpful of the lot: it simply showed me the risks, factors and possibilities I already knew about. So I had second thoughts, went back inside my four walls with Yi, and asked how to be supportive. That helped.

Row of thatched cottages with doors painted in different colours.

Readings for ‘uncertain times’

Readings for ‘uncertain times’

Every article and every commercial email nowadays says something about ‘these challenging times’ or ‘these uncertain times’. And of course, we know an oracle for that: Yi is made for challenging, uncertain, bewildering times when none of our normal responses or resources is helping. Talking with Yi lately, and seeing other people’s readings in the… Continue Reading

The importance of the question

The importance of the question

I’ve mentioned this before, and no doubt will again… the question you ask the Yi matters. It’s important to understand that this isn’t about choosing the right wording for your question. The words really don’t matter. ‘Argh – help!’ can be a perfectly-formed question for the Oracle, leading to a perfectly helpful conversation, provided you… Continue Reading

New in the Resonance Journal: reading insights

New in the Resonance Journal: reading insights

The Yijing doesn’t just talk to you one reading at a time: it communicates a lot through the patterns and themes that recur through many readings. The Resonance Journal has always been brilliant for finding these patterns in your readings: they’re a click or two away, via the Cast History feature (the easy option, my… Continue Reading

How do you cast your readings?

How do you cast your readings?

Does computerised casting work? From time to time, someone will ask me whether it’s acceptable to cast the I Ching – that venerable, 3,000-year-old oracle – by tapping a button on a screen. And quite a bit more often, I’ll hear from someone how they received an answer that spoke to them with complete clarity… Continue Reading

Haven’t I seen this reading before?

I’m going to be sharing a few mini-videos of some of my favourite Resonance Journal features. Here’s one about the ‘Cast History’ search. The point of this is that Yi doesn’t just communicate one reading at a time; the connections between readings can be quite eloquent, too. And sometimes it just makes its point by… Continue Reading

An oracle for all kinds of mind

An oracle for all kinds of mind

All kinds of mind, all kinds of entrance The Yijing can speak to all kinds of people – I think this may be one way in which it’s unique. Tarot, for instance, is undoubtedly a multi-faceted system, but to use it fluently you’d better be moved by its images and able to imagine yourself inside… Continue Reading

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