Example Using I Ching and Tarot

August 14, 2008:
Asking the Yijing for an image that will illustrate to the reader the use of Tarot and the Yijing in transformational work.

Main hexagram, Li, Fire – The Clinging\Fire\Radiance

Gexagram 30

Relating hexagram Bo. Stripping
New hexagram resulting from the three changing lines from Main Hexagram #30. Could signal future or fluid aspects affecting the present situation, etc

Gexagram 23

Nuclear hexagram
Nuclear hexagram, the core of the Main hexagram that results from Interior lines #2,3,4 and lines #3,4,5.

Gexagram 28

Answer: Hexagram 30 LI: Radiance, Clinging, Fire with three changing lines:
9/1; 9/3; 9/4 that yield Hexagram 23 BO, Stripping,  Splitting Apart

Nuclear Hexagram 28 Da Guo: Great Traverses, the Great Exceeding, Preponderance of the Great

This if, for me, a very deep and "illuminating" answer. Here we find Li, the beautiful spirit that guides us. She is Radiance, the numen that surges from the depths of our subconscious to reveal to us the omens while unveiling also the spirits that surround us at any given moment or situation. She is the second daughter, the bright presence of things who operates through the heart. The hexagram is part of a symmetrical pair that also reflects the axis of transformation we all must go through in search of our true Self. She pairs with Kan the Pit, the Abyss, the Water, and their eventual marriage (of Fire and Water) is the essence of Alchemy of the soul.

As we connect to the energies in a divination, we are invited to partake of the food of the spirits, the guides that will take us from the heights of Heaven, through the depths of Mother Earth, across the Ghost River to help us find our own alchemical Sun that illumines our Path of Return, as described in Qabalah. When we face our demons, our shadow, our hungry ghosts, when we discover the archetypes that we have been using to hide our own true Self, we then realize that we have been obscuring our own brightness. We are here invited to "strip the corpse" (Relating Hexagram 23), dare to strip away that which is rotted, old, fixing us to outmoded ways of thinking or behavioral patterns that don't serve us. The divination process is like a ritual, a sacrificial process that skins us to the core and shows us who we really are. If we only cared to step outside the mind, into the Ghost River, and seek the truth that will set us free.

The changing lines move us into the shadow lands, into the energies that we face with every turn of the wheel. The first and third lines affect specifically our internal world since they are in the lower trigram, while the threshold line that we meet after the crossing is the first line of the outer trigram. Most of the work in transformation must occur inside us and, as we cross the portal into the outer world, the manner we adopt to do so, to encounter the world outside of ourselves is pivotal for our personal growth. Transformational work is meant to alter the way we operate in the reality that we have forged; it challenges us to really be in charge of how we organize our reality and how we view ourselves and others. Both Tarot and the Yi compel us to take a deeper look at everything around us. Hexagram 30 Li not only brings us illumination, but the word Clinging, usually ascribed to this hexagram, means to me cohesiveness, ability to bring things into the light with clarity and the ability to interconnect.

The Initial Nine changes from yang into yin as it warns us not to take any drastic moves for now. This is the rising Sun, the first line that is telling us to take baby steps and learn to navigate the waters of divination, be respectful, you are entering ways to see yourself that will challenge old ways of thinking The Journey of the Soul usually starts like this; as we engage the mind in any exercise of self discovery we must learn to work with the innumerable images and concepts that will be trying to overwhelm us; so at the beginning we must engage in serious concentration. I can see how this could apply when we combine both methods of divination, and each reader will probably interpret these lines differently, depending also on the text they are consulting.

The Nine in the Third Place intimates maturity and the setting sun. It warns about how we deal with memories, with the passing of time. We often approach divination trying to ward off change, to inhibit the natural and inexorable progress of time and we end up lamenting even the process of aging because we probably have failed to assimilate the ancient virtues, we have not learned to utilize properly the sources of knowledge or wisdom that have been made available to us. This changing line deals with the depth of transformation that is required of us with something even deeper, for the act of transformation is a solo act and it demands that we approach the threshold with humility as well as with joy and that we learn how to use the source of our nourishment. When the Yi and Tarot are consulted they offer us answers to our questions that help us reflect on our past, present and potential future; but we need to understand that these glimpses are offered as ways to help us grow, not as excuses or ways to lament our so-called fate.

The Nine at Fourth, the change after we cross the portal, is an invitation to process within & without the metaphors and images and messages received through these tools and learn to apply them to the outside world to bring harmony, like "marriage alliances" and sacred rituals that help us grow and that nourish us along the way.

There is lots more that I see here, but the idea is to show you how my question about the use of the Yi with Tarot was delivered by the Oracle. This message will be different, by the way, every time we ask the question because we are dealing with the world of constancy in change and nothing remains as it once was. So there is a clinging, a coming apart, a sense of depth and clarity provided by the Sun and the light of awareness. Let us see what happens if we now ask the Tarot.

Let's use Robert Place's Alchemical Tarot. Place does not believe that there is a valid connection between Qabalah and Tarot, for example, but he sees the mystical connection in the development of the cards (see his recent book on the history of Tarot, which I really recommend). I have no idea if he would approve of using both the I Ching and Tarot in divination, but I have been using his cards for a long time now and I find that, because of the alchemical connection, they work (sorry, Robert) quite well with Qabalah and also with the I Ching.

I drew three cards because there were three changing lines, so I used the number 3 to make the connection (any excuse is valid here, just draw as many cards as you think appropriate). Well, the first card is Key XIX - the Sun. Now, remember that Hexagram 30 is Li, Radiance the Sun. Immediately there is a connection; and interesting enough, Place's card is not like most Sun cards, with a child on a horse or two children playing within a circle. Here we find two naked figures representing the king and queen of alchemy, the Sun and the Moon, dancing. And the picture intimates the marriage of opposites, a numinous hierosgamos, so we are witnessing a sacred union of sorts. Interesting enough, let's see what Place himself says about this card. First, he quotes from the alchemical text the Rosarium Philosophorum in which we find the male and female "between two lights, ... then they embrace themselves and couple together and a perfect light is begotten between them..." and Place's own interpretation continues to unravel this union as this numinous couple (representing a greater coniunctio) are joined within one crown symbolizing individuation and integration. The number 19 also reminds us of union (and completion in Chinese) since 1+ 9= 10; and it points at the potentiality of alchemy to help us transcend who we are and become what we are meant to be, which is the basic message of Transformational Tarot. The other two cards from the Alchemical Tarot give what I believe to be images of how we should be processing the concept of divination in order that the Sun can be allowed into our consciousness, through the power of intention (VIII of Wands) and the V of Vessels; this is indeed hard soul work, because we must break the old vessels that we had learned to rely on and allow the new to break through the mold and fly like the fledglings (which is another image we associate with Li. Notice also how the number 5, meaning chaos, change, disturbance of the old, etc, is here depicted with "vessels" which are really containers of consciousnesses at different levels, and how they must be "sacrificed" or broken for the new to emerge.

Overall meaning for me: Yes, go ahead, combine both divination tools and learn thusly new ways to access your Higher Self.

Transformation Tarot
Transformation Tarot
Transformation Tarot