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
is 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.
An important element of 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.
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.
It is important that
they 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 personal nature of
feelings and is, in turn, honoured by our engaging with
who may be feeling differently. The harmonious
exchange of possibly 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.
Love and Spirituality
For the Oracle, spirituality is a universal connection between everything,
joining all externally disparate entities to make
a whole, in a way that the whole does not obscure or restrict the diversity of each entity.
By not obscuring or restricting anything, the spiritual presence in the world
is an omnipresent background connection of everything.
The Oracle teaches that the spiritual presence is sentient - it feels
its connections and influences
It takes pleasure in harmony and endures disharmony.
It expresses its influence as a song of Love that
can be felt throughout
But because it does not obscure or restrict
its connections, its influence is not controlling
and its song is softer than foreground
The song is a beacon to harmony in the world, but
is drowned out by the foreground tumult.
By limiting our own noise we can avoid obscuring the spiritual influence,
find the spiritual song
and align our
behaviour to its harmonies.
The Oracle teaches that when
our feelings of Love are at their most sincere they coincide with the spiritual feeling -
that by delving the depths of our feelings of Love we can find spirituality.
Spiritual awareness is an engrossing, felt experience of universal connectedness.
The Oracle also teaches that
when our activities are in harmony with the spiritual song
the spiritual feeling.
Our feelings of Love are a means both to our own spiritual
awareness and to giving spiritual delight.
We can encounter feelings of Love when not relating with others by turning our attention inward, to
our own minds and bodies. Here there are no external exchanges, only our own subjective feelings,
and in this freedom from external consideration we can be imaginative
in the search for our deeper feelings and finer sensitivities.
The process is exemplified by the practice of meditation, whereby we
withdraw attention from the outside world to explore our inner world
instead. The sages of many religions teach that there is a coherent
reality to be found in such inner exploration. The Oracle teaches that the greater
benefits of meditation come from exploring our
feelings of Love (including our bodily feelings),
rather than dismissing our feelings or attending to our ideas or emotions.
Subjectivity plays an important role in both Love and spirituality, but it is not without hazard. In everyday
interactions with others it is necessary to act on commonly agreed
objective grounds. Acting on
subjective feeling alone should only be contemplated in a purely personal introspection or where one is clearly engaged in the harmony
of a Love-dance.
A group experience of spirituality may be no more than a
coincidence of individual subjective spiritual experiences but
it may also be an acknowledged sharing of the spiritual feeling.
Lovers may feel their spiritual connection as deeply as
they feel their external engagement.
and the Oracle
Consider that there are no foreground influences on a random fall of coins,
that such completely random events are affected only by the background spiritual song.
Even in the midst of the greatest foreground
clamour, the hexagrams faithfully follow the spiritual influence,
while interpretations such as this Oracle aim
to represent the hexagrams in words.
However, no representation of spirituality -
no Oracle, no idea, no religion - is itself the spiritual wholeness.
They can only be re-presentations, limited symbols or descriptions
As well, since experiences of spirituality may be
unique and subjective they
cannot be made to fit a representative's standard.
Representations may lead us to spirituality but
by themselves are not it, they cannot control it and none has exclusive access to it.
We each have
our own experiences of spirituality,
which we can reach without the aid of any representation.
While we may ardently strive for spiritual awareness,
as far as I can tell from my use of the Oracle this is not
our primary spiritual goal. Our primary spiritual goal is to
facilitate the spiritual influence
through our expressions of Love, and this
may or may not involve being consciously aware of our spirituality.
However, the skills we acquire in our pursuit of spiritual
awareness - quietude and a sharpened sensitivity
to subtlety of feeling - these assist us to
sincere and harmonious
expressions of Love.
It is to such deep but appropriate
expressions of Love that the Oracle guides us.
One may regard using the Oracle
as taking an interest in one's
spiritual health and performing spiritual hygiene. But one may also regard it
as being considerate of spirituality in the same way that we are
considerate of others. Being considerate of another means finding out how they feel
about something before committing oneself to a course of action. How
far we actually alter our intentions to accommodate others is a
choice we make with each act.
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.
Addressing spiritual issues does not mean that other issues need be neglected.
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 more
pressing matters 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 foreground matters that more
forcefully demand our attention. These spiritual issues may be so
subtle 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.