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Category Archives: I Ching Readings

Sample Yijing readings

Staying connected

Staying connected

Divination means we’re connected. It demonstrates that there’s no such thing as ‘isolation’: the cosmos has 100% uptime. You can toss three coins six times, any time, to experience its absolute connectivity.

Yi’s connection works, as it always has, through imagery. It doesn’t just talk (though it certainly does that, too): it shows. Imagery is how rapport with the oracle happens – how we experience our answer rather than just ‘interpreting’ it. I think it’s to do with feeling seen and recognised.

I planned this Sunday’s ‘Connecting with Imagery’ workshop back when connection and ‘feeling seen’ seemed relatively commonplace. I’m particularly glad, now, to be running it.

An example

Clarity is continuing with ‘business as usual’, more or less, since it all happens online anyway. (I am so grateful for the advances in technology that make this feasible. Anyone who remembers the first Clarity webinars in 2005 will know what I mean!)

But the local club for stroke survivors, where I took over as leader this past January, is naturally not experiencing ‘business as usual’, since our members are generally over 70 and in less-than-perfect health. We’re closed down for the duration… however long that is.

At our last in-person meeting, I suggested we could meet via Zoom video chat, and was met with a resounding dearth of enthusiasm and cries of ‘I’m not that techie.’ But since now there’s a requirement for months of social isolation, I reckon I should go ahead and do my best to make this happen for people.

I’ve asked Yi how best to continue – how to lead and help the Club through coronavirus season.

Yi answered with Hexagram 22, Beauty, changing at lines 4 and 5 to 13, People in Harmony.

changing to

It’s a lovely reading that I’ll be drawing on for months to come, but for now, since this post’s about the gifts of imagery, lets focus in on just one…

‘Beautiful like pure white,
Like a soaring white horse.
Not a robber, but a marital ally.’

Hexagram 22, line 4

A soaring white horse?

Now, I’d say I know what this line ‘means’ in general, but I was very far from seeing what it was telling me here, so I started in with the Really Obvious Questions. (Much more on these on Sunday!)

What’s a horse?

A big, strong animal, bigger and stronger than you, that will help you move things, allow you to travel further and faster, treasured for its speed, power and beauty. Handling one without getting kicked and bitten is a tricky, skilled job.

And a white one?

Perhaps an especially beautiful horse, valued for show and formal occasions? Like a wedding, of course. This one seems to be part of a procession to fetch the bride, so it’s meant to be particularly showy and attractive: all part of the display the groom puts on to demonstrate that he’s ‘Not a robber, but a marital ally.’

What’s a robber?

Someone who harms you, steals from you. An outlaw, outside the law, someone who has no place in your world.

And a marital ally?

A friend, someone bound to you, who makes you more secure because you have more connections. (You could call on your allies for help in times of famine, for instance.)

What stands out for me: the line’s about how someone or something comes swooping in, giving absolutely clear, unmistakable signs that it is here to help and not a threat.

And so I think one white horse here is the video technology that will help us to stay connected. People do tend to be afraid that technology is some kind of robber, a young lout out to steal their dignity or worse. Time for me to get out the curry comb and start plaiting the mane, I think.

I sent encouraging emails, did some phoning round to ensure help was available where needed, and also spent Wednesday morning making a couple of ‘how to access Club via Zoom’ videos. And 6 out of 10 members showed up to our first video meeting, including one who’s never so much as used email before. I think we can chalk this up as a success.

(Now for a website and some kind of group chat…)

The world may look quite broken at the moment, but Yi’s fine. The Well wells. Do come on Sunday if you can. (If we have too many people to fit in the room, I’ll try to set up a livestream to Youtube.)


Like I said, sometimes Yi speaks in imagery, and occasionally it simply speaks. Back on March 11th – you know, about six months ago… – the official advice was still to keep social groups running as usual, but I wasn’t so sure, and asked Yi for advice. The answer included the following:

‘Dispersing blood.
Leave, go out and far away.
Not a mistake.’

Hexagram 59, line 6

So yes, we closed.

Then this morning I happened to look back at the reading I cast in December 2019, asking for guidance for running the club in the year ahead. And that included this line:

‘Negotiating opening, not yet at rest.
Containing the affliction brings rejoicing.’

Hexagram 58, line 4

That word I translated as ‘affliction’ means literally disease. 介疾, set boundaries to the disease, and there will be rejoicing.

taut threads of spider silk in the dark

Using trigrams in a reading

Using trigrams in a reading

Here’s an example reading of mine, showing how trigrams can cast more light on changing lines. The background I was contacted a while ago by someone (I’ll call her S) who wanted to invite me to participate in a project of hers. Actually, that’s not quite how it happened. S mentioned she was looking forward… Continue Reading

Reading structure, and why it matters

Reading structure, and why it matters

As I prepare for the Yijing Foundations Class, I’m realising there are really just two essential elements for dependable readings: being able to connect with imagery, and knowing your way round the structure of a reading. This post’s about structure. At its very simplest, a reading’s structure is just the cast hexagram, its changing lines,… Continue Reading

Taking a decision with Yi’s help

Taking a decision with Yi’s help

The background Early this year, I told people that I’d be running a Yijing Foundations Class in May. Not just the course, which is always available in a self-study version, but an online class with weekly video sessions, a private forum, and lots of individual help and opportunities to practise readings. And then it dawned… Continue Reading

Yi’s kindness

Yi’s kindness

It’s easy to become preoccupied with how beautiful, subtle and complex the Yijing is – there are endless layers and dimensions to discover – but more than anything, I keep coming back to its kindness. For example, the readings I cast when a close friend had just been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. I looked… Continue Reading

A ‘cello-related reading

A ‘cello-related reading

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… Continue Reading

Getting started with my annual reading

Getting started with my annual reading
This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series How Yi helps

What’s an annual reading for? Every year on my birthday, I cast a reading for the coming year. Not as a prediction – imagine the gloom and suspense if you spent a year under the shadow of 24.6! – but for guidance. Perhaps it’s a little like the people who choose a ‘word for the… Continue Reading

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