An I Ching Meditation illuminating the light of these upcoming transits…
* The 22nd hexagram of the I Ching is sometimes called “Adornment,” but also “Persona,” or “Grace.” It depicts fire at the foot of the mountain.
* The teaching of hexagram 22 suggests that adornment is secondary to the inner quality of something. What we cover or adorn something with should simply accent or bring forth the essential quality of whatever it adorns.
* When adornments or decorations are made, through material things or through the theatrics of personality, they shouldn’t distract from the truth of something but should enhance it’s truth.
* Intelligent aesthetics have to do with helping the inner quality of something to be seen. Intelligent beautifying has to do with adorning something in just the right way so that its subtle essences can be seen, heard, and felt a little more vividly. This is why hexagram 22 is often called “Grace.”
* The 6th line of Hexagram 22 reads, “Simple grace. No fault.” Some translations read, “Dressed in pure white, simplicity. No blame.”
* The 6th line culminates in the idea that one of the subtlest and most beautiful forms of adornment is simplicity. Think for example of how classy and timeless the simple “black dress” is said to be. The point is obviously not about white or black in any literal sense, but rather about the way in which the understated, the simple, and the modest, often bring forth the most. This makes sense of Venus’ approaching trine to Saturn.
* However, when the 6th line alone changes, then Hexagram 22 becomes Hexagram 36, called “Eclipsing the Light.”
* Hexagram 36 is all about the need to hide one’s light amidst inferior people or within a trying or potentially dangerous situation.
* Hexagram 36 is also about the jealousy that others may feel toward our light, or inherent beauty, and the attempts made to knock someone down out of jealousy, envy, or fear of their light.
* When read in the context of the first hexagram and it’s changing line, as well as within the context of the Venus to Saturn to Uranus dynamic, we can see a few themes or teachings emerging.
* Modesty and simplicity when it comes to outward adornment are being encouraged right now, and also there is a warning about the need to hide one’s light. The potential for something beautiful (Venus) to be overdone, exaggerated, and potentially leading us into conflict is apparent.
* Often times when we find something we love, and some inner change takes place, we want to show it off and immediately wear it like a new article of clothing, or a new pair of shoes. But this sequence tells us the wisdom of allowing significant internal makeovers to remain exciting on the inside while appearing simple and perhaps even secretive outside.
* As soon as you announce the new thing you have become, or the new growth you’ve achieved, in some ways you are casting the seeds of a baby tree into the fire before it has gotten a chance to take root. Remember, for real inner changes to be lasting, stable, and strong, they have to become like the mountain, anchored in a place of firmness, developed over time and consistent effort, and not made or broken by the simple fire at the base of the mountain, depicted here as “decoration.”
* For example, let’s say you go on a spiritual retreat and when you come back you feel born again. So immediately you go out and you buy a new wardrobe, a bunch of spiritual books, and you update your facebook profile with selfie that features you on a brand new yoga mat, sipping a starbucks chai, and reading a copy of “The Prophet.” First the post doesn’t get any likes, and so you get sad, and then resentful, and then embarrassed, until finally someone leaves a comment. Oh my god, a comment! So you read the comment and it says, “So what did you become a hippy after your retreat, or what?” It was left by someone from your high school who knows you, who knew you back when you were the same you you are now, beneath the Chai Prophet Yoga Mat selfie. And suddenly it hits you….you should not have posted that picture, nor should you have gone out and bought all these things. And now you fear you’ve just ruined your retreat. So now you have two choices…eat something to fill your emotions, like maybe some chocolate, or swallow your pride and go meditate or actually do some yoga, and return to the beauty you found on your retreat in the private, secret, and simplicity of your heart.
* When adornment isn’t simple, it’s like a fire so bright we miss the mountain behind it. When adornment is modest and simple it illuminates and brings forth the majesty and mystery of the mountain behind it.
* When adornment isn’t simple we invite attacks. And sometimes, even when adornment IS simple, people are jealous of lasting, deep beauty, and will try to attack what they covet or copy or mimic on their outside what they crave that they see on the inside of someone or something else. Beware of getting embroiled with people like this. Beware of being someone like this!
Prayer: Adorn us with your simple articles of grace, so that the world might inhabit our hearts and bring forth all the wild beauty from beyond.