CONSULTING THE I CHING ORACLE – HOW TO GET CLEAR ANSWERS
From the The I Ching Oracle: A guide through the human maze
By Timothy and Johanna Dowdle
In times of crisis or uncertainty the I Ching or Book of Changes can serve as an oracle and a guide to help us deal successfully with the difficulties and challenges of life.
Change can come suddenly and unexpectedly, sweeping aside our sense of security and leaving us struggling to cope with a drastically changed reality. Or, we may be unsatisfied with the way our lives are going and would like to make a change, but we do not know how. The I Ching provides us with crucial advice and information on how we should best respond and act in all kinds of situations. The reader can consult the I Ching oracle by simply asking it a question. In this article we explain in more detail what kind of questions will yield the clearest answers and what the reader can expect when he/she puts a question to the oracle.
It is very important to formulate the right question in order to receive a clear and direct answer. Straightforward and direct questions about issues relevant to the reader’s own situation will receive the clearest answers from the I Ching. For example: “Should I look for a different job?” or “Should we buy this house?” or “How should I deal with the problems in my relationship?” These are all questions that raise important issues which could potentially impact or change what happens in the reality.
If the reader’s question lacks relevance or is too vague, because the reader does not have a clear insight into the situation, he/she is facing, the I Ching will not directly address the question. Instead, the oracle will give the reader a completely accurate description of his/her situation and the situation it will develop into.
Such an answer is often completely unexpected and at first perhaps puzzling. It certainly is food for thought. If the reader lets the answer “sit for a while”, from time to time reflecting on it, then, suddenly, the penny will drop, opening up a real insight into the situation and its potential.
When the reader has put together a specific plan, a concrete goal he/she would like to achieve, then it is time to consult the oracle to see if one’s carefully hatched plan can succeed in the reality. If the oracle advises the reader to go ahead with his/her plan, it will succeed. However, if the oracle makes clear that the reader’s plan is ill conceived, because there are insurmountable obstacles, or it is completely the wrong thing to do and would be a serious mistake, the reader should consider a different approach and consult the oracle again.
Success can sometimes come in a surprising way, and although the I Ching may encourage the reader to go ahead with his/her plan, the oracle has a way of predicting unexpected, almost magical solutions. And finally, it is important to note that the I Ching oracle can see far into the future. The reader may on occasion receive a series of hexagrams and moving lines predicting events that can take years to come to pass.
Here is an example from one of our own I Ching consultations.
We were house hunting, searching on the internet and checking out estate agents, in the hope of finding a better place to live. We saw an attractive house on the website of an estate agent and decided to ask the I Ching: “Should we buy this house?” The answer we received was hexagram 21 Making a judgment. This hexagram always leads to making an unfavourable judgment and reaching a negative conclusion based on a thorough investigation. It soon became clear that the house was less desirable than it had appeared to be, because there were serious maintenance issues.
We continued our search and a few weeks later found another house. It was in a beautiful setting, exactly what we wanted! Nevertheless, we were uncertain and intuitively felt that something was wrong. We went back to the I Ching for guidance and received the first line in hexagram 24 The Return, leading into hexagram 2 The Receptive. The first line of The Return warned us not to go ahead and congratulated us on avoiding what would have been a terrible mistake. We later discovered that, although the house was beautifully situated, it was completely undesirable because of anti-social neighbours. Nevertheless, hexagram The Receptive encouraged us to persevere with our search, because it would eventually lead to a success.
About a month later we tracked down another house that looked perfect for us, not too big, not too small, with a nice garden. However, the house was not in the region we would have preferred to live in. We went back to the oracle again to ask for advice and received hexagram 17 Guided by Events. The I Ching advised us to engage in the negotiating process; things would fall into place, and we would be able to clinch the deal. It turned out to be a complete surprise to discover a perfect home was available in a region we had not wanted to settle in. We bought the house, and everything worked out as we had hoped.
Finding one’s way through modern society is like finding a way through a maze, the human maze. The I Ching oracle has served (and is still serving) us, the authors, as an invaluable guide on our path through life. After more than thirty years of working with the I Ching oracle we felt that the time had come to write a book and share our experience of consulting the oracle. We gave the book the title The I Ching Oracle – A guide through the human maze. It is a hands-on manual explaining how to consult the oracle, illustrated with examples from our own consultations. Our aim is to enable the reader to consult the oracle completely independently and receive clear answers to his/her questions. We explain in our book how the oracle works and why it gives valid results. The book also contains a full description of the hexagrams and the moving lines through the lens of our own real life experiences.
The I Ching Oracle: A guide through the human maze is available from www.o-books.com and from wherever books are sold.
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