A Reading In Three Parts
An I Ching Reading Facilitated by Roger Sessions
Claudia's First Question: What is my purpose on this planet in this lifetime and what will help me be happy?
Claudia's Second Question (four months later): What will be the outcome of me quitting my job and being self-employed?
Claudia's Third Question (two weeks later): What is my next step for moving into wisdom?
Claudia is a massage therapist. She is very skilled, as I can personally attest. She helped me regain use of my shoulder after my pickup truck was rear ended.
Claudia's passion is to be a life coach. I can also attest to her skills in this area. She was the first person I introduced to the Christian I Ching and she has used it frequently since then. She is a highly intuitive interpretter and I am often impressed with her astute insights.
Claudia has been wanting to make a transition from massage therapist to life coach. Her job as a massage therapist frequently gets in the way of her calling as a life coach. It is difficult to find time to take the classes she needs for cerification. She returns home from her job physically exhausted with little energy left for study or planning.
This was the struggle Claudia brought to the I Ching. What is her purpose in life? What will happen if she quits her job and gives up her stable income? What should be her next step? She asked the first two questions by herself and invited me to join her for the third question.
For all three readings, Claudia used the Stone Protcol1, the protocol recommended and taught by The Christian I Ching Society.
Stones for the Stone Protocol
Claudia's first question is one to which many of us can relate: What is my purpose on this planet in this lifetime and what will help me be happy? The question has added poingency by a childhood marked by inner termoil and a challenging adulthood. So to expand on this question, she is asking why she has gone through the difficulties of her life. What is the overriding purpose of her life?
The Christian I Ching responded with Archetype 36, Darkening. There were two moving lines, in the first and third position. This gives the resulting archetype 02, Wisdom. Here is her reading expressed diagrammatically:
I'll discuss this response in more detail in the interpretation section, but even from just the names of the archetypes, we have a striking response: The purpose of her life is to move from Darkness into Wisdom.
Four months later, Claudia revisited this journey. If she is going to make the journey from darkness to wisdom, she will need to quit her job. What will be the result of that?
This time she received the rather emphatic response, Archetype 2, Wisdom. This time she had no moving lines. You can almost hear the I Ching speaking out loud: "I told you the purpose of your life is to move from darkness to wisdom. Now you ask me what will happen if you persue this path. Wisdom, what do you think?"
Here is the second reading expressed diagrammatically:
It's hard not to listen when the I Ching is being so direct. So Claudia asked her third question: What should I do next? The I Ching responded with Archetype 3, Hard Beginning, and no moving lines. Diagramattically, this is shown as
So here is the full dialogue:
Claudia: What is the purpose of my life?
I Ching: To move from darkness into wisdom.
Claudia: What will happen if I follow this path?
I Ching: You will gain wisdom.
Claudia: What should I do next?
I Ching: Begin the transition, knowing it will be hard.
Now let's look at this in more detail.
Claudia's starting point for this journey is the archetype Darkening. The scripture reading associated with this archetype is Matthew 27:26-31 which describes the start of the road to the crucification:
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
For Claudia, this seems to be a metaphorical description of her inner experiences of childhood. This is where she is coming from, a place of pain. But the pain leads to a rebirth as described by the archetype Wisdom.
The scripture reading associated with Wisdom is from Proverbs 8:22-29, a section of scripture that I call Wisdom's Song. Here is what Wisdom tells us in this reading:
Happy is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors. For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favor from the Lord.
So Claudia's calling is to use her pain to attain Wisdom, a goal for which she is well suited.
Her second question asked what would happen if she followed this path. The I Ching again responds with the archetype Wisdom, this time with no moving lines.
Here is the Christian I Ching's description of the Wisdom archetype:
There is a time...
- To draw strength from the earth.
- To embrace silence, solitude, and receptivity.
- To mobilize the resources, wisdom, and power that will be needed for the effort.
- To nurture.
- To dance in the presence of God.
- To feel a great love that is not bound by place or space.
- To seek a wise guide.
- To persevere with gentleness and devotion.
- To learn from nature.
Now is that time.
The last remaining question for Claudia was how to start. The Christian I Ching gave a simple answer: start by starting. It won't be easy, the I Ching warns her, but you are ready.
The scripture reading associated with Hard Beginning is the story of Jesus at the end of his forty days in the desert as told in Luke 4:1-2.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished.
Here is how this reading is described by the Christian I Ching:
This reading describes Jesus at the end of his forty days in the desert. Forty is a mystical number in the Bible. It is used to signify a period of hardship and testing resulting in new birth.
The Christian I Ching offers Claudia advise on her transition in the archetype description:
There is a time...
- To recognize that the darkness and chaos before birth is a difficult time, and even more difficult because something great is struggling to be born.
- To remember that nothing can be born before its time. If the chick emerges before its struggle is complete, it will not have the strength to survive.
- To seek support from those who are wise in the ways of birth.
- To actively participate in the birth process.
- To take the time to sort through the chaos; to arrange and organize; and to separate and unite.
Now is that time.
The I Ching doesn't sugar coat anything. The start to your new life will be difficult, but the difficulties are part of your preparation. Find the help you need and start the journey. Wisdom, speaking to Claudia through the I Ching thinks she is ready. So do I.
(1) The Stone Protocol, used for receiving responses from the I Ching, is the recommended protocol of the Christian I Ching Society and is described in this article.
The quotations are taken from The Christian I Ching and reprinted with permission. This article is copyright (c) 2017 by Roger Sessions. All rights reserved.
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