Today, a meditation from the I Ching in light of this transit:
* The 37th hexagram of the I Ching is called “Family Duties,” or sometimes “Clan” or “Family Life.”
* The judgment reads “Women’s persistence brings reward.”
* The image is that of wind rising out of a hearth fire.
* The image commentary says, “There is factuality in the speech of superior people, and consistency in their deeds.”
* It might seem like a strange set of images and ideas, but they are all related quite beautifully. Hexagram 37 is about a household or the members of a close-knit group or family, bonded together by emotional and spiritual loyalty. In order for the group to be held together, each person has to know and assume their appropriate role. For the ancient Chinese this included specific roles and duties for each person in the family. The “wife” was the emotional glue of the family, but she also demonstrated subservience to the leadership of the “husband,” who was the spiritual leader. In this way, she also held the “husband” to account for the welfare of the group.
* So let’s obviously throw out the literalness of these old gender assignments and instead think of the family or clan as the psyche or the mind and our bodies in relation to the spirit/soul.
* The spirit or the soul is what provides the ego, the body, and the mind with some healthy objectivity. The spirit keeps whispering to us, “Don’t forget you are eternal. Try to think, act, speak, live, and listen from this perspective.”
* And when the ego/body/mind listens and takes the spirit as its leader and guide, the material life, regardless of outer circumstance, begins to reflect the invisible shape of the spirit within.
* One commentator thus writes, “This gua symbolizes that the wind of harmony is fed by the flames of love.”
* Devotion and loving adherence to truthfulness, order, and integrity (depicted as the wife’s devoted love of her husband’s truthful integrity) is therefore what creates union and harmony in a family, which is also a metaphor in the I Ching for the state or nation.
* Again, when reading the I Ching you often have to let go of the literalness of the gender metaphors to understand what’s taking place. So you can think of the yin/yang division in relation to the archetypes of subjectivity and objectivity, emotion and reason, etc.
* The very first line of the hexagram, which is the foundation and base of the entire teaching, reads, “The father firmly establishes the rules that protect the family. No fault.”
* This line is a simple teaching. If truth and integrity aren’t the foundation of this family, then either one of two things will result. One, the “wife” will follow a tyrant into ruin, or two, the “wife” will not follow the tyrant and the family will become divided, fall apart, or there will be something like civil unrest or tumultuousness until truthfulness at the foundation is re-established.
* The transformed hexagram resulting from the 1st line changing is hexagram 53, called “Gradual Progress.”
* It is sometimes called “Step by Step,” or “Growth.”
* The judgment says, “The marriage of a maiden. Good fortune. Persistence in a righteous course brings reward.”
* The image is that of a tree growing gradually in difficult conditions on the side of a mountain. In order to grow, it must develop, adapt, and persist in the right course over a long period of time. It must find its roots in the rocks and grow stronger one careful and mindful step at a time.
* Here we have a similar teaching. The saturation of deep and abiding spiritual truths, the kind we set at the base of our lives, will still take a long time to develop. It will take mindfulness and dedication to the truth, one persevering and gentle step at a time.
* When we give ourselves to a powerful spiritual base, the I Ching is saying that it is like the process of courtship between a beautiful maiden and a gentle and patient suitor. It gradually infiltrates and takes root in the uneven and less than ideal settings of our life.
* How does all of this relate to Mercury’s retrograde to Saturn?
* Right now we have an opportunity to revisit, redefine, root out, renew, or set for the first time a powerful spiritual base, rooted in truth, integrity, and honesty.
* Mercury’s retrogradation to Saturn, just as Saturn is about to leave Jupiter’s sign and enter its own sign, is a beautiful symbol of the revision of the larger foundational truths and structures of our lives.
* But don’t be mistaken, there is also an opportunity to revise or restructure something right now in order to set a foundation that, if we wed ourselves to it, will be our gradual undoing. For example, think of the massive overhaul and revision of the tax code taking place in the United States right now, which the vast majority of analysts believe will only lead to ruin.
* We can extend these teachings in a variety of directions. Think of honesty in speech. Think of changing personal, family, or professional boundaries or policies. Think of changing strategies or technologies. And in each potential change or transformation, remember that integrity and truthfulness within the family (the spirit) provides the foundation for the body/mind/ego to be wed in love and devotion, which then generates harmony and unity.
* And remember…don’t be too strict, too severe, or too impatient with any changes you need to make. The transformation will take time. See it like a tree who has to grow into the uneven and difficult terrain found on the side of a mountain.
* Last but not least, I am on day 13 of my 40 days of prayer and fundraising for the year ahead. I need the support of my readers. Right now, I have the support of 105 readers, but our goal is 300. If you’re able to chip in, please do so. Remember, each of these takes me 2-3 hours each day to create and each day thousands of people read these horoscopes for free. In order to continue doing this I need those readers who are able to pitch in to help my work! Find the link right here. And thank you!
Prayer: Court us with your truth and help us to make of it a new foundation. Then give us the patience to gentle foster its growth.