~ Stick # 18 ~TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION
Far off the raven falls and the rabbit rises,
So things have been since the start of time.
Believe in Buddha and the Tao and you will find wisdom,
Whether you are scholar or peasant, worker or merchant.
The setting and rising of the sun (the raven) and the moon (the rabbit) symbolizes the ups and downs of human life. Harmony between the two is a sign of good fortune, and you should seek a similar harmony in your own life. If you manage this, everything will be secure and successful. Attempt to remain calm and look to understand your enemies rather than opposing them directly. If you have any firm plans for the future, you should start putting them into effect now. Maybe now is a good time to think about moving.REFLECTION
Yin and yang are at the heart of this poem. The raven, symbol of the sun, is yang. The rabbit, symbol of the moon, is yin. Buddha, busy teaching and organizing, is yang. The Tao, calm and just being, is yin. You too are both yin and yang: you need the energy of the yang to be balanced by the yin of calmness. Look to yourself if the balance is not quite right, learn to cultivate it in order that you can achieve essential harmony.
~ Stick # 53 ~TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION
The prince's court housed three thousand guests,
Nobody could say which was the greatest.
One of them complained of being ignored,
Claiming his worth was above all others.
You should contemplate carefully the ramifications of any plan you attempt at the moment, as well as heeding the advice of others. If traveling, you are likely to experience many inconveniences and delays. Relationships will probably be happy and contented, and there is little chance of accident or illness within your family. You, however, should take care to keep healthy.REFLECTION
No detail is too small, no concern too minor, to ignore at present. If you try to do things on too grandiose a scale, you may by accident ignore those of true worth while leaving yourself open to attack by the pompous and the ignorant. Take care in all you do. Focus on quality, not quantity. Listen, watch, be available, and you may be able to undertake great things without losing either yourself or others.
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