The Oracle
of Love

 








Principles
of the Oracle

Personality
How to Cast a Hexagram
Interpreting a Hexagram
Conversations
Summary of Technique
Find a Hexagram
Yang and Yin
Contact


Introduction


The 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 interpretation. 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, so the tossing of the coins must be free of all conscious control. That the fall of the coins be totally unpredictable is the only condition on the use of the Oracle.

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 memorised interpretations 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 warm, 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 arousing feelings of their own. Love is a sensitivity and responsiveness, both creative and passive, to the flows and rhythms of waves and vibrations, which we enjoy for their harmony and variety - as epitomised by music.

‘Feeling’ is meant as an immediately present sensation that is ultimately indescribable, either because a feeling will have changed by the time a description of it has been uttered, or because the feeling may be disrupted by 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 developing relations between 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 aspires to 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 dance. Lovers do not have to be experiencing exactly the same feelings. It is important that they be understood to retain their individuality, for it is their differences that power the Love-dance.

Partaking in a Love-dance arouses a feeling in itself and even of this the Lovers need not share the exact same flavour. Love honours the personal nature of our feelings and is, in turn, honoured by our engaging with others 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 Oracle. Love 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 them mindfully. It takes pleasure in harmony and endures disharmony. It expresses its influence as a song of Love that can be felt throughout the cosmos. But because it does not obscure or restrict its connections, its influence is not controlling and its song is softer than foreground influences. 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 they intensify 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.


Spirituality 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 of it. 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 section How 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.