A Girl’s Best Friend

I’ve always thought that a girl’s best friend is not diamonds but rather a copy of the I Ching. When you are flying solo as I am, big moves can be intimidating and it helps to have wisdom on your side. The I Ching is the oldest manuscript in existence  and throughout its 5000 year history has gained a patina of power that I find never lets one down. Dr Jung was a great fan, which is also in its favour, as far as I’m concerned. I use the Richard Wilhelm translation, with the Jung foreward, in which he says, ‘I myself think there is more to the Chinese way of thinking than meets the eye’. This, he continues, is a method of exploring the unconscious, that takes us to a place where the axioms of causality are shaken to their foundations,for if we leave things to nature we see a different picture. To the Chinese mind the jumble of natural laws holds more significance than temporal causality.(Doesn’t that remind you of  Gebser’s next mutation? Or indeed the view of the quantum world?) So the moment under observation is a chance hit and reveals, through the unconscious, what is asked of it.

The process I use for creating ‘the moment’  follows the ancient guidelines for the use of coins. (I’ve never been drawn to the alternative yarrow stalks for logistical reasons) I use three Chinese coins with holes in the middle, which I keep, as a mark of respect, in a tiny satin bag tied with a ribbon. On one side of each coin I’ve Tipp-Exed a white dot, to denote heads; the dotless side of course being tails. Tails have a value of 3 and heads have a value of 2.

First I sit down in a quiet place and gather my thoughts. Then on a sheet of paper I write a question concerning a decision I have to make, the answer to which can be an encouragement to move forward or a warning to stand still. I only use the I Ching for life changing decisions, again out of respect for the process.

 Then I write the numbers 1-6 from the bottom up, after which I hold the coins, with the intent of the question uppermost in my mind, for a few moments. Then I throw them six times, noting the number of heads and tails for each row. Thus I produce two sets of trigrams (as I said from the bottom up) and having  added up the scores I get the numbers 6, 7, 8 or 9. Thus I have six lines, each representing yang (7 :straight line), yin(8:broken line), moving yang (9:straight line with circle), or moving yin (6:straight line with cross). Moving lines offer the opportunity to create a different hexagram when additional information is called for.

I (or indeed you) now have a hexagram, of which there are 64 ( the same number as the codons in DNA, can you believe!) and the table of hexagrams at the back if the book is needed. A combination of the upper and the lower trigrams gives a hexagram, which will give the answer to the question asked. My experience over the years is that the answers always fit the questions with astonishing accuracy. Try it and see. I am convinced that the process reveals something about the nature of consciousness that Gebser and the circles are nudging us towards. When I throw the I Ching I get a sense of being cradled by the universe in my decision making. In a world of uncertainty this is a great gift.

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