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DIVINATION METHODS - I Ching, Runes, Tarot, Numerology

Updated on June 4, 2011

Tarot and Runes


Life is the same in many ways today as it was for the people who lived thousands of years ago. Just as the ancient folk of the Norse used the Runes for guidance, the Eastern hemisphere has used the I Ching, or Book of Change (amongst other names) when pondering the best course of action to take in certain situations. Eastern countries such as China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam have relied upon the Book of Change, from remote antiquity until the present day, to help them make decisions.

While the I Ching, which originated in China, evolved separately from the Runes and the Tarot, it can be cross-referenced to the Western disciplines to help us align ourselves harmoniously with worldwide philosophies. The Nordic Runes give us a grounded and earth-based spirituality, and can be directly aligned to a specific Tarot card and I Ching hexagram line.

I Ching hexagram. The philosophies and laws of transformation illustrating the cycles of existence that humans normally encounter during their lives, were recorded in written/book form as the Book of Change, about 3,000 years ago. As with the Runes, prior to this, the I Ching was handed down from generation to generation as oral parables, for not less than 3,000 years. It was reputed to have first been written down in book form at around 1123 BC, by King Wen and his son, the Duke of Chou. At a later date, the great sage Confucius added his own commentaries.

The I Ching was created by the Chinese to help us (humanity) point ourselves in the right direction in our daily lives, in the present moment. Based on the principle that everything changes constantly, the I Ching teaches us how, when and where to act. The I Ching deals with the situations in life that we meet everyday. These 'situations' are regarded as 'fields of energy' in which various forces are at work, creating a particular state of affairs. If your want or desire is to change the situation, you must first do whatever is needed within, in order to change the underlying energy flow. This approach benefits the situation in a positive manner, on an energetic level.

Like the Runes, the I Ching identifies the forces at work, and recommends the most appropriate action or attitude under the circumstances. Parallel to both the Tarot and the Runes, the I Ching tells you what needs to happen in order for things to change for the better in your life.

In the Chinese culture, as with that of the Norse, change was always regarded as an intrinsic part of the flow of life. In today's society, we can learn a great deal from this approach. We, in the Western world, tend to experience change as 'threatening', rather than 'challenging'. As a result, we often fail to see the possibilities and opportunities that may present themselves in the new and changed situation. The I Ching, again much like the Runes, indicates and informs us of how we can cope with change in the most honest, intelligent and harmonious way.

To grasp the concept of the I Ching it is imperative to understand that in Chinese thought and belief, there are two basic principles in life; the masculine or Yang force and the feminine Yin.

The I Ching contains 64 hexagrams, or figures of six lines in different combinations. There are two types of lines, broken and unbroken, representing the Yin and Yang principles. The hexagrams, each of which has a name, are said to depict every possible type of situation one may meet in life.

In other words, any situation you may encounter in this lifetime, will be made up of a particular combination of Yin and Yang forces - the resulting hexagram reflecting the wisdom which already exists in your subconscious mind, but is hidden from view.

In theory, the forming of the hexagrams is similar to the Runic concept of the strands of the Web of Wyrd coming together to create and form the everyday situations in life.

Just like the Runes, the I Ching has its own methods and traditions involved when consulting the Oracle.

One ancient method requires the throwing of yarrow sticks - the way the sticks fall determines the appropriate answer.

Another method is to toss three (3)

I Ching coins, then decipher and interpret the ones that fall face up, to obtain an answer.

Yet another valid and simple method is to open the Book of Change at any random page to find the appropriate answer to your question displayed before you.

I Ching cards (and Rune cards) which can be randomly drawn to receive an answer, have been developed for those who feel more comfortable with a Tarot-like system.

The Tarot is an ancient divinatory, predictive and meditation tool and guidance channel. It can be used similarly to the Runes and the

I Ching, and it's basic themes and theories run parallel with both. Like the Runes, the Tarot's original author is unknown. It is also uncertain as to exactly where and when the Tarot came into existence, but some believe that it originated in Ancient Egypt about 3,500 years ago and was brought to Europe by the Rom, or Gypsies, as they travelled to Europe from India.

The actual word Tarot is made up of the two Egyptian words, 'Tar' meaning 'royal' and 'ot' meaning 'road' – the Royal Road (Destiny or Spiritual Pathway). The oracle's first appearance in Europe seems to have been in the late fourteenth century, most likely in Italy.

The Tarot was devised using the principles of the Cabala (the Tree of Life – Yggdrasil is displayed prominently within the deck), Astrology, the Elements and Numerology. The Tarot also incorporates and co-relates to the

I Ching, colour and it's influence, the Chakras, the Runes and many other oracles of old. Symbolism plays an intricate part and is synonymous amongst all the oracles.

The increasing religious intolerance of the early Christians, and their attempts to suppress esoteric knowledge, wisdom and sacred truths from humanity, in order to instil and enforce their own 'Man's Law', forced the philosophers of the day to encrypt the esoteric secrets into the Tarot cards to keep the ancient wisdom, mysteries and truths hidden and safe from manipulation and persecution.

The Tarot consists of a deck of seventy eight (78) cards in total. This is made up of 22 Major Arcana cards numbered from 0 to 21 and the Minor Arcana of 56 cards.

The Major Arcana has direct relevance to the Hebrew Cabala because not only does the number of cards correspond to the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet, but many of the cards suggest symbolism for the Tree of Life, that forms the basis of much of the Cabalistic wisdom.

The Major Arcana depicts the different stages of life we must go through until our 'soul journey 'is complete. Throughout the nature of our existence on this planet as humans, we will encounter several beginnings and endings throughout our lifetime, that are represented by the archetypes portrayed on the cards. The Major Arcana depicts matters relating to the soul, spirit or destiny of our lives that often indicate Karmic lessons and themes that we must experience in this lifetime. They point out issues that are occurring within our psyche, rather than external, everyday events, as depicted in the Minor Arcana.

The number of cards in the Major Arcana, 22, is also a Master Number in the science of Numerology.

The Minor Arcana consists of the remaining 56 cards, and depict the more ordinary details that form a meaningful pattern in our lives. They portray the day-to-day events in our daily lives. These events are not cataclysmic or life-changing situations, but rather the daily routines of family, home, work and survival.

The 56 cards of the Minor Arcana are divided into four sets of fourteen cards; each suit consisting of 10 numbered cards and 4 Court cards. The suits, Cups, Pentacles, Swords and Wands, co-relate to the four basic elements of life:

Water - Cups; Earth – Swords;

Air – Pentacles; and Water - Wands.

Again, similarities can be drawn with the Elderfuthark Runes with it's 3 tiered Aetts, each of which has it's own concept or theme.

Like the Runes and the I Ching, the Tarot when consulted, may sometimes give an answer which seems to have no relation to the question or query made. In these instances, the Higher Self may be trying to bring to light a situation that needs attention. For this reason, any response given, regardless of how unrelated it may seem, needs to be given careful consideration.

While the I Ching is considered to be fluid and changing, giving advice in much the same way as a wise friend or mentor would, and there are many close relations between the I Ching, the Tarot and the Ancient Elderfuthark Runes, that link their messages. All three modalities describe the different facets of a person’s life, and detail the various stages of transformation through the life cycle. All three oracles can help delve into the more subtle nuances of human behaviour and interaction.

The Nordic Runes offer us a grounded approach to our spirituality and are able to be aligned to a specific card in the Tarot, just like the I Ching, to give us a greater understanding of the oracles. Although all three oracles are separate entities of themselves, they are all intricately linked and carry the same spiritual values and solutions.

The Tarot and the Runes, the I Ching, when studied and used over time, will have the effect of increasing your intuitive abilities. All that is required to unravel the mysteries is your intuition and trust in your own interpretation.


Numerology is the study of numbers and the impact they play on our lives, as well as the frequency in which they appear. Numerology plays an intricate part in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels of every human, everyday, whether they are conscious of it or not.

Each number symbolizes, indicates and resonates to a different vibrational energy, which influences our daily moods, pathways and choices – leading to our futures.

In the study of Numerology, the numbers 1 through 9 are considered to be 'compound'. The 0 makes up the compound number of 10, and is of great significance itself. Compound numbers are derived because they comprise qualities of all the numbers which they contain, as well as the overall number, which is derived when they are added together.

For example, the number 26 is computed by adding the digits in the number together (2 + 6) to come up with the primary number 8.

The number 26 will also carry the secondary vibrations of the 2 and the 6, in addition to the main vibration of 8.

Therefore, although 26 is the higher octave of 8, its vibrations are subtly different from other compound numbers that also add up to 8, such as 44 or 35.

Each Rune of the Elderfuthark, every card of the Tarot deck and the I Ching hexagrams are numbered and carry the energy and vibration of the relevant numbers.




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