ORACLES AND DIVINATION
"Good! The curiosity is useful, the fear useless. Your
inner development is excellent ... and remember it is only your inner development
that counts in the important things. Our help to you is marginal."
- Isaac Asimov: The Gods Themselves -
Intuition and the Path with Heart
At times life seems to be full of choices, often difficult ones. Fortunately, a person in the right state of mind can draw on resources beyond logical analysis of evidence from the five senses. Intuition has been referred to as a "sixth sense," but it feels more like another dimension of awareness.
Intuitive awareness can reveal what is or what will be (or what was), directly and simply, or with the help of symbolic aids. Some people seem born with a very strong intuitive faculty, while others remain certain that the whole idea is nonsense. Many people, though, are able to develop intuitive awareness by intentional effort. This is for them.
The term "intuition" is used in many ways -- in the sense of knowing the true situation, but also in the sense of knowing what action is appropriate; in the sense of understanding the present state of affairs, but also in the sense of anticipating the future. Some people may find these various distinctions interesting and important, but here we will mostly ignore them. We are not trying to explain intuition, we are just sharing a few things we learned while getting used to it.
We are like people who have just discovered that one can move through space; subtleties such as whether one is walking or flying or running or swimming are of little interest, compared to questions like these: "Can I do this on purpose, or do I just wait for it to happen?" "Is there anything I can do to make it more likely to happen?" "Can I get it to happen when I'm afraid?" "Can I steer it?" "Can I focus it?" "Is it useful?" "Is it reliable?" "Am I going nuts?"
Whether intuitive experiences qualify one as "nuts" is largely a matter of the opinions shared in ones community. In some cultures, being able to enter the unseen world and bring back guidance for individuals or for the community is the job description of a shaman. In other groups, possession by devils or demons are common notions. Whatever may be the public norm in a particular community, privately individuals do join together for mutual support and sharing of experiences. Certainly the internet offers a myriad of opportunities for meeting and working with like-minded people.
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"The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery.
There comes a leap in consciousness, call it Intuition or what you will,
the solution comes to you and you don't know how or why."
-Albert Einstein-"The I Ching is a technology. Spiritual technology is the idea that there are repeatable principles (just like Physics). You do this, that happens."
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Magic Happens! written and illustrated by Laurie Fisher Huck. Weatherhill, 1996; 72 pages.
List price: $5.95
"This book is about magic. Real magic. The magic that lives inside each one of us. It's the tingle up your spine when you know something is absolutely true. It's the heartache you feel after having eye contact with a bird. It goes by many names -- buddha-nature, basic goodness, bodhicitta, adhisthana, auspicious coincidence, drala, shaktipat, jerk of awareness, satori -- all grasping to describe that moment when you genuinely feel part of something bigger than yourself; that moment your heart and mind come together in a single perception of the world which, in all its clarity, proclaims each one of us as possessing inherent goodness and wisdom.
Imagine all that in a cartoon book for kids. It's magic!
Sacred World: A Guide to Shambhala Warriorship in Daily Life, by Jeremy Hayward. 264 pp. $14.95
This practical companion to Chogyam Trungpa's classic Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior is the first book to give instruction in Shambhala warriorship. Combining Buddhist mindfulness practice and pre-Buddhist shamanic teachings, Shambhala warriorship training instructs us in the methods of calling upon powerful, natural energies for personal and community transformation.
"Extending yourself out [...] could be symbolized by the garuda, a mythological bird that bursts out of its shell full grown -- suddenly and completely there. Its color is brilliant red, with a golden hue. It looks like a condor with its huge wingspan and its hooked beak and its fierce expression, while its wide-open, piercing eyes look as if they could see the limits of the sky and beyond. Almost never flapping its wings, it glides effortlessly for vast distances, never needing to rest or to find a landing ground. It has no reference point on earth, so it has no bias or stance. It never measures how far it has gone or how far it could go. It just flies on and on, without ever looking back to see where it came from."
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List of Web Sites Related to Synchronicity
How to be a Wizard Peter Russell's Synchronicity page.
"A wizard allows synchronicity to manifest."
"Although we may not be able to make synchronicities happen, we can create environments that foster their occurrence. We can create an inner environment of wholeness and an openness to intention; and in our outer lives we can go and engage ourselves fully in the world, mix with the social field, go out and play."
Synchronicity, Science, and Soul Making
by Victor Mansfield; Open Court, 1995.
List price: $18.95
"Dr. Mansfield engages both the mind and heart of the reader as he explores the psychological, spiritual, and philosophical implications of C.G. Jung's concept of synchronicity. Through analyzing the largest published selection of firsthand accounts of synchronicity, the author shows how it plays an important role in our psychological development. Dr. Mansfield further enriches his exploration by meshing his interpretation of synchronicity with clearly explained corner stones of quantum physics and the basic tenets of Middle Way Buddhism--concluding with a radical and provocative world view."
Includes six recent interdisciplinary
papers on synchronicity and related topics, loads of very interesting links,
and a 20% discount on the purchase of the book. Included are these papers:
Synchronicity from the Paranormal: An Essay Honoring Marie-Louise von
the difference between the two phenomena and addresses the problems of
laboratory measurements of synchronicity."
More Books on Synchronicity
Case studies of meaningful coincidence -- 150 of them.
Jungian Synchronicity in the Astrological Signs and Ages; Alice O. Howell; Theosophical Publishing House, 1990; Paperback, $10.95.
Divination and Synchronicity : The Psychology of Meaningful Chance. Originally
Presented As Lectures at the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich; Marie-Louise
Von Franz; Inner City, 1980; Paperback, $12.00.
Power of Flow : Practical Ways to Transform Your Life With Meaningful Coincidence;
Charlene Belitz, Meg Lundstrom; Random House, 1997; Hardcover, $22.50.
The Purpose of Your Life : Finding Your Place in the World Using Synchronicity, Intuition, and Uncommon Sense; Carol Adrienne; William Morrow, 1998; Hardcover, $15.40 / Audio Cassettes, $16.95 (Not Yet Published).
Quantum Self : Human Nature and Consciousness Defined by the New Physics; Danah Zohar, I. N. Marshall; Quill, 1991; Paperback, $10.00.
Miracles: Extraordinary Coincidences from Everyday Life; Yitta Halberstam,
et al; Adams, 1997; Paperback, $7.95.
Soul Moments : Marvelous Stories of Synchronicity -- Meaningful Coincidences from a Seemingly Random World; Phil Cousineau (Editor); Conari, 1997; Paperback, $14.95.
An Acausal Connecting Principle; Carl Gustav Jung; Princeton, 1988;
As Spiritual Guidance; Mark A. Thurston; Are Press, 1997; Paperback,
: Science, Myth, and the Trickster; Allan Combs, Mark Holland; Shooting
Star, 1995; Paperback, $12.95.
Synchronicity : The Bridge Between Matter and Mind; F. David Peat; Bantam Doubleday, 1988; Paperback, $13.95.
There Are No Accidents: Synchronicity and the Stories of Our Lives; Robert H. Hopcke; Riverhead, 1997; Hardcover, $23.95.
Turbulent Mirror : An Illustrated Guide to Chaos, Theory and the Science of Wholeness; John Briggs, F. David Peat; Harper Collins, 1990; Paperback, $15.00.
As a Waking Dream
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Oracles and Divination
Introduction to Divination
I Ching -- Runes -- Tarot
Divination in Feng-shui
Tea Leaves and Trash Piles
Introduction to Divination
No clear dividing line separates divination from synchronicity. Certainly Carl Jung considered oracular divination a form of synchronicity, as shown in the extensive discussion of synchronicity in his introduction to the I Ching. However, a few points are worth noting. First, in ordinary synchronicity, sometimes, quite spectacular coincidences arise; but an oracle doesn't have to get your attention -- after all, you are asking it to respond to you. Working with one of the traditional oracles may be a person's first introduction to synchronicity or to intuitive awareness altogether.
Second, traditionally one is warned against frivilous
and disrespectful questioning. For example, in the I Ching
the Judgement to Hexagram 4, "Youthful Folly," includes the following passage:
A person's relationship with an oracle often begins with a period of simply using the oracle for readings. If the connection is a good one, working with the oracle fosters a strong sense of confidence and grace (as in being graced with a special blessing or gift). That confidence, in turn, leads naturally to a devotion to understanding the source of this insight, often expressed as a period of immersion in study and contemplation of the oracular system as a whole. The cards or the book, or whatever it is, link one to a tradition of symbolic work that is literally thousands of years old.
To really understand the meaning of an element (a card, a hexagram, or whatever) drawn from a whole system, you have to have some understanding of the whole system so that you can place your particular token within its natural context. So, for example, in the traditional way of working with the I Ching, there would come a time when you were relating to the book as if it were your teacher: You would spend some time, maybe a lot of time, just reading the various hexagrams and commentaries and interpretations of commentaries on commentaries. You might also use it as an oracle on occasion, but during this period you are trying to get tothe source of this wisdom, of this insight into your own life. You are trying to understand this oracular system which seems to understand you better than you do yourself.
At some point, you would naturally feel that the period of study was over, at least for a while. The I Ching vision is now part of your awareness of your life, and the of lives of the people around you, your family, your community, your nation, and so on. You may consult the oracle as often or as rarely as you like, but the wisdom you need often emerges into your awareness spontaneously, as though the oracle were speaking to you directly.
1. The citations are from the Wilhelm / Baynes Edition of the I Ching, published by the Princeton University Press.
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The Book of Change
translated by Thomas Cleary
The I Ching is the most ancient and profound of the Chinese
classics, venerated for over three thousand years as an oracle of fortune,
a guide to success, and a dispenser of wisdom. This new translation, with
commentary by Confucius, emphasizes applying practical wisdom in everyday
affairs. Complete instructions for consulting the I Ching are included.
TRADITIONAL I CHING ON THE WEB
Online I-Ching Reading from Facade
I Ching Sites 1.3 zillion links to I Ching sites on the Web
ORIGINAL I CHING
Original I Ching - A graphic approach, using ancient symbols and archetypes. Learn to make an I Ching Mandala.
"Traditional I Ching practice is based on the written text of the I Ching that has been handed down to us through the past three millenia. When one consults the Oracle in the traditional manner, one gets an answer in so many words. The problem is that the oritinal text upon which all of this interpretation is based is too brief, too obscure, and too archaic. So, nowadays the answer is made up of interpretation layered over interpretation, layered over even more interpretation.
Original I Ching is an attempt to capture the spirit of
the Oracle as it was practiced in the time of King Wên, before the
written Chinese language became a representation of spoken language. Three
thousand years ago the I Ching was an oral tradition that was apparently
richly supported by illustrative drawings. It was these drawings that became
China's legendary "First Book."
THE BUDDHIST I CHING
translated by Thomas Cleary
Shambhala Dragon Editions
The present work is the only full-length interpretation
of the I Ching by a Chinese Buddhist meditation master. Chih-hsu Ou-i offers
three levels of interpretation: social, Buddhist, and meditational. The
first part (hexagrams 1-30) deals with awakening to one’s true qualities
through Buddhist enlightenment. The second part (31-64) deals with cultivating
human qualities by understanding the relationships inherent in situations
and acting or desisting appropriately. The author intended his reading
to lead from understanding of society to understanding of spiritual practices,
and vice versa.
THE TAO OF ORGANIZATION: I CHING
by Cheng Yi; translated by Thomas Cleary
Shambhala Drqagon Editions
This edition guides readers through the intricacies of
group dynamics and relationships within organizations of all kinds. The
commentary to the root text is from the eleventh-century scholar Cheng
Yi, founder of the movement known as Lixue, the “study of inner design.”
Cheng contended that by understanding the pattern of events—the inner design
of nature—one can bring about mutual understanding and cooperation among
people in groups, thus facilitating the accomplishment of any tasks they
THE TAOIST I CHING
by Liu I-ming; translated by Thomas Cleary
Shambhala Publications, 1986
The I-Ching interpretations in this volume are based on
the teachings of the Complete Reality school of Taoism, in particular that
stream of the Complete Reality school known as the Clear Serene branch.
I Ching Mandalas : A Program of Study for the Book of Changes; Thomas Cleary; Shambhala Publications, 1986; Paperback, $12.95.
Purchase this book from amazon.com?
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The Runic Journey: An online exploration of the ancient Norse runes.
"Today, runes have been rediscovered as a symbolic system and have gained immense popularity as a means of divination. They are, however, much more than a curious alternative to Tarot cards for telling fortunes. They provide a key to understanding the lives and beliefs of the ancient people who created them, and have much to teach us about a way of life that was perhaps more inimately connected to the natural world, and to the realm of spirit, than our own.
"As there are no reliable historical descriptions of runic divination, virtually any method one chooses can be considered valid. However, certain characteristics of the runes make them better suited to some methods than others. For example, most runes are carved onto small bits of wood, clay or stone. These are better designed to be picked up and scattered, rather than being laid out in a specific pattern like the Tarot. This is verified by descriptions of runic divination in Norse literature, all of which refer to them being 'thrown', 'cast' or 'scattered.'"
"The One-Rune Quicky. As you might imagine, this method is designed to provide a quick, concise answer to a specific question. It can also be used daily as a subject for meditation, or as a general overview of the day before you go to bed. Think of a specific question. Pull a rune out of the pouch and look at it."
Rune Divination: An on-line course, quite detailed.
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Learning the Tarot - An On-Line Course: "Here you will find everything you need to know to use the Tarot cards successfully. The Tarot is a deck of 78 picture cards that has been used for centuries as a way to reveal hidden truths. Reading the Tarot is an ancient art, but I believe the cards have a place in the modern world. The Tarot can help you understand yourself better and teach you how to tap your own inner resources more confidently."
The course, by Joan Bunning, is free, and she has provided an easy way to download the entire course to your computer for use off-line.
THE HANGED MAN
Take time for meditation. You enter the sacred realm through
this door and the voice of spirit can be heard. Inner peace develops and
your insights are sharpened."
Facade on-line Tarot reading no choice of decks, but gives a full reading with all cards including suit cards.
OAS Healing Tarot Project Many of the members and friends of the Order of the Ascending Spirit are interested in healing, and the group is creating a Tarot deck for healing, beginning with the Major Arcana.
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Asian and Western astrological systems are very different. Among the Asian systems, the Chinese, Indian, and Tibetan systems also differ from each other.
Asian Astrology "Devoted to All Aspects of Asian Divination"
This very generous site includes sections on Chinese, Tibetan, and Vietnamese astrological systems. However, all the Vietnamese software produces results only in the Vietnamese language.
Indian ( Vedic ) Astrology
Tibetan Astrology -- an extensive introduction by Michael Erlewine. "Tibetan astrology is inextricably bound to Tibetan Buddhism. ... to get to the astrology, you have to negotiate the Buddhist psychology in which it resides." "in Tibetan astrology, the primary educational tool is learning to use your intuition in a direct and practical way. This is called mind practice or, most often, just meditation."
Advice from the Spiritual Friend: Prayer Flags and Auspicious Days -- Lama Zopa Rinpoche states "When you put up prayer flags to bring success, if you put them up on the wrong astrological dates [paden tharwo], you continuously receive obstacles." In this short article he discusses the auspicious and inauspicious dates for these and other important actions, and provides a spiritual practice for controling the obstacles caused by engaging in activities on the wrong astrological dates
TIBETAN MEDICAL AND ASTROLOGICAL INSTITUTE
"There is nobody in this universe who doesn't have some kind of problem, whether big or small. On a large scale, this applies to countries, communities and organisations. On a small scale, it applies to the family and the individual. Every country has its own traditional ways to solve such problems, and we Tibetans have a unique system of our own. In important matters, we seek advice from oracles or request a divination from a high lama. We also rely on astrological calculations."
Outline of the Tibetan Horoscope, by Mrs. Tsering Choezom.
Tibetan Astrology; Philippe Cornu; Shambhala Publications, 1997; Hardcover List Price: $35.00. Used for understanding the cycles of time itself, as a basic feature of relative existence; for public and personal divination, and in the practice of medicine. This comprehensive introduction to the subject, the first in any Western language, includes detailed instructions for horoscope casting and interpretation.
Tibetan Astrology Specialist's Pages -- by W.L.R. Cassidy.
Daka's Buddhist Astrology offers Tibetan astrology readings. "Astrology has been a part of Buddhism since Lord Buddha Shakyamuni first taught it in the Medicine Tantras 2,500 years ago." "An astrological reading will be informative for everyone, although it is particularly useful for practitioners of meditation and self awareness. It can assist in utilizing opportunities for growth."
More Books on Asian Astrology
Manual of Mongolian Astrology and Divination (Harvard-Yenching Institute Scripta Mongo); Francis Woodman Cleaves; Harvard University Press, 1969; Paperback List Price: $8.00.
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Astro Communications /ACS Publications: Astrological Books, Software & Services.
Using Lunar Cycles for Planning -- Explanations plus Lunar Cycle calendars and suggestions of appropriate days for various types of activities.
Reading The Pulse of Life, by Dane Rudhyar, used to be a fine way to get a feeling of how the whole thing could make sense, at least in terms of the cycle of the seasons, but now that book seems to be out of print. Suggestions of excellent material for this section would be welcome. Here's one:
Astrology Beyond Ego by Tim Lyons
"As it says on the back cover, people you respect have said nice things about this book. Here's what they were talking about: Astrology as a symbol system, 12 signs as stages in a process, houses and cycles of outreach, outer planets and collective projection, emotion and relationship, technology and the living earth, and astrology, freedom and ego. Inspired by Rudhyar, influenced by Arroyo, Robert Hand, Liz Greene & Alan Oken. Quest: Paper; $6.95"
Available from The Astrology Center of America. "National Clearinghouse for Astrology Books & Related Materials." When we searched on the Web for "Astrology Beyond Ego" this was the only page returned by Alta Vista. They have a lot of titles, and a used bookstore as well.
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Feng Shui In Very Few Words: "Feng Shui is a name the Chinese have given to the systematic practice of physically and emotionally orienting one's self and one's constructions so as to perceive an enhancement of the synchronous character of one's place in the environment.
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If deck of Tarot cards is truly a mirror of the mind of someone who uses it, so could be any other aspect of the natural world that enters their awareness. A deck of Tarot cards has certain advantages over -- lets pick a ridiculous but still servicable example -- someone's discarded sofa, as an oracle. However, sometime in the course of a person's relationship with intuitive awareness, the notion that a particular set of cards or a particular book has a unique link to the hidden realm begins to seem silly. The value of the intuitive connection is undeniable (in terms of that person's experience), but pinning access to it to a certain subset of the natural world is limiting both practically and in terms of understanding the connection.
There is not much actual information on this page. It is mostly an advertisement for the author's on-line publication The China Cup.
Cafe Nation: Oracle based on patterns of coffee grounds.
Investigating the Cries of Crows: A Tibetan system for foretelling coming events through careful attention to the cries and behavior of crows.
Stichomancy: On-line readings. "Stichomancy is the practice of seeking metaphysical insight into the world by reading a random passage from a book. An important type of Stichomancy is Bibliomancy, which restricts itself to holy books."
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Intuition Network Home Page: "The goal of the Intuition Network (IN) is the creation of a world in which people feel encouraged to rely on their inner resources in their work and in their personal lives."
Intuition Network Discussion Areas Accessible Via Internet List-Server.
Thinking Allowed: A national public television series and an extensive video library -- featuring the world's leading writers, teachers and explorers in the areas of consciousness research, psychology, philosophy, personal and spiritual development, health and healing, intuitive arts and the frontiers of science.
InnerWork Video Collection: Complete List of Titles. Ninety- minute video intensives exploring the depth and meaning of being human.
Knowing Your Intuitive Mind: "This book is an encouraging and inspirational journey that uses a blend of ancient and modern Intuitive technologies to promote self mastery and whole-hearted living. Developing the Intuition is the ultimate skill in being whole."
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Working with the Invisible
Tibetan Buddhist Healing Methods
Tibetan Buddhism Resources
Psuedo-science or Proto-science
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Comments, Suggestions and Requests
Dharma Haven Home Page
Last updated September 12, 1998
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