I Ching Divination the ten-sided dice method… Aug 11, 2017 6:11:53 GMT
Post by m1thr0s on Aug 11, 2017 6:11:53 GMT
I Ching Divination
the ten-sided dice method…
Greetings from the Abrahadabra Institute!
Thank you for purchasing your divination startup kit from the Abrahadabra Institute.
…is intended to walk you through the process of using the 10-sided dice method not included in any known publications at this time. At origin, The I Ching was originally called *the plant oracle* where a system of yarrow stalks were employed to divine the lines of the hexagrams 1-64. Over time a general shift occurred more to the use of the 3-coins method still in use today. The 10-sided dice method has evolved to give practicing metaphysicians in modern times as much pertinent information as possible without disturbing the natural biorhythmic feedback mechanism so popular with the 3 coins method. Numerologists familiar with Gematria will be pleased to note that alongside Yin and Yang valuations, the 10-sided dice method also gives us a range of numbers to contemplate from 001 (1) to 000 (1000) at each line of the hexagram as it unfolds. Perhaps most importantly, The 10-sided dice method works just as efficiently for the 729 ternary hexagrams as it does for the 64 binary hexagrams, something that is a little beyond the scope of this little how-to guide, but is important to understand to better appreciate *why* it evolved to begin with.
In the binary system we are only dealing with combinations of Yin and Yang forces, layered six lines high for a total of 26 = 64 hexagrammal structures.
In the ternary system we are dealing with Yin, Yang, and a third *Jen* force, not accessed in the binaries, for a grand total of 36 = 729 hexagrammal structures.
Using the 10-sided dice method it is possible to construct on either side with equal mathematical integrity, using slightly different calculating methods. It is even possible to interpret both systems from the same reading if we choose to do so, though in practice this is not often utilized.
Suffice it to say that the 10-sided dice system is a much more versatile system than the traditional coins method. It will tend to be especially appreciated by more experienced metaphysical practitioners but is ultimately no more difficult to learn that the coins system. On a more aesthetic note, I was never especially happy with the clanging racket generated by the coins system personally. I found it agitating and too much like an invocation of money-madness I felt to be in diametric contradiction to the spirit of the oracle itself. While the yarrow stalk system is even more serene than the dice, it lacks the mathematical dynamism that the dice bring to the table. It is this gravitation towards numbers that marks the underlying interest in the coins method to begin with, but the time has come to take another forward step in this direction.
Ultimately it would be best if the dice were themselves made of hardwood or some other durable plant material, but it is possible to overlook this slight shortcoming in the shorter term, understanding that in the longer term this is the material standard we would most like to employ. In this way we would be able to retain the I Ching’s *plant oracle* identity but also allow it to act as a mathematically tight random number generator. For our purposes in the modern world, it is often useful to think of the entire process of geomantic *divining* as a biofeedback mechanism using the same binary language as the DNA code itself in the form of simple plus-minus responses.
Preparing a Space
Preparing a sacred space for divination readings is important. The more carefully you attend to this, the better your readings will be. I use a nice little wooden plate I found in an antique store somewhere with a rim just high enough to keep the dice from sliding off the plate. The wood dampens the clatter of the dice and is perfectly mobile so that it can be taken out and needn’t be confined to just one place. I never use the plate for anything else and the dice and plate are always stored together when not in use. I also have a small alter cloth that rests beneath the plate whenever possible. This kind of preparation keeps the dice in a *charged*, or *ready* state.
Getting the Lines
A relaxed and focused state of mind is essential to getting a good reading, so do whatever you can to calm your mind and formulate a question, which question you will hold in your mind throughout the course of the reading. Avoid distractions and be willing to abandon the reading and start over if you feel your concentration has been disturbed. I have a little ritual I always do – a brief Abrahadabra meditation followed by what is sometimes referred to as a *magickal knock*. It’s very discreet and in almost all cases people who may be observing have no idea that anything unusual is occurring. We all have little mental preparation rituals of one kind or another. Consider developing something that suits this operation.
The *magickal knock* is a ritualized way of shaking the dice so that the sound of their shaking follows a specific pattern. Take the dice into both hands and form a tight ball with your hands so the dice will not escape. Shake 3 times and stop: Shake 5 times and stop: Shake 3 times and stop. Carefully open your hands allowing the dice to slide onto their prepared surface. This 3-5-3 shaking pattern is called an *Abrahadabra Knock* - a kind of focusing devise that alerts yourself and/or anything else in earshot that a ritual operation is taking place. The more attention to detail you commit to, the better your readings will be. Do this operation 6 times, recording the results at each pass with a a pen and paper you have on hand. Special notebooks or magickal journals set aside for this work are always a good idea as this will help you to track your various readings over time.
Tallying the Lines
Hexagrams are constructed from bottom-to-top, the same as we would ordinarily build a house. There are all kinds of interesting ways of identifying these 6 tiered positions, but for our purposes here it is really only important that we remember that line #1 is always at the bottom and line #6 is always at the top. For guitar players this should be especially easy to memorize, since it is the same numbering system we would assign to strings on the guitar. For the rest of us, the house metaphor will have to suffice.
Lines only come in two vibrational *flavors* in the binary system, Yin (feminine, recessive, passive flux) and Yang (masculine, creative, active flux). The Chinese sages assigned numerical constances to these two flux values. To the Yin, they assigned the number 2. To the Yang they assigned the number 3. As with the Greeks, the Chinese Sages rejected the notion that the number 1 could be assigned to any gender, so the number 1 never enters into our Yin-Yang tallies. There are, however, two kinds of Yin and Yang to be aware of, called Old and Young respectively.
• An Old (Running) Yang has reached the end of its cycle and is about to change into its opposite.
• A Young Yang is in its prime and is strong and stable.
• An Old (Running) Yin has reached the end of its cycle and is about to change into its opposite.
• A Young Yin is in its prime and is strong and stable.
Whether we are using the coins method or the dice method, we always do so in 3’s. The first coin (or die) corresponds to Earth, the second corresponds to Man and the third corresponds to Heaven. With coins we are looking for Heads or Tails values on every toss, Heads having a numerical value of 3 and Tails having a numerical value of 2. With dice we are looking for Odds and Evens values on every toss, Odds having a numerical value of 3 and Evens a numerical value of 2. For our purposes here, 0=Even and 1=Odd. The 5 Yin Values on the 10-sided dice = 0, 2, 4, 6 & 8. The 5 Yang Values on the 10-sided dice = 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9.
• 3 Yins + 0 Yangs = an Old (Running) Yin = 6
• 1 Yin + 2 Yangs = a Young Yin = 8
• 3 Yangs + 0 Yins = an Old (Running) Yang = 9
• 1 Yang + 2 Yins = a Young Yang = 7
There is a standard notation we use to express these 4 possible line values:
Now that you have your lines correctly drawn and recorded, you can turn to the Hexagrams Key (foldout page) at the back of the I Ching book to find your hexagram. From this point on the book should be able to assist you with hexagram names, meanings, and special points of interest regarding the answer to your question.
All of this line value information will be repeated over and over again in every treatise you may encounter on the I Ching, so it is only important here that you understand how the dice system itself replaces the coins. Any hexagram that yields running lines will generate what is referred to as a *changing hexagram*, and will also be used to identify especially important lines in any reading you will be doing. It is important, therefor, that you do learn to do these things correctly. We are essentially looking for one of two things at each toss: three-of-a-kind, or the odd-man-out. This will tell us what our line value is.
The Wilhelm/Baynes edition of the I Ching has been selected as the best starting point for most students. This careful translation of Chinese metaphor and symbolism to English metaphor and symbolism is by far the best available in print. Other versions are available (which careful students will eventually want to examine) but while the debate rolls on and on over the technical meanings of words in themselves, it is preeminently the Wilhelm/Baynes edition that captures the poetics of the East in a balanced proportion to the poetics of the West. Experience teaches us that coming to terms with the imagery of the I Ching oracle is much more relevant to the process of divination than any other consideration – at least as a starting point.
Having said this, there are a couple of other books we would like to recommend that you acquire as soon as possible. Richard and Hellmut Willhelm’s Understanding the I Ching: The Willhelm lectures on the Book of Changes will prove tremendously helpful to any aspiring student. Fast-forward a generation or two to the Master Alfred Huang’s The Complete I Ching as well as his smaller (but power-packed) The Numerology of the I Ching for a fresh perspective with astonishing back-story information not available in any other public work. As your skill improves, you will tend to naturally gravitate to works that give you additional insight and subtleties to work with. For the next little while you will probably find you have your plate pretty full with what you have already just purchased.
m1thr0s, Abrahadabra Institute