Adrian with glass orb CARD URL: http://www.zaporacle.com/card/microcosm/

Card #33 – Microcosm

Microcosm and macrocosm. Like a fractal, like a hologram, the small part recapitulates the whole. You are a microcosm of the human species and of the universe. If you fully comprehended yourself (an almost impossible task), you would know about the species and the whole universe. By looking within, you can see everything.

You are interacting with a microcosm right now. Oracles are designed to be microcosmic reflections of the macrocosm of you and your relationship to the cosmos. A good oracle contains archetypal signifiers — cards, hexagrams, etc. — which capture many of the key overarching patterns of human life. The more of these essential patterns an oracle contains, the better it is able to function as a parallel microcosm.


This card relates to oracles and the principle of synchronicity and indicates an auspicious time to consult oracles. Since you are consulting an oracle, this may indicate that you are presently in tune with the Tao. An oracle consultation is a conscious synchronicity, a microcosmic mirror of your macrocosmic orientation toward the Tao. Depending on the position of this card in your spread, you may want to do further readings on other aspects of your life. This is also a propitious time to reflect on your relationship with oracles and to learn more about them.

The image documents the first time I ever photographed someone tossing I Ching coins. It caught a coin landing perfectly on its edge. Years later, I took another photograph of someone tossing the I Ching coins, and it also captured a coin landing on its edge.

This card also relates to the Tao of photography — by the time you see a picture, it is too late to take it. The general meaning is to be guided by anticipatory intuition to catch things before they exit the gate of change.

The second time I photographed someone tossing I Ching coins, it also caught a coin landing on its edge.

Only you can decide if the results you get from an oracle are random or oracular synchronicities (parallelisms between your psyche/life situation and the signifiers — cards, hexagrams, etc — of the oracle). Many people find that there are certain times, especially when they are sincere in approaching the oracle (and truly in need) when every response is dead-on accurate. At other times, the responses seem random, irrelevant or even misleading, and this seems to especially happen when one is redundantly or indulgently consulting the oracle. In ancient times, and continuing into the present, people often approach oracles to confirm their ego preferences, to be flattered, or to get answers to questions when their intuition or a previous oracle has already supplied an answer. Mechanically, we approach the oracle as if we were pulling the handle of a slot machine until we get a prize. The I Ching recognizes this tendency and has many relevant lines in Hexagram # 4, Youthful Folly. For example, “It is not I who seeks the young fool; the young fool seeks me. At the first oracle I inform him, if he asks two or three times, it is importunity. If he importunes, I give him no information. It does not further to persevere.” If you do persevere, you may get random or irrelevant results, or, far more dangerously, the oracle may mirror your own trickster energy and give you the results your ego craves, allowing you to play the fool.

A moment of consulting an oracle is a networked constellation of elements. The oracle, your psyche, the particular moment in time, the method of choosing one of the oracle’s signifiers, and the principle of synchronicity are the chief elements. These elements must align for an ideal moment of oracle consultation.

Consider this card an opportunity to examine your relationship with the oracle.

Find out about Jonathan Zap’s I Ching Readings and Jonathan Zap’s Zap Oracle Reading Service
This is a propitious time to learn more about oracles. See:
Zap Oracle History
Zap Oracle Instructions
Some Things to Consider Before an I Ching Reading
Synchronicity — A Very Brief Introduction

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