Sunday, 29 May 2016

Sixteen beads bracelet

Inspired by the images of buddhist prayer beads, I decided to create an I Ching bracelet with a similar look. Initially, to be faithful to the sixteen marble method, I choose sixteen beads of four different colors, put them on a string and followed the prescribed procedure.

Soon after, however, I realized that one could use the relative position of the beads in the bracelet to simplify the method.
So I reduced the number of colors to two and grouped the beads as shown in the picture on the left.

The procedure is as follows:
  1. Pick, without looking, one of the beads
  2. Draw the line depending on the selected bead:
    • If it's the single black one, draw  ;
    • If it's one of the seven black ones, draw  ;
    • If it's one of the five wooden ones, draw  ;
    • If it's one of the five wooden ones, draw  ;
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 other five times and draw theline from th bottom to the top of the hexagram
And very shortly I understood that even using two colors were unnecessary: just marking the groups was enough:
In the picture above, beads in the same group are directly connected and groups are separated by a short (three links) chain.

The procedure is rather intuitive:
  1. Pick, without looking, one of the beads
  2. Draw the line depending on the selected bead:
    • If it's the single one, draw  ;
    • If it's one in the group of seven, draw  ;
    • If it's one in the group of five, draw  ;
    • If it's one in the group of three, draw  ;
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 other five times and draw theline from th bottom to the top of the hexagram
This is one of my favourite casting devices: you can keep one with you and using it for general meditation (or simply as an anti stress). In the past years I've made and lost many of them, made with every bead I could find.

The only caveat in making one is to ensure to get the right balance between having the groups well seprated and the possibility of recognize them by touching. Otherwise it will be either too difficult to read or too subject to involuntary selection of a specific group.

Probabilities

The arrangement of beads in the bracelets shown in the pictures above are so that:
Prob(6) = 1/16 = 6.25%
Prob(8) = 7/16 = 43.75%
Prob(7) = 5/16 = 31.25%
Prob(9) = 3/16 = 18.75%
Prob(yin) = Prob(yang) = 1/2

I've never built one but using beads of two colors it's easy to make a bracelets with the three coins probabilities. It's impossible to do the same using just one type of beds.


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