Tao Oracle: Questions

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Alta's Avatar
Alta  Alta is offline
Golden Silvery Dionna
Join Date: 06 Aug 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 27,056

Hi RAVENAL, I am glad my maunderings make some kind of sense. I often have a great deal of trouble explaining things.
The I Ching is based on mathematical sequences. When you lay out the hexagrams, or cards in this case, and look right at the lines, you will see that one hexagram is frequently the mirror image of the adjoning one. Besides echoing the flow of change in the world, the I Ching also strives to show you the flip side of situations. In the longer translations, it refers to having to learn the lessons of the previous hexagram to move on to the current one (sound familiar?).
There is one house for each of the eight trigrams. the trigrams are the elements of the hexagrams, and consist of three unbroken lines, three broken lines, etc (this is difficult to show in text form, if you were here I could just draw them and show you. Anyway, they are often translated as The Creative (primal power), The Receptive (primal protecting and holding power), The Arousing, Keeping Still, The Abysmal (as in an abyss), The Clinging (also the Bright), the Joyous and the Gentle (or the Penetrating). These reflect every variation of broken and unbroken lines that are possible using only three lines.
These are considered the primary forces of the universe, and they work in two ways, in a cyclical way, and in way that reflects the balance of forces in the universe. Each one is considered to have a House, or sequence. Each house begins with that trigram repeated to form a hexagram using its trigram twice. Then the houses are very visual, you have to look at them to see the way the way the lines change through the sequence. It is logical mathematically but also very telling spiritually. Each represents a journey.
House of the Creative: 1,44,33,12,20,23,35,14
House of the Abysmal: 29.60,3,63,49,55,36,7
House of Keeping Still: 52, 22,26,41,38,10, 61,53
House of the Arousing: 51,16,40,32,46,48,28,17
House of the Gentle: 57,9,37,42,25,21,27,18
House of the Clinging: 30,56,50,64,4,59,6,13
House of the Receptive: 2,24,19,11,34,43,5,8
House of the Joyous: 58,47,45,31,39,15,62,54

When you do I Ching readings (and yes, you can read with it, just like Tarot), it helps to keep in mind where the card you drew falls in the larger flow, just as you would consider where in the Journey a Major Arcana would fall.
Hope this helps. Unfortunately I Ching tends to sound very pedantic and mathematical to most. In truth it is deeply spiritual.
Top   #21
RAVENAL's Avatar
Join Date: 13 Feb 2003
Location: NY...everywhere and everywhen...SHADOW SHADOW BUTTERFLY RAVEN.......always flying...wind dancing MAGIC across the edge...
Posts: 154
Tao...more details


this is so exiting...thanks again...your explainations are crystal in clarity...and very eloquent...distilled knowledge and understanding...refined...easily assimilated by me...yes...I am getting this...yes...

another question...the listing of the journeys/houses...is this an implicite order as listed...or is this order everchanging...always different in possible/potiential order and the following/beginning...openended...

this seems more like life to me...not so locally structured as to define as fated...but evolving...ever changing but in the larger...wholistic...holographic picture/view...
ordered...planned...co-created...yes as all life...very/very spiritual...but not always recognized...
Top   #22
Alta's Avatar
Alta  Alta is offline
Golden Silvery Dionna
Join Date: 06 Aug 2001
Location: Canada
Posts: 27,056
Re: Tao...more details

Originally posted by RAVENAL
another question...the listing of the journeys/houses...is this an implicit order as listed...or is this order everchanging...
Hum, well that is generally considered to be the order. But, once you understand the trigrams, or even just start to understand them, I suppose you could experiment with different orders. After all, the folks who worked out those paths had to do that, and god/dess knows, there is no 'one' answer to anything. I have not tried that, but that may just speak to a lack of imagination.
Top   #23
Melissa`'s Avatar
Melissa`  Melissa` is offline
Join Date: 08 Jul 2002
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 940

You know.. when we first started this thread I was like "changing lines... yin.. yang.. balance.. etc.. what?!?" .. Now I feel like such a dunce.

I had to 'grow' up and bring the book back to life.

Anyways.. while I had some free time on my hands, I pulled out the book. For two hours I read and re-read those pages on the changing lines. How to observe the differences in changing lines with the coins for the final card.

The light bulb has come on!

Be proud of me... lol

Well, now I can read back on you guys wonderful posts and actually understand them. Just pat me on my head and send me on my way.

Now for the real reason that I have posted here.. I believe that now I understand more I will begin working with the cards more.(I set them aside when I started not understanding the changing lines factor.) Being so, I tend to start a new thread for daily draws... I hope to see you guys post along with me.

Top   #24
Melissa`'s Avatar
Melissa`  Melissa` is offline
Join Date: 08 Jul 2002
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 940
Re: Tao Oracle draw today

Originally posted by RAVENAL

Amaya...yes I am so proud of you...what was your conclusion after all that reading of the the book on changing lines...

Well, Ravenal.. besides the first initial feeling of being an idiot?
The light bulb really flickered on at full force. See.. I approached this oracle as I do most of my decks, I set the book aside and try to work out the cards in my head before reading the authors. Which isn't bad. I just really made myself miss out on all that important information.

Since that post two nights ago, I haven't had a chance to sit down and really work with the cards again and try the changing lines out with the tossing of the coins. I'm on my way to work right now. So when I return and have all day tomorrow, I'm going to try this and post it.

Top   #25

Master_Margarita's Avatar
Master_Margarita  Master_Margarita is offline
Join Date: 01 Oct 2007
Location: Samsara Central
Posts: 2,040

Is anyone else using this deck right now?

If so, do you throw the coins to discern the changing lines or do you draw a second card and compare it to the first to discern the changing lines?

Is anyone actively combining this deck with the Osho Zen Tarot to do "mixed" readings right now?

Lover of reviving old threads
Top   #26
LorettaYeo  LorettaYeo is offline
Join Date: 15 Dec 2012
Location: Virginia, United States
Posts: 17
I Ching Adaptations

I bought the Tao Oracle a few months back. It's my sixth I Ching deck. I started with the Holitzka deck because I liked the simple brush strokes, similar to David's Tarot.

Decades ago I bought a book on fortune telling (Fate and Fortune, from Barnes and Noble) and when I got to the section on I Ching I read the traditional method of using 50 yarrow stalks (small sticks). Gave up. Left it flat - if you need 20 minutes just to figure out what the six lines are, I haven't got the patience. I still have that book and now I like its interpretation of the Wilhelm-Carey translation (Chinese to German to English).

The Holitzka cards were a watershed. I found the images online at Annikin Divinations a couple of years ago where they were used just like tarot cards in traditional spreads. So I downloaded the pix and printed them on business cards to see if I liked them (I do that a lot). Without the LWB, I just intuitively decided to pick a second card to see which lines changed. That was a good way of getting the moving lines info from Fate and Fortune. Imagine my surprise when I found a copy of Holitzka and its LWB said to do the same thing!

I confused myself immensely by "researching" the I Ching - severe data overload. I had to put the Holitzka deck and two others (Lo Scarabeo and Dead Moon) aside for a few months. They say your brain cells never replenish, and I think I burned up a big chunk of mine.

I have the Osho Zen Tarot, although I was wary of it at first because of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh's Oregon commune not being good neighbors - poisoning people so they won't vote against you taking over their town? How Zen is that? But Osho's lunatic side-kick Sheela aside, his teachings are not bad and Ma Deva Padma is a very talented artist. I leafed through the book that came with the cards, then put it on the shelf. I don't want to join the commune.

Likewise, I've had the Tao Oracle images on a CD I bought for Visual Tarot years ago. I never realized it was related to the I Ching, and I hate having to convert the numbered JPGs to named BMPs for my World of Tarot software. But when I picked up the I Ching again recently I read that the Tao Oracle is in fact an I Ching deck so I looked at them. Again, Padma's images are stunning, and I could see that her keywords actually fit the hexagram meanings as they've evolved over three millennia.

I didn't like that she emphasizes the trigrams so much, as that's a "recent" add-on to the I Ching. The hexagrams are the originals, and the wings attributed to Confucius introduced the Taoist either/or dichotomy much later. Plus, not only does Padma break the hexagram into above and below trigrams, she even added two new "languages" - eight pictograms that look like they came from an ESP deck and eight colors in the ying/yang circle.

When I bought a used first edition of the Tao Oracle I was disappointed that the cards are HUGE - 5.25" tall. I can't use anything that big, and it just emphasized how much space was wasted on the added trigram "translations." So, even though I have the "real" ones. I spent a couple of hours with my digital images cropping out the symbols and colors so that I have the picture, the number and title, keywords and ONLY the hexagram. Then I printed them on name badge insert cards (3.5") and they're much more user-friendly.

Today I went back to Ma Deva Padma's web site and clicked on a link to a video of the deck on YouTube. Wow; the new version of the Tao Oracle still has the annoying colors and symbols, but the big border is gone and it's a lot cleaner-looking. The keywords are also briefer. Apparently these images are the dumbed-down versions used for the "app" - I'm retired and gave up my Windows phone three years ago; I don't need an iAnything. Also, the 3rd ed. which seems to still be the original format has a new, IMO less attractive card back. The round deck symbol is still there, but instead of a grayish background of river stones, it's a red grid of 40 of the 64 hexagrams.

As I become more familiar with the Book of Changes, I like that the Tao Oracle has keywords printed on it, and I still love Padma's paintings. My other I Ching decks are AGM Urania's cards that have text on their backs instead of a uniform "backside," and a real Chinese deck that Clarity posted on her web site, and has been mentioned here in the forum. I took the latter images, added titles and meanings from the James Legge translation and put them on business cards because although I can't read any of the Chinese, I like the illustrations.

If I just want to grab a deck without my translation books, I'll use my small Tao Oracle, the AGM Urania, or the Chinese business cards. If I'm studying, I made an MS Word document with all six cards side-by-side and the Legge captions. That lets me see how the artwork relates to each other as well as to the original text.

I want to get to a point where I'm familiar enough with the essence of the 64 hexagrams that I can start using the Dead Moon deck because that's Luis Royo's beautiful paintings, but right now it's a stretch for me to get from the painting in the book to its hexagram.

I've resigned myself to just looking at a few hexagrams a day. Trying to logically read straight through from 1 to 64 didn't work for me, so I'll just have to be patient and learn when it's time.
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