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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!

New Moon in Gemini I Ching Divination

May 30, 2014 Leave a comment

The Moon was exactly conjunct with the Sun, now in Gemini, at 2:43 PM Eastern time on Wednesday, May 28. Ah, I felt the energy shift as we moved through the New Moon. And the weather shifted, and the driving shifted…there were several accidents in the Annapolis area Thursday afternoon tying up traffic all over the region. Welcome to the shift!

As I do just after each New Moon, I cast a Gua, a six-line hexagram consisting of Yin and Yang (broken and solid) lines. I do this using a traditional yarrow stalk method and I use Taoist Master Alfred Huang’s The Complete I Ching as my guide into this deep and ancient text used for divination.Shi He-Eradicating

The hexagram I first received is pictured here. Its Chinese name is Shi He which Master Huang translates as “Eradicating.” Loosely translated this means “removing an obstacle to peace and harmony.” The removal or eradicating is done justly and swiftly. When we look at the two trigrams which compose the hexagram (the pair of three-line figures), we see that Li, or Fire sits on top of Zhen, or Thunder.  This is like a thunderbolt striking swiftly to eradicate the obstruction.

The result of this swift action is good progress.

To complicate matters the second line (counting from the bottom) is a “changing line.” The I Ching is the “book of change” so it is good that there is a changing line in the hexagram. This indicates that things, events, energies are not static for the month. Changing the second line from a Yin line to a Yang line generates a new Gua or hexagram pictured here.

DiversityKui is interpreted by Master Huang to mean”Diversity.” Its actual meaning is “to go against or oppose.” This happens when people have differing points of view. The I Ching indicates that this is a positive thing. There is strength in diversity. One Chinese saying suggests that we “seek harmony in diversity and good fortune will follow in little ways.”  And I particularly like: “resolving diversity should be as natural as the clouds accumulating and bringing down the rain.”

So, what does this mean for the month ahead? How do these two Gua inform us and help us with the energies we may encounter through the coming four weeks?

Early in the month there may be an obstacle or two we need to deal with. But we can cut through this blockage as swiftly as a thunderbolt as long as we are justified in our action. Act fairly; consider all sides. Then swift action leads to good progress for the remainder of the month.

After the obstacles are eradicated we may encounter some divergence of opinion around some life issues. The advice here is to consider all sides (just as we need to do with the obstacle). The key is to seek harmony, to compromise in the larger issues, find common ground across the diversity and thereby gain strength.

These Gua offer good advice for any time: cut through obstacles and gain strength through compromise when opinions diverge. Good progress and auspicious outcome are the result in both cases!

Watch how you deal with obstacles that might pop up for you this month. And observe the diversity that appears in your life. Seek compromise and make progress!

Oh, and my friend and astrologer, Gloria Hesseloff writes this about the New Moon in Gemini: “Mercury, the ruler of Gemini wisely informs us that if there is any magic in the work it is…a shift in our perceptions!” She suggests: “‘THIS IS A TIME FOR SETTING A NEW COURSE IN LIFE’ Fear may arise as we make these changes.  The opposite of fear is LOVE. Find a way to love what you fear!” Seems to me this approach is a great way to cut through obstacles and harmonize diversity!

Playshop Preview – Richard’s Commentary

May 28, 2014 Leave a comment

This week I am commenting on Rosemary’s video for the week rather than her “Exploration” article. I have several reasons to make this adjustment to the blog.

We are, as I write and as I post, under the influence of the “dying Moon.” What I mean by this is the Moon is nearly conjunct with the Sun in Gemini. We are in that period when the Moon loses her race with the Sun falling farther and farther behind until she falls right into his light. She is exactly conjunct with the Sun at 2:43 PM Eastern time today, Wednesday, May 28, 2014. I know this because I looked it up in my Playbookthat I created during Rosemary’s Possibilities Playshop last January.

I follow the Moon cycles very closely. I know the Moon influences me and I need to correlate those influences I feel with the Moon and where she is in her travels. This careful tracking is a way for me to be both grounded in my body and to understand the effects of the Heavenly bodies, the Moon being the closest, on my physical being.

And after I created my Playbook during Rosemary’s January Playshop I now have a tool to help me with my tracking. Here’s how I use my Playbook:

First it is a guide to the Moon cycles. We laid out 13 “moonths” – this is the number of New Moons in a year. The New Moon marks the beginning of each moonth. In thePlaybook the New Moons are designated with pages of pictures and words pulled from magazines chosen intuitively and glued onto notebook pages. Other intuitive tools are used to create a “map” to the year. This map then provides a loose guide on what to expect as the year unfolds.

Second it is a journal in which I record key events, feelings, thoughts and how these correlate to the pictures and words mapped out for the year. There is always meaning and this correlation activity provides deep insight into the passing moonth.

Third I record the I Ching Gua I cast for each moonth in the playbook. I have been using the ancient Chinese method of divination, the I Ching, as a means to receive an intuitive understanding of the energies I can expect for each moonth. I cast a six line hexagram just after each new Moon asking the question: “what does this next moonth have in-store for us?” it is always insightful. And now with my Playbook it always correlates in some fun and surprising ways with the pictures and words I chose for the moonth back in January!

Fourth I very much enjoy the surprises planted in the Playbook. This is especially true as I move through the year and get farther away from when I created the Playbook.The “play” involved in the process is becoming much more evident as the year spins out and the “predictive” nature of the Playbook becomes ever more clear. While predicting the future is not the intent of this process it nevertheless does have that quality. The correlations between the words and pictures (and other surprises placed into the book) and events as they unfold each moonth are both exciting and even a little uncanny.

And there is a fifth use for the Playbook: it actually becomes a means to manifest the year. It is similar to a “vision board” but more fun. As in creating a vision board attractive pictures and words are pulled from magazines. But then for the specific moonths the pictures and words are selected blindly, intuitively, from a large envelop. Intention rather than conscious choice guides this process of aligning the pictures/words with the calendar.

Rosemary’s Possibilities Playshop is a fun process, but even more importantly the resulting Playbook becomes a highly useful tool for the next year. We all had such a good and productive time during the January Playshop that Rosemary is offering a mid-year Playshop for those who missed out on the first one.

The next Possibilities Playshop is scheduled for Saturday, June 14, 2014, from 10:00 to 2:00 pm Eastern time. If you are in the Annapolis, MD, Washington, DC area you can attend in person. We are also recording the event so if you can’t attend a video course will be available shortly after the live event.

Rosemary’s website has all the details and a way to register. The early bird pricing for the event ends on May 31. Check it out soon!

I CHING GUA FOR THE NEW MOON IN TAURUS: Da Guo

May 2, 2014 Leave a comment

The New Moon (and solar eclipse) occurred early this past Tuesday morning (2:14 am), April 29 on the east coast. The sun was well below the horizon here so no great visual effects, only vibrational!

This New Moon was the bookend to the Cardinal Grand Cross that peaked a few days earlier. We began the month of celestial activities with the Full Moon/Lunar eclipse on April 15th. It was quite a month! Have you felt the effects of the transformational energy?

It was with a certain level of excitement during this time that I cast the Gua (I Ching hexagram) to determine the energies we are heading into for May. If you follow my blog you know that I use yarrow stalks and manipulate them in traditional fashion to determine the six lines (either open/yin or solid/yang) that compose the Gua.

Da Guo-Great ExceedingFor the next month the Gua is Da Guo, or “Great Exceeding” as Master Alfred Huang translate it in his The Complete I Ching. It is pictured here:

The hexagram consists of two trigrams; the lower is Xun or Wood and the upper is Dui or Lake. So Great Exceeding is like a lake over a tree. Isn’t it interesting that there has been a tremendous amount of rain here in Maryland with significant flooding just after this New Moon!

During this time of “Great Exceeding” there is a need for “extraordinary action.” The action required is to balance, or adjust for that which is exceeding limits.

The image offered by Master Huang and King Wen’s Decision is that of a roof beam with weak end supports (the strong yang lines bounded by the two weak yin lines). The roof sags under weight. Extraordinary action is required to straighten the roof and balance the load.

The key here is to watch for imbalances. Things that are too big are difficult to control. Things that are too firm are easy to break. Take action to shore up weaknesses and to trim excesses. This is a positive Gua if action is taken. Confucius’ commentary on the Decision concludes:

Smooth and joyous in action.
Favorable to have somewhere to go.
There is success.
Truly great is the time of Great Exceeding!

Watch for imbalances in your life, correct them promptly and decisively and have a great month!

 

 

New Moon in Aries I Ching Divination

March 31, 2014 Leave a comment

As I have been doing over the past few years I have cast an I Ching Gua – a six-line hexagram consisting of open, yin, lines and solid, yang, lines. I was particularly motivated to cast this gua to see where the Aries energies coming in with the spring equinox were going to lead, especially with the last gua for the Pisces New Moon which was all about “Keeping Still.” (Pisces New Moon Gua)

Gu-RemedyingI was not disappointed and did cast an interesting hexagram. I’ve pictured it here on the right. It has two changing lines at the third position and the top; these two 9 lines are changing lines which means the solid line of 9 (odd numbered lines are yang lines and even numbered lines are yin lines) can change to 6 lines or yin lines. Master Alfred Huang, whose text, The Complete I Ching, I use, suggests consulting the lower of the two changing lines. This yields the “approached” gua, a new gua representing the movement of the energies through the month.

So, what does all this mean? The “initial” gua is named Gu which means “Remedying.” Master Huang equates this with “making a fresh start.” This is a great way to break out of the energy of “keeping still” from last month. This feels in right; it is time to begin, maybe even over again. We are two months into the Lunar New Year. For the year the gua I cast was “advance.” (New Year Gua) We got the year off to a fast paced start. A month later the gua advised to “keep still” – in other words pause, reflect, consider. Now here we are in Aries energy, spring is here and it’s time for a “fresh start.”

But there is a cautionary note in this gua, because the third line changes to a yin line. The interpretation here is to take small steps forward and not be overly impetuous. Aries energy can be fiery and highly energetic. This “new beginning” needs to be a thoughtful one.

King Wen’s decision for this gua advises “Before starting, three days. After starting, three days.” This is part of the cautionary emphasis in this gua;  I believe care needs to be taken during this first week, up to the first quarter of the moon cycle.

Meng-ChildhoodThe approached qua is Meng or “Childhood” pictured here with the changed line in place. The two trigrams (three-line diagrams) are Kan or Stream on the bottom and Gen or Mountain on top. The image here is of a spring flowing out from the base of a mountain. There is a freshness, a newness about this image. It is like the innocence of childhood; Master Huang uses the image of “uncarved jade” to describe the sense of this gua. The interpretation here is to carefully mold the child through an education process to bring out the original wisdom hidden in the child. This is a slow and deliberate process; again impetuosity needs to be tempered with deliberation.

In summary we move this month through the energy of a “fresh start” and cautious, studied steps forward. Study, do some research and act thoughtfully.

My astrologer friend, Gloria Hesseloff, offers this advice for the month: I particularly align with the idea that this is a time of preparation for a new beginning. This seems to echo the I Ching preacisely!

 

I Ching for the New Moon in Pisces

March 3, 2014 1 comment

For each New Moon I use the I Ching to provide an indication of what we can expect the energies coming in might bring us. The moon went through her “death and rebirth” this past Saturday, early morning here on the east coast. And after her rebirth I cast a Gua (a hexagram of yin and yang lines); I use the yarrow stalk method, a very meditative process of manipulating 50 “sticks” to obtain the six lines (note these lines are digital, just like computer bits, either open, zero, yin or closed, one, yang; maybe given my computer background this is why I am so attracted to this ancient method of divination!)Gen-Keeping Still

The Gua I cast for this New Moon and the next month (or Moonth) is Gen, pictured here. This Gua is made from the doubling of a single trigram, also Gen. This trigram means “mountain” so the picture we have is mountain standing on mountain. Can you picture a more solid image?

The translation of Gen is “keeping still.” What could be more logical? But what does this mean for the month?

First recall that the Gua I cast for last month, and since it was a New Year, that Gua has influence over the entire year (see earlier post) is Tai, meaning Advance. Now we come up to Keeping Still. After a fast start to the year through February it may be time to slow down, consider, regroup, and be sure of our plans! We are still in winter for another few weeks; inner work remains on the agenda. While the overall year may be one for advancing, we do need to ensure plans are correct and in alignment with our overall goals and our purpose!

Here is my journal entry on this Gua: “Mountain over Mountain – keeping very still. After the Advance it is time to become introspective. Be certain of plans, consider them carefully, sit in stillness to contemplate further action.

“The overall Gua and energy for the year is to advance. However, plans for that advancement need to be revisited. Think before action. This Gua contains great power, great energy – potential, not kinetic energy. Something great is coming. It is good to wait for it!

“By the next new moon we will be beyond the Spring Equinox. Take this last few weeks of winter to review and revise plans. Master Alfred Huang, author of The Complete I Ching writes: “keeping still is meant to prepare one’s mind and spirit to progress when the time comes.”

Also Master Huang quotes from Confucius’ treatise, The Way of Great Learning:

The way of great learning is to illustrate brilliant virtue, to love people, and to rest in conduct that is perfectly good.

By knowing how to keep still,
one is able to determine what objects he should pursue.
By knowing what objects he should pursue,
one is able to obtain calmness of mind.
By knowing how to obtain calmness of mind,
one is able to succeed in tranquil repose.
By knowing how to succeed in tranquil repose,
one is able to obtain careful deliberation.
By knowing how to obtain careful deliberation,
one is able to harvest what he truly wants to pursue.

Master Huang adds: “In the final stage of one’s life, if one can manifest one’s brilliant virtue, love people, and maintain one’s goodness to the end, it is a true blessing, and there will be good fortune.”

Seems to me it might be well worth the time to sit, reflect, and confirm the plans for “advancing” for the year!

PS: my dear friend and favorite “cosmic astrologer” Gloria Hesseloff, says this about the New Moon in Pisces: “MEDITATION is Pisces favorite activity and is highly recommended… this New Moon, is a powerful time to set intentions. The New Moon in Pisces is a significant time to activate the Consciousness of ONENESS throughout the planet.” As always her readings are exactly in alignment with the I Ching!

MONDAY’S POEM: Heaven and Earth

February 3, 2014 Leave a comment

I don’t know about you but I’m still basking in the energy of the New Moon and the New Year! And it’s going to be a great year; just look at my post last Friday: ADVANCE!

I wrote today’s poem on Lunar New Year’s Day, the 31st, with references to the I Ching Gua I cast for the year and the “moonth.”

Heaven and Earth

Six line, three strong
Heaven below, Heaven on Earth?
Support for the Way
Wood Horse gallops forward.

Six lines, three weak
Earth above, Earth on Heaven?
Lifted upward, floating on water,
Flowing peacefully ever onward.

Six lines, auspicious Gua;
First Gua for the New Year.
Tidal Gua in its rightful place;
Rough ways smooth, returning.

Six lines, Advancing;
Auspicious for prosperity and peace.
Remember, Advancing leads to
Hindrance, Heaven above, returning.

©2014 Richard W. Bredeson. All rights reserved.