Live Tree or Die: This Week in Divination

The benefit of divination, despite what you or I may commonly think, has nothing to do with knowing the future and everything to do with understanding the cosmos.

Divination is a funny thing, because sometimes you get these results where it’s like, “Either I’m gonna die or I’m gonna end up like a half immortal tree attached to a mountain.” I mean, try and make sense of that. That’s what actually happened this week.

There I am, minding my own business, doing my weekly reading, and one of the moving lines I threw from the first hexagram was just like, “Death of a person. His work is done.” Oh cool, thanks, I Ching, now I’m gonna spend the rest of the week expecting to be run down by a car or attacked out of nowhere by ruthless assailants. And I’m only half kidding about that. But it’s fine, though – after all, it is Friday. Chances are, I’m gonna make it and the line means something else (which I completely missed because I was worried about my own mortality).

But I am half kidding. I was never that worried, especially since the rest of the reading and the tarot cards didn’t really seem to indicate my impending doom. Plus I fundamentally disagree with the idea that my work is done. It isn’t!

These lessons can matter if we take them right. The benefit of divination, despite what you or I may commonly think, has nothing to do with knowing the future and everything to do with understanding the cosmos. Toward that end, I was (hashtag) blessed to have some fairly interesting and instructive imagery thrown at me by the I Ching this week.

Start off with that tree I just alluded to. Think of a gnarly-ass tree high up on a mountain. I think of Monadnock, of course. The image makes me think of one of the few, small, craggly pines that have managed to build a life slightly above the mountain’s artificially scorched treeline. That thing didn’t get there overnight. The fact that it’s here right now is only because it slowly, painstakingly, step by step, not skipping anything or shirking from it either, set down its roots in the rock. You know what else? That tree isn’t going anywhere, either. The way it put those roots down, wind and rain can’t touch it. Malicious humans can’t yank it out; the only way for a person to destroy this tree is to cut it down, which they probably aren’t gonna take the time (or have the equipment) to do after climbing an entire mountain. The tree put in a lot of effort (and a lot of patience) up front, but now the thing is IN. It’s solid. A fixture. Unmoved.

I find that inspiring in a lot of ways.


A second image found in a line of that hexagram was this idea that a wild goose doesn’t belong chillin’ up in a tree. You heard that right. That’s not where they’re supposed to be. They weren’t made for that. The point drawn by the line was that often we ourselves find ourselves in situations just like this. We’re the goose in a tree, finding our asses sitting someplace they really don’t belong, not in any natural way. And when it’s like that, it’s difficult to avoid dangers and difficulties.

Do you feel like a goose in a tree today? A wild goose in a tree? Well, look – this is a dangerous situation, but when is life ever safe to begin with? The task before you – if this is you we are talking about, here – is to find ways to keep cool and collected and avoid falling or getting eaten despite the fact that these are real dangers out there.


Lastly – and this circles back to the whole tree on the mountain thing – remember that there’s a difference between seduction and courtship. This is not to say that sometimes seduction is not the more appropriate option. But the oracle here, twice, points to courtship. Following the proper customs and forms, taking things step by step, this is absolutely necessary if lasting unions and arrangements are to be cobbled and held together.


Have a great weekend. If you feel like you deserve a treat – and I feel like you deserve a treat – go ahead and watch the video below. Here’s hoping I survive the end of the week!

And if you like what we’re doing here with this project, check out the Patreon. It’s better than average.

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