Consultations and Conversations
You may like to take the time to think about the meaning of each
hexagram before making another consultation, but the fruitfulness of a
consultation can be considerably enriched by casting more than one
hexagram. For example:
- It is not always easy to decipher the significance of a message and
since the key to discerning significance is consistency of meaning over
a number of hexagrams, casting multiple hexagrams in a single consultation
may deliver significance more quickly.
- Sometimes a message can be quite complex and require that
a number of hexagrams be joined to convey its meaning.
- You may recognize the sequence of hexagrams cast in a single consultation to be describing
a sequence of events you have experienced. Such a correlation
is a valuable pointer to the thread running through your reality that is most meaningful to the Oracle and
to which its subsequent messages will relate.
- Spiritual development involves an
ongoing progression from one
spiritual issue to the next. As one becomes familiar with the Oracle,
one can become quite adept at discerning the significance of the
messages and one may be ready to move on to the next issue while still
within the same consultation.
An issue may develop slowly over a long time and over many consultations, in which case
the consultations and one's responses to them may be described as an ongoing conversation.
So how many hexagrams should one cast in each
consultation? Let the
Oracle decide whether it has more information to impart, by tossing a
single coin to ask if another hexagram should be cast. If that coin
comes up heads, then proceed with casting another hexagram; if it comes
up tails then refrain. ( It is irrelevant which way one assigns Yes and
No to heads and tails. If you prefer the opposite order
feel free to use it as long as you are consistent.)
This technique of putting the onus on the Oracle
as to whether another hexagram should be cast can be extended to include the first
hexagram as well; that is, one can let the Oracle decide whether or not
there should be a consultation at all. Since the result of a
consultation is likely to be an expression of the Oracle’s agenda,
one makes a consultation only when the Oracle indicates it has
something to say. Having the Oracle indicate that it would like to
speak is actually useful information in itself for, if an issue is
regarded by the Oracle to have any urgency, it will be keen to keep
bringing the issue to your attention. Having the Oracle consistently
keen to speak is a sure sign of urgency on the Oracle’s part.
Similarly, when the Oracle is consistently
reluctant to speak then it either has no interest in your current
activity or has no desire for you to change what you are
Putting the onus for a consultation on the Oracle
has the added benefit
of knowing that the Oracle wishes to speak. This allows one to approach
the Oracle without restraint, knowing that one is not importuning.
This technique of letting the Oracle
decide a consultation is
not essential for using the Oracle. Use it if comfortable.