Behind the New Moon reading in Song of Orpheus an inner process was revealed through the I Ching – as a support to the previous post, and with a little help from some visionary friends, this article opens up to its esoteric context arising from the ‘Oracle of Change’ as revealed through the hexagrams named Chin and Wei Chi…..
“……in open ground, between heaven and earth, even the Wind is revealed, felt but not seen. Upon open ground fire walks with the wind – the transformation of the one is the dance of the other. Stripping down to essense, fire reveals the gift, honouring the creative dynamic at root. Gradually gathering essence, reconciling opposites yet holding to none, releasing light while remaining everywhere unseen. Difficulty becomes re-configured into wisdom. Take heed, this wisdom is itself transforming, and regulation of the fire is necessary for it to be maintained. Vigilance and readiness, knowing when the timing is right, when the fire is carefully regulated, slowly the essense is gathered, energy increases and wisdom finds its true form.
The wise penetrate with Truth, the foolish disperse with Fear. Being sincere, truthful, and reliable, make your inner vision and your outer circumstances coincide. Emptying your heart of conditioned chatter, to hear their inner voices, the link with the spirits is cultivated. Using this as the intrinsic foundation for sincerety and honesty in connecting with others. Much will become illuminated, but, this is the burning off of impurities – do not let these cause distraction from the purpose. The heart of fire is dark and mysterious…..trusting to the process ensures success. That which is transformed carries its own illumination from within.
In this way, by these means, entering the Great Way, gathering the auspicious, the spirits carry us forward. Releasing transformative energy, cultivating meaning and good fortune, this is the correct time to enter the stream of Life with a purpose. Embarking upon a significant journey, enquiring of the oracle at each crucial stage, the spirits speak, insight grows in abundance and great profit arises in accord with the Way. In this way, by these means, True Earth arises. The faithful cultivate the True Earth.” …..from Chin, hexagram 35, with second line changing.
Earth supports fire and fire impregnates earth with energy. Lightning strikes both arise up from and connect down with Earth. The image is one of stabilised but highly charged and focused energy that has its place. It is an energy that requires careful management. Fire will spread with the wind, and when the wind is symbolic of the pervasive nature of change, this can have both beneficial and detrimental effects.
Within the hexagram Chin is yet another nuclear hexagram , made up of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th lines for the lower trigram, and the 3rd, 4th and 5th lines for the upper trigram – this hexagram is Chien, 39 – Difficulties. Its image is water on the mountain, cutting a gorge bounded by high cliffs. This describes the inner qualities of Chin. Naturally cutting through resistance. Interestingly, when the nuclear trigrams of Chien are also put together we arrive at Wei Chi, the same hexagram produced through the moving line in the second place of Chi. In essense, both inwardly and outwardly, through the triple process of gathering, transformation and inner illumination, the same outcome is arrived at.
“There can be only patient endurance of the opposites which ultimately spring from your own nature. You yourself are a conflict that rages in itself and against itself in order to melt its incompatible substances…..in the fire of suffering and thus create that form which is the goal of life. Everyone goes through this mill, consciously or unconsciously, voluntarily or forcibly. We are crucified between the opposites and delivered up to the torture, until the reconciling third takes shape. Do not doubt the rightness of the two sides within you and let whatever may happen, happen. The apparently unendurable conflict is proof of the rightness of your life. A life without intercontradiction is either only half a life or else a life beyond which is destined only for angels…..” (1)
When C G Jung wrote this letter he was responding to a call from a close and dear friend for helpful guidance. She was experiencing a great inner tension, torn between the demands and heartfelt responsibilities of everyday life and family concerns and the powerful pull of her vocation, her calling, which she equally could not deny. It is a call of the soul that is striving to birth its own reality into the world. The tensions experienced through this struggle have become exacerbated in our times. The soul’s reality is devalued and goes largely unrecognised for its essential nature within our materialistic culture. It is a paradigmatic consequence of polarised objectivity and subjectivity. The consequences have become immense and are at the root of the prevalence of unfeeling and blind destruction that humans have brought upon the world – in the process our culture has engendered a mass dissociation with the over-soul, the Anima Mundi or Earth Soul. And yet, the essential nature of our humanity remains – we have woken up to this reality and, en-masse, the collective immune system of the human soul is fighting back against this disease, and the cancerous agents of destruction that perpetuate it. These are the symptoms of the struggle. The hexagrams, however, also point to a third element, one that arises naturally from within the process. There is no doubt that, within this polarisation, as Jung encourages his friend to accept, is a natural expression of the creative principle itself.
The implications are clear, and echoed in the second hexagram of the reading, Wei Chi – as the planetary matrix at the beginning of the current lunation implied, we have to go through this process, all the more frustrating and difficult if we are drawn to focusing on or rejecting one side of the polarity in favour of the other. Accepting the tension inherent within the opposites allows their mutual seeding to produce the ‘third thing’.
Even attempting to understand or pre-empt this ‘third thing’ can subvert its natural formation. We are called upon to recognise that within us are natural dynamics, archetypal by nature, that express and embody the wisdom that resolves the polarity. The off-spring of this allowing, this willingness to hold the intrinsic creative tension of the opposites, is the transcendant state arriving in natural form – in esoteric terms of Taoist spiritual alchemy this would be described as the spiritual embryo. Like all embryonic life forms it requires careful nurturing through time and benefits from protection, needs containment. It is the light body in form, the inner light that accords with the Tao. Its growing environment at this time is described by the hexagram 64, Wei Chi – ‘Not Yet Settled’…….
“On the edge of change; gather your energy, everything is possible; wait for the right moment.
Not Yet Crossing (settled) describes your situation in terms of being on the verge of an important change. Its symbol is standing on the edge of a river, getting ready to begin an important passage. The way to deal with this is to gather your energy to make this decisive move. Make an offering and you will succeed. You are about to launch a plan, cross the river or overcome an obstacle. The possibilities are great. Be sure your plans are in order and that you have accumulated enough energy to make the crossing without getting stuck. This is pleasing to the spirits. Through it they will give you success, effective power and the capacity to bring the situation to maturity. Don’t be like the small fox that gets almost across the river and then soaks her tail in the mud of the opposite shore. That would leave you with nowhere to go and nothing to do that would help you” (2)
Stephen Karcher’s reading of Wei Chi brings out the importance of being on the verge (Wei) of making the crossing (Chi) – as the precaution against failure we are asked to assess our resources, and, once we have made a confident informed decision to do so, to embark upon the great challenge of crossing to new land, a new state, with full commitment to completion. The danger is that, without this commitment we will sully our efforts and return to a state of complete emptiness once we get to the other side. The message is clear for our times.
It also shows harmony with the times – at Samhain we can make our offerings with deep feeling, knowing that the spirits will support us. Remembering that the ancestors too would have us work on their behalf…..the better able they too will become in supporting us.
In the Scorpio New Moon reading we saw how the need for penetrative and ruthless honesty would help us as we are pulled into the inner journey that this time is calling us to. The pragmatic realisation of compassionate and clear sighted awareness that this process benefits from is funded through the guidance of the spirits – the connection through Samhain is auspicious. And yet, just as Orpheus tale warns us against losing sight of the goal before we have reach the end of our journey, the little fox in Wei Chi shows us that dropping our guard and relaxing within the task too soon will deprive us of all that we seek to gain. What we set in motion now must be followed through.
Once again, the planetary matrix and the spirits of divination show unanimity of purpose……this purpose can be realised and its methods applied in both the macrocosm and the microcosm, as they are in accord. We cannot know the outcome, even the nature of the desired result remains a mystery – while the power of the undertaking is behind our every moment we have it within our capacity, through determined and vigilant self-awareness, to carry this energy forward as it courses through the world, and that is all we can know, until we have reached the other side……
….but, we can have faith, our diligence and care protecting the outcome, and know that nothing is beyond our reach……
“Just as the winged energy of delight
carried you over many chasms early on,
now raise the daringly imagined arch
holding up the astonishing bridges.
Miracle doesn’t lie only in the amazing
living through and defeat of danger;
miracles become miracles in the clear
achievement that is earned.
To work with things is not hubris
when building the association beyond words;
denser and denser the pattern becomes
being carried along is not enough.
Take your well-disciplined strengths
and stretch them between two opposing poles.
Because inside human beings
is where the Divine learns.” (3)
(1) C G Jung : unpublished letter to Frau Fröbe-Kapteyn, August 1945
(2) Stephen Karcher : I Ching, Vega 2002
(3) ‘Just as the Winged Energy of Delight’, Rainer Marie Rilke, 1924; translated by Robert Bly