Finally . . . A Valid I Ching/Tarot Reading

I think I have most of the kinks worked out of this spread, and the decks I selected seem like a winning combination. For this reading I used the boldly-colored Albano-Waite RWS deck and the similarly vibrant Tabula Mundi Colores Arcus as companions to Anthony Clark’s I Ching Pack. The Albano-Waite executes the table of correspondences shown in my last post and the Tabula Mundi adds a Thoth-based slant to the interpretation. I don’t use reversals with this spread.

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The question I asked of the oracle was “What can I do to restart my small counseling business in my new location?” I cast three hexagrams using my customary three-coin toss and came up with No. 46, Cheng (Pushing Upward), No. 53, Chien, Development (Gradual Progress) and No. 32, Heng (Duration). These hexagrams were used to generate the three rows of corresponding cards.

The judgment for Cheng reads “Pushing upward has supreme success. One must see the great man. Fear not. Departure toward the south brings good fortune.” In 777, Aleister Crowley gives this hexagram the “Divination and Spiritual Meaning” of “Advance and ascent.” (This appears to be pointing me in the direction of one opportunity that I scouted but haven’t followed up on yet.)

The guidance for the first I Ching card reads “Striving upwards: ascending, transcending, seeking promotion.” Basic meaning: “Don’t be anxious: striving upwards brings great progress and supreme success. However, it is wise to seek the guidance of a great man and never to cease in your endeavor.

The pertinent guidance (from Eden Gray) for the first RWS card, the 8 of Cups, reads “Rejection of the material life; abandonment of one’s present mode of life. Misery and repining without cause, for the cups are still full. Desire to leave material success for something higher.” (This card seems to be telling me that I’m not looking in the right places; the image suggests the ironic lyrics from the old Howlin’ Wolf blues song: “I asked for water, she brought me gasoline.” It’s true that I don’t want a make a career of this, just connect with other professionals in the area, so a “sole proprietorship” doesn’t really interest me.)

The pertinent guidance for the first Tabula Mundi card reads “Lord of Indolence. The ship runs aground through lack of emotional maturity, and something is abandoned.” (I would probably substitute “commitment” for “maturity” here since I’ve only dipped my toes in the water so far. Most of my perceived opportunities will take some effort to properly explore, and some I’ve already discounted as too far away or too entrenched to invite “new blood” into the fold.)

The judgment for Chien reads “Development. The maiden is given in marriage. Good fortune. Perseverance furthers.” In 777, Aleister Crowley gives this hexagram the “Divination and Spiritual Meaning” of “Fortunate marriage; gradual advance; goose.”

The guidance for the second I Ching card reads “Growing slowly. A tree on a mountaintop; slowly it grows. ” Basic meaning: “A good relationship grows slowly, step by careful step. However, if you go too slowly it will become stunted. Therefore actively develop cooperation and draw up firm plans and guidelines for your partnership; then lasting good fortune, freedom and position will result.” (I notice there is a goose on the I Ching card, and it’s combination with the Queen of Wands has me thinking of the aphorism “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.” As a male in a predominantly female field, I may have to accept a subordinate role, which is fine with me; I don’t aspire to be a “rock star.”)

The pertinent guidance (from Eden Gray) for the second RWS card, the Queen of Wands, reads “She has the power of attraction and command, but is well-liked and honorable, sound in her judgments. If the card does not represent a woman, it represents the qualities mentioned.”

The pertinent guidance for the second Tabula Mundi card reads “The Queen of Wands brings the qualities of Dominion and Virtue, steady progress toward a goal, power, courage and command. Her danger is in surrender and Satiety.”

The judgment for Heng reads “Duration. Success. No blame. Perseverance furthers. It furthers one to have somewhere to go.” In 777, Aleister Crowley gives this hexagram the “Divination and Spiritual Meaning” of “Perseverance; keeping to the path.”

The guidance for the third I Ching card reads “Loyalty. Stability. Perseverance in a long-lasting situation.” Basic meaning: “Stability brings prosperity and success. You will make no mistake, therefore, if you loyally maintain the present situation. There is certainly advantage in going ahead with plans – but not in changing your basic pattern”

The pertinent guidance (from Eden Gray) for the third RWS card, the Ace of Pentacles, reads “Since an Ace always signifies the beginning of a matter, here we have an indication of the beginning of prosperity or of a business venture.”

The pertinent guidance for the third Tabula Mundi card reads “The seed grows the root of the element of Earth, the birth of action in the world of matter and materiality. This is wealth and incarnation. Yet remember the connection of matter with Spirit, for here it begins.”

Putting it all together:

The “Initiation” column emphasizes striving and perseverance. Success is likely if I choose where I want to go and exert myself to get there. Seeking guidance and cooperation from a more established individual, perhaps in a partnership of some kind, is advisable.

The “Adaptation” column advises heading off frustration and disgruntlement and continuing to aim high despite initial discouragement, building on my reputation and “running with the ball” when I’m given the chance.

The “Conclusion” column amplifies the conditions presented in the “Adaption” column, implying stalled circumstances that need a jolt of ambition and enthusiasm to get back on the right road.

The top row of “Assumptions and Appearances” suggests getting stymied by a lack of interest on the part of the clients I’m trying to reach, leading to a perception of fading opportunity. But there are a couple of subtleties in the images here: the I Ching card shows a man ascending a steep path, and the figure on the RWS 8 of Cups has also set out on a mountainous journey; the direction of the man’s movement in the RWS 8 of Cups is identical to the facing of the figurehead on the derelict ship in the Tabula Mundi 8 of Cups (onward and upward). These cards show a commonality of purpose; the implication is that all is not “dead in the water” just yet.

The middle row of “Reassessment and Adjustment” encourages “raising the heat” on the indication of slow-but-steady advancement shown by the I Ching testimony, mainly by leveraging the Queen of Wands’ courage and determination to succeed.

The bottom row of “Truth and Consequences” suggests “getting off on the right foot” by exercising patience and prudence while not becoming unduly sidetracked by the pragmatic minutiae of the endeavor and losing sight of my higher purpose. The advice of Heng at the beginning of this row that urges having “somewhere to go” is symbolized by the open gate in the wall in the RWS Ace of Pentacles and the road leading into the distance beyond. The old platitude about a journey of a thousand miles beginning with a single step is nowhere truer than in this card. The recommendation is obviously to start small.

Summary: There is a good deal of positive reinforcement in this reading for my entrepreneurial intentions as long as I can get by the initial disappointment signified by slow growth and lack of customer interest. The “great man” of the judgment probably alludes to the established businesses I hope to form a mutually beneficial alliance with (one of which is several miles to the south of me).

A couple of footnotes are appropriate here:

I’m still coming to grips with the generation of “moving lines” when using the coin-toss method of casting the hexagrams as described at the back of the Wilhelm/Baynes edition. (Wilhelm says an all-heads throw yields a “9” [moving yang line] and all tails will produce a “6” [moving yin line], but he doesn’t say how to get a “7” or “8” [non-moving yang and yin lines] – perhaps some other combination of heads and tails?) Consequently, I didn’t apply them to this reading and it may not be necessary to go to that extreme in the future since the main objective of this method is to identify corresponding tarot cards. Moving lines would add extra cards to the reading, so I need to study the subject more thoroughly and decide if it’s worth the effort.

I noticed that in the Haindl deck the 46th hexagram, Cheng, is assigned to the 10 of Cups rather than to the 8 of Cups as shown in my table of correspondences (Crowley is silent on both of them). Although I don’t consider it a formal part of the reading, it’s interesting to consider pairing the RWS 8 of Cups with the Haindl 10 of Cups and seeing this as a “silver lining” in the gloomy outlook. Some kind of symbolic “homecoming” could be implied.

Conversely, when the Haindl 10 of Swords is reversed, it shows the 53rd hexagram, Chien, the same one given to the Queen of Wands in the table. Pairing the two could take some of the luster off the positive implications of the Queen, perhaps accentuating her vulnerability to “surrender and Satiety.” It could be the case that if I do partner with an established concern I could wind up with the “table-scraps” for clientele (by which I mean the overflow, not the dregs of society) and not really get a chance to shine, echoing the testimony of the 8 of Cups.

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