June 5, 2008 at 4:28 pm (magic, metaphysics, philosophy, religion, shamanism)

One of the most important tools in my magickal repertoire, is the Oracle I study, the I Ching.   As far as I know it is the oldest known divinatory tool.  It began as Chinese “Shamans” using tortoiseshells, and writing the result on said shells.  It then morphed into the system that is known today with the legendary Chinese Emperor Fu Hsi, who is said to have meditated on the shapes of Nature and spontaneously arrived at the basic trigrams of the I Ching.  After him there were several more addendums and additions by later emperors, but it’s basic form remained the same.  It was a tool for emperors and was forbidden to commoners.  There are two methods of asking questions, three coins, or fifty yarrowsticks (bamboo bbq sticks work well too:) )

   As far as I can tell it works off of chaos theory, and by that I mean that in seeming chaos there is order and that order is the voice of the divine and the spirits.  When you deal with statistics and numbers enough, and this is at heart mathematical, you start to see patterns in seeming random events.  These patterns are what the Oracle works off of.  When you count the sticks or cast coins when asking a question, you adding in an unknown (chaos), and through that unknown, of not knowing how many sticks or how the coins are going to come up, that otherworldly voice has a chance to speak.

   I’m not going into the exact procedure of how to consult the I Ching, if you want, go get a book, and it will show you.  When choosing a book keep in mind that the I is a Taoist work, and as such there is no good or bad, good or evil, it just is.  A lot of translators have translated the work from a christian, heaven and hell perspective, like when something like hexagram 18 (decay/rotting) or hexagram 36 (darkening of the light, underworld journey) comes up.   Neither of those two concepts are evil, decay is what creates the fertile ground for the new, and underworld journey is going within yourself to find strength and renewal, but most translators label these two hexagrams as bad omens, that isn’t true.  They must be seen in the light of the question asked, and how they speak to the diviner.

The I ching is composed of 8 trigrams, which combine to make 64 hexagrams (8×8 matrix for you math people, also note that it works off of the constant interplay of yin and yang, yin being a broken line and yang being a solid line, it is at heart a binary system).  It is a treatise on change, in fact it’s name means the book of changes, and it speaks to the fact that the universe is alive and dynamic, never fixed, which to an adept means everything, if nothing is fixed than anything is possible.  It shows you how to tune into the unseen forces in the world, and put yourself in harmony with them.  It’s a lot easier to go with the flow than fight it, and the I Ching shows you how to do that.  It can show you hidden motives in yourself and others, it is a tool of self exploration as much as it is a predictors of the future.  And yes it can predict the future, but it will usually come veiled in a context you’re not immediately going to understand.  Which is another point, Oracles are never clear, they are always cryptic, you’re not going to get a yes or no answer out of this, and by consequence you can’t ask yes or no questions, because the I isn’t equipped to answer them.  It will give you an answer, but it may confuse you more.

   There are many types of divination, there is the Asatru system of the runes, there is the more widely known Tarot, and there are things like tea leaves, cloud divination and then Augury as i have mentioned before.  Always be careful with these tools and the I though, they are very reactive to you’re subconscious.  If you’re upset when you do a reading, the answer you get may upset you even more and drive you nuts.  That’s not to say that it’s wrong, it’s just going to make you insane.  Oracles also come from the Underworld, Prophecy and divination of any kind are associated with the land of the dead, I think that is why they have been labelled as evil.  When you’re dead, you live outside of time, past present and future have no meaning and you can see both directions, both forward and back.  Keep this in mind when you are doing this, you are talking with ghosts, treat them and the tool with respect.


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