Daoism and Cct

Customs and Rituals

How do Daoists and practitioners of CCT today determine their destinies with divination?

Most common of the methods are those that involve the use of bamboo sticks and crescent-shaped blocks. In CCT temples, devotees approach a barrel crammed full of long sticks containing combinations of trigrams called hexagrams, or, alternatively, numbers from one to sixty-four (the total number of combinations of the eight trigrams). Grabbing a handful of sticks, they shake them and then let them fall back into the barrel. Invariably one stick will protrude above the rest, and it provides the critical symbol for that individual to interpret. When sticks are numbered, devotees request a corresponding slip of paper from the temple staff. On the paper they then read an often enigmatic or poetic interpretation of the corresponding hexagram. Devotees can also drop a pair of crescent-shaped blocks with one smooth side symbolizing Yang and one convex side symbolizing Yin. Devotees pose questions as they drop the blocks. One Yang and one Yin side up means “yes,” while the other combinations mean “no.” Worshippers unsatisfied with a particular answer may simply continue dropping blocks until they receive the desired response.


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