Thursday, March 10, 2005

First Sample reading: the I CHING speaks

Welcome !
The I-Ching, the only great ancient work of this period to survive a huge book-burning by tyrant, Ch'in Shih Huang Ti, in 213BC, was actually not translated from Chinese until the early 20th century, AD., by German scholar Richard Wilhelm, and not into English til 1965. This is the edition, with a forward by Jung, that I have studied, used and cherished in my own life since 1968, when, as a young woman, it forcefully struck me between the eyes with its personal and universal relevance .
The I Ching is firstly a book of Wisdom -the state of Human affairs in general and states of transition in particular, presented in a series of 64 Hexagrams; poem-like verses invoking archetypical Images of and advice for, situations in flux. It starts with the basics: the Male (Yang) Creative, represented by the Dragon,and the Female (Yin) Receptive, has the Image of a Mare, tirelessly roaming the earth, grounded and Real. (One mustn't be put off by the sexist-sounding language, as the Book assigns equal power to both polarities, and assumes both polarities exist in all men and women. Thus the The Creative comes first because it represents the initial spark, of Life, of Idea. Then Must come the Receptive, to nurture it on Earth and give it Actuality!)
Beginning, then, with Creative, shown as 6 straight Male lines and Receptive, 6 Female broken lines, it cycles through all possible combinations of straight and broken lines, returning at #64 to Before Completion , (NOT "After Completion" ) and the cycle begins again.
The ancient method of Divining used yarrow stalks, but a simpler method using coins is quicker.
The coins' two sides are designated with numeric values as well as sex: Male Heads=3, Female Tails=2.
The Hexagram is drawn from bottom up, straight lines Male and broken lines Female.
The Reader first clears her mind and her table, and focuses on a situation where guidance is desired. Then she tosses three coins counts them up:
There's two heads and a tail, so 3+3+2=8, an even number, drawn as a Yin (Femle) broken line __ __
The next toss is two tails and a head, so 2+2+3=7, a Yang(Male) straight line _____
The next toss is three Heads, a 9, also a straight, male line, but because it's a 9,(as opposed to a 7) is further marked with an x through the line: ___x___ (Please note: typing does not allow me to show this as an unbroken line, but it is!)
A toss of three Tails, a Yin 6, is also marked, but with a O in the space: ___o___
These two are called "Changing Lines" because these lines not only speak in more detail about the subject as separate verses, but then "change" to the opposite sex, and re-drawn as a new Hexagram that indicates how this situation will further develop, or "change".
So far, by example, we have four of the six lines, looking like this:
___ ___

and let me just Actually TOSS the other two>>>>>> it was a 7 and an 8, which added to the top gives us the final hexagram:
___ ___
___ ___

(there is a chart to locate it, dividing it into two Trigrams, upper and lower.... they all have a name, too! this one's Wood over Water)
This Hexagram is #48, called "Ching,The Well' (Wow! This is the I Ching representing itself to us!)
it is the universal Image of the "Inexhaustible dispensing of Nourishment" -and that includes Wisdom!
The Image is Water over wood, both wood as a bucket and wood as a plant that sucks water out of the ground. "Thus the Superior Man organizes human society so that all parts of the whole benefit"
The Judgement verse says,

"The Town may be changed,
but the Well cannot be changed.....
They come and go from the Well... (and then a warning )
If one gets almost down to the water
And the rope does not go all the way, (this signifies only a partial understanding, which is worse than none at all)
Or the Jug Breaks, it brings misfortune." (The breaking of the jug means carelessness, but also in the sense of mis-using the Military, the "groundwater" of defence in EXCESS , resulting in the annihilation of the State. (WHOA! like I said, Bush needs to consult this Oracle! That's what I got LAST time I asked about the him and the Iraq War!)

Then, each Hexagram has six "Lines", which can be read as a general progression of the situation or the lesson, but in the case of our two "changing lines", (even though they were superficially picked to illustrate the mechanism) they are speaking further to us:
>Nine in the third place means:

"The Well is cleaned, but no one drinks from it.
This is my Heart's Sorrow,
For one might draw from it.
If the King were Clear-minded,
good Fortune might be enjoyed in common."
(It's the Book itself speaking, and HOW TRUE! King George is definitely NOT clear-minded!)

>6 in the fourth place means:

"The Well is being lined. No Blame" ( it will soon be in use again! How exciting!)

Ok, as if that wasn't impressive enough, we now re-draw the Hexagram changing the marked lines to their opposite sex:
We now have: (No more marks)

___ ___
___ ___
___ ___

#47 "Oppression/Exhaustion" the Image of a Lake drained dry from below(...Like our Economy?! ) and explains:
"Thus everywhere Superior Men are oppressed and held in restraint by inferior Men"
(ain't THAT the Truth!)

... but The Judgement says:

"Oppression. SUCCESS. Perseverance. (a favorite concept in the I Ching as in "Furthering through Perseverance")
The great man brings about good fortune.
No blame.
When one has something to say,
it is not believed"
.... and explains in the footnotes, "Times of Adversity..can lead to success if they befall the right man.
He who lets his spirit be broken by exhaustion certainly has no success. But if adversity only bends
someone, it creates a power within to react that is bound in time to manifest itself even though for the
time being outward influence is denied .

"Thus the Superior Man stakes his life
On following his Will."
(for this alone is superior to all external Fate)

Pretty much IT in a nutshell, wouldn't you say?

I will be asking the I Ching to speak to us regularly, as I regularly have alot on my mind, and things are in an especially huge state of flux right now.
Please think about what's going on in the World and what larger issue you might want to consult with the Oracle about. Please no personal stuff at this time, as I'm doing this for free, and I want to stick to the Big Picture. "Yes" and "No" questions don't really work here, and a humble universal approach works best. I will try to pick the best topics first, and I can't guarantee I'll address all of them, but I'd like to hear from People! Your Guide and Reader, Mme. Zaratamara


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