Divination, a meditative practice, invites us to calm the mind, consider a problem, and relate our challenges to randomly-selected wisdom texts. People have consulted the I Ching, an ancient Chinese book of wisdom, for centuries. In doing so, they face two challenges: the process for consulting the oracle can be complex and time consuming and the text itself draws on cultural metaphors modern readers struggle to understand.
The obstacles between your audience and your message may not include ancient rituals or obscure texts, chances are that your story can be made more accessible, more meaningful, and more directly relatable to the audience’s daily life. A writer who can make information accessible while preserving the integrity and meaning of the original text can be a powerful ally!
That’s what I did when writing I Ching for Beginners. Research for this book included many months of learning traditional methods of consulting the oracle, studying commentaries, and finding new metaphors that, while faithful to the spirit of the original, recast the book’s wisdom in words modern audiences could take to heart. The result? Reviewers praised the books ease of use, noting, “With McElroy’s straightforward questions, anyone can use the I-Ching as a jumping off point for their own growth and self-inquiry.”
I’m really proud of this work, and continue to consult the oracle — and this book — to this day.