a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Yijing Metaphysics

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.divination,alt.philosophy.taoism
From: xiwangmu 
Subject: Yijing Metaphysics
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 07:59:35 GMT

50030221 VII 

"skinnypig"  asks questions about methods of consulting oracles
                    during a discussion of using 2d10 to consult Yijing:
> is there mysterious forces affecting the dice, which make the 
> results anything but random?

'randomness' is a concept without real substance outside a personal
admission that we cannot find in it some pattern or regularity. the
point isn't so much that there are mysterious forces (i.e. those we
may call 'supernatural') manipulating the mechanisms of the oracle,
but instead that the oracle is a reflection of the changing cosmos,
and that the meaning of text associated with our result may be
identified with the character of the particular incident, 
decision, or issue about which we sought advice.

the choice you provide ("random"? or "mysterious forces"?) is not
truly relevant, given the analysis above. my answer is 'neither'.

> would it be any different if i just opened the book at any page?

this is a very good question, and it goes to the heart of methods
that effectively drive out the possibility of intentional 
influence over the results of oracular consultation. one thing
about "the book" is that what most people are using is probably
a standard oracle book, called Yijing or Zhouyi (I Ching), and
its content can become known, including the position of any
particular hexagram in the book itself. therefore, bibliomancy
for the DIRECT obtaining of the hexagram is problematic in any
attempt to remove consulter-influences. 

this doesn't mean that the method you are suggesting is without
value. in fact, it should be said that familiarizing oneself
with the Oracle Book will make possible the consulting of the
wisdom that the book represents in reflection of circumstance
as you deem it best characterized. I'll provide an example.

suppose you wish to get advice on how best to achieve a very
particular result from a situation that you have determined by
your familiarity with the Oracle Book is most attuned to the
hexagram #35 (whatever that might be, in your system). if 
your Oracle Book has single-line (or more!) descriptions of
changing-line characters (as are given by the Duke of Chou
in the Classic Oracle Book), then you can examine these
commentaries and determine which of 6 (or more) possible
outcomes you would prefer to achieve, PLUS examine the 
line(s) necessary to change to achieve it, aligning your
subsequent action to this reflected wisdom by identifying
your course of action based on the line-change-requirement.

outside of this more rational reflection on change itself,
one may use bibliomancy for the purpose of obtaining a set
of 6 lines, inclusive of what are called changing lines.
I suppose there are countless means to achieve this, though
one method my wife and I invented, 'randomly' flipping to
somewhere in the book's interior and mapping the hexagram
found therein to tables for the generation of a SINGLE LINE.
done 5 more times, the consultation is entirely bibliomantic.

ultimately, however, the methods traditionally used are
something 'random' (like the flipping of coins, or the 
manipulation of other objects like Yarrow Stalks or sticks)
or interpretating from the data surrounding one (as is very
helpfully described in translations/expositions of Shao 
Yong's "Plum Blossom Method", effectively using numerology 
and symbolism) to arrive at a resulting figure composed 
of 6 LINES having any one of 4 VALUES and 2 MODES. 

the 6 LINES are positional, traditionally composed 
from the bottom-up:

			----------- 6       u
			----------- 5       p
			----------- 4      /\
			----   ---- 3      ||
                        ----   ---- 2      ||
                        ----   ---- 1   bottom

                        e x a m p l e

4 VALUES are what delimit the "changingness" of a line
in one of its 2 MODES (solid or broken):

                        v a l u e s

                      m -----------  YANG ('young')
        SOLID         o -----0-----  YANG ('old', changing to YIN)
                      e ----   ----   YIN ('young')
        BROKEN        s ---- X ----   YIN ('old', changing to YANG)

                        m a t r i x

> what is really going on with this?

this is again a very good question. it strikes to the heart
of ANY divinatory method which utilizes what we would call
'random data' for the purposes of obtaining a reflection 
on present circumstances. 

* why should patterns discerned in apparently unrelated data
sets somehow contain information of value that can be seen
via the method of the oracle?

* is the meaning discerned derived as a coping mechanism by
the interested individual consulting the oracle, or is it
actually implied by sophisticated mechanisms of reflection
inherent to the oracular system?

* does our involvement affect the reliability of the array 
of the data presented, or would any consultation by some
skilled manipulator of the mechanism produce the same?

answers to these questions usually interest the more
philosophically-inclined moreso than those who have some
vested interest in learning the system or consulting it.

more often than not these oracular systems come complete
with their own set of theoretical underpinnings and
cultural contexts within which one might derive some kind
of metaphysics which may explain the function of the oracle.

in the case of Yijing, the oracle is ascribed variable
character with associations to numerous Chinese systems
of metaphysics, from the Taoist to the Confucian, and
beyond. my very meager understanding of each enables me
to speculate briefly as to some stereotypical responses:


	the underlying principles of the cosmos permeate
	everything, inclusive of the objects used to
	consult the oracle. as such, their character
	influences the configuration of the results,
	and the Oracle Book provides a basis by which
	this configuration may be properly interpreted
	(i.e. natural laws are being reflected in symbols).


	the vast hierarchy of the celestial empire, 
	ruled as it is by innumerable gods with superior
	and inferior station, conspire to influence the
	outcomes of all properly-conducted oracular 
	consultations. the tools provided by the ancient
	sages and fashioners of the lines are given their
	power to reproduce their success inasmuch as they
	conform to the mandated authority they have been
	provided by the cosmic authorities. it is for
	this reason that the Classic of Chou has been
	identified for its value, since King Wen was of
	noble birth and serving the interests of the
	Celestial God (formerly known as Shang Ti)
	when constructing its basis out of the trigrams 
	provided by Fu Hsi. when the diviner consults
	Oracle Book using the proper method, she is
	effectively enveloping oneself in the mantle 
	of the 'Child of Heaven' and being gifted 
	with the vision of the Cosmic Scheme. 

corrections very welcome.


The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races