Mirrors to the Self

I Ching Coins
In what way are divination techniques related to Journal work? Are we trying to foretell the future?

Like dreams, oracles and divinatory tools offer an interesting way to delve into ourselves, and often intuitive ways to 'break through' when feeling stuck or blocked.

Psychology and Divination

What we see and feel is greatly dependent upon our interpretation of things. It is our natural tendency to try to find order in the most random events. Curiously, however, there does seem to be some thread of order connecting what otherwise might be chaotic.

You may notice that certain types of events seem to cluster together, sometimes as a symbolically expressed message. Chinese theories of medicine and philosophy, and even building, in particular, are based on a science of meaningful coincidences.

Carl G. Jung coined the phrase synchronicity to express the occurrence of such coincidences.

The selection of Runes, throwing of coins, and so on, can best be seen as expressions of this phenomenon. The resulting hexagram or spread serves as a frame of reference, awaiting your interpretation. It is like a picture of the whole of the situation – it’s past, present and perhaps it’s future. It is a mirror in which you can see your place in the situation. It allows you to change your usual perspective as well, expanding your awareness and see from other vantage points.

Use of Divination In Journal Work

This section is not a definitive description of any of the techniques selected, nor are they all of the many kinds of useful divinatory techniques. They are simply the ones I have experienced over the years and find most comfortable to use. I also experimented with the Tarot and dabbled in astrology, however, they did not fit me well. I could not comfortably grasp them, and so have not included them here.

And it is important that whatever you use in the course of Journal work is comfortable for you and complements your work, rather than creates barriers.

These techniques can be seen as creating a frame of reference for inner dialog, much as dreams, or as a means of enhancing or strengthening it. Interpretation of the results is very much an intuitive activity, and intuition is a crucial bridge to inner communication.

Draw the resulting hexagram or spread in your Journal. Then write what you think as you work your way through the interpretation. Be open to any and all inspirations you may receive. When you have completed the step-by-step interpretive process, reread the section as a whole. Focus on ‘connecting the dots,’ look for the common threads running through the results.

Finally, when you believe you understand the spread or hexagram – or perhaps when you admit you don’t – write down in the clearest way you can what your impressions are.

Every six months or so, go back in your Journal and reread these entries in particular. How did things turn out? How did you use, or not use, the information?

For the most part, you will find that attempts to foretell the future fall far short, while the overall tendencies suggested by the technique will have borne out over time. Yet, I am not willing to say fortune telling will not work for you! 

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By Gerry Starnes • All rights reserved.