Today an I Ching Meditation on our current transits:
* The 51st hexagram of the I Ching is called “thunder,” and it involves the image of rolling waves of thunder, or arousing energy.
* The 51st hexagram is often associated with shocking or awe-inspiring events, and sometimes with natural disasters.
* The judgment reads, “Shock brings success. Shock comes, oh oh! Laughing words – ha, ha! The shock terrifies for a hundred miles, and he does not let fall the sacrificial spoon and chalice.”
* Back in 2012 I was in a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in Costa Rica. It was one of the scariest moments of my life, and also one of the most awe-inspiring. The event sent spiritual shockwaves through my life just as much as there were physical shockwaves that emanated from the earth in the days following the earthquake. The I Ching’s 51st hexagram is about the shockwaves that come from different kinds of shock.
* Hexagram 51 discusses the shocks of the heart, the shocks of nature, and the shocks of fate. Shocks of the heart wake us up to what matters. They wake us up emotionally. Shocks of nature wake us up to the world around us. And shocks of fate wake us up to the will of the supreme, or the way of the Tao itself.
* Jupiter opposite Uranus is about shock and awe, but note the instructions the I Ching gives us…the shock terrifies and people react with nervous laughter and fear, but the wise sage recognizes the shock as a sign of the times, as an omen, as a warning, as an instruction, and it affirms for the sage his or her duty, which they will complete rather than getting distracted.
* During times of shock and awe, it’s easy to go into reactionary mode, in other words, but the sage reads the signs of the times carefully and responds thoughtfully. Powerful shocking events, of all kinds, are understood as necessary, fated, and part of the great unfolding of destiny or the tao. When we stay calm, we do not drop the sacrificial spoon…meaning we do not lose our mindfulness, our attentiveness, our listening ears and our true vision of what is happening. While everyone else scrambles, we remain an example of how to walk in harmony with all facets of life, even the most unexpected.
* The 3rd line of hexagram 51 reads, “Shock comes and makes one distraught. If shock spurs to action, one remains free of misfortune.”
* This particular line suggests that sometimes its unavoidable that shocking events will make us distraught, however if they serve as calls to action, then we will ultimately remain free of misfortune.
* The teaching here is that in many ways shocking events of misfortune aren’t the real misfortune…the real misfortune is in avoiding or missing the call int he midst of a shocking event…missing the appropriate response is the real misfortune…because any event, properly responded to, brings us into harmony with the Tao, and this harmony brings a kind of happiness…even in the midst of shock or loss.
* This morning’s hexagram shifted into hexagram 31, called “attraction.” This hexagram shows a joyous lake above a tranquil mountain. The image is one of mutual influence, since the lake (a yin image) is placed above the mountain (a yang image), so we have deference on behalf of the strong toward the gentle.
* The judgment reads, “Influence. Success. Perserverance furthers. To take a maiden to wife brings good fortune.”
* This hexagram is using the concept of courtship and gentle, deferential, wooing, support, and affection, as the means of creating a lasting union, partnership, agreement, collaboration, or settlement.
* So this is an interesting sequence. We see shock and awe inspiring or moving toward a kind of courtship, a need to work together, a need for the strong to submit to the gentle in order to form lasting relationships. (Side note: it’s especially interesting to consider this image in light of the current health care debacle..this could, for example, point to the need for working in a more bipartisan way, thanks to shocking events that come along as the latest bill is being pushed).
* Hexagram 31 says that the difference between courtship and seduction is that in courtship we drop our agenda and focus on our love and support, our deference, toward the other. From here, anything is possible. Whereas, if we push our desired outcome this sequence is indicating that there may be shocking or unexpected results, probably the disintegration of unions, relationships, jobs, friendships, etc.
* The sequence is a good reminder for us that while Mars is opposite Neptune we can either be deferential, gentle, yielding, and compassionate in our pursuits, or we can potentially overwhelm and dominate others, which will likely perpetuate more shocking disruptions and discord.
* This sequence is also pointing toward the idea of shocking events coming in order to soften our personal agendas, creating within us a spirit of compromise, teamwork, and affection.
We’ll keep our eye on this transit in the days and week to come. Pay attention to the news, as well. For as much as the news can really turn our heads/hearts into knots, if you’re a student of astrology watching the news over the next week or two you will learn a lot about the current transits. These are invaluable moments for deepening our understanding of mundane transits!
Prayer: Help us to recognize the call within the shockwaves. Help us to recognize the need for affection and compromise.