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NEW MOON IN SAGITTARIUS I CHING GUA: SHI-MULTITUDE

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

The New Moon in Sagittarius appeared on Saturday morning, November 22, 2014 at 7:32 AM EST. That morning, shortly after the Moon was exactly conjunct with the Sun and newly in the sign of Sagittarius, I sat with my yarrow stalks and cast an I Ching Gua (a six line hexagram) to determine the energies for the coming month. And the result is an interesting one that I’ve been giving a lot of thought to.Shi-Multitude

It’s pictured here: only one Yang line at the 2nd position. All the rest are Yin lines. And there are no changing lines; this is a stable, some might say “stagnant” energy for the month.

My primary source for interpreting my I Ching practice is Taoist Master Alfred Huang’s The Complete I Ching. While most English translations of the Shi is “Army” Master Huang goes back to the older meaning, “Multitude.” In ancient China there were no standing armies. If there was a need for an army – only two reasons required one: defense against invasion and to overthrow a tyrant – military units were assembled from among the peasants who had some training in military action while they were idle during inactive farming seasons. I too prefer the older interpretation of the word and this Gua.

For me this hexagram represents a community. Rosemary and I both have been writing and thinking a lot about community, how important it is for human evolution. Humans are social beings. We have survived and evolved through gathering together in groups of mutual support and aid. In our modern world we seem to have lost this concept. We have turned to a “dog-eat-dog” world of competition, everyone for themselves, “whoever dies with the most wins.” We also seem to have lost any recognition or respect for leadership. With the “me first” attitude so prevalent there is no trust of anyone who might propose a movement toward progress.

This Gua, Multitude, speaks to this modern social dilemma. Note the second line is the only solid, Yang, or strong line in the hexagram. The Yin lines seem to pivot about this second line, the leader of the multitude. “He” derives his authority from the Yin line at the fifth position, a line representing feminine energy. There is excellent balance between masculine and feminine power in this Gua and the other Yin lines represent the community.

It is time for all of us to find our communities. If we are not in community we can either find one to join or build one. There is stability in this Gua, no changing lines, to emphasize this message. The key meaning is in Confucius’ Commentary on the Decision:

Shi is a multitude.
Persistence is for righteousness.

One who is able to lead the multitude
To persist for righteousness
Is able to bring peace to the world.

Firm and central,
He obtains a response.
Taking the risk of dangerous action,
He confronts no hindrance.
Relying on this,
He maintains public order,
And people follow him.
Good fortune.
What mistake should there be?

Fu-Turning BackThis month I also want to offer the Mutual Gua to shed more light on this energy of “Multitude.” This Gua is formed by taking the inner lines to form a new one: the second through fourth lines form the bottom trigram and the third through the fifth lines form the top trigram. This yields Fu which means “Turning Back.”

Master Huang says we should always look at the Mutual Gua: “The hidden meaning of any Gua lies in it’s mutual Gua; it should not be ignored.”

Turning back means to return to the beginning; to repeat a cycle. The Gua is said to represent the eleventh month in the Chinese Lunar calendar and the bottom Yang line can represent the Winter Solstice and return of the Sun. The Decision for this Gua says it all:

Turning back.
Prosperous and smooth.
Going out and coming in.

No harm.
Friends arrive.
No fault.
The Tao of falling away and turning back,
In seven days comes the return.
Favorable to have somewhere to go.

We look now toward Thanksgiving and the holiday season. Enjoy community. Find community. Build community. Thrive and evolve. The energies of this time support you!

Many blessings and gratitude for you, kind readers!

PS: Sorry to increase the length of this already long post, but I wanted to add this from Rosemary about the energies of Sagittarius:

According to The Mountain Astrologer magazine, ‘Sagittarius is the sign most associated with discovering the meaning of life and our role in it.’ Are you ready to begin a new cycle of living your purpose? Can you commit to evolving your consciousness and shining your light more brightly?

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New Moon in Scorpio I Ching

October 24, 2014 Leave a comment

This New Moon yesterday evening (here on the East Coast at 5:56 pm) was a powerful one and brought with it a solar eclipse. We had western clouds obscuring it here but here’s a picture of the eclipse from Griffith Observatory:

And the New Moon signals me to bring out the yarrow stalks and sit with them to cast a I Ching Gua (hexagram of yin and yang lines) to “read” the energies brought in with this New Moon in the Astrological sign of Scorpio.Yi-Increasing

Here is the resulting Gua:

I am please to report that this is an auspicious sign for the coming month (moonth) and it is a steady one, i.e. there are no changing lines in the cast so we can expect “steady increasing” through the month.

My main reference for the I Ching  is The Complete I Ching by Taoist Master Alfred Huang. His book is deep, thorough and clear. My favorite segment of the text for this Gua, Yi, is the last verse of Confucius’ Commentary on King Wen’s Decision:

Increase means with gentleness and mildness.
It proceeds daily without limits.
Heaven bestows and Earth accepts.
Thereby things increase without restriction.
The Tao of increasing always proceeds in harmony with the time.

The picture here is Wind over Thunder. The gentleness comes from above, from the Wind trigram. And the power, the “daily without limits” comes from below, Thunder. The image of “Heaven bestows and Earth accepts” suggests this receiving of gifts without restraint – gifts from Heaven!

This interpretation comes from a transformation of another Gua formed by the Heaven trigram (three solid, Yang lines) above and the Earth trigram (thee open, Yin lines) below. By moving the fourth line in this hexagram (which is Pi-Hindrance)  to the bottom we get our new hexagram, Increasing. The gift flows down from Heaven offering increase to the Earth!

We are in a period of change, rapid for some. Rosemary and I have been writing about this all week; the theme has been “change, transformation, transition.” Today’s I Ching divination supports this with good news! The transition phase we are in is bringing increase, steady increase that is both gentle and mild. Let’s enjoy this period of positive growth!

This Gua does come with a warning in the form of that top Yang line; the Yao text says: “No increase, but a strike. Not keeping the heart steady: misfortune.” The top line is at the extreme end of the Gua and is Yang. From here it is likely to shift unless close attention is given – “keeping the heart steady”! If we are consistent in our approach, remain aware of our purpose and proceed accordingly, steady increase is our reward!

PS: The Astrology supports the I ChingMy friend, Gloria Hesseloff offers a New Moon newsletter each month and I am always tickeled (not surprised) with the mutual support between what the Yarrow Stalks tell me and the Astrology tells Gloria. Here’s a snippet from her MAGNETIC MOON NEWSLETTER month:

This month take the Pluto/Scorpio Path of Self-Empowerment. This is a vital part of this Great Shift. Be part of the movement where folks like us, seeking higher consciousness, are practicing right use of power for the higher good. Be especially diligent about what you are thinking and feeling. What are you broadcasting to the Field and what are you praying for through your thoughts and feelings?

Be aware that we are also experiencing a Solar Eclipse which is offering us the opportunity to jumpstart our consciousness, asks us the question, “Are you ready to move to a higher octave?”

Thanks, Gloria!

 

New Moon in Libra I Ching Divination

September 29, 2014 Leave a comment

For each new moon I cast an I Ching Gua – a six line hexagram of solid and broken lines (Yang and Yin) lines. I use the yarrow stalk method to derive the Gua. And I use The Complete I Ching by Taoist Master Alfred Huang as my main source to interpret the Gua.

I Ching Gua-HuanThe new moon in the sign of Libra occurred last Wednesday, September 24, at 2:14 am EDT. I cast the Gua on that day to get an idea of the energies coming in for the month. The initial Gua is pictured here. It is Huan which means “dispersing.” Huan is composed of two trigrams, Wind over Water (Xun over Kun). Wind can also mean Wood. The picture I get is of a wooden bridge spanning a large river. It is favorable to proceed, to cross the river.

Notice there are two changing lines in this initial Gua. The second line (from the bottom) is a 9 (a weak yang line) and the third line is a 6 (a weak yin line). Master Huang suggests reading the yin line so the 6 changes to a nine yielding a new, accomplished Gua pictured here.

I Ching Gua-XunThe accomplished Gua is a double trigram, Wind over Wind, Xun, which means Proceeding Humbly. This means proceeding like a gentle breeze, which can go everywhere. It suggests using caution as we move forward.

Proceeding with humility does not mean moving forward from a position of weakness, but from one of balance. There is no need to feel superior, nor is there a need to feel weak.

Overall there is good movement forward after a period of dispersing of some energy. The changing line at the third position signifies a release of self-centeredness, selfish pursuits. When this third line changes to a nine it signifies it is auspicious to proceed from a position of both humility and strength.

Now that we are moving beyond the Autumnal Equinox and into the sign of Libra, a time of balance, it is good to keep this balance in mind. Move into autumn gently, like a fall breeze blowing through the trees.

And remember, there is nothing static about balance!

New Moon in Virgo I Ching Divination

August 25, 2014 Leave a comment

As I posted earlier this “Moon-day” the Moon and Sun were conjunct at 10:13 AM EDT just inside Virgo (about 2 1/2 degrees). As I do just after this New Moon event I cast an I Ching Gua, the six line hexagram of the ancient Chinese approach to divination. I do this to get a sense of the energies coming in with the New Moon. For me this is a meditation practice and a way to tap into the “inner” to determine what is going on in the “outer.”

Today’s divination is very auspicious;  the energies the New Moon brought in are strong yet balanced; and even as they change (means change) the auspiciousness of the time grows!

Da Xu-Great AccumulationThe initial Gua I cast (I use the 50-yarrow stalk method) is pictured here. The bottom trigram is Qian meaning Heaven. These were all 7s, strong Yang lines forming a very sturdy foundation for the month. The upper trigram was formed by two 8s and a 9; two strong yin lines and a weak Yang line. The top 9 then shifts to an open Yin line forming the new “accomplished” Gua (see that hexagram below).

The initial Gua is composed of “Mountain” over “Heaven” and means “great accumulation.” In the sequence of the 64 hexagrams that compose the I Ching great accumulation follows “Without Falsehood.”  The implication is “when truthful there is great accumulation of virtue.” And with virtue comes great power, wealth and prosperity.

We are entering harvest time. It will be a good, even great harvest.

In the hexagram Heaven is below Mountain. The image is of clouds hanging within the mountains accumulating cooling and nourishing rain – a majestic image! And this is a good sign for continuing fair weather for the abundant harvest.

Tai-AdvanceWhen the top line shifts from Yang to Yin the accomplished Gua is Tai which means “advance.” It is pictured here:

To capture an image of this, one sees that the top line of the initial Gua “opens” as it changes. This opening lets the accumulation of virtue flow out in “advancement” and we use the accumulation to good purpose. The accomplished Gua means it is favorable to take action.

Quoting Master Alfred Huang, author of my main reference, The Complete I Ching, “Tai is one of the most auspicious words in Chinese.” It can mean: “more than great, peace, safety, good health, progress, proceeding, and advancing.”

Continuing to quote from Master Huang, here is King Wen’s decision for this Gua:

Advance.
The little is departing,
The great is arriving.
Good fortune.
Prosperous and smooth.

The keys to this accomplished Gua are union and harmony. Within the structure of the hexagram, the two trigrams, Heaven below and Earth above, are coming together in union. This is why the word Tai is so auspicious: when Heaven unites with Earth blessing and bliss are attained. And humans are the connectors. As the Taoteching states: “Heaven is great, Earth is great, Humans are also great.”

It is a time of unity and harmony. As we advance in the year toward the Autumnal Equinox, as this Moon-cycle begins to wane, we can move into the balance point in the Sun-cycle.

Harvest is great. Accumulate great virtue over the next few weeks and on that strength advance toward balance and harmony!

PS: As always, my dear friend and awesome astrologer, Gloria Hesseloff writes the perfectly synchronous newsletter on this Virgo New Moon; quoting: Virgo energy asks us to become highly competent in a skill that is of value to others. We then generously offer it as our high service. Your specific gifts are truly needed at this significant moment in history. The goal is to do this without arrogance (humbly) but also without self-deprecation. This can be a tricky task…

Through “great accumulation” of virtue we make gains “of value to others.” From this accumulation we “advance” and offer our gains as “our high service.” And we do this from a point of harmony and balance!

HAPPY NEW MOON-DAY!

August 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Here’s a quote from Rosemary’s newsletter:

New Moon is today, Monday, August 25 at 10:13 am EDT. This is when the Sun and the Moon meet up at the same degree of the sign of Virgo and the Moon is barely visible in the night sky. For the following 14 days the Moon grows and helps us to attract growing things into our lives. Make a plan for what you will be inviting into your life as the Moon grows to Full this time.

As with all New Moons I will cast an I Ching Gua (six-line hexagram of open (yin) and closed (yang) lines) to get a sense of the energies coming in with the new moon and lasting for the next month (moonth) while the Sun is in Virgo.

Since the the Moon is exactly conjunct the Sun just after my usual publishing time for this blog, consider this a place-holder until I “read the sticks.” Meanwhile enjoy the refreshed energy as the Moon begins to emerge from the Sun and moves on in her waxing journey!

New Moon in Leo I Ching Divination

July 28, 2014 Leave a comment

I love New Moons. And I love working with the I Ching around these times of new energy, new beginnings, fresh starts each month (or moonth!). And I especially like this New Moon: both Rosemary and I are Leos. If you too are a Leo I celebrate you! And if you are not I recommend making some Leo friends!

One of the reasons I love the I Ching is because it works! I think my example this month demonstrates this beautifully. Last month the accomplished Gua, the six-line symbol of yin and yang lines (open and closed) that we ended the month with was Union. (See that post.) Among other things that symbol referred to partnerships, marriages. And it is significant that Rosemary and I celebrated our 31st Anniversary just as the Sun was moving into Leo on July 22. And, yes, we did commit to additional years of marriage (I’m looking forward to another 31 years!).

And here is the interesting thing. The Gua I cast for the Leo New Moon is Heng which means Long Lasting! I picture the Gua here:Heng-Long Lasting-C

Master Alfred Huang, author of my main reference text, The Complete I Ching, says this about Long Lasting: “The union of husband and wife should not be short lived.” From the Cancer New Moon when we celebrated Union we continue on this Leo month with the “Long Lasting of that Union”! And the I Ching decision is:

Long lasting
Prosperous and smooth.

No fault.
Favorable to be steadfast and upright.
Favorable to have somewhere to go.

The beginning of the month looks good. And we are about to begin a trip to visit family and friends, and to attend a conference; a combination of a work and play trip. Long Lasting seems to favor this trip.

It is a good time to look at partnerships, especially long-term partnerships. Renew them; honor them; celebrate them! And take this Gua’s decision to heart.

Now, notice that there are two “9 lines” at the second and fourth positions. These are changing lines; in this case the 9s can shift to 6s, from yang lines to yin lines. Master Huang suggests reading the lower changing line to derive the accomplished Gua. This yields Xiao Guo which means Little Exceeding. It is pictured here:Xiao Guo-Little Exceeding

An initial reaction to this Gua may be a bit negative. There are several warning components in the text, but the main message is more cautionary than negative. Part of the Decision says:

A flying bird leaves a message:
Not appropriate to ascend
Appropriate to descend.

This means it is time to pause and assess. Now is a good time to take small steps and make small adjustments. Reflect. It is good to do this with the Leo sun. We are in harvest time now. The Celtic cross-quarter day of Lughnasadh or Lammas is celebrated in early August. It is time to both reap the rewards of hard work and take stock of the supplies moving toward fall and winter. Be prepared for the coming shift. Note the symbol of the flying bird and the warning to descend. We are moving toward the descent of the season. After Lammas begin to notice that the days are growing significantly shorter.

And here is the good news: the mutual Gua which contains the hidden meaning for Little Exceeding is Da Guo, Great Exceeding! In this month of Little Exceeding, we can prepare for something big on the horizon. The harvest will be sufficient. Be ready for this Great Exceeding by tending to details and making the necessary small adjustment now.

Are you ready for the harvest? Tend to the details and celebrate Lammas; note the changing light as we move toward Equinox; and enjoy the warm and inviting Leo Sun!

New Moon in Cancer I Ching Divination

June 30, 2014 Leave a comment

For each new moon I cast an I Ching Gua – a six-line hexagram composed of open and closed lines. I do this using the yarrow stalk method. I do this to capture the nature of the moon’s energy and what she will bring to us in the way of benefits, changes, guidance and vibrational tone during the month ahead (moonth).

The moon was new (exactly conjunct the sun) in the sign of Cancer last Friday at 4:10 AM Eastern time. She is now waxing and as this is the third day after the conjunction look for her smiling crescent on the western horizon this evening, just after sunset.Jian-Hardship

The initial Gua I cast for this month is Jian, which means “Hardship” according to my main reference, The Complete I Ching by Taoist Master Alfred Huang. I have included a picture here.

The first thing to notice is the three changing lines in this initial Gua. There are two 6s (Yin) and one 9 (Yang). In this situation Master Huang suggests reading only the middle line, in this case the 9 which then changes to a 6, an open Yin line. With all these changing lines I think we can expect July to be a month of some change. But I don’t think this is necessarily a concern.

The second thing to notice is the initial Gua, “Hardship” follows Kui or “Diversity” in the order of the hexagrams in the I Ching. Diversity was the accomplished Gua from the previous New Moon Divination (link). Master Huang observes that Hardship can arise out of Diversity.

And here is the response that may be appropriate to this Hardship message. This comes from early 3rd Century BC philosopher, Mencius:

If one loves others and they do not respond in the same way,
one should turn inward and examine one’s own love.
If one treats others politely, and they do not return politeness,
one should turn inward and examine one’s own politeness.
When one does not realize what one desires,
one must turn inward and examine oneself in every point.

This hardship coming from diversity requires inner work. Notice that the lower trigram of the Gua is Gen, meaning mountain. This is a time to be still, like a Bi-Unionmountain. The changing line at the third position also indicates a time to be still. Go inside to examine the diversity that led to this hardship. There is good news here: in this case the third line is the changing line that moves to a Yin line. Keeping still leads to “rejoicing and union.” When the third line changes it forms a new “accomplished” Gua Bi meaning “Union.”
The new Gua is pictured here.

This accomplished Gua overcomes the hardship indicated by the initial Gua. Union is about love and harmony within a group of people, especially within one’s intimate relationships. To understand and strengthen these relationships this divination suggests that we go within ourselves to find the love and harmony. Then extend and reflect the inner love to the outer, close relationships. Choose wisely here. There are those who don’t necessarily want to be in relationship. Loving relationships can’t be forced. Release those who wish to go their way.

PS: My friend and astrologer, Gloria Hesseloff, writes this about the New Moon in Cancer: “Cancer brings up in all of us a yearning for a safe haven. The Cancerian feminine force calls us back to home and family. Give birth to new forms. Cultivate life. Cooperate. Be creative. Build community.” And she adds: “Life seems more mysterious than ever and Cancer energy invites us to probe deeply into our inner experiences, pressing toward the heart.  A Cancer period is a time to penetrate the dimensions of our inner life.” This certainly sounds like a time for Union and for inner seeking. Astrology supports the I Ching in a most satisfying way!

Have a wonderful moonth!