Yesterday I explored the 49th hexagram of the I Ching and we discussed the puzzling dynamics of revolutionary times. The I Ching says that a revolution won’t be believed until it is accomplished and yet there is advice not to try to convince anyone of the need or cause for revolution and to wait until the appropriate time, as ordained by the cosmos. In other words, revolutions are natural occurrences in nature, and they have a timing of their own. Even if they may appear forceful, the Tao guides them just like everything else. The Confucian commentary talks about these exact conditions being related to the original discovery of celestial calendars and timing devices, which might be extended into revolutionary discoveries of all kinds.
Interestingly enough, when I examined this hexagram yesterday I had forgotten that the Antikythera mechanism has been making headlines recently due to the discovery of a new layer of minute inscriptions made on the surface of some of its remaining pieces. As many astrologers have hypothesized (Chris Brennan proposed this idea back in 2008!), the researchers are now suggesting that the device was likely used to predict the future. Why is this significant? Because even if it may be a simple little factoid for most people who read it, the astrological reality of ancient astronomy is a lot clearer. The people who were brilliant enough to map out the mechanics of the heavens and build what is arguably the world’s first computer were interested in astrology.
The discovery is also important because it is an auspicious sign for those of us who are interested in astrology. This morning I decided to approach the I Ching regarding the meaning of the discovery. The first hexagram the oracle responded with was #47, sometimes called “weariness” and other times “tiresome restriction” or “dried up.” The decision says there will be success, but words will not be believed. The commentary suggests that good people are fortunate in difficult situations when something happens that does more than words alone can accomplish.
The changing line of the reading was the 4th line, which reads something like “Better late than never,” or “help comes slowly and regretfully but eventually arrives.” It also suggests that help comes from above but not without a certain amount of social stigma, shame, or embarrassment related to the ones who are in a position to be helpful.
The second hexagram was number 29, called “danger,” or “dangerously deep,” and it displays a deep abyss of water, which is immediately interesting given the fact that the Antikythera mechanism was originally recovered from a shipwreck. As an image of the progress of events related to this discovery, the oracle is pointing to a challenging complexification of events that cannot be avoided and must be navigated very carefully and with great integrity.
With regard to the Antikythera mechanism, this recent discovery, and its relationship to astrology, the divination validates the idea that a discovery such as this, and perhaps others in the future, do what words cannot do for astrology. It validates that the support is slow in coming and it validates the social stigma and embarrassment that could be related to discoveries such as this (and again perhaps more in the future). Finally it seems to indicate that discoveries like this could in some way, now or later, shake up the astrological or scientific communities in significant ways. For example, learning more about “ancient” astrological doctrines could radically change our understanding of traditional astrology, which has become a topic of great interest in the past few decades. On the other hand, it could present more formidable challenges or oppositions between scientists and astrologers (which may not be entirely new, but it could be that various ‘age old’ conflicts about astrology somehow resurface from the depths).
In closing, if we choose to see the antikythera mechanism inscriptions as an omen for our lives in general, then it’s possible that we are on the brink of new discoveries or advances in knowledge that have to do with the simultaneous revelation of things from the past. These discoveries could embroil us in conflict as they simultaneously revolutionize and enlighten various facets of our lives!
Prayer: a tablet rises to the surface from deep below. May its words teach us something new or remind us of the truths we’ve forgotten.