Yarrow Stalks

Divination By Yarrow Stalks

Yarrow Stalks

You have 50 stalks.

Take one out to represent the Tao or that which is beyond change.

The remainder of 49 stalks are used.

 

For the FIRST LINE at the bottom of the Hexagram:

(It takes 3 changes to determine one line)

Change #1:

Divide the pile of stalks randomly and place in two piles in front of you.

Take one stalk from the right hand pile and put in between your little finger and the ring finger of your left hand.

Count the left hand pile by fours and take the remainder 4 or less,

Place this between your ring finger and the middle finger of your left hand.

Count the right hand pile by fours and take the remainder 4 or less,

Place this between your middle finger and the forefinger finger of your left hand.

This is considered to be one change.

You will have either 5 or 9 stalks in your hand on this first change.

If it is 5 it is given the value of 3.

If it is 9 it is given the value of 2.

Put these stalks to one side. Do not put them back into the two piles.

Join what remains of the two piles together.

Change #2:

Divide the pile of stalks randomly and place in two piles in front of you.

Take one stalk from the right hand pile and put in between your little finger and the ring finger of your left hand.

Count the left hand pile by fours and take the remainder 4 or less,

Place this between your ring finger and the middle finger of your left hand.

Count the right hand pile by fours and take the remainder 4 or less,

Place this between your middle finger and the forefinger finger of your left hand.

This is considered to be the 2nd  change.

You will have either 4 or 8 stalks in your hand on this first change.

If it is 4 it is given the value of 3.

If it is 8 it is given the value of 2.

Put these stalks to one side. Do not put them back into the two piles.

Join what remains of the two piles together.

Change #3:

Divide the pile of stalks randomly and place in two piles in front of you.

Take one stalk from the right hand pile and put in between your little finger and the ring finger of your left hand.

Count the left hand pile by fours and take the remainder 4 or less,

Place this between your ring finger and the middle finger of your left hand.

Count the right hand pile by fours and take the remainder 4 or less,

Place this between your middle finger and the forefinger finger of your left hand.

This is considered to be the 2nd  change.

You will have either 4 or 8 stalks in your hand on this first change.

If it is 4 it is given the value of 3.

If it is 8 it is given the value of 2.

 

Put these stalks to one side.

To determine the line you must total the values from each of the three changes.

You will get one of the following:

 

2 + 2 + 2 = 6  an Old Yin line

2 + 2 + 3 = 7

2 + 3 + 2 = 7

3 + 2 + 2 = 7

2 + 3 + 3 = 8

3 + 2 + 3 = 8

3 + 3 + 2 = 8

3 + 3 + 3 = 9 and Old Yang line

 

If  the total is 6 or 8 the line is a broken line.

If  the total is 7 or 9 the line is a solid line.

 

If the total is 6 it is an Old Yin line. It becomes a changing line. It is at the maximum of Yin and is about to change into its opposite. The changing lines indicate what is changing within the circumstance you asked about. It is drawn as a broken line with an x in the middle of it.

If the total is 9 it is an Old Yang line. It becomes a changing line. It is at the maximum of Yang and is about to change into its opposite. The changing lines indicate what is changing within the circumstance you asked about. It is drawn as a solid line with a circle through the middle of it.

This completes the first line.

All the stalks, except for the one that doesn’t go through the changes, are put back together.

For the SECOND LINE of the Hexagram (Counting from the bottom up):

(It takes 3 changes to determine each line)

Repeat the steps for Changes 1, 2 and 3.

For the THIRD LINE of the Hexagram

Repeat the steps for Changes 1, 2 and 3.

For the FOURTH LINE of the Hexagram

Repeat the steps for Changes 1, 2 and 3.

For the FIFTH LINE of the Hexagram

Repeat the steps for Changes 1, 2 and 3.

For the SIXTH LINE of the Hexagram

Repeat the steps for Changes 1, 2 and 3.

This completes the determination of the hexagram. You will read the main part of the hexagram and then when you come to the lines you read only the changing lines. If there are no changing lines then you read no lines. In such a case the implication is something to contemplate on as the situation is not changing. The changing lines represent the changes that are going on in your situation. The main hexagram information refers to your situation as a whole.

 

Now you have divined a hexagram figure.

To find out which hexagram it is and what page the information about it is on,

Go to the table on page 3 of Book 2, Volume 1: Winter

Across the top line of the table the upper trigrams (top three lines) are listed.

Look for the upper trigram of the hexagram you threw.

On the left hand side of the table the lower trigrams (bottom three lines) are listed.

Follow the column of your trigram from the top of the page, down to the row that represents your lower trigram. In the square where the row and column meet, you will see which hexagram number it is and the page number where you can find the information about that hexagram.

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