~ Stick # 30 ~
The best thing, I tell you, is not to aim too high.
A flying stork will not see the fatal arrow.
Gathering wood, you may uncover a snake,
And you will regret forever its poisonous bite.
Be content with your lot, and restrain yourself from too high an ambition. Take precautions against possible dangers, and seal your mouth. Try to avoid getting involved in other people's quarrels. Your personal health is uncertain, and you may bring problems upon yourself by rash speech. Financially, you do not have much hope of improvement at the moment-bide your time and new prospects will come to you.
The somewhat contradictory message of this poem is this: expect the unexpected. It warns that trouble comes when you least expect it. The stork, believed by the Chinese to fly higher and to live longer than any other bird, can be killed by an arrow rising up through the clouds. Disturbing things can also prove dangerous. Be watchful and careful. Do not assume you are unassailable.
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