Old and New. Part I.

I had again the pleasure to cast I Ching this week - twice, graciously! - for two friends, one old, one new. 

SG, cast "16, Joy," moving into "13, Sameness with People." 


"Joy," interestingly is where I began writing the Book of Gardens: it was the first poem upon which I discovered so many 'rules' which would hold the Book together, as an artwork, and, as a contribution to the lineage of I Ching interpretation. That SG cast 16, brought about this memory for me: that Joy, is a great place to begin something.

Hexagram 16 is characterized by the image of Earth inside the image of Thunder. Earth is characterized by three lines of yin - broken lines - and whose nature, then, is flexible and of pure receptivity. When I was once lost to anger, I was advised to go and 'pound the earth,' or plow it, or hit it with a stick, as, "she could take it." Indeed, the Earth's embrace of our treatment is Great: met with an individual, she subdues, soothes, and loves. Though pure yin is often characterized as 'female,' I prefer to use 'The Feminine,' or better, 'the receptive.' Gender is often referred to in the I Ching, under several contexts, but if taken too literally, like, 'women are this way, and men are that way,' I find that what I Ching can offer a person begins to sound antiquated, or even silly.

Yes. Silly. (Click this!)
SG, is receptive quite naturally, and currently works in children's programming, a field which inherently asks for patience and fortitude. He also recently took on greater levels of responsibility within his organization. Between these two facts I found his casting of coins to be quite exciting. Comparing hexagrams 16 and 13 (in that order), the lower trigrams (bottom three lines) are moving from pure receptivity (earth) into illumination (fire), and the top trigram is moving from the action of thunder into the fuller action of heaven (pure yang). This suggests to me that if he continues along the active ground of being receptive - being actively receptive - this natural open welcome he possesses will allow him continued success toward the instruction and guidance of others - namely the young. Put another way, in all his actions, journeying from the inside and into the outward action of the work place, SG can travel quite literally from Earth to Heaven, from full and pure receptivity into full and pure action.

Presence, brings about Greatness.

If we look solely at the bottom lines of each trigram in this pair of hexagrams - that is, lines one and four in each body - there is a goodly amount of balance and constancy. The first (bottom) line of a trigram generally describes what takes place in a person's own self knowing. The fourth line of a hexagram depicts how they move this self awareness into the world. In 'Joy,' yin and yang are paired in the first and fourth lines, balancing each other. And SG here, is coming into a situation where he is rather balanced: he is self aware, receptive and humble to new information, and un-afeared to put his person into the world at large. At this time of change, of enhancement lets say, SG is moving into a time of greater action, as seen in the yang line in the first position of 'Sameness with People.' The yang lines in positions one and four of 'Sameness' can be interpreted here as mutually supporting one another, and there is also the potential of going to far, or being excessive. This is a mild caution in this case, as, moving from 'Joy' to 'Sameness,' the fourth line remains constant, and is supported by the other yangs of 'Sameness,' depicting a good/solid/supported outcome.

'Sameness,' first requires self-knowing, which SG practices in abundance. The bottom trigram of 'Sameness with People' is fire, or, illumination. Illumination inside, followed with heaven outside - fire into heaven. By pairing 'Joy' and 'Sameness with People,' we can see that flexible knowing, well rooted, is leading SG toward illuminated knowing: his personhood is growing, or, ascending. As indeed it should...

SG happens to be in his fifties. As the Chinese saying goes: "when you are 30, you are ready to walk; when you are 40, no one can fool you." And though I do not remember exactly what follows at 50, or 60, and onward... I would hazard to say that 'when you are 50, you can no longer fool yourself! Certainly, if there is grace in this life, SG reflects such by his general pleasant and optimistic demeanor. That he is in the position to guide children is in my opinion a beautiful thing, as his strategy of self awareness and self knowing appears to be moving toward being shared prolifically, shared well, and with grace, all by virtue of his inner life being flexible, receptive, and constant. When we look at the fourth lines of 'Joy' and 'Sameness,' both are yang, and again, this is the position of how ones self knowing moves through the world. There is a slight caution here of over-compensation for perhaps once being too passive (ie: the lower three yin lines in 'Joy'). On the flip side of that, lies the interpretation of constancy; that, things just get better as they age.

The other transition of note here is that in 'Joy,' there is only one line of yang; and in 'Sameness,' there is only one line of yin. The line of yin in 'Sameness' is in the second position - a lower chakra - and so I recommended that SG perhaps incorporate some more ginger into his diet (I like using ginger for tea myself: keep fresh roots in the freezer and grate the desired quantity into a tea cup for a spicy and pleasing drink). I wanted him to be certain that in this time of natural growth and expansion that his foundation (his kidneys) were well supported with routine care. Ginger tea, is easily something to look forward to, and so this caution is really a very light one. 

SG and I have crossed paths in a variety of circles over the years, and it was a true pleasure (honour!) to connect with him through my beloved study of I Ching. SG is clearly the person I had always sensed: a positive spirit, receptive and trustworthy, and a gentle leader. Thank you SG!! You are a fine example for us :) 

If anyone would like me to expound further on the pairing here of the second and fifth lines, or the third and six, do let me know. Each pairing reflects a different area of our life, and the pairing of hexagrams details how we are changing at this time; what we can work toward, hope for, and be cautiously aware of. A total appreciation of the Change at hand often brings about increased self awareness, acceptance, conscientiousness and tranquility. 

Thank you SG!! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment