Hilary Barrett, I Ching

Where did the images come from?

I’ve just been reading a post on Erin Pavlina’s blog about the metaphors that appear in her readings. Erin’s a talented natural psychic. She doesn’t use an oracle – she doesn’t even much approve of those of us who do. To read for someone, she tunes into her guides, and the first thing she receives is a picture, or a miniature ‘movie’ to watch. Here’s the first example she gives:

“I see a corn field and my attention is drawn to one specific ear of corn.  It’s very tall on its stalk and can see over the heads of all the other ears of corn.  In fact, the corn cob is so tall that it’s become top heavy and is in danger of falling from its stalk to the ground where it will rot instead of continuing to grow.  This corn cob has completely outgrown this corn field.  (At this point I might stop to tell my sitter this, or I might let the scene continue as I ask the question “What do you want this corn cob to know?”)  So then I see the ear of corn disconnect itself from its stalk on its own terms instead of allowing itself to fall to the ground.  It picks up a briefcase and marches right out of the corn field, off to find new adventure and a new field to grow in.”

Which hexagram does that sound like to you?

‘Great Overstepping, the ridgepole warps.
Harvest in having a direction to go.
Creating success.’

– maybe? It seems to me that not only the themes – outgrowing the support structure, needing to step over boundaries, a plant in danger of rotting rather than growing (see 28’s Image) – are the same, but even the sequence of imagery. First the structure that might collapse under the weight it’s being asked to bear, then the ‘direction to go’.

It seems to me that what Erin has here from her guides is a recognisable oracular image. (Of course, the uncannily close parallel to imagery 3,000 years older helps with the recognition.) And it also seems to me that she may just be telling us the story of where our oracular images come from. Could that picture of a sagging ridgepole have been given to an ancient Chinese version of Erin?

One Response to “Where did the images come from?”

  1. What are the metaphors like during your readings? (Blog) - Personal Development for Smart People Forums Says:

    [...] It’s a very interesting post, and rang lots of bells with me as a diviner. Metaphors get the job done for me, too, it’s just that they were generally written down about 3,000 years ago. I even found one of ‘your’ metaphors, the top-heavy corn-stalk, to be a perfect match for one of Yi’s. (Yi = the I Ching) All of which made me wonder whether maybe some of Yi’s miniature stories – a buckling ridgepole, a struggling pig, a lost horse that returns by itself… – might not have arrived here originally in much the same way yours did. Anyhoo… I blogged about this and sent you a trackback, but it didn’t show up. Here’s the article: Where did the images come from? | ‘Answers’ I Ching blog [...]

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