Tarot and the I Ching: First Try at Reading

Categories Chinese Divination, I Ching, Personal, Tarot
I Ching and Tarot reading

I Ching is one of the divination methods that I have been interested in for a long time. As a person that has gone through the usual schooling track in Singapore and taken in an endless dosage of American media, I have abandoned my roots for the longest time. I Ching, along with other Chinese metaphysics like BaZi and Fengshui, are things that I plan to learn in my lifetime. However, when I started my divinatory practice, Tarot sucked me in immediately – it is one of the most well-known methods for divination which led to a lot of Tarot resources, both online and offline. Further to that, I have purchased books on the calculation of BaZi. These were the two arts, one western and one eastern, that I decided to focus on.

However, Benebell Wen – a tarot practitioner that I deeply respect and admire – recently posted a blog entry on the I Ching method. Her blog post included the usage of Tarot for this reading.

At the same time, I have been widening the scope of my craft and spirituality due to certain circumstances in my life. This caused me to feel scattered, and yet excited as I was learning more than before. The truth is, however, I am not sure if this was the best way to go on with my craft.

So when I saw her blog post, I knew I had to take the opportunity to try out the I Ching, with this question in mind:

In general, how is my spiritual practice going?

Without further ado, here is the reading, broken down based on my own understanding.

Tarot Card drawn: The Magician

Magician

The Magician card is about the first spark of manifestation and the path to self-mastery through discipline and will. The Wild Unknown version of the Magician further emphasises on the kinetic energy of the Magician, depicting a wild-cat.

This leads me to believe that my current excitement as I delve into the study of metaphysics will lead me to betterment. At the moment, my self-discipline in my study is crucial and this will help me move forwards in my spiritual practice. The will can become the way.

Primary Hexagram: 復 Return

From divination.com:
“This is the beginning of a turnaround — a time for letting go of the old and making way for the new; a time of new beginnings. And it starts with rest.

“Don’t move too fast right now. The new momentum is just beginning. The turnaround demands that your energy be recharged by adequate rest, so that your life force is not spent prematurely. This principle of hibernation, of allowing energy to renew itself and be strengthened by rest…”

Like the Magician, Hexagram 24 is about a new beginning. However, unlike the kinetic energy of the Magician, the Return is about remembering to conserve my energy, to take it slow and be patient. I have been trying to study my craft during lunch breaks at work – this is sometimes due to my schedule not allowing relaxed lunches with my colleagues – and nevertheless, this may be taking a toll on me.

The Return reminds me to remember to take a break, to not spend all the forwards momentum that is signalled by the Magician and instead make sure I am sufficiently rested as studying my craft should be a life-long journey.

Benebell also highlighted that the plenary lines be focused on. Mine were the second and sixth lines. For these lines, I will be extracting them from Benebell’s complimentary reading:

  • Line 2: “After experiencing a personal winter and realizing the errors you have made, you set aside your pride and resolve to circle back to the beginning. Returning back to the point of departure takes immense self-mastery, and you have done just that. You will be making an extraordinary comeback.”

I used to feel slightly embarrassed of my study of metaphysics, especially when I was young. I had asked for Tarot cards when I was a little boy, but not getting any – my parents however relented on a book with psychic powers. Due to my ill-discipline and possibly fear and immaturity, I did not go far with that book and often felt defeated. Putting all my energy into practical studies was a smart move at that time, but I think it is time to reconnect with my inner child again and to hopefully have my “extraordinary comeback”. 😉

  • Line 6: “…when you are in a state of needing rest and respite and instead, you advance forward aggressively with your full might, you are going to meet with defeat… The excessive use of force when the situation called for recharge and repose will result in a long period of defeat, failures and loss.”

I am working hard, sometimes having lunch alone (due to my job requirements) and in those cases, studying Tarot or Lenormand while I ate. These moments in time have certainly brought me some clarity in the things I am studying; however, I must remember that I have friends and I should not be closing myself to the world. I deserve a break once in a while and I will have to afford myself that kind of time soon.

Secondary Hexagram: 损 Decrease

As per Benebell’s instruction, the secondary hexagram will be simply a general reading. From her interpretation of Hexagram 41, received as she is offering a free reading right now:

“A state of debilitation. Movement is toward decrease. That which is below must yield and decrease to compensate for that which is above. When the walls and roof are strengthened, the foundation is weakened. The mountain burdens the lake; because of the mountain, the otherwise fertile womb is in a state of debilitation. A sacrifice made sincerely from the heart must be offered as compensation.

“Although movement is in the decline, it is still advantageous for you to proceed forward on your endeavor. When you move forward, however, focus on the foundation. You must establish a stronger foundation before you try to build upward.

“There are still benefits to be had in continuing. The question to ask is how one might achieve advancement in spite of the ongoing state of waning.

“Two baskets may be used for the sacrifice: you must exercise great earnest when imploring the Divine for an intervention.

“When there is faith and trust, there is true wealth and prosperity: no matter how dire a circumstance, look to what is still good; trust in the Divine. No blame to those who possess a pure intent.

“Still, at the base of the mountain, there is the lake, a fertile womb.

“You remain protected by the Divine.”

Similar to the Primary Hexagram, this advises me to take a step way from my projects and take a breath. Perhaps I should be concentrating on my foundation, which I base my craft on. That should be how I will proceed forwards in this state of “waning”. Such foundational practices may refer to basic tarot meanings and further meditation sessions. I have already actually put my mind to these components of my craft and hope that this will help my forward momentum into metaphysics.

Conclusion


This reading has struck a chord within me. The Tarot and the I Ching both seemed to resonate with one another; like Benebell has mentioned in her post, the overall collective counsel from both methods has been the most helpful for me. I feel reassured that I am on the right path with my spiritual practice and metaphysical craft.

I would highly recommend for anyone who has experience with either method of divination to try this out. Again, here is the link to Benebell’s post for a step by step process on how to do this. I hope all of you will achieve some level of clarity! Please feel free to share your results with me in the comments.

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