It Means No Worries

It Means No Worries

How can a Yijing Reading
ease your worries?

Traffic in Hanoi
During our first day in Hanoi, my partner and I were scheduled to do a short city tour. We enjoyed our breakfast while waiting for our guide, who later became our new Vietnamese friend. A few minutes passed and she arrived at the lobby of the hostel where we checked in. She looked hurried and worried, apologizing for being 30 minutes late. She explained that Hanoi roads have become quite jammed these days.

I told her, “Oh, no worries, you’re not that late. And 30 minutes is not really too long.” I actually meant what I said. Later, I said a joke to ease her up. “You have to go to Manila. Late is actually almost 2 hours!” She laughed and relaxed, while surprised at how Manila is worse than Hanoi when it comes to traffic. We told her our traffic stories as we went on our way.

Traffic means Worries
I can say we are all on the same page when it comes to transportation, traffic, and time – 3Ts that have plagued our everyday concerns and robbed us of our sense of peace. A friend of mine once endured 5 hours of heavy traffic just to get home, from a taxi ride that was supposed to take her only for a maximum of 45 minutes. It was then the worse year of heavy traffic in the notorious EDSA. She had to quit her ideal job not too long just because of the traffic.

You might be thinking that an issue like heavy road traffic is too trivial to warrant a Yijing reading. But if you recall the fact that you were trapped on a bus or a car for many hours, losing most of your quality time, drained because of the exhausting long and slow travel hours, can you also recall the emotional and mental stresses that heavy traffic has incurred?

Easing the Worries
I have my own share of worry-inducing moments during heavy traffic. And over time I have reflected on how worrying about it is an unnecessary waste of mental and emotional energy. I also have moments of easing up those worries – doing meditation, reading, or just plain relaxation.

Early this year was a different story. While on the road to Cavite to meet some friends, we encountered a series of delays and slightly heavy traffic on an otherwise less busy provincial road. So I had to be conscious and remind the typical me who always hates being late and getting totally distressed.

Signs on the Road
So my immediate refuge to worry less is Yijing as usual. I didn’t have my casting coins with me, but my surroundings are a rich source of symbols to generate a hexagram. (I used an ancient technique which I will discuss in another post).

First, looking up, I saw a huge formation of cumulus clouds. It signified the image of Trigram Water. Then, I looked down at the road, and a pedestrian lane was ahead of us. It signified the image of Trigram Heaven. So, Water above and Heaven below, it resulted in Hexagram 5 Waiting:

Can you see the similarities? Clouds obviously are a form of water, only condensed. Pedestrian lane is almost a copy-paste of Trigram Heaven. But the amazing insight doesn’t end there. Hexagram 5 describes this ancient advice:

A noble one eats, drinks and relaxes with music.

This line directly spoke to my traffic worries. Yijing is very straightforward here, which happens a lot of times. Its entire message did not tell me to eat, drink or listen to music literally. Instead, it mainly tells me to relax, to just enjoy the ride. After all, my worry won’t instantly teleport me to my destination. I might as well be present and trust that we will arrive safe and sound. What a relief! later, things turned out well and on time when we arrived.

Yijing Means No Worries
Hakuna Matata is not just iconic as a soundtrack, but also for its beautiful Swahili lyrics and message:

It means no worries
For the rest of your days
It’s our problem-free philosophy
Hakuna Matata!

In light of this song and the meaning of its title, I’d like to think of Yijing as a “problem-free philosophy”, given its ability to reveal insights that relieve me from worries. A worry-free mind “for the rest of your days” is always a golden moment in this modern age of the worried. Traffic or not traffic, we can’t avoid being worried, there is something to help us ease our minds.

If you worry a lot, why not try Yijing for yourself?


What are you worried about these days? Send me a message and let me give you a sweet, short and free Yijing reading to ease up your worry.

Coaching Through Yijing

Coaching Through Yijing

How does a Yijing session work
as a coaching process?

How Coaching Works
I first discussed the shared purpose of divination and coaching in the previous post, and I realized that I needed more space and words to explore how coaching exactly works in every Yijing session. Since coaching is complex and diverse as a discipline, I intended to explain it in the simplest manner possible. And I found an exact material to work on this explanation.

I believe the most accessible and engaging in discussing coaching is Ajit Nawalkha’s Evercoach. Nawalkha co-founded Mindvalley with Vishen Lakhiani, and both are well-known names in the industry of educational self-improvement and spirituality. After a few searches on YouTube, I found this video that aptly discusses what I need:

5 Stages
Here’s a summary of all these 5 stages that makes coaching work:

  • Stage 1: Awareness
  • Stage 2: Vision
  • Stage 3: The Plan
  • Stage 4: The Journey
  • Stage 5: Success

My Yijing divination process and the coaching process Nawalkha described here have crucial parallels, almost like a mirror image. I will discuss them in each segment, so you can appreciate how the coaching process practically applies in my Yijing reading sessions.

Stage 1: Awareness
In the video, Nawalkha explains client awareness as a beginning point of a coaching session:

It’s crucial to understand where your client is coming from, their current state and challenges, and why they reached out to you in the first place.

For me to fully empathize with my client’s dilemma and confusion is to work on a technique I refer to as the inquiry process. This is how I apply Stage 1. My imperative is to listen to the client’s concerns and ask and take note of his/her stories, reflections, and other contexts from which his/her question arises. It also helps me to clarify and rephrase the question, for better anchoring of insights during the reading.

Stage 2: Vision
Nawalkha says that without a vision, coaching “is like driving without a direction”. He continues:

No map, GPS or Waze can help you if you don’t have the destination. You just end up going around in circles. This stage is about bringing clarity to where your client wants to go.

I presume that coaching in general, as described here, is bent on finding the exact intention, target, wish, goal, or dream. They are all good in the context of deeper work that a coaching process requires.

However, in the context of Yijing divination, “vision” is not about just doing (accomplishing) or having (achieving) something alone. The experience is about being, about the client’s state of mind and thinking process, and also the natural way of seeing and sensing. It is primarily a psychospiritual objective. It is finding first the clearest light of understanding one’s situation before making any move or achieving any goal.

Thus, the vision of intuitive clarity echoes this coaching stage. Intuitive, since intuition is the act of trusting one’s inner knowledge and wisdom; and clarity, because that is the necessary state and quality to discerning them. (I will write more about intuitive clarity in a future post) .

Stage 3: The Plan
To Nawalkha, this coaching stage is about creating a roadmap to help the client reach the vision from his/her current state. He says:

As a coach, provide tools for your client to come up with a solution on how to get to their vision.

As a decision-making coach, my reliable divination tool to help the client get into a state of intuitive clarity is the Yijing method itself. It has surpassed more than 3 millennia of effective use.

The roadmap here, therefore, is the simplest steps of randomly generating and interpreting specific Yijing symbols and text, so the client resolves his/her current state of confusion, doubts, and dilemmas after discerning clear and exact insights revealed by the reading.

Stage 4: The Journey
Nawalkha says that this stage is “where the magic happens.” He explored this stage in detail, but I mainly highlighted this one:

For coaches, it’s the stage where you support your client’s experience through that road. And it’s the stage where your clients need you most because this will set apart the successes.

In a Yijing session, this exactly is where the magic happens, as I begin to support the client through a comprehensive interpretation of their reading. This is also the stage where we actually work together, giving the client the space to process the synchronistic realization of insights s/he is seeing between the details of inquiry and the details of Yijing reading.

Stage 5: Success
Nawalkha says this final coaching stage is where the client has finally “overcome the challenges” and “reached the vision”. But he also reminded us that this is not “the end of the road”. He continues:

Their life will continue and there will encounter new ambitions and new challenges along the way. How they decide to continue taking action in their lives will now be completely up to them.

In the Yijing session, this success part is when the client is experiencing intuitive clarity through a series of realizations and aha moments. It is also when the client gives their own feedback to the reading, confirming how insights from the Yijing accurately reveal the precise connections to one’s inquiry.

This part, therefore, is not just the end of the process, but the continuity of the client’s contemplation of received insights. Becoming clear enough on the newfound answers, it is now up to the client to finally act on one’s intuitive clarity.

Side by side
These 5 stages of how coaching works are exactly parallel with my 5 step Yijing divination process:

Stage 1: Awareness
Know the client’s current situation
Step 1: Inquiry
Help the client clarify the question
Stage 2: Vision
Help the client identify the goal
Step 2: Casting
Guide the client’s state of surrender
Stage 3: The Plan
Give the client the necessary tools
Step 3: Reading
Show the client the reading method
Stage 4: The Journey
Support the client’s journey
Step 4: Interpretation
Interpret the reading for the client
Stage 5: Success
Client overcomes the challenge
Step 5: Feedback
Client confirms revealed insights

Coaching and Yijing
So that’s the basic bridge between the contemporary discipline of coaching and the ancient discipline of Yijing divination. You can somehow picture how my divination steps happens as a coaching process. But if you want to walk through the 5-step process, please check out this detailed post.


Divination as Coaching

Divination as Coaching

Why is Yijing divination
a coaching experience?

Past Hesitations
When I was just starting on my Yijing work, I managed to steer away from using 2 words: divination and coaching. And I had good reasons:

Divination, because it’s often associated with panghuhula – fortune-telling. I have always explained that Yijing is not a hula, in the sense that you are fated on what your fortune will say. Yijing works because you always have the agency, or capability to change the outcome of your choices.

Coaching, because it sounded too exclusive and complex for me at first. As coaching is a USD2.85 billion global industry, it already has its own juggernaut culture and expectations, and I find my work a speck in that universe.

But I have loosened up over the years and embraced these words in my work. I revisited them and contemplated their refreshed meanings.

Divination: NOT Fortune-telling
Sinologists are aware that in China’s long history, Yijing divination is more than just fortune-telling. It was then also a record of ancient history, the origin of all things, and everything else:

Divination was not merely fortune-telling—it came to incorporate philosophy, cosmology, morality, and principles of social order…The earliest surviving records, the oracle bones, recorded royal and
elite divinations; but as literacy became more prevalent, divinations
about personal life began to be set in writing on bamboo or silk, some
of which have been excavated, providing some of the best evidence
we have regarding the hopes and fears of the people of early China.

From Teaching the I Ching by Geoffrey Redmond and Tze-Ki Hon

So when you consult the Yijing, you are not just consulting about your life events and choices. Yijing touches deeply on ancient wisdom that guided people of the past, revealing the cosmic truths of nature, balance and harmony (yinyang) applicable in your life, and its ethical conduct that shapes our relationship with others. Just like it did in Chinese history, every Yijing reading is already a clear record of your life history and personal biography, your state of mind and situation, as pivotal milestones of your life journey.

Divination: Self-Cultivation
During the Song Dynasty, Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhu Xi (1130-1200) started to develop the “theme of moral self-cultivation” in studying Confucianism. Surprisingly, sinologist Joseph A. Adler notes:

The theme of moral self-cultivation, especially in the “Neo-Confucian” movement, is likewise often regarded as something akin to contemporary humanistic psychology or “self-help” regimens. Thus neither ritual nor self-cultivation in Confucianism is commonly understood to be essentially religious…

…More important for Zhu Xi, though, was his theory that Yijing divination could be used as a powerful aid in the process of self-cultivation. This was an original “discovery” by Zhu Xi, and one that he took quite seriously.2

from Divination as Spiritual Practice in Song Confucianism

This passage is striking for two things. One, we can surmise that self-cultivation in the Neo-Confucian sense is not really that far from the self-cultivation we all know today. And two, because this self-cultivation we all know is what coaching is all about.

Coaching: Self-Responsibility
Take note of how coaching pioneer Sir John Whitmore described the coaching profession:

Coaching is the only profession whose primary product is self-responsibility, and one which remains non-stigmatised, unlike psychotherapy and spiritual teaching.3

Sir John Whitmore

You can get from this passage a hint of similarity with Neo-Confucian self-cultivation discussed by Adler earlier. However, even if Whitmore had criticized the limitations of psychology and spirituality, he regarded them as primary sources to enrich the practice and impact of coaching.

Whitmore’s colleague and co-creator of GROW (Goal, Reality, Options, Wrap-up/Will) Coaching Model Max Landsberg defined coaching this way:

Coaching aims to enhance the performance and learning ability of others.

It involves giving feedback, but it also includes other techniques such as motivation and effective questioning. And for a manager-coach it includes recognising the coachee’s readiness to undertake a particular task, in terms of both their will and skill.

Overall, the coach is aiming for the coachee to help her- or himself. And it is a dynamic interaction – it does not rely on a one-way flow of telling or instruction.

from The Tao of Coaching

With the work that I do as a decision-making coach, I can easily replace the word “coaching” with “Yijing” in Landsberg’s definition, because he exactly describes what Yijing divination has effectively demonstrated to many clients who have sincerely sought and received its answers.

Despite not using the word “coaching” initially, I have operated on this principle since the beginning of my practice, as I fully understand that Yijing does not spew scary omens and portents that leave people afraid of an uncontrollable fate and future. Yijing as divination shares with coaching the common ground of self-responsibility and self-cultivation. We are not fated on anything, and in that realization we can embody the meaning of Yi 易 itself, which is change.

In my next post, I will attempt to discuss some coaching principles that are intrinsic to my approach to Yijing divination. Please go to this link.


1 Geoffrey Redmond and Tze-Ki Hon. Teaching the I Ching. Oxford University Press (2014)
2 Joseph A. Adler. Divination as Spiritual Practice in Song Confucianism. Presented to the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting (2008)
3 Sir John Whitmore. The Impact of the Inner Game and Sir John Whitmore on Coaching: A Commentary. Annual Review of High Performance Coaching and Consulting. (2009) p.41-44

Insight Delay

Insight Delay

What do you do if your reading
doesn’t resonate yet?

A Hundred Thousand Lost Coins
Aside from doing Yijing and poetry, I am also a professional translator, and I have been doing translations from English to Filipino (or reversed). So when a friend outsourced me to do a translation project, it was a good opportunity and the pay was bigger than I expected. But I still wondered if the project was ideal, so I did a reading, and I got this cryptic line from Hexagram 51:

‘Shock comes, danger.
A hundred thousand lost coins.
Climb up the nine hills, don’t give chase.
On the seventh day, gain

Hexagram 51, Line 2 (translation by Hilary Barrett)

I got baffled. Right before the reading, I already assessed the document I was about to translate, and I thought it was doable in no time. With a big pay ahead, losing a hundred thousand coins sounded weirdly opposite. I still pursued the project while still figuring out what my Yijing reading meant.

But within the following week, the translation project went too complicated, and I even foresaw that I would spend another 2 weeks just to finish it. By then I forgot about the reading until suddenly I recalled a philosophical joke I received via text 8 years prior:

Once a man asked God: “What’s a million years to you?”
God said: “A second.”
The man asked God again: “What’s a million dollars to you?”
God said: “A cent.”
So the man said to God: “Would you give me a cent?”
God stopped and said: “OK, wait a second.”

Modified from this Reddit version

The moment I recalled it, I saw in my mind’s eye the image of little gold coins turned suddenly into “seconds”. After a week, the Yijing reading made sense: I didn’t lose a hundred thousand coins (because I earned big from that project); instead, I lost a hundred thousand seconds. (2 weeks is equal to 604,800 seconds).

It was time and not money that I lost. Still, I was happier after, since I earned more than enough money to enroll in a Yijing workshop.

Insight Delay
I would confidently say that 90% of my clients receive their clear insights immediately during the session. (Or even in short written readings). But there are rare times that 10% of them end up unsure and clueless about what their reading is all about. Insight delay happens, even for me. Getting the Yijing insight after a few days is the fastest for me. Some of my readings got delayed days or weeks after.

I am completely aware that the same thing happens to my clients. In the early years of my practice, I failed to assure them, since I was yet to figure out how to deal with this insight delay. However, after several weeks, months, even after a year, they would come back to me, telling me that their reading happened exactly as it was revealed. So in hindsight, the reading was so accurate for them, it just didn’t come to them during the session.

Cause of Delay
Deep down, I always trust Yijing’s uncanny capacity to reveal, yet in very few cases of insight delay, I tried to contemplate its most plausible cause. I slowly discovered a common pattern: an unspoken yet intense expectation of the desired answer.

What goes into this expectation? Usually, it happens before the reading, when our mind thinks the Yijing will reveal the answers we want to hear. Or if the mind tries to analyze certain meanings to appropriate for the desired answer.

I experienced this in my readings where I had insight delay, and my mind struggled to make sense of the text and symbols in those readings. And me being sensitive to energy and nonverbals, I also clearly sensed the same struggle from my clients.

Grasping the Moon
To confirm my insight, I did a confirmatory reading, and I got Hexagram 14, Great Possession. Funny because this reading is a classic example of insight delay itself – it took me 2 days before the answer dawned on me, right after reading this explanation by Master Alfred Huang on the ideograph or the ancient Chinese script of Da You. While da 大 means big or great, you 有 is insightfully revelatory:

The second ideograph consists of two parts. The upper part suggests the image of a hand with three fingers open as in the act of grasping something. Underneath the hand is the ideograph of a moon.
The whole image presents a picture of a hand in the act of grasping a

It is interesting that early on, you meant “not appropriate to possess.” The ancient Chinese knew that during a lunar eclipse the moon was taken away and the world fell into darkness. In this context they created the ideograph of you, reflecting the transitory nature of possession, and taught people that it was not right to appropriate other’s possessions. Later on, people forgot about the instruction of the inappropriateness of possession and you came to simply mean “possess.”

Alfred Huang, The Complete I Ching
Da You ideograph from Huang’s book The Complete I Ching

That was a lightbulb moment. This image of a hand trying to grasp the moon is surreal and impossible if done literally (though forced perspective photography and holding a scale model do the trick). It echoes exactly the expectation that my clients and I often had on our readings. The moon – the insight – is already there, but it’s not for grasping at all. Since the moon takes its precise waxing time to get full, I suppose the answer/insight we expect from a Yijing reading does the same.

Dealing with the Delay
It’s important not to perceive insight delay as a wrong turnout. In fact, in the same reading, Line 1 in Hexagram 14 says:

Hexagram 14, Line 1
No interaction with what is harmful,
In no way at fault,
So that hardship is not a mistake.

(translation by Hilary Barrett)

Hardship is not a mistake means there is nothing wrong if your mind wrestles with insight delay. This important attitude is also a way to trust Yijing’s synchronistic timing – how the insight reveals in the right place at the right time.

Not Grasping = Surrendering
It is impossible to grasp the moon, so the opposite of grasping is to open one’s palm. In the blog post Surrender to Insights, I discussed the act of opening one’s palms as a way to open one’s heart. This is a crucial attitude of surrender. It is surrendering to the exact timing the insight arrives, the amount of time it may take to arrive, and the form the insight takes to reveal itself. This opening is done right before the reading, but it can also be adapted in times when insight delay happens.

If you already received a reading from me, and you have experienced an insight delay, my communication channel is always open to help you process your insight. Your reading is always a timeless piece of insight that we can always explore and unearth anytime. It doesn’t remain stuck and trapped in the reading session or our chat exchange; instead, it opens new doors of revelation, richer than what you have intended it to give. I am always ready to help you out.

Message me on my messenger or on my page.


One-Sentence Readings

One-Sentence Readings

How can a single sentence
contain a complete reading?

Lengthy Readings
As I look back on my early readings, I am critiquing them for being too lengthy, complex, and wordy, usually presented in multiple slides or pages, with often repetitive explanations, because I was then hoping to make every reading more “substantial” and “comprehensive.”

I had fun doing them, but it proved to be unsustainable. Whenever I occasionally give free readings online and in live interviews, long readings are not exactly the best idea. Producing multiple long readings in a short period was like trying to finish a bunch of technical white papers.

So I carefully thought of a workaround. In trying different ways, I stumbled upon an idea, that, in hindsight, was well inspired by my poetry practice.

Same With Haiku
Surprisingly, writing haiku is NOT about counting the syllables, contrary to what we were taught. Its whole idea is to closely observe 2 images from nature, draw your experienced insight from them, and write them in a single sentence. That’s right: in one sentence. From there, you can transform that sentence into a three-liner with its proper syllable count.

The beauty of haiku is the challenge of contemplating unrelated images, then bridging them together within poetic constraints, to craft a piece with elegant brevity. This is not at all different from writing a short reading in a long sentence. They both follow the same principle.

One Long Sentence
Many writers find writing a long sentence too challenging and oftentimes pointless. Yet this art has become more literary since many novelists and essayists took the challenge and wrote memorable openings. But what exactly is its purpose? This one fictionist explained it:

The long sentence forces us to slow down our reading in order to grasp the meaning of its many parts. In this way, it challenges us and exercises our intellectual abilities.

Randal Eldon Greene, On The Art of The Long Sentence

The idea dawned on me: Why not write a Yijing reading in just one long sentence? It is the most ideal solution for doing short readings. So I started to challenge myself, and I had a lot of fun! Writing a long sentence is almost similar to poetry: it is weaving detailed insights altogether into its final, meaningful atomic form. One copywriter noted how well a long sentence works:

Like a poem, a long sentence takes readers on a tiny journey, describing one thought, one feeling, one evocative scene...So, the main trick to composing a beautiful long sentence is to communicate only one idea with clarity.

Henneke, How to Write a Long Sentence

I did the same, and one day I found myself churning out more than 30 short reading requests in 4 hours. I enjoyed it so well. It was really a huge leap from 8 longer readings with the same amount of time!

Short Reading
Here is an example of a one-sentence reading I wrote for a client, with only 67 words:

Hexagram 55 Abundance to Hexagram 64 Not Yet Across

You have been deeply pondering not just a change of career but a complete change of heart, even though your current career is clear as the sun, you want to take the risk of going with the flow, something that you are ready to decide and take a quantum leap, yet it is important not to do this in haste and discern first the implications of your choice.

My client replied to me with an amazing breakdown, each part of the reading juxtaposed with her own situation. She did this to express how accurate the reading was for her.

From the readingMy friend’s situation
Pondering not just a change
of career but a change of heart
She’s planning to go back
to the corporate world
even though your current
career is clear as the sun
For a long time, she is into art,
academe, and freelancing.
…you want to take a risk of
going with a flow...
This pandemic has made her
realize to be more practical.
She thinks computer-based
skills are in demand, and she’s
preparing herself to prioritize it
if there are any schedule conflicts.
you are ready to take
a quantum leap
She and her sisters are preparing
to work abroad next year
…yet it is important not
to haste
She can choose to delay going
abroad, and finish her masters first.

Below is a walk-through of the associated reading elements in this reading. Please take note that I was totally clueless about the client’s situation, but Yijing still revealed the answers.

From the readingAssociated reading elements
for H55 to H64
Pondering not just a change
of career but a change of heart
Trigram Fire Below in H55
changing to Trigram Water in H64
even though your current
career is clear as the sun
text: “A fitting sacrifice at noon.”
…you want to take a risk of
going with the flow...
Trigram Water in H64
you are ready to take
a quantum leap
Line 6 position
…yet it is important not
to haste
Hexagram 64

Though it looks technical, but my purpose is to show you that these associations are not arbitrary. Rather, I exercised intuitive listening, converting reading elements into practical insights so the entire reading can logically make sense.

Minimalist and Holographic
This short reading in one long sentence is a minimalist yet holographic approach to Yijing reading. Minimalist, because fewer words mean more substance; and holographic, because all insights are packed in one message. Thus, one-sentence Yijing reading is my gift of poetry and meaning.

Try One-Sentence Reading
Have you made a decision just recently? Are you wondering if you did the right one? Or if you feel it wrong, would you like to know how to fix it? Message me and type DECISION REVIEW, and expect your one-sentence reading in the next 24 hours.

You can email me or you can directly message me here.


Crafting Your Question

Crafting Your Question

How do you write your question
for your Yijing reading?

Now, For Part 2
In Part 1 we explored previously the reasonable attitude in consulting the Yijing, plus the importance of asking a question. Now in this second part, we will explore how to exactly craft your question. We will take a look at the basic structure of your question as a first step to help you get a clear Yijing reading.

Don’t Get Too Complicated
Many books and courses greatly emphasize how to craft a question. One author dedicated an entire book on how to use Yijing alone (without the ancient text translation), with a single chapter on formulating a question. Another translator has a beginning module on the same topic. So even if it is possible to consult Yijing without asking a question, there is quite a willful attention to the importance of a question.

But I have seen in my practice how asking a question could get very complicated. I used to spend considerable time in helping the client get his/her question right. But over time I have found ways to simplify questions fast enough to get into the heart of the Yijing reading. So in this post, I want to make sure that you don’t get too complicated on it just so you can do your reading and get clear answers right away.

(But if things get too baffling, I’m just a message away.)

Anatomy of Your Question
I have encountered so many ways to write a question for the Yijing. Categorizing all of them may need more than just a single post. But to simplify, I have noticed that there are three (3) common interrelated patterns that make up as parts of an entire question:

1YOUR SITUATION What exactly is happening in your life
2YOUR REFLECTION How you feel and think about your situation
3YOUR INTENTIONWhat you want to happen or achieve

These 3 parts can help us break down what a usual Yijing divination question contains, so you can better write your own. To do so, let us examine a client’s question and see these parts at work:

I am struggling to organize and finish all of my tasks. Again, I get easily overwhelmed. What do I need to do so I can go on and become more consistent and accomplish what I need to?

Part 1: Your Situation
This part describes what is happening in your life that has led you to consult the Yijing. Using my client’s question as an example, we can easily identify this part at the start of the question:

I am struggling to organize and finish all of my tasks.

Why is this important? This part serves as a short context or a background story of your inquiry. Whether you do the reading for yourself or in a session with a diviner (like me), you are giving a big picture and just enough details to make sense of what needs to be answered in your reading.

Before you get any prescription or treatment, your doctor would ask you to describe your health condition, so s/he can make a sound diagnosis. Likewise, in your question, describing your life condition establishes an important basis for the recommendations and solutions that your reading will reveal.

Part 2: Your Reflection
This part describes how you feel and think about the situation that you seek to resolve. Below is the short sentence from our sample question:

Again, I get easily overwhelmed.

You can see how a few words can encapsulate the client’s thoughts and feelings. S/he feels overwhelmed, and we can surmise that s/he wants to get over it, just like all of us seeking for well-being.

In a way, this part of the question fulfills one of the most basic uses of Yijing – self-awareness and self-reflection. In fact, this is how you identify your emotional charge and how you immerse in the question, as discussed in the previous post.

When you write your own question for the Yijing, you are invited to get deeply in touch with your inner life, since it is a crucial part of finding clear answers. As you reflect, contemplate or introspect, you are putting this ancient text to its best and most beneficial use.

Part 3: Your Intention
This part describes why you are asking the Yijing, specifically what you want to happen or achieve. Let’s look at the final part of the sample question:

What do I need to do so I can go on and become more
consistent and accomplish what I need to?

Clearly, the client’s intention is to find the right step to be more efficient (when something is done consistently) and productive (when something gets the results it intends)

In a way, intention is not that far from purpose. It is your basic impetus for what makes Yijing useful to you. Intention is proactive and empowering, as it focuses more on your inquiry towards action and solution.

Important Notes
First, you can always choose to anonymize the details of your question. To anonymize means you don’t need to divulge any personal details. No need to name the names of people involved, your company, or a particular action. You can label them as “Person X”, “Company Y” or “Action Z” just to fill in those gaps. This is a good option if you want someone to do a reading for you and still protect your privacy or those people involved. This won’t affect your inquiry. Yijing can still churn clear and exact answers and insights for your question.

Second, please remember, intention-wise, don’t ask and use the Yijing if you intend to harm or hurt anyone, or if you intend to do something unethical. Yijing has historically shown cases of how answers backfired to those who misuse it this way. There’s a whole gamut of discussion on this ethical use of the text, and soon I’ll be writing a detailed post about this topic.

Lastly, you can choose to write your question in 3 short sentences. You don’t have to complicate things. As they say, the simpler, the better. After all, this is a good head start in consulting the Yijing and experiencing its insightful response.

Your turn
Now, craft your question by applying these recommendations. I’m sure it will be just a piece of cake. But if you’re having a hard time, please don’t hesitate to message me and I will help you do the crafting. Or if you’re done with it, just send me your question and I will give you a one-sentence reading, free of charge.

You can email me or you can directly message me here.


Asking the Yijing

Asking the Yijing

Why should you ask the Yijing
questions that matter to you?

Yes, You Can Still Ask A Question
I discussed in the previous post that you don’t need a question in consulting Yijing. But remember, this is not an absolute rule. In my reading practice, I often start with Step 1 Inquiry, which is mainly about clarifying the question. So you can still – and always – ask a question. I ended the previous post with a promise of dedicating a new post on how to ask and craft a question.

This post serves as Part 1, starting first with why you should ask questions to Yijing. Part 2 will be on how to craft your question.

What’s A Question For?
Here is Yijing teacher Hilary Barrett’s simple yet important explanation of why we need to ask Yijing a question:

Your chosen question starts your conversation with the oracle, and it defines what you will hear in the response. Not that it limits what Yi can say – far from it – but it affects what you are listening for1

For a conversationalist like me, this makes so much sense. I have had great conversations with acquaintances, who later became my good friends, all because we started our exchange with an interesting question. As a facilitator of small group classes, part of my objective is to design a good question, one that will stimulate curiosity and wonder, and a string of amazing stories to listen to.

The Question as Listening Tool
Since a question is a “quest” for answers, the one who asks it has one crucial responsibility: to listen. Without listening closely, it’s hard to make sense of the answers, even if answers are well-expressed and readily available. Those who are in the business of listening – interviewers, journalists, counselors, therapists, facilitators – know this fact well enough for them to be effective in their jobs. Interestingly, graphic facilitator Anthony Weeks, who refers to himself as The Public Listener, defines listening in this way:

“Listening is an intention and a choice. It is also a competency and a skill…We need a more sophisticated vocabulary to describe listening so that we can better understand the universe of listening and our place in it.

Anthony Weeks, from his website

Just like what Hilary mentioned, the question you ask Yijing affects the way you listen to the reading and its insights. So asking a question expresses your intention and choice to start a conversation with the oracle. Carl Jung, who has used the Yijing in his 40-year practice, went even further:

In accordance with the way my question was phrased, the text of the hexagram must be regarded as though the I Ching itself were the speaking person.2

Carl Jung, from his Foreword in Wilhelm/Baynes version

I suppose if we don’t listen with full attention to the one speaking to us, then it spoils the conversation, and we hardly get an engaging response. Just like someone we talk to, we can treat Yijing in the same manner.

Emotional Charge
When I first got introduced to Yijing in 2007, I rarely consulted it except for experiencing an intensely emotional issue. This is true for many of my clients who have taken reading sessions with me. Yijing translator Rudolf Ritsema, in his early translation co-authored with Stephen Karcher, spoke about this similar emotional urge:

The urge to consult the Oracle arises when you feel entangled with something that evades the usual methods of problem-solving. Resistance, reluctance, anxiety, strong desire, the sense of something hidden or confusing, the need for more information, the sense of an important opportunity, the need to feel in contact with something larger than yourself all indicate that you need to see-behind or see-through the situation.3

Rudolf Ritsema and Stephen Karcher

I felt these emotions myself. I have observed the same emotions in other people, whether they have tried Yijing or not. If you have current questions that drive you to feel any of these emotions, then they are good candidates for a Yijing reading.

Immersing in the Question
Before you really begin phrasing the exact question, Hilary suggests immersing in it at first, giving as much time to recognize one’s emotions and reflections on your personal inquiry. Yijing translator Stephen Karcher has a reasonable approach as well:

Search out the feelings, images and experiences involved. Articulate what you feel and think about things, what you know and what you do not know. Look for relevant memories and experiences, hopes and fears, dreams and desires. Simply try to see what is there, no matter how contradictory. This will establish a field of associations.4

Stephen Karcher

The last line in Karcher’s passage tends to be the entire string that holds all the psychological beads important in the inquiry. With that said, this field of association is where synchronistic symbolisms and meanings will all intersect and light up as revelatory answers to the question itself.

Inquiry Process
Though you can always read the Yijing without asking a question (which I also always do), that does not exactly contradict the necessity of asking a question. Asking a question can serve a purpose not about getting the right or clear answer (since a question-less reading provides that as well), but to help you, the querent, to open yourself up and prepare in the process of listening and receiving.

Because asking the Yijing is not just the question you write down, nor about the answers you receive, but it is about how ready and willing you are to experience Yijing so you can find the clarity you all need.

After that, then we begin to craft your question in the next post.


1 Hilary Barrett, I Ching: Walking Your Path, Creating Your Future. Arcturus (2015) p.17
2 Carl Jung from his Foreword in I Ching: Book of Changes Richard Wilhelm and Cary Baynes (1963)
3 Rudolf Ritsema and Stephen Karcher, The I Ching: The Classic Chinese Oracle of Change. The First Complete Translation with Concordance. Barnes and Nobles (1994)
4 Stephen Karcher, Total I Ching: Myths for Change. Piatkus (2003)

No Question? No Problem.

No Question? No Problem.

How can you ask the Yijing
if you don’t know what to ask?

“I Don’t Have A Question…”
Whenever I would invite friends to just shoot me a question for a Yijing reading, some of them would reply like this: I don’t have a question in mind. They would tell me that not having a special question has kept them from trying to get a reading. Even during actual reading sessions, some clients would tell me the same thing, and they would feel a bit off-guard, perhaps like a student who forgot to do homework.

Looking back, I think I failed to emphasize that they actually don’t need a question in getting a Yijing reading. It’s the same experience with the Tarot. As I correctly remember the first time, I didn’t ask a question, but the reader was able to interpret the cards. So the enigma is, why is there an issue in asking the right question? And how does Yijing work if there’s none to ask?

No Need For Question
If you’ve already read Yijing translations (and interpretations), you would often find that “asking a question” is a common instruction and a critical first step, since it is said to be required before getting quality answers from Yijing. But in one of his FB group posts, Yijing expert Harmen Mesker has argued otherwise:

There is no need for an ‘ideal question’ to make the Yi work for you. There isn’t even a need for a question. In early China they did not ask questions to their oracles (that is why there is not one single Chinese book from that time and later that addresses ‘asking the (right) question’), at the most they addressed situations or desired outcomes and wanted the oracle/ancestors to reflect on it.

lifted from Harmen’s post on The Open Order of the Hexagram FB Group

What Harmen argued here was discussed thoroughly by sinologist David Nivison (1989).1 Nivison argued that ancient diviners didn’t ask questions in consulting Shang Oracle Bones (a much more ancient precursor of Yijing). These oracular “charges”, as Nivison noted, were assumed by modern scholars as “questions” because of 3 mistakes:

  1. philological (or language) mistake, which assumes that a specific word indicates the charge as a question.
  2. philosophical mistake, which assumes that the diviner’s “intention” is to ask a question
  3. anthropological mistake, which assumes that people do divination only to seek and ask for information.

I suppose if we “correct” these mistakes in today’s Yijing practice, it means that in consulting the Yijing…

  1. you don’t need to write your inquiry in a question form
  2. you don’t need to be in a mindset to ask a question
  3. you don’t need to ask any questions to get an answer

Reading Without A Question
So no pressure in formulating a question. In the same post, Harmen assured his fellow Yijing users that…

The most important part is that you trust that you get what you need and that what you get will always be understandable [to] you.

lifted from Harmen’s post on The Open Order of the Hexagram FB Group

I have always told clients that they don’t need to formulate or ask a question. In fact, in many cases, I have adapted the approach of most Tarot readers by doing what most people call general reading, in which a Yijing reading doesn’t need a question, not even a hint. Instead, this reading is an open-ended exploration of answers, and I listen intuitively and contemplate on revealed insights. Yijing provides clear and exact insights just the same. What matters is the querent’s trust – your trust – to receive answers.

Life Areas
Nonetheless, to specifically focus on a reading without asking a question, I often ask for the client’s preferred life areas. In Feng Shui, these life areas are mapped out in the Bagua itself:

後天八卦 Houtian Bagua / Later Heaven Arrangement

While this represents a traditional map of major life areas, I have tried to group related life areas into their respective clusters:

Careercurrent profession, resignation, work, job descriptions, workplace, promotion, work dynamics, office politics, freelance, termination, career shift/change, tasks, productivity, work efficiency, career track,
Knowledgeeducation, information, spirituality, wisdom,
faith, learning, inner work, philosophy, studies,
research, thesis and dissertations, graduate school, training, workshop, intellect, understanding, contemplations, reflections, teaching, intellect,
Family parents, grandparents. relatives, clans, friends and friendships, household, custodians, partners, ancestors, platonic relationships,
Wealthmoney, finances, business, investments, expenses, abundance, prosperity, savings, profits, assets and liabilities, loans, sales, earnings, income,
Famereputation, leadership, position, politics, power, influence, legacy, self-growth, communication, character, values, acclaim, award, greatness, notoriety, virality,
Marriagelove life, relationships, dating, breakup, divorce,
sex and intimacy, sexuality, romance, spouses, prenup, engagement, soulmates, ideal partner, moving on, wedding, ideal partner, companionship, significant other,
Children &
art, artwork, creative process, child care, talents, skills, abilities, innovation, design, creative ideas, brainstorming, invention, play, games, music, fun, recreation, pleasure,
Helpful Peoplecommunity, travel, church, neighborhood, legal assistance, people’s opinion and/or advice, consultant, coaches, teachers, mentors, guides, social life,
Healthhealing, physical health, mental health, wellness, well-being, sickness/illness/disease, medical intervention, food and diet, pain, fitness, exercise, nutrition, diagnosis,

This is a growing list and it does not serve as a strict categorization. Rather, my purpose is to show you an easy way to pinpoint your life area, using the Bagua as a reference map. Instead of listing them all and getting lost in the jungle of choices, the Bagua serves as a sensible backbone of related life areas.

Case In Point
I recently reconnected with a client and old friend, and she decided to avail a chat reading session. She did not ask a question but instead chose to consult about her family’s health. We were out of touch for almost a decade, and I never from heard from her situation until this year. But with that singular information, my friend and I were totally surprised by the reading’s accuracy. It revealed the whole family dynamics, the conflicting health views of all family members, health issues hidden from each other, and the approach on how to resolve the distrust that almost worsened their conditions.

Obvious Benefits
Apparently, there are obvious benefits for clients when they get a reading either with no question or with a chosen life area. Some clients choose not to reveal it to prevent possible assumptions and bias. Other clients choose not to reveal their questions and instead they wait for how the reading can reveal any confirmation with little or no information at all. And it pays off because the synchronicity and surprise are so mind-blowing that it exactly validates what the client has in mind. For me, it almost always feels like I’m the one receiving the reading!

Another benefit is the simplicity of the inquiry. No need to think too much or too complicated about what to ask. It doesn’t even have to be a grand concern or major issue. Sometimes you will find yourself at the quiet point of your life that there is no need to ask and yet there is still a deep feeling to reflect and look back. A Yijing reading can respond to that.

You Can Still Ask
Though if you feel you still need to ask a proper question, feel free to do so. I can guide you on this, as the first step in my reading session is all about processing your inquiry. With that, I have also dedicated blog posts on how to prepare and create your questions for Yijing.

In the meantime, if you have a pressing need for some useful clarity, again you don’t need to ask a question. Don’t hesitate to send me your life area via email or via Messenger. I will send you back a one-sentence reading, free of charge.


1 David Nivison, et al. The “Question” Question, Early China, Vol. 14 (1989) Society for the Study of Early China

A Meaningful Session

A Meaningful Session

What do you experience in a Full Yijing Reading Session?

(note: this is a much longer read, and I hope it’s worth your time,
especially if you’re really considering getting a reading)

Deep Conversations
I have always found Yijing as the best way to reconnect with old friends and get to know new friends. I seem to have manifested a kind of work that I really enjoy: deep conversations that lasted for hours, fun and laughter that infused the entire session, insights unleashed from sudden realizations, and life-changing synchronicities that still have lingering influence both for me and my clients up to this day.

I always appreciate intimate conversations with a few people and quiet moments that stir and satisfy the soul. Doing Yijing sessions definitely have filled my time with such meaning. And doing a business like this is giving so much value to the spirit – a shared benefit of self-discovery and intuitive clarity for me and for my clients.

How Long?
A quick session runs for one (1) hour, while a full session runs for two (2) hours (with a little overtime). It’s enough to cover the essentials: we will read one or two major questions, and do quick readings for follow-up questions. Honestly, because Yijing churns out so many details and insights, one major question can possibly take more than an hour. It’s so detailed and immersive enough to answer your question. (I will do a follow-up post about this)

You will notice that doing Yijing session puts you in the flow. It creates a bubble that prevents the sense of time to interrupt our attention. Masarap magkuwentuhan – sharing stories feels wonderful and satisfying. But of course, life still happens – we need to be mindful of our time and priorities. So a time-check is very useful.

Starting the Session
I started in my poetry classes a ritual practice I called Pagpapaginhawa. The word ginhawa is “breath” in Hiligaynon, and “ease” in Tagalog (both are languages in the Philippines). It is closer to meditation, only it consists of 4 segments: stillness, silence, breathing and gratitude. Later, I adapted this in holding Yijing sessions. This ritual is not just simple and easy, but also quite universal. This practice harks back to my interfaith work 11 years ago, as each segment shares deep resonance with how other faiths pray. In a way, pagpapaginhawa is inclusive, regardless of one’s religious and cultural background.

Permissions First
Since the pandemic has started, most of my reading sessions happen via Zoom. This also means we have the option to record the session. But I ask first for the client’s permission. They can record on their own locally in their computer. Or I can record it and the client can access it in two ways: I can send a copy of it via WeTransfer, or I can upload it privately via YouTube.

This means any session recording is safely and privately accessible only for both me and the client. It helps the client to review their own reading without the hassle of taking notes. It also helps me review past readings to help me improve my own practice.

Some clients prefer not to record the session, and you can do that, too. Some also choose to record the reading segment only, excluding the first part of telling their question and background story. Anyway, taking notes can still help greatly as a memory exercise.

5 Steps
A Yijing reading session follows a 5-step design, and this serves as the backbone of the entire reading process.

Step 1: Inquire 
Step 2: Cast
Step 3: Read 
Step 4: Interpret 
Step 5: Feedback

I wrote a brief written orientation which I send to clients before the Yijing Session. But I will explore in this post a bit of my personal experience and insight on doing each step, so you can get a picture of how the session happens for yourself.

Let’s explore each step as if you are receiving a reading from me right at this moment:

We start to warm up. I am all ears to your specific concerns. If you have prepared a list of questions before the session, we can read them right away. But no pressure if you don’t have a question. Instead, you can tell a background story to give your inquiry a better understanding and context.

You can also choose to just give a specific life area (career, love life, health, money – to name a few) without the need to divulge any personal details if you feel uncomfortable doing so. Yijing still answers accurately without a direct question. You are most welcome to anonymize – no need to name names. You can say “person X” if you want, it’s up to you. I can guide you through this.

Whether you choose to share details or not, I always presume and respect confidentiality. After all, finer details slip out of my memory after some time. I barely remember past readings unless I am reminded. In others words, your secret is safe with me.

Step 2: CAST
If you’re new to Yijing, and this is your first session, I will walk you through the coin method. It’s one of the ancient ways to do a Yijing reading. The other one is the yarrow method, counting 50 stalks made of yarrow (Achillea millefolium), which is quite complicated for beginners. I haven’t tried it myself, as the coin method has been my go-to ever since.

Doing the coin method requires three (3) identical coins. Shaking and throwing them six (6) times to get and record coin patterns equivalent to specific yin or yang lines is the most analog and manual you can experience in doing a Yijing reading. It is a good interactive, hands-on introduction, but I only do this specifically in Full and Deep Dive Sessions. (I will write more about the coin method in a separate blog post.)

For a quicker approach, I often use Hilary Barrett’s The Resonance Journal, a Yijing software designed to do digital readings for easy retrieval. Being fond of the coin method, I was at first skeptical and hesitant in using this software. I was not even a fan of other Yijing smartphone apps found online. But Hilary’s software won me, because I felt it was so similar to the coin method, only digitally. So more often I use Resonance for Quick and Chat Sessions, and even mostly for my own quick and long readings. You can find the software here.

Step 3: READ
Once we have cast the coins and got the lines, then we identify the main star of the reading, the hexagram. Yijing is an ancient text of 64 hexagrams, a system of six-line symbols, each with a corresponding set of texts, which for some mysterious reasons, strikingly match up as a set of insights to answer your inquiry.

A hexagram has a set of four (4) texts: the hexagram name, its decision remark, its wise action, and specific line statements if they have significant change. I wrote a basic introduction to these texts – an easy reference for you to make sense of what to expect in your reading. These texts are so rich in details that unpacking each of them reveals hidden answers to your inquiry.

And the reading doesn’t just end with texts. Symbols are practically the core of Yijing. Combining broken (yin) and solid (yang) lines into three sets make up a basic trigram, the one you see in the Bagua. When trigrams are stacked in pairs, it creates a hexagram. Each trigram represents a natural phenomenon and carries so many insights associated with them. And a trigram’s position in a hexagram (above or below) speaks volumes related to another trigram of the opposite position.

With both text and symbols in your reading, you can surmise how your reading can turn out: an exciting exercise of connecting the dots, which all happens when we interpret them.

I don’t see interpretation as just explaining or conceptualizing arbitrary ideas. Rather, I approach it more through intuition and imagery. There are no defined lines between these approaches. They are more organic, and insights are more like organisms finding their own way to organize and grow.

In your reading, certain words from your Hexagram text can possibly transmute into different forms. It can be the nearest synonym, or related homophone (same sounds but different meanings). It can also be an etymon (word origin) or an interesting wordplay. As a word intuitive, I can sense these words beyond their inherent meanings. I pay attention to them and listen to their possible associations. This is quite an amazing process, which I will write about separately. In the meantime, you can visit and read this old blog post of mine).

I also interpret your reading through imagery. Words are originally images long before they were written. It works just the same in poetry. Images become alive in the senses and they can bring us a direct experience, and thus new insights.

Hexagram texts and symbols represent segments in your reading. I take a pause in between them to give you a space and moment to respond. This makes the reading a two-way exchange: I supply the interpretation that resonates with me, and you speak about the connections being revealed to you along the way.

The bridge between my interpretation and your feedback is where synchronicity takes place. The great psychologist Carl Jung defined synchronicity as “meaningful coincidences.” This happens when you begin to see how my interpretation exactly reflects personal details you haven’t yet told me, yet accurately confirm your thoughts or the events you encountered. You suddenly string together all those finer details, turning them into clear, clarifying insights.

In cases where insights don’t easily dawn on you, insight delays actually happen. You need some time to contemplate, sleep on them first if necessary. Ancient diviners once recommended allowing the words of the text, including the symbols, to let them turn and roll on one’s heart. Answers reveal themselves at the right time, and clarity eventually shines, as long as you patiently wait and surrender. I can still guide you via chat so we can process your reading until insights and answers finally dawn on you, clear and exact.

Ready For A Full Reading?
If you’ve reached this point, then I suppose you might be deeply considering getting a reading. I am always grateful, blessed and excited to be of service. Whether Yijing is new to you or not, this post is my way to invite you to this unique experience. If you still have questions about how Yijing works, or anything about doing a reading session, I am more than happy to respond. Send me a message here. Or check out my reading services.


Yijing Guidance For Spiritual-Creatives

Yijing Guidance For Spiritual-Creatives

How can Yijing help and guide you in your spiritual-creative journey?

Creative Ennui
In 2014, I felt lost in my life a decade after my college graduation. I was looking back, trying to grapple what I perceived was wasted years that I could have used to climb a career ladder and improve my economic state. I felt an unshakeable deep boredom and sense of meaninglessness, which I then called creative ennui. Ennui is originally French, where the word annoy came from. It easily captured the state I was in – being depressed, dissatisfied, and tired. Creativity had almost dried up. Despite years of my spiritual learning, not even spirituality can renew my enthusiasm, as I thought of it as the main culprit of me feeling lost.

Balam = Just Delayed
With the help of a friend, I meditated on characters of Baybayin (an ancient Filipino writing system), trying to listen to its oracular message, and the word balam came out. In Filipino it means something is delayed. I suffered from creative ennui all because it was temporarily a state of balam for me. I thought of it like a pupal stage, a time of incubation, a process of inner development, and soon a butterfly of creativity finally flutters away.

True enough, the following year, 2015, was a remarkable personal milestone. I started my path as a well-being facilitator – I conducted retreats, co-founded a writing group, inched my way to writing poetry, and started my serious study on Yijing.

Oracular Help
I was introduced to Yijing in 2007, but I was less knowledgeable using it prior to 2015. I could have used its help and guidance back then. Still, an oracular help came to me in the form of Baybayin (rarely thought and used that way, yet some friends do). I was and still grateful that I received one. An oracle brings so much clarity, and it can be a life-saver for someone like me in my most downhearted year.

Now, I have been a Yijing practitioner for almost 7 years, with an exciting path behind and ahead of me. In my hands is a powerful system/method that guides me so well in my journey as a spiritual-creative. In fact, a simple Yijing reading has inspired me to return to my inner well, of which poetry is one. Later, I put up a poetry class that has transformed not just my own spiritual-creative life, but those of old and newfound friends who attended the class.

Who Is A Spiritual Creative?
The term spiritual creative is rarely used, let alone defined. (About 3 hits on Google search). Thankfully, I found this one insightful attempt by a clairvoyant named Karen Bell:

A spiritual creative is an individual whose goal is to allow their work to be guided and directed by a Higher Power (God, Source, Spirit) with the awareness that their work serves a higher purpose of bringing healing and light into the world. 

Karen Bell, Intuitive KB

According to Bell, we can be spiritual creatives in many forms. We can be

…visual artists, artisans, musicians, writers, photographers, dancers, teachers, designers, actors… even chefs or athletes. The form they take does not matter as much as the healing energy they channel through their creative work.

Karen Bell, Intuitive KB

Bell’s clear, practical take on being a spiritual creative is completely relatable. I easily saw myself in her definition. If you do as well, then you are most likely a spiritual creative.

Natural Flow
My poetry for instance is primarily influenced by wei wu wei, an ancient Taoist principle translated as effortless effort or doing nondoing. It is the practice of removing mental effort so one can naturally tap to the uninterrupted outflow of creative ideas. In a way, I am always in the act of surrender to the natural flow within me and beyond me, which Laozi calls the Tao. (I will write a more detailed post about this.)

This natural flow has a spiritual quality to it, as it has undeniably become a source of my personal well-being. My anxiety fades easily whenever I am in the zone writing poetry. And my poems seem to carry the same feelings of peace, lightness and joy that I felt during writing, as friends have described similar feelings right after reading them.

Hexagram 48, The Well

I always look back to my training as a facilitator with my mentor’s community called Ginhawa (well-being), whose one mission is to use spirituality and creativity in the service of well-being. I owe so much of my path and work to this Ginhawa philosophy, which has continued to shape me as a spiritual-creative. It has always influenced my facilitation work, my poetry writing and teaching, and yes, my Yijing practice.

Concerns and Challenges
As a spiritual creative, we certainly have a shared list of concerns and challenges in this path:

  • Fluctuating faith in oneself: we find it hard to sustain our inner faith, because people often misunderstand and underappreciate us. 
  • Resisting competitiveness: we believe more in cooperation and co-existence, rather than the dog-eat-dog world out there. 
  • Wrestling with our mental health: we value more our psyche’s need for healing, which our society doesn’t care that much. 
  • Balancing between our soul and survival: we need to relax, create, play, and meditate as much as we need to go to work, pay our bills, eat, and do the laundry.  

This is just a handful, and I’m sure you have more in mind. We cannot just make those problems disappear, but deep down there are at least a few things you want to do to help you ease the burden: 

  • To make sense of what’s going on: because understanding your situation is the first step towards resolving it.   
  • To nurture your calm and peace: because being at peace makes you more positive, and makes your problems less toxic.
  • To renew what brings you joy: because despite the troubles, you are grateful enough to appreciate the beauty of life. 
  • To return to your creativity: because in all its forms, art is always an infinite source of inspiration and reason for living. 

How Yijing Can Guide
Yijing primarily reveals what happens in your life around you, what you feel and think about it, and the connections between them.

When I was super anxious in my former job, I asked the Yijing what should I do next. It revealed Hexagram 48, which encouraged me to return to the source of my well-being. At the time my soul felt “dehydrated”, so I needed to “get some water” from my deep inner source, and “drink” my inner ginhawa, to finally quench my soul’s anxious thirst.

While Yijing can also reveal the what and the how, but at its deepest it reveals the why. It shows you the most pertinent image, like a master key that unlocks all doors. That image will remain enduring and indelible in your consciousness. It will always inform your decisions, give you a sense of grounding, a place and meaning to stand for.

Likewise, in my own guidance, The Well in Hexagram 48 ever since has become the timeless insight of this return to spirituality and creativity, both for me and for my entire community. Two years have passed, many of us still continue to receive creative insights and blessings of clarity from the symbol of The Well that Yijing revealed to me just once.

Your Spiritual-Creative Journey
Maybe you are just starting in this journey, still figuring out your pace, still being surprised by the newness of it, and sometimes being shocked and frustrated by the sudden shifts from your old ways, because becoming a spiritual creative is like immigrating to a new country – adjusting your way to discovery and familiarity.

Or perhaps you have walked way far from your starting point, made a series of milestones, climbed certain peaks of mystical experience, seeing the breadth and depth of life from this highest vantage point, and now trekking back down to the other side of the mountain.

Whichever point you find yourself, Yijing has a gift of clarity to offer. And because we both identify as a spiritual creative, we know that the existential questions you are asking, the sense of creative fulfilment, and the inner storms you are facing are concerns not all people totally understand, except for our kindred spirits who have gone the journey themselves.

I am deeply faithful that with Yijing’s guidance, this journey of ours is worth our lifetime.


Do you need more time for a serious and deep reading?
Check out these Yijing Reading Services.