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Category Archives: Divination tips

‘DIY’ tips for I Ching divination

Gathering readings, overturning the block

Gathering readings, overturning the block

Here’s a lovely message I had last year from PeterS, getting on well with his Resonance Journal:

“I should note that a pressing reason for me to adopt Resonance Journal is the sense that I was building up a collection of readings for which I was taking careful notes (in a MS Word doc) but that the format was not really amenable to really seeing connections between similar past readings, or even readily finding and accessing such readings, and that the further I went and more consultations of Yi I had, the worse the issue would become.

If I’d been smarter, I should have done this months ago, but as it is, I will have to spend a few hours entering my MS Word journal entries into Resonance Journal. It’s a one-time cost, though.

You may be amused, charmed and flattered to hear my most recent casting:

“What if I were to purchase Hilary’s Resonance Journal and port all my readings from the past six months to it?”


Seeing the connections between similar queries and replies, sometimes weeks or months apart, is not only important for hearing more clearly and thoroughly what the oracle would impart, but also a key aspect of my continuing journey of learning to trust Yi.”


Hexagram 12 is Blocked – a state of disconnection and not-getting-anywhere, in which ‘the noble one’s constancy bears no fruit.’ Finding connections between readings was only going to get harder as his journal grew, and no amount of imaginative persistence would really help much. (To be fair to MS Word, it was never meant for journalling – the Resonance Journal is also not your best choice for a dedicated word processor…)

Then there’s Hexagram 45, Gathering, in the background:

‘Gathering, creating success.
The king enters his temple
Fruitful to see great people, creating success.
Constancy bears fruit.
Using great sacrificial animals: good fortune.
Fruitful to have a direction to go.’

Hexagram 45, the Oracle

That suggests Peter’s intention to bring his readings together and see their greater significance. Hexagram 45 has a tremendous sense of an important occasion: the king at the temple, great people, great animals, fruitfulness (three times). Bring everything together with a sense of purpose, bring your best, and expect good fortune.

Describing Hexagram 45, Jack Balkin says, ‘You must create or invoke a common narrative through which people can connect themselves back to the past and ahead to the future.’ He’s talking about a communal sense of continuity of meaning – a bigger, ongoing story – but this is just as relevant on the individual level.

(This is very much the thinking behind many of the Resonance Journal’s Yijing-related features. Cast history search is the one I use most often, as a quick and easy way to find previous readings with this hexagram or line, but there’s also the Insights pane, just to see which hexagrams are coming up most often, and all the advanced search options to dive into more or less any pattern of hexagrams, lines or trigrams you can think of. All part of Gathering readings, listening for the ‘narrative’, finding your own connections.)

And that moving line:

‘Overturning the block. Before, blocked. Afterwards, rejoicing.’

Hexagram 12, line 6

I do like this line. All the leaden frustration of Hexagram 12 gets jettisoned at once.

A quick ‘Cast history’ search in my own journal shows a few small occasions when what I’d thought was a Big Unsayable Thing could be communicated easily, and one when I suddenly found I could accomplish something (mobilising a group) that I’d been sure only a quite different kind of person could do. A shared theme: new freedom to communicate. The changing line opens out into the trigram dui, the lake, representing joyful communication and exchange.

So the ‘pull’ of Peter’s Gathering his readings together, convinced of their greater meaning, shifts the block of Hexagram 12 and gets communication flowing. Afterwards, rejoicing.

You can download the Resonance Journal to try for yourself from here.

I Ching Community discussion: Exploring Divination forum, Resonance Journal forum

Skip or symphony

Skip or symphony
This entry is part 1 of 7 in the series Hidden gems

Lately, I’ve been noticing differences between approaches to the Yi. We might describe what we do in the same words – we all ‘consult the oracle’ – but what actually happens next is not at all the same thing. And I think these differences come down to how we conceive of the oracle we’re consulting.… Continue Reading

New Resonance Journal version

New Resonance Journal version

If you’ve opened your Resonance Journal today, you’ll have noticed the ‘Update available’ button is active. Click it! Your journal will update to version 2.5.1, which includes some nifty new features. If you don’t have a copy of the Resonance Journal, you can download a trial from here. It’s available for Windows or Mac computers… Continue Reading

Trusting your reading

Trusting your reading
This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Part of the furniture

It’s one thing to consult the Yijing; finding the confidence to act on what it says is something else. (What if I’ve got this wrong?) Yet readings without this, without change, are theoretical at best, and at worst… maybe something more serious than a mere waste of time. We need to recognise the reading’s authority… Continue Reading

The king’s presence

The king’s presence
This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Part of the furniture

(The story so far: I asked what to write about, and Yi’s response – to 46 – gave me the idea of writing about what makes for a friendly, domestic, quotidien, integrated relationship with the Oracle. I’ve written about lines 1 and 2; here’s line 5.) What makes for an integrated relationship with Yi?… Continue Reading

Bread and butter readings

Bread and butter readings
This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Part of the furniture

The second line of Hexagram 37 (and the second thing Yi suggested I write about) says, ‘No direction to pursue,Stay in the centre and cook.Constancy, good fortune.’ Hexagram 37, line 2 This line places us, and our readings, firmly at the foundations of Maslow’s pyramid: There’s no call to charge off and explore the world;… Continue Reading

Readings within walls

Readings within walls
This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Part of the furniture

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,… Continue Reading

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