I Ching Holitzka Deck
by Klaus Holitzka and Marlies Holitzka
This is a special deck. Working with these cards immediately creates a sense of silence and stillness; deep introspection. The images soothe and fulfill. Although the images are done in calligraphy, created to evoke a Chinese style, they remind me of modern abstract art of the mid-twentieth century. Each card has black and red calligraphy on a white background, the number of the card, and the I Ching hexagram in matte gold. They are very attractive, whether they depict human figures, trees and clouds, shapes, or simply the card's hexagram done boldly.
The method of divination is unique, enjoyable, and effective. Cards are shuffled while focusing on an issue, fanned out, and two are selected. The first card represents the present, the second card represents the future. Once the cards have been read, the hexagrams are compared, and those lines not matching are studied further, through comprehensive interpretations in the accompanying book - which is larger than a little booklet, smaller than a full-size book.
Let me show you how this works:
I asked a straightforward, mundane question, "What is going to happen with our move?" The I Ching cards drawn were cards 50 and 11, titled "The Crucible, Cosmic Order," and "Peace," respectively. I will admit that the images on these cards did not immediately speak to me of these meanings, but the book is thorough. It says, for card 50:
"On the one hand the crucible symbolizes the giving of physical nourishment; On the other it stands for 'soul food' - that is to say, spirituality. In respect of your personal life, this means that a piece of cosmic harmony is realized within your being. Perhaps you might need to make a sacrifice, but you will be richly rewarded for it. All your endeavors for something higher and more revealing are supported. Accept and make use of the chance to direct your powers towards what is really significant and essential. You can even develop a sense of the laws of the universe and learn how complete harmony is realized in yourself. This will enrich your life in a wonderful way."
For card 11, it says:
"This is the beginning of a period of harmony with yourself and your surroundings. You experience a 'heaven on earth.' It is the time to strive for ideals. Instead of mutual distrust, you find a prevailing benevolence in your surroundings. Hindrances can be removed; inhibitions disappear. Additionally, negative developments can be more easily rectified. Your balance extends a healing effect on even the most obstinate of people. A long-running argument could finally be brought to an end. Use this period to save for a rainy day. Having the golden touch, you will find unintentional acts will bear fruit both for yourself and others. Simply all things thrive in times of inner peace."
The next step in the reading is to compare the two cards, and determine which lines are different. The I Ching hexagrams are made up of stacked patterns of solid and broken lines. It is these lines we are comparing. So, looking at cards 50 and 11, I see that the lines that do not match are lines 1, 4, and 6 (counting up from the bottom). These lines are known as the "lines of change." I turn to the book, and find the lines of change interpretations. These give deeper and more specific meaning to the reading.
For card 50, the lines of change are described like this:
Line 1: You should possibly resort to unconventional means in order to make progress. This strengthens your creative flair, and so long as you don't forget who you are it will do no harm to your reputation.
Line 4: Your weak point is an unrealistic estimation of yourself. It is vital to you to allow others to reflect the way you really behave. Only then will you notice what is and what is not part of you.
Line 6: An atmosphere of inner clarity and outer well-being creates favorable conditions from which all those involved can profit. You yourself can do a little to strengthen and maintain the positive tendency.
The book states that looking at the lines of change for the second, or future card is not important.
This short and simple reading gave me some important answers and interesting insights into my situation. It offered practical advice, as well as spiritual reflection. Additionally, it gave me some real hope as well.
I know very little about the I Ching, so I cannot comment on the particular meanings of the hexagrams. I trust they adhere to traditional meanings, while being applicable to the lives of modern men and women, in both mundane and spiritual issues. The deck is truly unique; one of those decks you just couldn't stand to lose.
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Card artwork and excerpts by Klaus Holitzka and Marlies Holitzka
All writing and photography © N Levine - Illumination Tarot, unless otherwise noted. 1999-2021