Apologies! The I Ching and the Practitioner online course is no longer available.
However, if you’re interested in studying the I Ching through the lens of Taoist mysticism, my third book with North Atlantic Books, I Ching, The Oracle: A Practical Guide to the Book of Changes is forthcoming in the summer of 2023.
The text will be an updated translation of the Oracle, with a full roster of practicum that will introduce you to East Asian occultism and ritual magic.
I’m going to walk you through an easy beginner’s methodology for I Ching and tarot divination. We’ll be doing a simple one card tarot draw plus casting I Ching hexagrams by the coin toss method. So in addition to the instructions here for the I Ching divination, I’m presuming you have a tarot deck and know how to operate one. If not, no worries. This doesn’t need to be I Ching and tarot. It can just be I Ching! 🙂
I use traditional coins for my personal practice, but we won’t be needing those today. Any three coins of the same value in your change purse will do. Go find three pennies, or three nickels, or three quarters–whatever pleases you. And give them a good wash.
Here I’m using disinfectant soap and water. Dry them thoroughly. You can use a towel. Anything. Just be practical.
I heard about the Haindl Tarot not too long ago through the grapevine of tarot readers I know. Yet this deck was first published back in 1990. Hermann Haindl (1927-2013) is a German artist known for his surreal art and incorporation of mythology.
Rachel Pollack has penned companion books for this deck that come highly, highly recommended by pretty much every tarot practitioner I know. I haven’t dived into them yet, but will. At this stage, I’m interested in connecting with the deck directly to see what I can glean, and then I’ll be consulting Pollack’s books on the Haindl.
The Haindl Tarot is a truly remarkable deck for any tarot enthusiast to work with.
For the Majors, each card corresponds with a letter in the Hebrew alphabet per Qabalistic tradition, from The Fool as Aleph, Key 1: The Magician as Beth, Key 2: The High Priestess as Gimel, and so on. Each card also corresponds with an Anglo-Saxon rune. At this point in my personal tarot practice, I don’t work much with Hebrew alphabet or rune correspondences in tarot, but the astrological correspondences on the bottom right corners of the cards excite me.
The paintings are surreal with subdued, subtle coloring. I’ve filtered these photographs to add greater contrast for clarity purposes, but in hindsight I wish I hadn’t. Now you can’t see the light, ethereal quality of the original coloring. In person, the art is not quite as bold as they seem to appear in these photos. The art seems to mirror the stream of consciousness of our minds, which results in an incredibly powerful and evocative tarot deck to work with.
I’ve fallen in love… with the Tao Oracle deck by Ma Deva Padma published by St. Martin’s Press. This is the I Ching oracle deck. It’s a deck of 64 cards based on the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching Book of Changes. Padma’s paintings are emotional, textured, and fully expressive of each of the hexagrams they represent. A quote from the artist: “The evolution and creation of my paintings is sparked by a deep and intensely personal journey into the realm of the subconscious — the kingdom of archetypes and the home of mysterious symbols.”
The deck is beautifully packaged in a sturdy high-gloss box. It comes with a 310-page perfect-bound guidebook that contains the author’s personal interpretations of the 64 hexagrams. St. Martin’s Press really out-does the more popular tarot and oracle deck publishers du jour. I cannot praise the quality of this deck enough.
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: