Bright Leo Gazing.

I've had a couple of I Ching sessions over the last few months, but have been far too busy to blog about them. The good news contained in that is that I've readied my Book of Gardens for self-publication now, and am going to make a few more adjustments to it before releasing it publicly. An excerpt from the book came to mind while crafting this post, and is pasted below...

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My new friend K met with me today, and I had the good fortune of exchanging with her a review of my astrological birth-chart. I also had the privilege of being the first person she's offered this to(!) 

K, is not the only astrologer in her family, and sharing her process with others has been something she has been considering for some time. Similar to my first post from a year-and-a-half ago, once a person knows their source of wisdom well, much benefit and learning can be generated by sharing it with others. The exchange of insight produces more insight...

Illumination into Action


K's question drew one of the "timeless" hexagrams, #30 - Fire, moving into #37 People in the Home (Hexagram Titles are in accord with Professor Thomas Cleary's Buddhist I Ching). My own practice for describing I Ching to another has come along well in the past eighteen months, but nevertheless, describing the movement of energy demands a fair amount of attention to uncover the best words.

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What remains constant between these two hexagrams is the element of fire - or illumination - on the inside, lower half. Fire is characterized by a single yin line in the centre of two yang lines. 

As usual, I made sure I did not know K's question(s), as I look only to speak on the movements of yin & yang, ensuring that my listener works alongside me to apply the image, the quality, and the character to their own question process. I would otherwise probably fall into the pitfall of advising; and though I love the study of psychology, a psychologist I am not.

Following this pattern of considering image, quality, and character, the hexagrams arising here depict one major shift when we look at them in terms of their four component trigrams. 75% of this time for K is characterized by Fire - by illumination. At first there is fire within fire: illumination within illumination.  This hexagram, along with #1 Heaven, #2 Earth, and #30 Mastering Pitfalls (Water) are considered universal, or timeless, in that they have a presence at all times. That K was introducing herself to I Ching may well be contributing to one of these timeless hexagrams rising into play, pairing her own self-study of psyche via astrology to an introductory exploration of I Ching.

Simultaneously though, the pure Fire of this first hexagram is moving toward fire-within-wind, or, illumination-within-action. Meditating on this alone brings about a certain quality: imagine that fire-on-the-inside takes place within your belly, and fire-on-the-outside takes place within your mind, or the front of your head. Use this contemplation of image to concentrate your mind, and really centre your mental focus on these areas in your body. Though this may prove best to have someone talk you through it, if you truly place an image of a warm hearth at your belly - and stay with that for a few deep belly breaths - it cannot help but calm and focus you. From there then, imagine a second hearth just behind the front of your forehead... After a moment of focusing in this way, shift then the outer image (the one in your head) from fire, to that of wind, and note the arising qualitative difference. 

This small exercise in concentration and imagination brings your thinking and feeling onto task. Contemplating image, and quality, generally pair together like this. Much of I Ching begins with this kind of familiarity.

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Having made this exchange of Astrology for I Ching, and knowing that I was K's inaugural client, it struck me readily that her own source of wisdom has been something of a long time source of inspiration - a reliable self-study. A person cannot really offer these practices to others unless the information and wisdom has been absorbed fully. Knowing the map, one enters the territory...

The movement between this pairing of hexagrams takes place in the fourth and fifth lines - the heart & throat chakras. I draw a correlation between looking to Serve, or fulfill-a-purpose, with the movement here in the fourth and fifth lines. The heart line here becomes more receptive, while the voice/fifth line becomes more active.


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Whether her deepening involvement with Astology has anything to do with her question, I of course have no idea and nor do I want to for fear of advising falsely. However: the correlation is quite strong. Her decision to move into this avenue of work and service most likely took a great deal of reflection,  consideration and decision making. No doubt she followed something much like a guiding "light" to do so.

After describing these movements taking place in the outside (top trigram), we looked briefly on the levels of personal (lines 1 & 4), the interpersonal (lines 2 & 5), and the societal (lines 3 & 6). 

I may have written in earlier posts that the lines of a hexagram are numbered from bottom to top, but I suppose it is worth repeating just that. The first three lines then, look at the personal, interpersonal, and societal as she experiences and thinks on them in private; or, the Inside. And the top lines (4,5,6) direct our considerations of the personal, interpersonal, and societal as we experience them in real-time out in the world. The Outside. More on the contemplation of "Inside & Outside" appear here in the blog.

Looking upon the changes here in this way, there is movement on the personal and interpersonal levels - as she experiences them in the world at large (the Outside) - which, regardless of her question, correlate strongly to this move to serve others with astrology. Stated briefly: how she views herself in the world and her relations with others is here in movement. Out busy in the day-to-day, personally for her it is a time of increasing receptivity (the change taking place in the fourth line); and interpersonally it is a time of increasing activity (the change taking place in the fifth line)

Sounds like career change?? 

From the astrological reading she gave me, I happen to have an interesting configuration of planets in the house relating to career and work (ie: Mercury & Venus; with Jupiter! in higher learning & long distance travel) - so in the above description, you may well be witnessing my own bias upon career and roles coming into view, and yet I Ching hides nothing(!) It can only reveal what-is.

The third correlation I drew was that Fire can also be considered as a middle male child, while the Wind (contained in the upper part of the second hexagram in this pair) can be considered as the eldest daughter. So the aspect of maturation, or family rank, also corresponds to the enlargement into serving others with her now well-studied wisdom.


Looking a little more deeply into this idea of rank, or progress and progression, here is an excerpt from my upcoming book which looks at character as a matter of degree:

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Introduction: The Book of Gardens: A Lover's Manual for Planet Earth
by Philip W. Sarsons

(20% of proceeds being donated to Johnson's Landing )

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Lastly, we meditated together on the images: fire/illumination inside the belly, with fire moving to wind in the mind. The sensation of ensuing breadth which I experienced was rather interesting. Naturally, wind fans flames; the fire removes the excess, and the wind carries insight over a greater territory. One's vision covers more ground.

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I truly look forward to future exchanges with K, because similar to myself, K looks at any one movement of our cosmos as a movement of mind and psyche. She began her examination of my birth-chart with a review of the Kybalion main principles, as well as gazing upon a selection of tarot cards - selected in accord with the numerology associated with my birth date. As with I Ching, there are few coincidences, and the primary card associated to my birth is... The Hermit!

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Indeed: living alone on a mountainside has been one of the highlights in my life. Yet, like the Heirophant, I aim currently toward a rounder social experience which includes the mystical.

Bravo K! A world of increased Joy stands before you, and I look forward to sharing future readings greatly! There can be no greater pleasure than shining each our light onto how we understand Our Psyche, seeing our selves-as-nature. 

In time, should you develop a web presence, I'll greatly look forward to supporting you. It's a powerful thing to share sincerely from a place of well studied and integrated wisdom. 

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