yarrow stalks I Ching

The hexagrams and lines in their movements and changes mysteriously reproduced the movements and changes of the macrocosm. By the use of yarrow stalks 1)↓, one could attain a point of vantage from which it was possible to survey the condition of things. Given this perspective, the words of the oracle would indicate what should be done to meet the need of the time.

the yarrow stalks makes it possible for the unconscious in man to become active

The only thing about all this that seems strange to our modern sense is the method of learning the nature of a situation through the manipulation of yarrow stalks. This procedure was regarded as mysterious, however, simply in the sense that the manipulation of the yarrow stalks makes it possible for the unconscious in man to become active. All individuals are not equally fitted to consult the oracle. It requires a clear and tranquil mind, receptive to the cosmic influences hidden in the humble divining stalks. As products of the vegetable kingdom, these were considered to be related to the sources of life. The stalks were derived from sacred plants.
Richard Wilhelm

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1. The stalks come from the plant known to us as common yarrow, or milfoil (Achillea millefolium).

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