~ Stick # 19 ~
On the kitchen floor the kitten lies,
Lazily warming herself in the afternoon sun.
Graceful animals always bring good luck,
And should be protected whenever possible.
This is a very good fortune, and it predicts great luck in anything you
do. Your best path to happiness, however, is through romance: you will
only ultimately find yourself by looking in another. Do not allow
apparent obstacles to deter you - remember that love eventually finds a
way. Foreign travel will probably be extremely successful.
The imagery here echoes an older poem in which a lovesick soldier on
duty in the cold north recalls his lover's kitten, relaxed, warm, and
content in her house in the south. In his mind he travels to be with
her. This poem says you should appreciate what you have and, if you
leave it, treasure it and seek to be reunited as soon as possible. You
may be striving to achieve great things, but really you would like to be
your beloved's cat!
~ Stick # 17 ~
The river's reeds are tipped with morning dew,
Moonlight bathes the stone courtyard steps.
I hear the neigh of horses on the soft breeze,
Swiftly following the bell's call to rise.
While you have a decent chance of being both respected and admired for
your actions, wealth will not necessarily accompany this. It is time to
make firm decisions about your relationships: either committing yourself
definitely or breaking away for good. In general, your life will
progress fairly smoothly without major upsets. If you feel depressed,
you should start thinking about helping other people rather than
The most beautiful time of day is early in the morning, exquisitely
recalled in this poem. But there is another meaning. So the story goes, a
young servant, up early in order to enjoy the morning air and ready to
work, heard upon the wind the faint sound of enemy soldiers approaching
on horseback to attack the palace. He raised the alarm just in time. Be
alert. Be ready. You have no idea when the peace and quiet will be
broken by changing events.
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