It has been too long since I posted here and even longer since I added to my ongoing process of Creating I Ching Meditations. The Meditations project got delayed while I was working on my book I Ching Inspirations:Paintings & Prescriptions and then creating a Tarot size deck of cards for it.
When I began my new Meditations to illustrate Hexagram 18, since this is all about things that the parents did that caused problems for their children, I began thinking more about these figures — the trigrams that are also symbols for members of the family, father, mother, oldest son etc. While I have already created 2 sets of images for the trigrams, I decided to illustrate those figures also as human since that is the way they are referred to in the text. And it is we humans who read the I Ching.
So before I get to my illustrated interpretation for hexagram 18 I will post the illustrations for each trigram as a family figure beginning with the symbol for The Creative Heaven as father.
In the chart below note that for the trigram, The Creative Heaven, has 2 animals associated with it; the dragon and the horse. And the trigram The Receptive Earth has 2 animals are listed as well, the horse and the cow.
In the Wilhelm translation he discusses how the trigram figures act through their Symbolic animals as follows:
The Creative Heaven acts in the horse
The Receptive Earth acts in the cow
The Arousing Thunder acts in the dragon
The Gentle Wind & Wood acts in the cock
The Abysmal Water acts in the pig
The Clinging Fire acts in the pheasant
The Keeping Still Mountain acts in the dog
The Joyous Lake acts in the sheep
When I think about it, of course it makes sense that The Creative would act through the horse which is the symbol for The Receptive. The Receptive brings creativity to birth.
Happy New Year
According to Wikipedia:
Goat or sheep
The Chinese word yáng refers both to goats and sheep, with shānyáng specifically goats and miányáng sheep. In English, the sign (originally based on a horned animal) may be called either. The interpretation of sheep or goat depends on culture. In Vietnamese, the sign is mùi, which is unambiguously goat. In Japan, on the other hand, the sign is hitsuji, sheep; while in Korea and Mongolia the sign is also sheep or ram. Within China, there may be a regional distinction with the zodiacal yáng more likely to be thought of as a goat in the south, while tending to be thought of as a sheep in the north.
In the I Ching the trigram, Tui, The Joyous Lake, represents the youngest daughter. Her animal is the sheep.
Based on so many events that have happened since 9.11.2001 I have come to the conclusion that the human race has a cancer that is metastasizing. Some brilliant brains better figure out a way to cure this. When I was a child there were wars but they happened some where else. Now war is global. I can’t turn on the news without seeing gross treatment of human beings by other human beings. Mothers are training their children to be human targets of destruction.
Some times I consult the I Ching with questions that are prompted by frustration or despair just to see what the I Ching says. A few days after the killing of the journalists in Paris I threw the coins, asking, “What can we do as a species to cure the cancer that is spreading in some parts of the human species.” I know, it may seem like a silly question but it doesn’t cost anything to ask. The response I got was hexagram 23, Splitting Apart with no changing lines.
My immediate thought was that we are in a state of splitting apart. As is often the case when I ask a question the I Ching spits back the situation of what IS. BUT – I asked for a cure to what is. So if anyone reading this has any thought about this please post here.
Meanwhile, I have thoughts about hexagram Splitting Apart that I want want to illustrate when I get to that in my I Ching Meditations on going project. At the moment I’m mired in hexagram 18 – working on what has been spoiled.
Thoughts on Splitting Apart:
“The I Ching oracle originated in the “revelations” of lowly vertebrates, symbolizing the unconscious is based on a double constellation of triple lines.
Eight possible arrangements result from combinations of these triple lines, known as the pa-kua. They depict the basic structures of the whole existence. Where they are doubled into a hexagram they signify sixty-four possible aspects of the ‘unus mudus.’ One cannot escape the impression that these numerical combinations are introspective representations of fundamental processes in our psychological nature; indeed, the modern science of genetics discovered that the biological genetic code of DNA consists of four bases … combined into three. These groups constitute the code of building up the twenty amino acids that form all our bodily proteins. From the four bases = sixty-four different triplets come into being…
…In these genetic findings we are confronted with an exchange of information in living cells that corresponds exactly to the structure of the I Ching hexagrams.
From Number and Time: Reflections Leading toward a Unification of Depth Psychology and Physics. by Marie-Louise von Franz
Besides the fascinating correlations between the structures of the I Ching and the DNA code for humans, hexagram 23 seems to exemplify that moment when the sperm and egg unite, when 23 chromosomes split apart and join with 23 other sets to form the needed new 46 for a new human. Interesting that hexagram 46, Earth over the Wind and Wood is Pushing Upward.
Huuum? Split and push Upward.
“This sign has a curious look about it, like the germ of a plant, an embryo, perhaps even a ghost, a “Bodiless head” freely floating. And then we turn to the diagram of the DNA with the code written on the “rungs of the ladder”, 8 rungs through 360 degree = 1 whole storey of the “staircase”. Is there one underlying pattern here?
The electron micrographs already available of the double helix reveal an astounding similarity to a perpetually continued I Ching symbol. With its four rungs, the I Ching symbol looks like the head of the DNA “snake.” The principle of one turn with four rungs per half storey is the same. In other words the “ghost” symbol as a drawing is identical with the model confirmed in the electron microscope! . . . The written sign which is at the same time the visual image of the DNA double helix is an idea as absurd as it is informative . . . what is so astonishing is that the regular light and dark masses of the I Ching symbol complementing each other in a polar pattern suddenly, like a picture puzzle, produce a second, identical but contrarotating I Ching counterimage, just like the contrarotating spiral in the DNA code with the unvarying complementary pairs of bases A -T and C – G.
. . . In the I Ching in all events, the clockwise or reverse-anti-clockwise circulatory system is described. It is logical and therefore permissible to take a two-dimensional plan by distributing the eight primal images on a spiral (360º). But what we obtain straight away is the DNA helix with 4 code words each of 3 letters on the 1 1/2 turns of the helix. The model is not only similar but exactly the same. . . As 32 codewords of one descending half of the helix are linked with 32 exactly complementary rungs, we need 3 whole (360º) storeys to accommodate 8 codewords o(codons) or 12 storeys for 32 plus 32 anticodons.
. . . Old China grasped the complex of intellect, spirit and body as a unit, and realized it on a scale that is inconceivable for us — let us hope that, following this unexpected emergence of Chinese philosophy in all its potency, our Western minds will be able to close a schizoid gap in our intellectual life. . . True, the genius of the West discovered the genetic code, but compared with the total conception of natural philosophy, the sole possession of the code is on a par with the statement of the blind man who, feeling the tail of an elephant, described the elephant as being ‘shaped like a worm”. . .
Other thoughts on Splitting Apart.
You may have noticed that I sell two I Ching fonts. I created the fonts a few years ago for my own use. I use these font in all my own publications. Last year I received a message from Penguin Random House looking to secure licensing terms to use one of the fonts in both print books and eBooks. The amount paid for such use is very gratifying compared to the single use, probably the equivalent of 80 personal sales.
At the time of this transaction I had no idea how Penguin planned to use the font so was thrilled when the designer, Nancy Resnick, sent me a copy of the book: I Ching: The Essential Translation of the Ancient Chinese Oracle and Book of Wisdom by John Minford.
I told Nancy that I would write a review of the book and kept putting that off, feeling intimidated by the task. I’m saved. Steve Marshall, author of blog Crane Calling in the Shade wrote a review worth reading on his site. See it HERE.
I enjoy knowing that in some small and hidden way a part of my work goes out in each one of those books.
I posted a link to john Minford’s book on Amazon – see on the right.