All about the yarrow.

Since I learned how to cast the Yijing (or if you like the Wade-Giles spelling “I-Ching”) in 2005, I’ve only really used the coin tossing method because I found it easier and more convenient to throw the coins than having to do the yarrow method. I have always felt that as long as you’re connected well enough to spirit, then it doesn’t matter which method you use — whether it’s coins, yarrow, cartomancy (drawing cards similar to Tarot), a smartphone app, or just picking a number between 1 and 64.

But I’ve had a burning question about a new career endeavor that I wanted to dive into in order to accompany my healing practice. Since this endeavor is of utmost importance and seriousness to me, I decided that I wanted to take my time to meditate upon this and draw the yarrow stalks to cast the oracle.

Yijing and Yarrow Sticks

After roughly 30 minutes of meditating upon my question while drawing the yarrow sticks (it might have actually been 45 minutes, I lost track), spirit finally presented me with my hexagrams: Hexagram #5 Xu (Water over Heaven with changing yang lines on 2 and 3) and Hexagram #3 Zhun (Water over Thunder).

After reading the oracle, I was taken aback at how accurate it was, even more so than all the other times I’ve done so. By “accurate,” I mean that it not only gave insight into what was obviously going on, but it also gave insight into what I didn’t realize was going on till I read the oracle. In the past, I’ve had to really sit with the outcomes and really think about what they meant. But this time around, the answers were clear cut.

So here’s the guidance that spirit provided for me through the Yijing:

Hexagram 5: Patience; Wait for Nourishment

The Oracle

The situation will not change simply because you force or will it to. The outcome will come from the Divine. All you can do at present is adjust your attitude and be patient. Put your faith in the natural flow of the Divine.

Clouds form in the sky and rise up toward heaven. The clouds must now wait for the harmony of heaven and earth to discharge its store of rain. Crossing the great stream will be followed by meritorious achievement.

“Crossing the great stream” in the I Ching symbolizes the undertaking of hazardous enterprises or encountering great difficulties. Historically, it refers to the Yellow River, which the lords of Chou had to cross in their revolution against the tyrants of the Yin Dynasty. The crossing made by King Wu in 1122 BC was one of the greatest deeds in the history of China, and was preceded by a long period of waiting until his success could be assured.

Second Line

Waiting on the sandy shore. There is gossip, but the end will be auspicious.

There is general unrest and as a result, everyone is looking for someone to blame. You must be the one who remains calm. Do not seek blame. That is not important. Do not gratify slander with a response. Be silent. Through silence you will succeed. That being said, please bear in mind the seriousness of the situation at hand. Be alert and attentive.

Third Line

Waiting in the mud will attract bandits.

Waiting and taking no action does not mean you stop being alert or attentive. Wait, yes, but do not get bogged down in the mud on the sandy shore. How did you end up in the mud anyway? You took action when you should have remained still. By taking premature action and leaving the sand, you end up in mud. That will attract bandits. Bandits come only when they see you lose your attention. Although you are not to take action, you must still appear strong in your stance and position. Stay on the dry sand. Do not try to advance prematurely, or you will step into mud.

Basically in Hexagram 5, with changing lines 2 and 3, it says that I have to be very patient and to not force this new career move to manifest before I’m even ready.

There will be situations when I will be distracted, and there will be people who will be negative towards my endeavor, but don’t blame them. My achievement is all on me. People will do what they will, situations will occur as they will. Life happens. My kids and wife will need the attention, but they’re my first and foremost loves. People will say how bad I am at this new thing, or think that I’m crazy, or maybe be a bit jealous, but that’s what people do. My job is to keep trucking on with poise and resilience.

However, according to the Yijing, if I move too quickly and too overzealously before it’s the right time for me, then the results will be disastrous. I have to take my time, develop and cultivate my creative skill and wait for the right time and place to go public with it all.

Hexagram 3: Initial Challenge: Beginning Difficulties

The Oracle

Difficulty at the beginning: a blade of grass will push against its obstacle when it sprouts out of the earth. The first meeting of heaven and earth is often beset with difficulties. It is a time of personal growth. What you plant now is only a seed, dormant in the earth; but when moisture awakens it, that seed has the power to grow strong, so strong as to split rocks. Likewise, for now, you must store your energy, build momentum slowly and steadily, and prepare for the sudden breakthrough.

You have not yet found your path. You still see too many possibilities. The lack of clarity is the initial hindrance. Do not grasp at the first solutions that present themselves. Wait until the matter becomes clear to you.

There will be a thunderstorm, which will release all tension. Rain will fill the air, but the rain clears the chaos. You will bring order out of the confusion.

Hexagram 3 is eerily accurate. This was the part of the oracle where I was completely and utterly dumbfounded by, especially the part where it says, “You have not found your path. You still see too many possibilities.” It’s true. I can go in several directions with my new endeavor, and the possibilities are so endless that it’s become a problem of concentration and not knowing specifically what I want to accomplish. And this fits perfectly with Hexagram #5 as if it were a piece that completes the puzzle. So I must keep cultivating, allow my skill to grow, and my creativity to manifest naturally, and from there, I will reach a breakthrough (a thunderstorm) after which I’ll find clarity after the chaos.

So as far as my “new endeavor,” I must listen to the advice that spirit has generously given to me, take my time and be patient, cultivate my skill, keep it secret, and when it’s time to go public (and I will know when it’s time), then go all out.

All in all, I found that the yarrow method is where it’s at. With each yarrow I drew, I took some time to repeat my question and to connect with spirit. I’m starting to see that this is how you cultivate a strong relationship with spirit. It was with that connection that I found such an accurate reading.

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