Friday, January 31, 2014

What to do with the question?

We approach the oracle with a situation, a concern ... a question. The oracle advises. I got to thinking this morning, "What could be one or two words of advisement for each response that the oracle gives?" Here, intuitively, are the responses of each hexagram / principle:

(Photo by marekuliasz, via shutterstock) 

 1. Create it.
 2. Embody it.
 3. Grapple with it.
 4. Learn it.
 5. Abide it.
 6. Spar with it.
 7. Command it.
 8. Unite with it.
 9. Restrain it, lightly.
10. Conduct it.
11. Be at peace with it.
12. Let it sink.
13. Befriend it.
14. Reign over it.
15. Moderate it.
16. Dance with it.
17. Follow its example.
18. Heal it.
19. Aspire to it.
20. See its entirety.
21. Give it justice.
22. Beautify it.
23. Let it die.
24. Let it return.
25. Awe it.
26. Restrain it, mightily.
27. Nourish it.
28. Bear it.
29. Sink into it.
30. Fuel it.
31. Attract it.
32. Persist with it.
33. Retreat from it.
34. Empower it.
35. Progress it.
36. Dim it.
37. Embrace it.
38. Contrast it.
39. Surmount it.
40. Free it.
41. Release it.
42. Bestow it.
43. Resolve it.
44. Encounter it.
45. Gather it in.
46. Ascend it.
47. Endure it.
48. Ensoul it.
49. Change it.
50. Cook it.
51. Shock it.
52. Contemplate it.
53. Develop it.
54. Submit to it.
55. Bask in it.
56. Let it roam.
57. Gentle it.
58. Enjoy it.
59. Dissolve it.
60. Limit it.
61. Revere it.
62. Detail it.
63. Culminate it.
64. Question it. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Hexagram 3 ("at this moment" poems)

It's all splitting open now

The mother of all is

splitting open wide

wide wider to pain

without bend

Mother and other
convulsing as one



and rabid

for release

Neither knows yet


a flower

from one root.

Art: Salvador Dali, "Birth of the New Man," from

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A perennial question ... and a perennial response (Hexagram 36, CONCEALMENT)

(Photo: Photopathica, "Obscured Light")

"Thirty-six," I thought, "Again." ~ Reader, do you ever notice how one hexagram arises again and again in response to your queries? Do you wonder if somehow, your soul is asking the same question over and over, seemingly disguised as other questions? Is it possible that the oracle is prodding you into an awareness that you haven't yet, can't yet ... won't yet see? Does a singular hexagram seem to replay a theme for you, as if it's a song whose melody you keep forgetting; a theme that might underscore all the currents of how you live day to day?

Are you snuffing out your own light, or protecting it? Is someone else attempting to darken your life, your volition? Remember this:

Sun in the mouth of day,
Moon in the teeth of night -- 
Taste everything, they say;
Swallow nothing but light.

(Robley Wilson, "Envoi")

There is the setting sun, whose light falls away from our eyes, every day. Night is a natural, cyclical concealment. All is dimmed, for a while.

There are the lights that we turn off every night, in accordance with Life. Night has come; we rest; we sleep.

Look at the darkness, giving birth to the sun. 
(Kahlil Gibran)

Then there are the forms of protection, our deliberate dimmings: 1. Natural, as a plant in seed. The husk is hard, impenetrable, so the living can begin within. Intentional obscuring for the purpose of later revelation. 2. Self-protection, for good or ill.  One is in hiding: concealed, eclipsed; protecting the core; veiling the light. 3. So we don't forget: sometimes to be in hiding is simply to play hide 'n' seek: it's a form of play. 

Every fire needs to be put out, eventually, so it doesn't consume what contains it.

Jack Balkin (The Laws of Change) : "Anyone who thinks that the sun will never rise again has lost touch with reality. The same is true of your situation."

Think of Carl Jung's two psychological shadows. One, he thought, was entirely natural, operating in accordance with natural laws (as in the sun's course through a day). The other shadow ... This, he believed, was self-created. Some know it as the monstrous shadow. It is our shame; our concealment of being. This is the shadow that we must work with, deliberately. 

Swallow nothing but light. 

The arc of the sun (Hexagram 35, PROGRESS)

It might seem strange to begin a post about Hexagram 35, PROGRESS, with a quote about "bumps in the road" ... but Hexagram 39, OBSTACLES, is the nuclear (inner; implicit; embedded) principle within 35.

They'll always be there ... the bumps, the challenges, the seemingly implacable inner mountains that so often are the molehills of a life. Some of those challenges are with us for as long as we live. Even so ...

PROGRESS. An easy arc of movement, like the sun arising at dawn. Both an upward movement, and a lateral one. Thus, the arc. We might think of a rainbow.

It's been a long time since I've posted here. Grave challenges have hindered my health over the last few years, including basic abilities like ... thinking a thought all the way through! Even as some challenges have not eased, and indeed have worsened, there is an arc arising.

Inevitable dawn. We so easily forget the dawn during deepest night.

It's fitting to return to this blog with the principle of PROGRESS; my very first post was about it, too.

PROGRESS. It implies:

A Sunny Day
A Sure Sense Of Direction
Appropriate Expansion
Dawn In Progress
Ease of Movement
Effortless Effort
Full Steam Ahead!
Mutual Advancement
Preparing for Recognition
Refined and Worthy Work
Steady Gains.

Wilhelm's translation of the oracle's Judgment for Hexagram 35 states that "the powerful prince is honoured with horses in large numbers." I think of those "horses" as vital energy, intrinsic power (which is the theme of Hexagram 34). 

Wilhelm again: "The light of the sun as it rises over the earth is by nature clear. The higher the sun rises, the more it emerges from the dark mists, spreading the pristine purity of its rays over an ever widening area ... Clarity rises high over the earth." Progress radiates in all directions. 

"Everything that has a will to live seeks the light," writes Frits Block. Light seeks us, too. The two trigrams that make up the PROGRESS hexagrams are Fire over Earth -- natural elements in their natural placements. Sun over Ground. The "sun" of our mind, illuminating all that we do, if we choose to "shed light on [our] values and clarify what is most central" (Jack Balkin). 

My most recent divination -- a question about receiving spiritual direction from a particular person -- yielded PROGRESS with no changing lines. A huge "Yes!" Hua-Ching Ni, in his masterful translation of the I Ching, writes that "the most important progress to be made is the development of virtue ... by responding to high spiritual influences."

What an affirming divination to receive in early November, just after we've switched back to "standard time", when the world is darkening for Winter's deep sleep. 

Follow the radiance ... and be it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Beauty in the ruins (Hexagram 23)

Now that I have cooled to you
Let there be gold of tarnished masonry,
Temples soothed by the sun to ruin
That sleep utterly.

~ William Carlos Williams,
from 'Postlude'

     In the I Ching's sequence of its 64 principles, Hexagram 23, SPLITTING APART / DETERIORATION is placed between GRACE / BEAUTY and RETURN / RENEWAL. Beauty ascends, then withers, as Autumn follows Summer. Winter stills the earth ... and then Spring returns to breathe its green upon what has died ...
     The nuclear hexagram (the inner operating principle) of H23 is H2, THE RECEPTIVE / PURE YIN, symbolized by the Element of Earth ... and the fact of the Earth that is our home. All things emerge from what lives beneath and around us; be assured that after the cooling, the utter sleep, Life will turn over and reveal a new emergence ... 

'Postlude' in full is here.
Photos linked directly 
to their sources.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Of course there's a Something (Hexagram / Principle 1, CREATION, EXISTENCE)

-- It came into being. 
You, me, us, all of it -- 
Something from nothing.
Something ... from Nothing
and here we all are.
Something emerged ... and Something 
merged ... 
and we who are human
in mind 
grapple It,
battle It ...
the soles of our feet 
know It is true: 
we are here: Life
marks the spot.
When our kind could begin
to ponder this Something, we
called it, mostly, 

We all name It
something ...
we are urged
from the soles 
of our feet
to name It ...
to know from our
souls that It
is Why we are here. 
BEING explodes into being. 
Hello, world!


To be alone, but to be pierced through with a kingly joy, now and then, as I believe I am, is a great possession indeed. As I sit here at this table ... I must report to you this sensation of some gold essence striking into me, blood deep.

~ Sebastian Berry, The Secret Scripture
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