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I like creative reworkings of old systems (at least as long as they don’t claim to be the original!). Good Fortune is just such a book. Titania Hardie offers her own modernization of the I Ching; she argues that as the original was created in an entirely different culture, including one in which women weren’t even allowed to use it, a form friendly to both men and women was in order. I am pleased by this.

The first section of the book describes what the basic concept is, how to throw and read the coins, and the different personality types that affect the outcome of the reading. There’s also some interesting elemental correspondence worked in there as well. It was a bit complex to understand at first, but a little closer study made it make sense. The readings rely on a grid with numbers on it; the way the coins fall in six throws, and the lines created on the grid by recording these throws, determines what the answer is. With a little practice, it’s a wonderfully effective divination system.

I’m a bit on the fence about the personality types, specifically the element of birth order which is used to help determine what the dominant aspects of your personality are. According to The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman, one’s sex isn’t as important as Hardie makes it out to be; it’s more about the interactions of the family members. Hardie covers that too, though, so it’s a more thorough view. I’m not a big fan of rigid gender/sex dichotomy, and occasionally a bit of “female-nurturing, male-doing” sentiment got to me a bit, especially with the “Mother always equals Earth and Father always equals Sky” aspect. Overall, though, personal biases aside, it adds a useful dimension to one’s reading and understanding of how who you are affects what may occur and how you react to it.

Quibbles and bits aside, I did thoroughly enjoy this book. It’s quite possibly one of the prettiest books, with some spectacular layout and design work. Don’t let the loveliness fool you, though–this is an effective system of divination suitable for anyone who resonates with it. Don’t expect classic I Ching; you’ll be disappointed. Instead, open yourself up to a new derivation that goes in some creative directions.

Four and a half pawprints out of five.

(Originally published on Lupa's Pagan Book Review site.)

~review by Lupa

Author: Titania Hardie
Quadrille, 2008
304 pages plus three divination coins

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