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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Titania Hardie's "Good Fortune and how to attract it"

Good Fortune and how to attract it byTitania Hardie (Quadrille Publishing, 2008)

reviewed by Eva Yaa Asantewaa

What an imposing, attractive package this is! A squarish book with good, earthy heft to it. A handsome royal purple, metallic cover with golden lettering. Three golden coins, 1-3/4" in diameter–one side for the sun, the other representing the crescent moon–set into plastic windows in the front cover. And when you open the book–ooo-la-la!–be prepared for rich color. Each page has a delicious color or two, and some have illustrations that look as if they’ve been snipped from dreams. Not every page color is kind to the eyes, unfortunately, particularly since most of the black type is small. But, for the most part, I suspect you will enjoy the look, energy and purpose of this book which updates the classic I Ching oracle, adapting its basic divination procedure in pagan-inspired and woman-respecting ways. Hardie is a third-generation witch, and her aim is to help people succeed in life by better understanding and working with their inherent connection to the flowing patterns and energies of nature.

Having said all that, I must now admit that I remain a hard-sell when it comes to the I Ching. I tried it out once–just once!--decades ago, found its "voice" stern and alienating, and forever after left it well alone. As oracular tools go, Tarot is my preference. Hardie has retained the use of coins as alternatives to yarrow sticks--good, as I prefer coins to sticks–and she gives you a somewhat helpful visual guide to figuring out the pattern and import of your six throws, but I still find myself confused by which line goes where, coordinating the two triplets of lines, flipping the moving lines... Oy! I likely have I Ching-a-lexia, but this is probably just not my thing. Every reader has to go with what he or she loves.

Now, having said all that, I must now add that, aside from a procedure I find unnecessarily complex, I do enjoy what Hardie offers. Her "Personality Profile" section shows you how to discover–by birth order, birthdate and hemisphere of birth, north or south–which feature of nature and which season governs you. I am--proudly--Summer Wind (keyword: welcoming), since I was born the first daughter (and only child) of my mother in the Northern hemisphere in the depths of August. Hardie’s wise and well-written explanations are charming and helpful. The sections on each of the 64 possible divinations are also quite lovely, and I hope that Hardie will not mind that I’ll be using the old open-a-page-at-random divination method with her book. I’ve tried this already, and it works just fine.

As for throwing those three golden coins, they’re a tad big in the hand for comfort. But they’ll make a wonderful symbol on an altar.

© Eva Yaa Asantewaa, 2008

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