I’m a complete nonbeliever in the supernatural. Recently I tried a couple I Ching readings and today a friend did a tarot reading. I tried them not because I feel as though some force in the universe is speaking to me, but as a way to push my thoughts outside their normal patterns. Both experiences reminded me of setting up rules for a poem. Part of the fun of writing a sonnet or a villanelle is avoiding your normal writing patterns by imposing a new structure. In the case of both the I Ching reading and the tarot reading, I found it fun and even instructive to focus on the particular topics called up in the readings. I wouldn’t make major life decisions based on a coin toss or a random series of cards, but I’d certainly try either method to impose a new set of rules on my thought patterns.