Consulting the Oracle

yicard40   yicard47

(Yicards by Luis Andrade )

A while back I picked up a book on the I Ching – an ancient Chinese oracle.  The idea of the I Ching had been floating in the back of my mind ever since I read The Golden Compass, and I found my copy going really cheaply at a closing-down book sale.

Last night, the eve of the last Full Moon of the year, seemed like a good time to consult the I Ching with the most general of questions: On the brink of a New Year, what has the Oracle to say? Beneath this question, among other things, was a niggling frustration with my lack of getting a move on with things I have lined up in my mind to do – mostly writing projects – including updating this blog.

I flipped my coins to build up the six lines of an I Ching hexagram. Number 40 – thunder over deep water – Zhen over Kan. The fifth line was a “changing” line – broken becoming solid (a broken line is yin, while the solid is yang). This means a second hexagram can be formed when the line is changed – 47 – lake or marsh over water – Dui over Kan.

Each hexagram has a relating oracle – a symbol and an explanation, that has formed over time – much like the explanations of tarot that have formed over time, though older – much older.

Hexagram 40: “Release. Fruitful in the southwest. With no place to go, to turn round and come back is good fortune. With a direction to go, daybreak, good fortune.”
Moving “southwest” means no longer battling to pursue the mission, but heading back to your roots, reconnecting with home and allies. Knowing where you’re coming from helps to be clear about where you’re going to. Essentially, if one has no direction, one should return to one’s roots and if one does have a direction, start out immediately with exploring ways to attain the goal.

The image: “Thunder and rain do their work: Release. a noble one pardons transgressions and forgives crimes” – comes with the suggestion to imagine the air after a thunderstorm, clean and clear with all tension released. What a lovely way to release the year that has been and prepare to start the new!

The changing line – 5 in my case, says “A noble one, bound, is released. Good fortune. There is truth towards small people.” this comes with the explanation that the noble one is not truly trapped in the first place, but can express his/herself with the constraints. With changing the broken line to solid, I now have

Hexagram 47: “Confined, creating success. Constancy of a great person, good fortune. Not a mistake. There are words, not trusted.”
Expanded, this means that the great person finds good fortune in the inner ideal – not reliant on outward signs of progress and confirmation. Words are merely circulating ideas, not to be trusted. The aim is self-reliance without outside help.

The image:”Lake without water. Confined. A noble one carries out the mandate, fulfils her aspiration.” – The lake water (vitality, communication and exchange of ideas) drains downward and inward, merging with the stream in a single strong current. In the same way a noble one lets his/her mandate or calling flow together with the aspiration of his/her own heart. The two strengthen one another and create an inner momentum that follows through to fulfilment.

Combining the two hexagram meanings, I have a great sense of encouragement, with an expectation that the forward momentum depends on me and not any outside “rescue” or assistance. I will be able to stamp my results with a great sense of accomplishment in the end: All my own work – this is the gift of me being true to my heart and calling, to the world. What more can anyone ask for?

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~ by Dragonwyst on December 28, 2012.

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