Using I-Ching Yarrow Sticks, Coins & Wands

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When not in use, the book and the yarrow stalks should be wrapped separately in silk or cloth. Most Chinese like to use rose silk, which is regarded as the most auspicious color and material.


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Both the wrapped book and stalks should be placed on a shelf at about eye level or somewhere clean and significant to you. Always wash the hands before divination, then unwrap the book and the stalks and spread the wrapper like a tablecloth on a table. Ideally the table sits in the center of the room, facing south. In ancient China only the imperial palace and temples were allowed to face directly south. In Chinese tradition, those in authority face south when granting an audience. During divination, the diviner should face north, listening to the instructions of the divine spirit.

According to tradition, three sticks of incense are lit.

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An alternative way to choose the ideal direction for divination is to suppose that the door of the room faces south. If there is a table in the center of the room, the diviner's back should always face the door. In this way the divine spirit will be in the most revered position, in the center of the room and facing the entrance.

Frame the Inquiry In every divination, ask only one question. The question should be simple and clear. Avoid vague and optional questions.


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It is better for a beginner not to ask for a prediction; the best inquiry is for advice. I'll dare cite it here. Just to duplicate the traditional reverence as I assume is more or less worldwide accepted. I dated a local gal.

The Yi Jing: Appendix A: Yarrow Stalks

Her home was feng shui balanced, she had a prayer and meditation altar, naturally in the 'right' place and facing the 'right' direction. Images I receive from the Yi about offering, sacrifice and ritual usually emphasize the simple over the elegant path. Even the carriage he gains, he leaves and walks. It remind me of something I'd read - I'll start typing it from the danish edition I have translated into english: " Master Tung Kuo went to Chuang Tse asking: Where is it, to be found called Tao?

Chuang answered: It's everywhere Like You mentioned So, imagine one having a place or a certain spot where all that's aquired to consult the I is situated - believing that it, and nothing else could do: found oneself elsewhere not having the access to that place There's two places I used to repeatedly picture myself being, and so much wishing for Yi's council, but had no access, other than memory. One place was a prison camp, the other was a fairly small but life sustaining desert island. I could deduce purpose and direction from nothing but similes, taken from surrounding, observable nature, using the IC from memory.

If I can't recall a given change-line, I can recall the relative position and whether young, old or unchanging, as it relates to the hexagrams. But more than that, every thing has a voice, and is connected to the very same intelligence and timelessness as you and I.

The Dao makes a way where there is no way, and changes or dissolves the way where there is a way. Simply find a translation not just an interpretation or a 'simplified version' , get to grips with the method, and start asking questions. If you don't have a specific question, you can always cast a hexagram for the day, or the week, and spend time contemplating it at the end of the period it describes as well as the beginning.

Given time and thought, this can be a very powerful way to build up an understanding of the hexagrams. To be honest, understanding the answers can be a little complicated at first. The I Ching can give very good advice on website design, for instance, but it will do so in 3,year-old imagery. It takes time to get used to this, and almost everyone finds it hard to make sense of their first few answers. There are some very good commentaries available that will help, or you could ask a reader for help.

Readers can also come in useful when someone approaches the I Ching for the first time when they urgently need answers to an important question. I compare it to running a dinner party: if 10 important guests are arriving in an hour, it might be better to hire a chef than to start learning to cook! They are the divination equivalent of giving those guests a pot noodle. What kind of person can learn it?

How to Throw I-Ching Sticks or Cast Yarrow Sticks

Do you have to be psychic? Or brilliantly intellectual? You can be sure that every talent you possess - and probably a few you never suspected you had - will be called on in your relationship with the I Ching. But I don't believe that you need to be a particular kind of person, or have particular abilities, in order to get to know it.

This is because it works on so many different levels. I know some people who revel in it as a pure system of lines and patterns; others who are happy simply to talk with it; others who like to search for the earliest meanings of the Chinese characters - originally, the words of the I Ching are pictures - or the ancient shamanic traditions behind its imagery. It's like a tremendous building: you enter through whichever door appeals to you, and gradually begin to sense the vast beauty of the space around you.

There's no need to be especially 'psychic' to do this: truth is everywhere, it's not hidden away from all but the select few. Still, there are a few prerequisites for a rewarding relationship with the I Ching. It is not a machine for the delivery of instant answers, or to confirm people in their ideas. Like any worthwhile relationship, this one takes time and patience to develop, and calls for openness and sincerity. At some stage, the I Ching may ask you to think the unthinkable - it will surely offer you the opportunity to grow.

The I Ching has been slower than, say, the tarot, to find widespread popularity in the West. I think this is because the intensely individual nature of a relationship with the I Ching does not easily survive into simplified, 'instant', 'one-size-fits-all' versions.

There are some wonderful translations available now that allow you to develop a real relationship with the oracle - sadly, there is also a lot of wasted paper. Yet the I Ching's popularity is definitely growing right across the world: I only need to look at my own site's forum to see this.


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Perhaps more importantly, there are many people who have been using the I Ching constantly for 20, 30 or 50 years. I once asked the I Ching itself: 'what is the basic human need that you answer? Radical Change means revolution, the old order overthrown as a snake sheds its skin. Some would say that this is a good description of modern society a New Age? The I Ching sets this in context: 'The Well: moving the city, the well does not move. No loss, no gain, going, coming - the well is Our way of life has changed beyond recognition, countless generations have come and gone and drawn water, and the ever-present Well of the I Ching still lets us reach the limitless Source.

There are three moving lines in this answer, showing exactly what the I Ching makes possible. Set forth, good fortune, no mistake. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

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Return to Book Page. An easy crochet pattern, the Kerchief called a scarf or bandana today. This style of head wear has been around for a very long time. Perhaps because it is such a useful and beautiful item.