Alternative Astrology:
The 256 Concepts (An I Ching substitute)

When looking at the system from an astrological perspective, fifteen steps seems to be about the right "granularity". When thinking about an I Ching clone or Tarot deck based on the system, more detail needs to be added.

There are 256 concepts in this scheme, making it suitable for binary generation using yarrow stalks, coins or a computer. There are fifteen sequences corresponding to the steps above, each containing eight pairs of concepts plus the 'Capital' concept for that sequence. Finally, there is one card representing the Unknown. The tables below shows the individual concepts embodied in the sequences.

The system might be compared to the runes, for each of the five elements is represented by three groups each containing eight items; however, the triplicity which divides the groups bears little relation to the 'aettirs' or families of runes. It would seem much more applicable to assign the runes of Freyja's aettir to 'Feeling'; of Heimdall's, to 'Doing' and 'Having'; and of Tiwaz's, to 'Thinking' and 'Being'.

It would have been neat to link the Trigrams of the I Ching to the eight items in each sequence. This, too, seems to be stretching things too far to be useful, though it is a particularly attractive idea, and if anyone should come up with a sensible way of doing so I would be interested.

It is a shame that these tables could not be represented somehow in a three-dimensional form, because the ordering of concepts within the sequences is not random and the system is only apparent when an item of one sequence is compared with the corresponding items of the other sequences connected with the same element. For instance, looking at the 'ones' of the 'Doing' sequences, 'Energy' in Power becomes 'Progress' in Enterprise and finally 'Completion' in Idealism. A similar problem manifests when presenting correspondences — see section V.


1. Power2. Form3. Intellect4. Experience5. Image
energy presence intelligence pleasure individuality
lethargy absence imbecility pain uniformity
strength substantiality cunning desire beauty
weakness insubstantiality artlessness indifference ugliness
creative symmetry reasoning love plainness
destructive amorphism intuition hate ornament
exertion stability curiosity hope wit
repose changeability indifference fear dullness
influence greatness attention cheerfulness vigour
impotence smallness inattention dejection feebleness
violence multitude demonstration wonder elegance
moderation fewness confutation expectance inelegance
attack mixture evidence excitement taste
defence simplicity assumption boredom vulgarity
fatigue natural possibility sociality healthiness
refreshment artificial impossibility solitude insalubrity


6. Enterprise7. Status8. Balance9. EmotionA. Expression
progress repute memory forgiveness originality
delay disrepute oblivion revenge imitation
preparation nobility discrimination pity clarity
non-preparation commonality obtuseness hardness obscurity
contributary independence foresight friendship liberation
counteractive restraint short-sight enmity frustration
use freedom credulity courage coherence
misuse subjection incredulity cowardice incoherence
skill superiority accuracy gratitude aggression
incompetence inferiority inaccuracy ingratitude defence
haste increase judgement respect loquacity
leisure decrease misjudgement disrespect taciturnity
co-operation wealth knowledge caution interpretation
opposition poverty ignorance rashness misunderstanding
difficulty equality certainty courtesy manifestation
ease inequality uncertainty discourtesy latency


B. IdealismC. VolitionD. HumanismE. MoralityF. Synthesis
completion will sanity good continuity
abandonment necessity insanity evil discontinuity
discipline authority fairness virtue perfection
indolence laxity bias vice imperfection
directed intention mercy right organisation
aimless chance severity wrong disorganisation
goodness plan belief purity completeness
badness impulse unbelief impurity incompleteness
triumph resolution care innocence life
failure irresolution neglect guilt death
importance gain reward piety order
unimportance loss punishment impiety chaos
concord liberality wisdom temperance expectation
discord economy folly intemperance disappointment
perseverance promise truth vanity progression
withdrawal release error modesty regression

This page originally found at
Last updated: 14 March 2002

Notices & Disclaimers


Magic & the Occult
The Fifteen Steps Introduction The Images