I Ching Divinations in the Month of December for a Twitter Follow


For the month of December, 2014, ending right before New Year’s Eve, I am offering I Ching divinations in exchange for following me on Twitter.

Okay come on. That’s like basically free, people. And if you’re already following me on Twitter, then it is free. Just let me know!

These are not full readings, by the way, and you will be meeting me half-way in terms of work. Let me explain.

I’ve been tackling my own translation and annotations of the I Ching so that I no longer need to work off any of the current English translations. So that’s what I’ll be using for these divinations–my own work product.

To get your I Ching divination from me, here’s what you have to do:


STEP ONE. Rinse and clean under water 3 coins of the same size. You can use 3 pennies, 3 dimes, 3 quarters, 3 half-dollars… it’s up to you. All 3 must be the same, however. So you can’t use 1 penny, 1 dime, and 1 quarter for the 3 coins. Get it? Look. I’m including a picture. There’s a picture. Look at the picture. Yeah, I’m talking down to you right now, but I promise you at least one person is going to miss the point. There’s always one. =)

You can use 3 U.S. quarters...
You can use 3 U.S. quarters…
...or 3 of whatever that coin is... 1 Hong Kong dollar, it looks like...
…or 3 of whatever that coin is… 1 Hong Kong dollar, it looks like…
...or even this, so long as you know which side is "heads" and which side is going to be "tails."
…or even this, so long as you know which side is “heads” and which side is going to be “tails.” Was going to take photos of pennies, nickels, and dimes, but weirdly, I couldn’t find 3 pennies, 3 nickels, or 3 dimes at home. Yet I have a bunch of Hong Kong currency.

STEP TWO. Dry the coins well and in one palm, sprinkle a bit of salt and place the coins on the salt. Cup the coins and salt between your palms. Close your eyes, be relaxed and calm, and–this is going to sound nutty, but stay with me here–try to imagine cleansing the coins of any of its residual energies and, once clean, like blank slates, imagine imprinting them with a calming, luminescent bright white light.

You're right. Pictured there isn't just sea salt-- there's also sandalwood ash. You can skip the sandalwood ash.
You’re right. Pictured there isn’t just sea salt– there’s also sandalwood ash. You can skip the sandalwood ash.

Or not. Feel free to skip the bright white light part. Hey, it’s more for you than it is for me, but you should know what’s best for yourself, so if bright white light just isn’t your thing, no worries. Any 3 coins of the same size from anywhere should suffice.

STEP THREE. But if you’ve been following me so far, now clean up the salt and make sure the 3 coins are dry and ready to go. You’ll want to be tossing these coins over a clean table that is clear of clutter, so locate such a space before you begin.


STEP FOUR. Toss the 3 coins together and let them fall on the table as they will. Record the result, i.e., 3 heads, 3 tails, 1 head 2 tails, or 2 heads 1 tail. You are going to do this for a total of 6 times. Concentrate on your question throughout Step Four.

Now, here’s what you have to provide me with:

  1. Your Name and E-mail Address (so I can reply to you)
  2. Your Twitter Handle (and confirmation that you’re following me @Tarotanalysis)
  3. Your Question
  4. The 6 Coin Toss Results in this format:

Toss #1: ___ Heads, ___ Tails

Toss #2: ___ Heads, ___ Tails

Toss #3: ___ Heads, ___ Tails

Toss #4: ___ Heads, ___ Tails

Toss #5: ___ Heads, ___ Tails

Toss #6: ___ Heads, ___ Tails



Instead of using coins, you can use uncooked rice grains if you have any around.

ALTERNATIVE STEPS ONE AND TWO. Sort of the same deal as the coins–rinse clean under water (about a fist full), dry well, add a little salt, and imprint with positive, purifying intentions.

Yes, you may use multi-grain rice if that's all you have at home.
Yes, you may use multi-grain rice if that’s all you have at home.

ALTERNATIVE STEPS THREE AND FOUR. Set down the fist full pile of dry, uncooked rice grains. Concentrate on your question throughout this step. With the tips of your fingers, pinch up a pile of rice grains and set them aside. If you don’t have fingers or can’t use fingers, but can wield a spoon, then you can do so with a spoon. Spoon out a small pile of rice grains from the original pile. Count the number of grains in that pile. You are going to do this for a total of 3 times.

I use a bobby pin to help me count out the rice grains.
I use a bobby pin to help me count out the rice grains.

And here’s what you have to provide me with:

  1. Your Name and E-mail Address (so I can reply to you)
  2. Your Twitter Handle (and confirmation that you’re following me @Tarotanalysis)
  3. Your Question
  4. The Rice Grains Results in this format:

First Pile: _____ Total Rice Grains

Second Pile: _____ Total Rice Grains

Third Pile: _____ Total Rice Grains

You can opt for either the 6 coin toss method, which is more commonplace in the Western practice of I Ching, or you can opt for the counting-3-piles-of-rice-grains method, which is a method that’s more popular in the Eastern practice.

Send your request and the information to benebellwen [at] live [dot] com. Please use the subject line: I CHING DIVINATION REQUEST. Then wait for my response, which may be 1-2 weeks (or dependent on how many inquiries I get).

If you don’t provide the information as instructed, then I have no obligation to fulfill the divination request (and if you get mad at me, you can un-follow me on Twitter). If you catch me when I’m being nice (or more realistically, when I have time), I might respond and let you know I don’t have all the info I need. But  I’m not your teacher in this particular relationship so I’m not going to correct your work or hand it back to you with “Try Again.” Please help me by making sure you submit all info right the first time around.

Unless I update otherwise, I will respond to every request, which means (unless I’ve updated otherwise) if I don’t respond to your request after 2 weeks, your e-mail might have slipped through the cracks or ended up in my Spam box, so just leave a gentle comment below and let me know. We’ll figure something out. Or un-follow me on Twitter. I will try not to be offended. =)


Based on the results you provide me, I’ll be casting Primary and Secondary (if there are changing lines) Hexagrams if you opt for the coin toss method and a single divinatory hexagram plus the corresponding yao (or line) if you opt for the rice grains method. Both methods are considered valid forms of I Ching divination and I’ve received incredible results from both methods.

In one sense, it’s a copy-paste job. I’ve painstakingly translated the Book of Changes for myself from its original classical Chinese text into English and have included my own annotations per my practice and research over the years. That’s what you’ll be getting back from me: the corresponding sections of the Book based on your divination results.

I Ching divination is a form of bibliomancy. Based on the coin tosses or rice grain totals, I can determine the lower trigram and upper trigram for the hexagram you’ve cast with your results. That’s how I figure out which entry in the Book to read for you. The results also determine which lines in the entries to read.

The divination comes in the form of metaphor. There will be references to trees and thunder, mountains, animals, and imagery that does not literally relate to your inquiry, but relate figuratively. For these free readings, I won’t add any of my personal intuitive insights. I am just a facilitator, serving as a go-between from you to the Book and the Book to you. The idea is for you to ruminate on your divinatory result and use your own intuition to make what you will out of it. You are not consulting me as the guide; you are consulting the I Ching. I’m just here because the presumption is you aren’t able to read the original Chinese text on your own.

Here are a few sample passages of what you might get back:

Fire above, Lake below: polarizing effect between one who pushes for progressive movement and one who holds back to conserve. There is opposition and estrangement…

While the greater endeavor at hand is being met with opposition, take the opportunity to settle minor tangential issues for now, while the bigger issue is debated…

To be the sage, distinguish yourself as an individual and stand apart from the masses. You must stand firm to your position, no matter how unpopular it may be. You are in the right. Assert yourself…

You lost control and now feel powerless. As a result, your emotions are out of control. When you are in such a state, those with ill will can inflict the most harm. Be careful. Regain your composure. Do not chase down others for support or force the issue of solidarity. That will come in time. What was lost to you will return on its own. All will be well if you maintain your composure.

If you think that’s obscure, oh man, I’d sure like you to take a look at the original text. Here are more literal translations of the text, the above’s equivalents:

Fire Lake opposite; estrangement…

Small affair fortuitous…

The sage contrast difference individual personhood from fellowship…

Losing a horse; do not give chase… no blame.

And here is what you might get normally, using a standard English translation (this one is from Wilhelm):

Above fire; below the lake: the image of opposition…

In small matters, good fortune…

Thus amid all fellowship the superior man retains his individuality…

If you lose your horse, do not run after it; it will come back of its own accord. When you see evil people, guard yourself against mistakes… remorse disappears.

If you know a thing or two about the I Ching and are curious to see my go at the translations, then give this a try! All you have to do is follow me on Twitter in exchange.

The free I Ching readings end on December 31, 2014.

Happy Holidays, all!

3 thoughts on “I Ching Divinations in the Month of December for a Twitter Follow

  1. Tom Jordan

    Hi Benebell, I hope you don’t mind my resurrecting this thread. I love Zombie threads! I love your book and am looking forward to the Fu Talisman book quite eagerly. So much of the Western Occult certainly has an Eastern Equivalent, but the information can be very hard to come by. I am an Acupuncturist by trade and at it or about 25years now. There are several aspects of Acupuncture that use the I Ching for point selection and the Wu Xing is a system I use every day as a trained Meridian Therapy practitioner.

    Anyhew, I was hoping that maybe some day you might do a comparison of your experiences with the I Ching. I have studied and worked with the I Ching for about thirty years now and after a lifetime of work with it, I recently ditched it in favor of the Tarot which has always seemed so much more accurate in times of trouble. I eventually had to move to the tarot due to it’s accuracy. Perhaps after thirty years with the I Ching I am as the great book says “..not the right man.”

    Do you use the I Ching mostly for aspects of character and examining the past as is seems to be the Neo- Confucian custom that most Westerners seem to stay with, or do you use some of the other systems (Plum Blossom – Wen Wang Ba Gua) for more predictive work?

    I ended up using a system with gaming dice that is quite good. Two different colored 8 sided dice and one six sided dice make for a very easy way to generate a one line response. With that you can go with either a five phase analysis, a simple one line analysis, or a little of both. Sadly these have never worked as well as the tarot for me.

    Anyhow it would be lovely to hear your take on the difference between these two venerable systems, the Tarot and the I Ching.

    By the way – in one of your podcast with some tarot site, you mentioned losing your voice and wishing you knew of something that could help. There is a formula called Gui Pi Wan available at any Chinese Grocery near you. It strengthens the voice appreciably and it is a very safe formula to use, with a few caveats.

    Thanks for the wonderful book, and I look forward to the next.



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