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Simply Divining

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Rev. Pam Crane

Along came the new millennium, and welcome to a total outer-planetary onslaught! In a desperate bid to get some sort of handle on inner meltdown before I lost it altogether, out came my dusty volumes of the I Ching. As the Web had provided a splendid free download of the I Ching to my PDA, many hours were lost to its exploration in the June sunshine - and I came rapidly to the conclusion that I would never, ever be able to translate its antique world-view adequately into my own. Unless it would cross-reference to astrology. In which case there was Hope.

For a while I really thought I'd cracked it. A lovely system arranged itself over the hexagram table in the back of my workbook. Yet doubts nagged. Nothing quite fitted completely. It was a bit like the cheerful swimsuit I tried on one very, very sweaty morning, and which fitted really nicely round all the usual dodgy bits of body - except for one utterly intractable dimple on one side of the bust - so it was abandoned in despair. As was Fu Hsi, King Wen, Wilhelm, Jung, and Crane's optimistic transliterary effort.

THEN the penny dropped!

The whole point about pure divination (perhaps with the exception of astrology - but WHO KNOWS???) is that it is you who make the rules.

Hands will no doubt fly up in horror at this point after all those head-pounding hours spent memorising the mesmerising pronouncements of so many honoured adepts on the telling juxtapositions of cards, runes, tealeaves, coins, yarrow-stalks, flying geese, entrails, bits of beach and God knows what else, and the painstaking intensity of practice, in fear of contradiction. The workshops. The seminars. The Conferences. The dreaded exams. The expense.

But all you are doing in every case is agreeing to a set of rules devised by another human being living in the same world as you, often at a considerable distance in time, space and culture. These rules may have been intuited, or rationally planned. They may even have been divinely inspired. Or concocted for the current incarnation of a tabloid rag! None of this alters the fact that all worldly systems of divination have their origin in the world (spiritual and material) and are organised and passed down the generations by the denizens of the world to further their collective and individual insight into that world.

And they only work if practised by folk who agree to the rules. Hence the utter impossibility of so-called scientific testing. No sceptic agrees to the rules.

At this point I must stress a) that astrology by its very nature, being Bigger Than All of Us, and being the notes of the complex music that is our eternal development, is not under discussion here despite its differing systems, since astrology as a phenomenon applies descriptively and predictively to all lives with or without their awareness or consent.

Nor b) is spiritual healing, which can be so effective for patients who have no faith in it at all, and may even be unaware that it is flowing to them. But how many of you have picked up a pendulum and forgotten whether right or left, circular or straight movement means Yes or No? ...and decided one way (which works just fine) only to find the book said the complete opposite?

You made the rules. You initiated and entered into agreement with the Cosmic/the discarnate/the Higher Mind. Your questions received their proper answers. All chosen paths, followed upwards, lead to the Summit.

The Book of Changes

... has very high status among divinatory systems due to its extremely antique and doubly royal provenance. It asks to be treated with respect; it will reward you with ancient imagery and utterances of sibylline ambiguity. 'It' may also argue with you, its answer bearing little relation to your question and seeming to scold or criticise your motive or current attitude. Coming from such an august source, such castigations can provoke much unproductive anxiety.

What is going on?

You have agreed to be counselled in a language which is unfamiliar and out-of-date.

You have deferred to a couple of long-dead Kings instead of the living guidance you know and trust - or obliged your guidance to battle through an alien channel.

You have accepted uncritically translations of the oracle which may not do it justice, even from a famous pen.

All the above is of course the preferred and honoured practice of many, many people...but after taking thought, may there not be other ways to truth that are more appropriate for your corner of 21st century culture, and more enriching?

After taking thought, the idea came to me that counsel in the symbolic language I best understood would be most welcome; also that the built-in fluidity of the I Ching's divinatory system could hardly be bettered.

Therefore it was necessary to combine these in a way that compromised neither.

(I am writing these words to you at an exact Lunar Eclipse!!! Just noticed this. Make of it what you may!)

The result became what I call - for want of a better term -


The Mechanics.

You use your stalks, your coins, your software - whatever means you have chosen to generate static or moving lines of Yang or Yin energy, just as you would in normal I Ching consultation.

But instead of 8 trigrams, columns of 3 Yang or Yin lines that combine to form the 64 6-line hexagrams, Sky Ching forms 16 four-line 'Quartets' that combine into 256 possible 'Octets'... multiplied yet again if three Quartets - a Dodecet - are generated.

The lines may be displayed in columns as usuual - or, in deference to the 21st-century's adoption of the Bar-Code, as a sequence from left to right.

Instead of solid Yang and broken Yin lines, the energies may be represented by thick/thin lines like a bar code, or by the other pair beloved by those of binary bent, 1 and 0. Or if you are keen to stick with matters closer to the astrological, + and -. It really doesn't matter.

Because you are setting the rules of a new and valid contract between your consciousness and the source of Truth.

As in the venerable I Ching, if you throw, say, three coins all Yang, that line is then a moving line, transmuting to Yin in a second, derived Quartet that adds to the message of the initial Quartet.

The Symbolism


As in the I Ching, from a Creative Monad (O ... or @ ... or * ... or even ? or ! ...?) spring two polar energies, Yang (1) and Yin (0)

From Yang come Fire (11) and Air (10); from Yin come Earth (00) and Water (01)

FIRE yields Mars/Aries/1st (1100 - Mars exalted in Earth), Sun/Leo/5th (1111 - fixed Fire), Jupiter/Sagittarius/9th (1101 - Jupiter co-ruling & exalted in Water), Asc/Desc (1110 - Fire-Air angles)

AIR yields Mercury/Gemini/3rd (1000 - Mercury also rules Earth), Venus/Libra/7th (1001 - Venus exalted in Water), Uranus/Aquarius/11th (1010 - Fixed Air), Dragon's Head (1011)

EARTH yields Earth/Taurus/2nd (0000 - fixed Earth), Chiron/Virgo/6th (0011 - concrete, physical), Saturn/Capricorn/10th (0010 - Saturn exalted in Air), Mc/IC axis (0001 - Earth-Water angles)

WATER yields Moon/Cancer/4th (0100 - Moon exalted in Earth), Pluto/Scorpio/8th (0101 - Fixed Water), Neptune/Pisces/12th (0110 - abstract, intangible), Dragon's Tail (0111)


Octets and Dodecets

A Quartet will supply much helpful imagery to illumine the subject-matter of a question.

However, you may like to generate the idea of Planet in Sign, or a full sequence of Planet/Sign/House. This is achieved as already suggested by throwing coins (etc) till 3 x 4, 12 lines are formed.

These can then be read in exactly that way. The symbolism of the 1st 4 lines will be planetary, that of the 2nd 4 its sign position, that of the 3rd 4 a house position.

If there are moving lines, then the corresponding Quartet will transmute to a different Planet, Sign, or House according to its ranking in your sequence. This new information may imply a 'conjunction' in a static Sign, or an 'aspect' between two planets in two signs, or a change of conditions over time, perhaps, when the Sign or the House changes but not the Planet.

You see how rich and flexible this is? And any astrologer can read it. It is something you can carry in your head and your smallest pocket; I have a tiny dice (I know it should be 'die' but it looks odd!) on which I have agreed that a 1 or a 5 (Aries, Leo) gives a Yang line, a 2 or a 4 (Taurus, Cancer) gives a Yin line, while a 3 or a 6 (Gemini, Virgo) means a moving Yang or Yin respectively. It's all you need.

The results will depend, not on the means of divination you have chosen or on written rules, but on your symbolic understanding, and the integrity of your spiritual agreement.


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