XII. - STARTING ON-LINE DIVINATION
In the method of fire, a tip of incandescent metal was applied on the front of a turtle shell (previously thinned to this effect), provoking a crack to the verso of the shell, interpreted as positive or negative in function of his orientation right or oblique (*).
The form of the crack being often ambiguous. Diviners and their assistants repeated
systematically the divination :
In a double symmetry, at a time spatial and semantic. For instance, the same question was submitted to divination on the left side of the shell in a positive formulation (will it rain ?), then concurrently on the
right side in its negative formulation ( will not it rain ?).
The answers of these mirroring questions was supposed to logically converge to be significant enough. In this case divination was validated. Then the questions were engraved on the bone face to the divinatory crack, accompanied with oracular sentences (favourable or unfavourable), date and name of main diviner, in a such order that attests the disposition recovered on chinese oracle bones. These cultural relics, sheep bones and tortoise shells, because engraved with jiaguwen writing, are often simply called Jiaguwen).
(*) Former origin of YIN and YANG categories.
More recent, the method of wood uses yarrow stalks [achillea] separated at random, to determine by numerology a Yin or Yang values in function of remaining sticks. The operation is repeated six times to give the six lines of an hexagram (" Koua" in Chinese), then refer to corresponding text of the Book of Change.
Chinese diviners using WOOD method were literally called " Shamans of the Book." In Chinese the words diviner, divination, are still based on a same key "PU", that meant originally divinatory cracks.
In CHINA, the two methods coexisted a long time, at least until the extinction almost total of water turtle, as said Cyril Javary in his book about I Ching.
For a long time, and about the most serious questions, diviners consulted both turtle and achillea. Favourable or unfavourable omen (rights or oblique cracks) revealed by FIRE applied on a turtle shell and oracular sentences drawn by WOOD method (sticks of achillea WOOD).
Like China, Japan has a tradition of imperial counsellors and diviners using I Ching. Most famous was certainly Kenko, known as a medieval writer, whose name is associated to the honorific name of URABE (that means ìDiviners clanî). URABE KENKO wrote aphorisms called "Tsuregure-Guza" (Idle hours) at the end of his life, from his retreat in a Buddhist hermitage were he died in 1350.
Like I Ching divination, tortoise shell divination perpetuated until today, accompanying traditionally the advent of a new era, with accession ceremonies of actual Emperor of Japan, in the beginning of nineties.
In Occident, where first I Ching translations really destined to a large public _ French version of L-F. Philastre and English version of James Legge_ are one century old, it is only in the sixties that his practice became popular, wore by that quest of sense of the beat generation. People used to consult I Ching oracle by throwing simultaneously three usual coins by six times.
Yet Chinese people had adopted for a long time this coins method (sapeques method)for its simplicity and quickness...
The drawing is easier with COINS, but gives an abnormally elevated frequency of mutable lines, by reference to classic than with yarrow stalks method (WOOD).
On the other side, classic WOOD method gives a difference of occurence between old yang and old yin lines (*)]...
(*) Some experts apply a non-classic method it which young lines _ and no old one_ are mutable (For instance Jean Choain, a french author of an "Introduction to the I Ching"). This semantic difference should not affect the drawing (its program algoritm) at least for the coins method, but should modify drawing result in the case of the wood method : mutatis mutandi I suppose that drawing algoritm has to be modified by swapping probabilities of occurence old and young lines. (I propose too this method in my computer program...)
Many computer programs implement one or many I Ching divinatory method. The fist was written in the USA in the sixties, for the needs of John Cage, using intensively the Changes to compose his serial music, structured on the uncertain, in the tonality of the instant.
However, the I Ching informs only on this that already knows by you intuitively.
- First hexagram, symbolises the actual moment as a constellation of strengths in presence.
- Mutable lines symbolise the adequate action, in the good timing, in an aim of efficient regulation.
- Second hexagram symbolises a future germs, and is prognostic of the evolution of the situation according time and Changes.
These informations can be complemented by reading derived and related hexagrams, in order to specify the global context of the (actual or incoming) situation, encouraging dynamic understanding of the process, to help to manage correctly a complex situation.
Consulting the I CHING nowadays is to use a traditional method of help to decision in order to determine an adequate action...
1o/ Express your question under his positive formulation (if you don't have no precise idea, you could ask : What is my question?)
Then process your draw. The result is a combination of six lines (There are 64 combinations). Each one can be Yin or Yang :
MUTABLE LINES are usually noted thus :
They will be here signalled by the following animation;
The system will draw for you first and secong and mutable lines on loading a result page, hypertext menu from wich you will access to the associated commentaries.
You just have to click on the icon or the textual link to access to the text (this opens a new browser)
in another window. It is important to close this new browser (by hitting ALT F4) after reading (and eventually SAVING) the related text to come back to the menu page of you particular drawing (don't launch it again : it could change !)
You can even SAVE your oracle by hitting CTRL D from the new browser (from where you read related text) : for first hexagram, then for mutable lines (line by line), then for the second hexagram.
2o/ Compares the oracular text with your question, in its implicit CONTEXT.
If there is no connection, ask again.
If there is a connection, go on :
3o/ Ask your question again but this time in reformulating it negatively.
The answers (2o/ and 3o/) should converge logically in order the session to be validate. (for instance you got a favourable oracle for a question, it should be in opposite sense ; unfavourable omen for the inverse formulation).
In order to start the I CHING drawing simulation, click on the following link :