An I Ching Meditation for this Venus/Saturn Square:
* The 58th hexagram of the I Ching is sometimes called “Cheerfulness” or “Joy,” and it depicts two lakes conjoined with one another. The teachings of the 58th hexagram include the notion of joining together with other like-minded friends or colleagues in order to discuss, converse, and enjoy one another’s company. Implicit in the image of joining together with others it the idea of encouragement, mutual stimulation, and the sharing of good vibes or enthusiasm.
* The 58th hexagram teaches us that with cheerfulness difficult things are made easier and in some sense impossible things become possible. For example, when you approach a difference of belief or opinion with someone else with cheerfulness they are often much more willing and interested in hearing your side of the story and vice versa.
* The 58th hexagram teaches us to hold fast to our decisions, to essential “decide inside” before we act. This way there is substance and commitment to our positions when we relate with others. However, the 58th hexagram also suggests that we hold whatever decisions we’ve made without flattering or fawning over others with a kind of false joy or enthusiasm.
* The 5th line of the 58th hexagram depicts someone in a powerful, honest, and joyful position being approached by someone who will use all kinds of tricks, flattery, and false joy or enthusiasm in order to seduce and manipulate. The 5th line warns that there is the possibility of someone with false joy, a “sycophant,” about to approach us, or it speaks to the way in which false joy and enthusiasm eventually erodes harmony, truthfulness, and real happiness. When joy isn’t in line with truth and some inner substance and conviction, the bonds it creates will eventually erode and the inner selfishness or greed or manipulation will be exposed.
* The second hexagram that was generated in my reading this morning was hexagram 21, called “Biting Through,” or “Eradicating.” The 21st hexagram shows an object or obstruction between the teeth, and the meaning of the hexagram has to do with the effort or action needed to bite through and remove the obstruction to harmony.
* Hexagram 21 is often related to justice, law, crime, punishments, and penalties. Given the sequence above, we might say that this Venus/Saturn square might bring up the idea of removing obstructions to harmony, and in particular those people or parties who may display a desire for harmony but are actually acting from a place of manipulation and self-interest. The sequence could also be speaking to the need to remove ourselves from relationships where someone isn’t speaking the truth, is using flattery or seduction to get something from us, or where we ourselves haven’t been fully honest or forthcoming about how we feel out of fear for our own stake in the matter. Biting through is often about speaking clearly, truthfully, and being bold about something (with compassion) when we feel that there is an obstruction that is damaging or harming a greater need for unity. It’s also about clarifying our position, even when it means we have to risk the outer (and false) appearance of joy and happiness being disrupted.
* Hexagram 21 in this sequence might also be speaking about the end of various relationships or the termination of partnerships out of the desire to save face or to avert some public relations disaster. For example, it wouldn’t be surprising to see some heads roll in the White House, at Fox News, etc, etc, in the coming days or weeks, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see people speaking up or speaking out about one another AFTER relationships end…as though the truth finally comes out once the relationship has been terminated by one party or the other.
* Hexagram 21 in this sequence is also about the penalties we suffer relative to things we’ve done in good cheer and joy, or publicly, without a deeper inner sense of conviction or authenticity. Public reversals, apologies, and declarations of a new intent as well as a new sense of responsibility may accompany this Venus/Saturn transit.
As I grew up in the Christian church in Minnesota, cheerfulness was like the unspoken test of your faith. If you were really a good Christian then to some extent you were cheerful and good tempered. Ready to meet everyone and all encounters with cheerfulness and adaptability. Real cheerfulness IS in some ways a test of your spiritual mettle. It is outwardly flexible, and encouraging, healing, and generous…like a warm fire radiating into the world…but on the inside it’s firm and true. However, the simple truth is that many of the dramas we get involved with in life stem from cheerfulness leading the way without any inner firmness. The inner firmness is lacking because we haven’t taken the time to sit, get quiet, and reflect. We don’t know the words we say. We don’t know why we do what we do. A decision is necessary inwardly, in other words, for the sake of outward joyousness, and that decision is the firmness necessary for real outward flexibility and joy. Consequently, when we have an inward decision, the I Ching teaches us that allies come more easily and that we can also discern good intentions from bad intentions in others.
These are all things worth thinking about right now as Venus completes its square to Saturn with direct, repairing, motion.
Prayer: Create firmness inside our hearts and minds, so that our joy might be real and so that truth might grow between us in the glow of the good spirits.