## Thursday, July 7, 2011

### I Ching Divination Ritual

To employ the yarrow stalk method, one begins with a bundle of 50 straight, dried stalks of the yarrow herb.
One stalk is set aside and not used again.
• The bundle of the remaining 49 stalks is then divided into two bundles.
• One stalk is taken from the bundle on the right and placed between the ring finger and little finger of the left hand.
• The bundle on the left is then taken up in the left hand, and stalks are removed therefrom and set aside in groups of 4 using the right hand, until 4 or fewer remain. The remaining stalks are placed between the middle finger and ring finger of the left hand.
• The bundle on the right is then taken up in the left hand, and stalks are removed therefrom and set aside in groups of 4 using the right hand, until 4 or fewer remain. The remaining stalks are placed between the index finger and middle finger of the left hand.
• The total number of stalks between the fingers of the left hand are then counted and noted. The possibilities are 9 and 5. Nine stalks results in the value of 2, and five stalks results in the value of 3. Here are the possible outcomes of the first operation:
 Between index and middle fingers: 4 3 1 2 Between middle and ring fingers: 4 1 3 2 Between ring and little fingers: 1 1 1 1 Total: 9 5 5 5 Assigned Value: 2 3 3 3

• These 9 or 5 stalks are then set aside and the remaining bundle of 40 or 44 stalks is divided and counted out in the same manner. This time, eight stalks results in the value of 2, and four stalks results in the value of 3. Here are the possible outcomes of the second operation:

 Between index and middle fingers: 4 3 1 2 Between middle and ring fingers: 3 4 2 1 Between ring and little fingers: 1 1 1 1 Total: 8 8 4 4 Assigned Value: 2 2 3 3

• These 8 or 4 stalks are then set aside and the remaining bundle of 32, 36 or 40 stalks is divided and counted out in the same manner for a third operation, the possible outcomes of which are identical to those of the second operation.

Each operation has now produced a value of either 2 or 3, and these three values are now added together to produce a total of 6, 7, 8, or 9. The totals of 6 and 8 yield a (static) Yin line (-- --), the totals 7 and 9 yield a (static) Yang line (-----). A total of 6 is considered a moving Yin line (--x--), and a total of 9 is considered a moving Yang line (--o--).

This first line is placed at the bottom of the hexagram and the entire operation is repeated five times to produce the remaining five lines. The sixth line is placed at the top of the hexagram.

ed. note: after the third manipulation, the bundle contains one of (24|28|32|36) stalks, which when divided by four gives the corresponding ritual number (6,7,8,9)