Insight Systems

Explorations on how tangential thinking can lead to deep insights. Includes information on astrology, tarot, and more.

I’m interested in how people try to make sense and gain insight about themselves, their lives and the world around them via outside patterns. Tarot and astrology are certainly two of the most accessible ways of doing that, but other things such as I Ching, palmistry, and other folk beliefs hold fascination.

Is this stuff real, you wonder? Who knows, I suppose it is if you believe it to be so. That doesn’t interest me so much as how the act of focusing on these systems elicits insight about a particular part of your life.

Say you are looking to make a big move in life, but are stuck on what to do. What if you pulled a Tarot card and thought about it for a moment? Maybe you spot something unexpected on it—a look on someone’s face, a detail—that sparks a new approach to your question. Maybe that leads to the insight you needed.

That such tangential thinking can help you sidle up to a real solution that might’ve been eluding you is really the notion which holds my attention.

But also, they’re fun.

Astrology #

Image describing the houses and what they mean for you. (via costar)
Image describing the houses and what they mean for you. (via costar)

1st houseSelf-image, the impressions you make on others
2nd houseYour personal resources, what makes you feel safe and secure
3rd houseWhat you know and your everyday surroundings, including siblings and familiar patterns
4th houseHome life, family, close relationships, the past and its effect on you
5th housePleasure & creativity, self-expression, fun, children
6th houseProductivity, service, routines
7th housePartnership and committed relationships, what you bring into your world through other people
8th houseHow you relate to other people’s resources and things out of your control, including beginnings and endings, transformations, crises
9th houseOpen-mindedness, philosophy, exchange of culture and ideas, expanded consciousness, travel
10th HouseYour public self and commitments, career, how you wanted to be remembered, your legacy
11th HouseYour social world, friends & acquaintances, how you relate to groups of people
12th HouseYour unconscious, dreams, fantasies

Scapulimancy #

Oracle Bone Inscription, c. 1300 BCE
Oracle Bone Inscription, c. 1300 BCE

After watching The Story of China to fill some gaps in my world history knowledge, I caught a segment on reading “dragon bones.” This is actually how historians uncovered the earliest form writing in China: they found burned animal bones with characters scratched onto them from the Shang Dynasty.

In this method of divination, holes were burned in one side of a bone with the intent to fracture the other side and give the reader an answer to a question. Questions like “will it rain” or “will our enemies attack” were common.

Further reading from JSTOR: How to Read the Bones Like a Scapulimancer