paths to spiritual awareness are many.
Direct paths are hard to find and sometimes even harder to follow.
This Oracle of
Love is a most direct and accessible spiritual guide.
You don't have to believe in it. It requires no
commitment or reverence.
Accept or dismiss its counsel as you please. You will recognize its
wisdom when you see it.
The Oracle is easy to use. It takes a
minute or two to cast a hexagram and another to read its
You cast a hexagram by tossing three coins to yield a pattern of heads
and tails. Each possible pattern is representative of a hexagram.
The essence of the oracular
procedure is chance,
tossing of the coins must be free of all conscious control. That the
of the coins be totally unpredictable is the only condition on the use
Please be aware that the Oracle of Love addresses adult issues. It is not suitable for use by children.
Origins in the I Ching
The Oracle of Love
is a child of the I Ching.
The I Ching (also called the “Book of Changes”) is a collection of
ancient Chinese texts whose origins date back to the 24th
century BC. It has
been used for thousands of years both as an Oracle and a book of
wisdom. The Oracle of Love has inherited the same hexagram structure as
the I Ching and is largely consistent with it.
The Oracle of Love
has developed out of a contemporary encounter with the I Ching. I have
used the I
Ching (and latterly the Oracle of Love) for
some thirty-five years and have come to know it as a close friend.
This began in the nineteen-seventies when I was looking for a
guide to help me through the psychedelic mindscape
of which science and religion had no knowledge.
The I Ching's uncanny ability to make relevant
comment on my most subjective experience led to an intense encounter and
within a short period I had memorised all the hexagram interpretations.
Then, after many years comparing the
hexagrams I cast with events as they unfolded, I began modifying the
to better describe the reality I was experiencing. Now in mature age, I stand with an
accumulation of adjusted interpretations and an approach to the I Ching
that does not
conform with any tradition. I have attempted to integrate my insights
into the I Ching by re-formulating it as this Oracle of Love.
The Oracle of Love is therefore the reflection of a contemporary experience of the I Ching rather than a scholarly
re-work of classical texts. I have not
called it the I Ching so as not
to offend classicists - but the
essence of the I Ching remains, albeit expressed in a modern idiom rather than the traditional
symbols of ancient China.
What's Love Got to Do with It ?
My insights into the hexagrams clarified my understanding of the I Ching as a whole.
After screening out the distractions of all
the cultural references I came to realise what a pivotal
role Love plays in the I Ching. Love has come to the foreground in this interpretation
of the I Ching - it is the central
theme of the Oracle of Love.
While love takes
many forms and we probably each have a
different conception of it, the word ‘love’ is
used by the Oracle in a
very particular sense. When meant in this special sense it
will be written with a capital ‘L’, as Love.
Understand Love as a feeling
rather than a concept. Get a sensation of vibration that gives you a
pleasurable glow. The sensation may arouse movement in a sympathetic
response, like a dance inspired by music. Sensations and responses can be repeated and played with, stronger
and weaker, or faster and slower, in time or syncopated -
vibrations within vibrations
feelings of their own. Love is a sensitivity and
both creative and passive, to the flows and rhythms of waves and
vibrations, which we
for their harmony and variety - as epitomised by music.
‘Feeling’ is meant as an
sensation that is
ultimately indescribable, either because a feeling will have
the time a description of it has been uttered, or because the feeling
the act of describing it. Perhaps the word ‘emotion’ can be used to denote
a feeling that is maintained by a mental state long enough for it to be
described, such as sorrow, for example. Love is meant as a
wordless feeling rather than a specifiable emotion.
Feelings of Love can be
enhanced by specifically paying attention to them. With increased
attention we can
perceive them more clearly, feel them more deeply, express them more lucidly and appreciate more
consciously their detail and their breadth.
The Oracle aspires to
separate feeling beings (such as ourselves) so that we share and
exchange feelings of Love with each other.
To this end the Oracle's counsel is invariably
directed towards fostering feelings of Love in our relationships and maximising our benefit from them.
More so, the Oracle
aspires to an intensity of relation in which the feelings of Love are
lavished with conscious attention, both in perception and expression. In human terms it
overtly sexual and orgasmic exchanges of feeling between Lovers.
The necessary element in a
Loving relation is the exchange of feelings. It is just as easy for
different feelings to harmonise as it is for shared feelings to harmonise when in relation.
For example, consider a couple dancing face to face. When one
partner steps forward the other will step backward in order to maintain the
do not have to be experiencing exactly the same feelings when
It is important that
Lovers be understood to retain their individuality, for
their differences that power the Love-dance.
Partaking in a
Love-dance arouses a feeling in itself and even of this
need not share the exact same flavour. Love honours the subjective nature of
feelings and is, in turn, honoured by our engaging with
who may be feeling differently. The fact that an exchange takes place in a relational context
that the subjectivity is not purely an
insular introversion of either participant. Such harmonious
exchanges of different feelings between different beings is the
ambition of the
Oracle of Love.
Love is the domain of the
is the context in
which its auguries make sense. To construe its pronouncements in terms
of power, fame or fortune is to misunderstand it. The
Oracle has only one thing on its
mind - all other ambitions are a subtext for Love.
'Spirituality' has a particular meaning for the Oracle as well.
Spirituality is seen as a universal internal connection between everything,
connecting all externally disparate entities
in a whole without obscuring their individuality.
Internal connections and the spiritual connectedness of things
necessarily remain mysterious from the point of view of
any of the disparate entities from the inside looking out, which is how
we normally address things, especially when making analytical
observations of them. But we can also make an address
by looking inward, to our own minds and
bodies and to increasing our awareness of our internal behaviour, and in
this way we can become conscious of our internal connections and even
experience the connectedness of all things.
The process is exemplified by the practice of meditation, whereby one
withdraws attention from the outside world to explore one's inner world
instead. The sages of many religions teach that there is a coherent
inner reality to be found in this exploration.
For us, the most important aspects of the Oracle's
spirituality are firstly its inner direction, that it is addressed by looking
inward rather than outward to any external object, which means that the
human experience of spirituality is a subjective one
that cannot be measured against any external reference. We each have
our own personal and unique experiences of spirituality. Secondly,
it is by attending to the feelings of Love we
encounter in the internal exploration
that we become conscious of our inner connections and so can come to experience the
universal spiritual connection. The greater
benefits of meditation come from attending to our inner
feelings (including purely bodily feelings) rather than to our ideas or emotions.
Though subjectivity is important in both Love and
spirituality, it is not without hazard. In external
interaction it is absolutely necessary to act on commonly agreed
objective grounds to avoid conflict with others. Acting on
subjective feeling alone can only be contemplated in the context of a
very forgiving intimacy or where one is clearly engaged in the harmony
of a Love-dance. The internal orientation of spirituality, however,
offers an environment where there are no external partner's toes to
tread on and so subjectivity can be indulged quite freely. The
spiritual partner, it may be said, is always willing and extremely
A group experience of spirituality should
be understood to be no more than a
coincident experience of individual spirituality.
Members of the group may acknowledge the simultaneity
of their experience but there is no requirement for
each participant to undergo the same experience.
The performance of a ritual may assist the individual experiences to
coincide but there is no spiritual significance in the ritual itself.
Only when Love enters the encounter and there is an exchange of
feelings as well (as may take place in communal song or dance) may the
group experience be enhanced beyond that of each individual.
Love and spirituality may also meet when a
Love-dance is so harmonious
that the Lovers feel their internal spiritual connection as deeply as
they feel their external engagement.
and the Oracle
The Oracle often uses hexagrams with spiritual
connotations to refer to
itself. It sees itself as being of a spiritual nature and aware of the
spiritual dynamic in a way that we are not. Being
spiritual, we address it by looking into ourselves. A
consultation with the Oracle is a private affair.
The Oracle of Love guides us to the issues in our
lives with the
highest spiritual priority. Look at it as taking an interest in your
spiritual health and performing spiritual hygiene. But look at it too,
as being considerate of spirit in the same way that we are
considerate of others. We cannot presume to know exactly what
spirit values are or how spirit might choose to act in any given
situation. Being considerate of another means asking how they feel
about something before committing ourselves to a course of action. How
far we actually alter our intentions to accommodate someone else is a
choice that we make with each act.
The object of consulting the Oracle is,
therefore, to ascertain
spiritual need. While we may address the Oracle with a particular
question in mind, its response will direct us to our most pressing
spiritual need regardless of our question. Questions are almost
superfluous to a consultation. Of course, it is helpful to receive
guidance pertaining to problems that are vexing us but that only happens when such
problems and the spiritual issues are related. Some problems must be
managed as best we can without Oracular help. In my own experience it
has often happened that by addressing the spiritual issues, other
questions have been put into a clearer perspective and have become
significantly less urgent than they originally appeared.
It can take some time to discover which issues
the Oracle is indicating
as needing attention. This is because spiritual issues are often seen
as trivial from our everyday point of view, especially when there are
pressing external issues at hand. This is the great value of the
Oracle, for it makes known to us the issues of spiritual importance that we
would otherwise overlook in favour of the louder external issues that
so forcefully demand our attention. These spiritual issues may be so
inconspicuous that it is only after a number of consultations that we
are able to piece the clues together and arrive at the issue of
interest. Discerning the significance of the Oracular messages becomes
easier with practice and some helpful advice is offered in the section Interpreting a Hexagram.
Exact instructions for consulting the Oracle are
provided in the
to Cast a Hexagram. The method of consultation for the
Oracle also permits hexagrams to be strung together like sentences in a
paragraph. While the meanings of the individual hexagrams are
sufficiently elaborate to convey a message in their own right, they can
also be regarded as the elements of a language from which more complex
messages can be built. Guidelines for combining hexagrams are provided
in the section Conversations. This replaces
the concept of “changing
lines” that plays such a large role in the I Ching, whereby one
hexagram can change into another. Such transformation of hexagrams is
absent from the Oracle of Love.