Dynamic Energies Methods: Playing Cards and Marbles
The mathematics behind these methods is described on the dynamic line energies page.
Cutting off part of a deck of cards before using it to consult the I Ching adds a chaotic, less predictable element to the result, and allows the process to determine its own odds of getting yin vs. yang lines. The procedure is as follows:
• Shuffle the full deck.
• Casually cut off an amount that feels right. A cut of about 1/4 to 1/2 of the deck will yield conventional results. A larger cut produces greater variation in the probabilities, and vice versa.
• Shuffle the remainder while thinking about your question.
• Then lay down six cards from bottom to top.
• Black cards (spades, clubs) are yin lines; red (hearts, diamonds) are yang. Face cards (jack, queen, king) are moving lines.
The cards to the right generate the first of the two hexagrams illustrated above.
A dynamic energies playing card script
The deck starts out shuffled. Click “reset” to reshuffle if you prefer.
Click any two cards to cut them and the cards between them.
A cut of about 1/4 to 1/2 of the deck will yield conventional results.
A larger cut produces greater variation in the probabilities, and vice versa.
Be sure to leave at least six cards in the deck.
After the cut is removed, the deck is reshuffled.
Then select any six cards from the deck as hexagram lines.
The mobile version of the script
Card images courtesy of David Gervais.
Should there be an option of cutting zero cards? My feeling is, if you are going to use dynamic energies, use dynamic energies; cut off some cards and let it happen. Keeping control of the odds at some times, and letting go of them at others, seems to work against the process.
Marbles or beads
This method is patterned after “the way of sixteen,” but marbles are removed from the group at the beginning to vary the probabilities.
• Start with a convenient number of marbles of four different colors, distributed along the lines of 1:3:3:1 for moving yin, yang, yin, and moving yang, respectively.
• Put the marbles into a suitable container, such as a bag or bowl. With the latter, you will have to close your eyes or turn your head away when mixing and choosing the marbles.
• Mix up the marbles at random, then remove about 1/4 of them.
• Mix up the remainder while thinking about your question.
• Choose one marble at random; the color determines the line type.
• Return the marble to the container and repeat the previous two steps five times to complete the hexagram.
The script below begins with 24 marbles, removing 6. Black marbles are yin, blue are moving yin, white are yang, red are moving yang. The marbles are mixed after the selection of each line.