The Tao Babe is not a witch. Well… not unless said Tao Babe insists on being one, and of course, there is nothing wrong with being a witch; however, there is a common misconception that divining the I Ching is doing witchy things.
I beg to differ. As I have stated in previous pages, divining the I Ching is not fortune-telling, and it is not doing witchy things. Reading Tarot cards— now THAT is doing witchy things. And we Tao Babes, we’re not witches. We don’t do witchy things. That’s just not us.
But hang on a sec… we’re Tao Babes, not simpletons. It is quite obvious, to me at least, that there is a very similar thread running through the I Ching and the Tarot. So then, as a curious Tao Babe, my question is… what if I could combine the two divination methods? What if I could fuse the best of both worlds and do a Tarot-I-Ching divination? This, on the surface, may seem to be an almost impossibility. After all, Eastern thoughts and Western ideology quite often clash. However, there is plenty of similarities, and between the two time-honored divination methods, perhaps I can come up with a way to merge the two into a cohesive whole that reveals much more than each, alone and unaided. I will be able to see both sides of the Eastern/Western viewpoint. Surely, that can’t hurt.
Let’s do a bit of comparison. The eastern lands have the I Ching, with 64 hexagrams, its images and its meanings, derived from chance tossing of coins and placement of the lines. The western lands has its Tarot cards, also with 78 cards of images, with its chance shuffling of the cards, and placement of the cards to derive at the meanings. Both have the individual cards/hexagrams split up into upper and lower spheres, and both allow for the reading, or divination, to be interpreted by the diviner. In essence, it is not the act of divining that is divine. It is the diviner herself.
I decided to use the I Ching as the bones of the structure, since it lends itself well to the structure of the divination. The Tarot cards would then be the flesh and skin and clothes of the divination, filling in the sweet details that the I Ching, in all its barebones glory, skip over.
The I Ching requires a heads/tails or negative/positive effect to garner the requisite three number additions for each of the six lines of the hexagram. The Tarot does not have this hard and fast rule, but it does have the chance upright/reversed cards, which can be used to designate the heads/tails state required by the I Ching. The layout must also mimic the hexagram’s six lines, so I lay out three cards for each line, starting with the bottom line. If the card is upright, it gets a 3, and if it is reversed (upside-down) it gets a 2. Six lines of three cards each makes 18 cards. Remember, placement is important to the divination, so I go back to the hexagram to determine the meaning of the lines. The unchanging Receptive, which is the earth, gets the first two lines. Humankind, representing the present change factor, gets the third and fourth lines. The ever-evolving Creative, which is heaven, gets the top two lines. Put it all together, and this is what you get.
First line is the Crux of the situation, or the basis of the situation or problem.
Second line is the past.
Third line is the opposing situation, or the conflict of the situation.
Fourth line is the present state.
Fifth line is the guidance line, or what to do about it all.
Sixth line is the final outcome, or the future.
Since each line is made up of three separate cards, each card lends the minute details of the situation and gives color, shade, sound, and scent to the individual hexagram line.
Taken as a whole then, from a bird’s eyeview, the hexagram gets a number, from one to 64. That number then, is the I Ching’s divination, which we would read in the normal fashion. The beauty of this is that if we do not wish to go into minute detail, we don’t have to. We can just look at it from above and get the general overview. If, however, we need to study it with greater depth, we can narrow our visual scope farther down, until we reach the individual card that makes up one of the lines of the hexagram, and delve down into its nuance to arrive at a deeper understanding.
I am not going to pretend and tell you that this will make things easier. In fact, it is much much more complex, as there is more information than one needs for quick simple answers. It also requires that one be equally proficient in both divination methods, and this takes time. It is not for everyone, but it is a method that I am working on, and hopefully, can master in the near future.
Here then, is a sample divination using the Tarot-I Ching fusion method as described above. I hope it can be of use to anyone interested in combining the Eastern and Western divination methods.
I don’t think this idea is much different than having several I Ching readings, each refining the original question. The insights gained depend mostly on the consciousness level of the querent who makes the interpretation. A Sage might ask the same question as somebody with an alcoholic hangover, and construct the same hexagram in response. But the meaning gleaned will be significantly different for each; hexagrams nor Tarot cards are rigid enough to serve as facts sufficient to replace an elder experience of recognizing patterns and connections. Why not have your tea and read the leaves too. 🙂 Thinking of cake.