Composing An Inquiry of the Oracle
The opportunity of applying the I Ching to an inquiry is done in a question. Preparing the question is done in a two step procedure. The clearer the question and the deeper your perception of the matters at stake, the more profound the answer will be. Form your question in eight words. Grammar is not a consideration.
Establishing the Field
The first step is to consider the matter. Search out the feelings, images and experiences involved. Articulate what you feel and think what you know and what you do not know. Look for relevant memories and experiences, hopes and fears, dreams and desires. Look to see what is there, no matter how contradictory. This will establish a field of associations that can focus the symbols and relate them to your concerns.
Formulating the Question
The second step is to formulate the question as clearly as possible. Base it on what you want to do. As you contemplate the question find the place where desire melts into uncertainty. As your inquiry deepens search out the level of specific you need. It does not matter what you are asking about as long as it is personally important and your motives in asking are sincere.
Yes and no questions are not usually effective. An effective formulation of a specific question might be: what about doing X? or What should my position about X be? If you are confused about the whole situation, you can ask the most basic question of the I Ching oracle: What time is it for me? Please give me an image of my overall situation. You can also ask for a strategy or guide: What is the most effective stance to take towards Y? How can I best achieve X? or How can I help A? If you are truly up against a dilemma, you can ask for an image of each alternative, formulating two questions: What about doing X? What about doing Y?
In formulating the questions, or asking about another person, you should be sure your motives are clear, straight and compassionate. Tradition says that the I Ching oracle will respond clearly to a real need but will not allow itself to be used for greedy or manipulative ends.
Position the Inquirer
Another thing to consider in posing a question is the position of the Inquirer. How is the person asking the question related to the matter at hand? In what way are they involved in the situation and what power do they have over the situation? Define who the Inquirer is by asking on behalf of: him or herself, as head of a family, as a therapist or healer, as manager or spokesperson for the group. The answers the oracle offers will be directly related to this position.
Applying the active dialogue form the basic question
can be reformulated into an action inquiry. This process applies what the
depth psychologist C.G. Jung called active imagination. It can lead to further
questions as you explore the matter you are considering in depth. Give the
oracle’s first response careful consideration. Where further questions
arise, do not hesitate to ask again. The I Ching oracle invites this sort
The basic question you ask can be focused and make better sense by asking a guide. As you contemplate the guide can lead you to connect to the situation, what you can do now. You can then ask a From Now question.
The path followed in the 12 Branches process of long range planning is to progress the hexagram to it's nuclear as the image provided by the oracle in the begetting becoming begoning triad.
The one called Dale Bruder, is among the cultural innovators who have devised implements and techniques to use the I Ching in describing and predicating elements, processes and experiences in practices involving special uses of the mind and body.
The I Ching is a Proven Guide to Success