~ Stick # 44 ~
Competing fiercely to become spring's queen, TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION
The garden flowers blossom to their full beauty.
Who will win the golden crown of glory?
Among them all, only the peony stands out.
Your attempts to gain wealth and fame are likely to be successful, and your personal relationships will turn out well. You need only search to find many opportunities for advancement. Do not hesitate to put your plans into operation, and it is a good idea to commit yourself more strongly to your current relationships. With care, you can remain both physically and mentally fit.REFLECTION
The peony is the beloved flower of Chinese poets and artists, for it has a strong sexual overtone, being (in its elongated bud stage) the example par excellence of the male member and the yang principle. But its multitude of opening petals is the symbol of the female, of sex, and of the yin principle. Thus it combines the yin and yang symbolism. It is saying: be complete, both yin and yang, and you will be able to progress. Do not rely on just one aspect of your personality, nor should you be too modest. In Chinese slang, a peony is a stunningly beautiful and sexy young woman. Do not hide your light under a bushel! If you have skills and attributes, use them, show them to others, and they will appreciate you and help you to advance.
~ Stick # 51 ~
During the long, long summer dog days TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION
Everybody is tortured by the burning sun.
But now a calm and soothing breeze has arisen,
The will of Heaven that eases human souls.
At the moment, everything may seem overwhelming and your problems just too many to cope with effectively. Do not be worried; learn to relax, to avoid stress, and your problems will soon pass. Your personal life will blossom, and you are likely to make friends with someone who is in a good position to help you. Any business investments you have made, however, are likely to take a sharp downturn soon, so it would be wise to take any money now, while you still can.REFLECTION
A hot Chinese summer can be almost unbearable. It is a small wonder, therefore, that the Emperors sacrificed to the yin spirit of cold, wet, and winter at the height of summer! But, through the rise and fall of yin and yang, summer is always followed by autumn and winter. Bear with your current situation, and you will find that things become a little easier. Change will come - it always does.
~ Stick # 64 ~
Two good friends were in business together;TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION
The richer gave the poorer a larger share.
Such virtue did not go unrewarded, and very soon
Both became ministers under the great king.
Working together with others is your best hope for advancement and profit. Form close friendships, and affairs will be settled quickly. Great chances are very close, and you will soon receive pleasing news. Investments will most likely prosper, and you will recover from most illnesses quickly.
Quiet acts of kindness may seem insignificant, but in fact, they make you into the sort of person that kings and emperors would like as a friend. Nothing is too small to count. Cultivate kindness and compassion in your life. Discover how this will bring you a better fortune, because it will make you a better person.
Each day I sit down, take up the cup of sticks and ask the same question, “What does the Keen community need to know or hear today?” I shake the cup until a stick (or 2 or 3…) falls out. I then post the stick number and the meanings for you to get what you can out of them.
The sticks themselves are a form of I-Ching. There are a total of 64 sticks in the set that I use* with a poem and small interpretation/story to go along with each stick. The poems, meanings and reflections are meant to be read and (as a good friend of mine once said) marinated in. In our culture, we’ve grown accustomed to getting instant gratification. In other words, we’re used to everything being given to us with little or no work on our parts. These readings are the exact opposite of that type of attitude.
Chinese Fortune sticks are meant to make us slow down and reflect on what is being said. As each sticks’ meaning can be profoundly personal to each person who reads them, it’s more important for you to read them rather than have someone give you a watered down version. These readings are meant to sing to a level of your consciousness and bring you a measure of peace, or at least enlightenment.
The best way to get the most you can out of these readings is to approach them with an open mind. Before sitting down to read that morning’s reading, make some quiet time for yourself. Sit still for a moment and clear your mind. Silence the chatter in your head and take a few deep breaths, letting them out slowly. Once you feel yourself slow down a little (or a lot), read through the reading of the day. Go over it a few times if you feel the need. Then take a moment, sit back and think about what that reading means for you. Some will be very straightforward; others require a bit more thinking. Either way, let the reading from the sticks guide you that day on the decisions or experiences you have. These aren’t meant to tell you what to think, but rather to help you look at things in a different way or to allow you to access truths you already have.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me!!
* written by Zhao Xiaomin & Martin Palmer