Wednesday 29 June 2016

Aleister Crowley's sticks
This method is attributed to the controversial occultist Aleister Crowley. It has been reported that he used six flat sticks prepared as shown in the image (a 3D reconstruction).
Each stick has one side completely flat (representing yang, solid lines) and one side with a circular groove painted in red (representig yin, broken lines).
One of the sticks has one side painted in black, that stick represents a moving line.

The images shows the hexagram 31.5>62.

The method proceeds as follows:
  1. Without looking mix and shuffle the six sticks;
  2. Throw them on the table;
  3. Align them, always without looking, to form the hexagram;
  4. Look at the formed hexagram.


This method, which is identical to the six coins one, always produces exactly one changing line meaning that there are only 276 possible responses (out of the 4096 that are theoretically possible).

The probabilities for each lines are:

Prob(6) = Prob(9) = 1/6 * 1/2 = 8.33%
Prob(8) = Prob(7) = 5/6 * 1/2 = 41.67%
Prob(yin) = Prob(yang) = 1/2


  1. It seems to me that the hexagram shown in the image is 31.5>62 (not 21)

  2. In Crowley's method there was no stick marked as the changing line and the Yin side was marked by a red line which was painted on (no groove).

    1. Thanks. Do you happen to have an image (or know where I can get one) of the "original" sticks? It would be very helpful.