Saturday, June 1, 2013

Protocols Overview

If you have gotten this far in the book, you must be ready to consult the I Ching. Congratulations! I assume that you have read the previous chapter about constructing a question and setting the stage. In this chapter I will discuss the actual process of receiving a hexagram.

By whatever protocol you use, you are going to receive six numbers, one for each line of the hexagram. Each of these numbers will have the value 6, 7, 8, or 9. Each of these values refers to a type of line (yin or yang) and a level of energy (static or in flux.) The numbers are interpreted as follows:

In the last chapter I discussed my dialogue with the I Ching regarding the likely outcome of The Christian I Ching. I said I received hexagram 51 with lines 1, 5, 6 in flux. Since I did not mention lines 2, 3, and 4 we assume they were static. 
My I Ching Response
The lines of my hexagram 51 response are, from bottom to top, yang, yin, yin, yang, yin, yin. If we add the energy descriptions, I received a yang (flux), yin, yin, yang, yin (flux), yin (flux).  So you can assume that by whatever protocol I was using, I received a 9, 8, 8, 7, 6, 6. 

All protocols have some action or group of actions that is repeated six times, one for each line in the hexagram. As each line is received, the hexagram is built from the bottom up. Lines are also numbered from the bottom up, so if you read a reference to line 3, it means the third line from the bottom.

I will describe two protocols, the yarrow protocol and the coin protocol. The original ancient protocols have been lost, but the “modern” yarrow and coin protocols each have at least 1500 years of usage. 

The yarrow protocol is more meditative. It is the protocol I use exclusively. I find it relaxing and calming and allows time for Wisdom to make herself known. Many people don’t like this protocol because it takes “too long”, that is, a little under 15 minutes. For me this is time you are dedicating to God. We are asking God for help and are symbolically offering God a sacrifice of 15 minutes of our busy lives. That seems like a fair exchange.

The coin protocol is much faster. You can zip out a hexagram in under a minute.  It is the drive-through protocol.

Let’s start with my preferred protocol, the yarrow protocol.

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