Am greatly enjoying dipping into the works of William Douglas Horden, an I Ching master of the Sudden Enlightenment School and someone also adopted into a shamanic lineage in Northern Mexico. He has a page with most of his many books on Amazon.com and also a website. I shall say no more except to add that over a period of many decades, following the instructions of his master, he has composed an entirely new sequence of hexagrams along with original commentary, each Hexagram accompanied by a shamanic style painting. It is the first new sequence published in thousands of years. It is a masterpiece called The Toltec I Ching. So now I have my core reading for the next year laid in: Iain McGilchrist’s The Matter with Things, and many of William Horden’s books revealing many hidden aspects of the Yi. His book on I Ching Mathematics, for example, which clarifies much of the theory that Leibnitz also used to develop advanced mathematics (though he got a couple of key aspects wrong due to translation errors). Mind blowing stuff. Anyway…
As I was studying it, an Event happened described in the attached document. To which I added a technique in Horden’s Mathematics book which I shall very briefly describe. Each broken line in a Hexagram has a point value. Solid lines are 0. So the hexagram which has six solid lines is worth 0. The top broken line is worth 1, the second line down is worth double that = 2; the third line down = 4; the fourth line down = 8; the fifth line down = 16; the sixth line down and last = 32. Quite simple. You can go through each hexagram and give them a number and each hexagram has it own unique number because each is different. This means, for example, that when I do a normal cast getting a Primary with one or more changing lines which result in a Derived hexagram, each of those two hexagrams has a number value. And Horden’s method (this is one of many) is: by adding together the Primary and Derived you get an earlier hexagram which represents Influence from the Past which has led to the Present, here represented by the Primary Hexagram. And if you take the difference between the Primary and Derived, that is regarded as Future Influence indicating the process involved between the Primary and the Derived. In his method the Nuclear doesn’t figure but I have kept it because I like it very much (and also pay attention to the nuclear of the nuclear or more – all 64 hexagrams end up originating from one of four hexagrams (1,2,63,64) so I like to know which family the Primary and Derived are in. (Don’t ask me why!)
So the first ever time I used this method was for this Dragonfly Event. That requires using some of the Plum Blossom method from Jou Tsung Wa which is to choose the upper trigram based on some characteristic of the event – in this case I chose Heaven because dragons are the animal spirit of the Heaven trigram, easy. And then you use the direction of the event to determine the lower hexagram, in this case 10:30 = Wind. That makes Hexagram #44. There were two ways I used to determine the changing line. One is from the event itself, namely that he had four lovely wings which the dragonfly showed me many times after he had stationed himself about a yard away from me on a wire leading from the nearby printer table. And the other way is a mathematical formula in the official Plum Blossom method adding up the year, month, day and hour and dividing that total by six and then any remainder is the changing line number with no remainder equaling the sixth line. In this case both methods gave me the same Changing Line 4. So that made Hexagram #44 changing to Hexagram #57 Double Wind with Nuclear #1 (message from Heaven!). Hexagram 44 has the binary number of 32 whilst Hexagram #57 has the binary number of 36. Adding them together yields the number 68 which is 5 over the maximum 63 so that is binary 5 which makes Hexagram #5 (the only time this happens I think that those numbers are the same). The difference between 32 to 36 is Binary 4 making Hexagram #9. Simple. The reading is attached below.
He also has nifty ways of calculating the lower and upper trigrams from the binary number. Let us say we have Hexagram #57 The Gentle ䷸. This has a broken line in the 6th and 3rd place worth 32 and 4 respectively totaling 36. To determine the trigram we divide by 8 = 4 for the lower trigram + the remainder – in this case 4 again – for the upper trigram. Each trigram is worth a number using the same binary system: so the top line broken is 1 (solid = 0); the second line is 2 (or 0); the third line is 4 (or 0). This gives you eight numbers from 0 to 7: 0 = Heaven (3 yang lines each worth 0), then Lake ☱ is worth 1, Fire ☲ 2, Thunder ☳ 3, Wind ☴ 4, Water ☵ 5, Mountain ☶ 6, Earth ☷ 7. So the lower Trigram 4 = Wind (the third line down = 4 points); and the remainder 4 from the calculation above also = Wind giving us Wind above Wind below which is Hexagram #57 Double Wind, The Gentle. Horden has lots of neat things with doubling and multiplying that end up revealing fascinating sequences with the Hexagrams showing relationships I had never considered and probably would never have noticed. A veritable treasure. Can’t recommend this work highly enough; have no doubt will be spending years slowly absorbing it. In the next post I will show how to form an intention and then create a Hexagram-per-month calendar to guide you through to realizing that intention. Also easy and really cool.
44 Many-Winged Meeting > 57 Gentled Heaven < 1 Primordial One
Dragonfly enters like delicate, lovely butterfly swarm from direction 10:30
This gua is the inverse of the preceding gua, Eliminating. Eliminating means to separate; encountering is to meet. After separation people meet again; after meeting again, people separate. That is human life. Eliminating and Encountering mutually complement each other.
Wilhelm translates Gou as Coming to Meet. Blofeld translates it as Contact (or Sexual Intercourse, Meeting). Here, following the suggestion of the commentary, the term Encountering is used.
The ideograph of Gou is simple. It is composed of a woman and a queen. On the left is a buxom maiden. On the right side is the ideograph hou, a queen. Because a queen always follows the king, hou also means behind. The queen is standing upright and bowing. Underneath her bending body is an open mouth, kou, and above the mouth a horizontal stroke indicating the number one. This one person that the queen is encountering is the king. They meet and come together. The queen greets the king with respect and her best wishes.
The structure of the gua is Heaven above, Wind below. The wind blows everywhere under Heaven, encountering every being. It should be an auspicious gua. However, there is only one yielding line beneath five solid lines, symbolizing that the yin element is advancing and approaching the yang elements. When King Wen saw this
happening, he heightened his vigilance. He realized that an unworthy person was worming his way into favor at the court. The growing negative influences would displace good people one after another. Darkness and difficulties had been eliminated, but their negative influences had not totally faded. These influences were permeating different areas. One must beware of this tendency and take prompt precautions against possible misfortune. Thus King Wen’s Decision and the Duke of Zhou’s Yao Text are full of warnings. But Confucius’s commentaries still shed light on the positive side. This gua is one of the twelve tidal gua. It represents the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar.
My reading for the Dragonfly event resists the somewhat ominous warnings in #44 because the event itself was one of gentle, sacred wonder so I kept the Reading in line with that very strong feeling. One of the feelings running through the Reading is ‘One and Many’ which has to do with the fact – too often ignored but there nonetheless – that we are all part of the same One and all the many different particulars are what the One is made of, the One is not something else so We the Many are the One which means that every which we we meet on the path, including random rocks and ornery thistles, are part of the One as well. As was this Emissary of the One, a gorgeous black and white dragonfly – the picture above really doesn’t do justice at all to how exquisite he looked in real life. But the reason I thought he was four small butterflies is, as you can see in the photo above, most of the wings are transparent and only the tips are black, so I thought he was four butterflies flying in formation which seemed incredible until he alighted on a cable near me and I could recognize him as a Dragonfly Emissary from the One – which of course ended up being his Nuclear Hexagram as is only right and proper.
But as I was writing out the Reading for it a huge hailstorm happened which killed animals in the field a few miles away. The power for our house and two other neighbours went down. Only us. (A falling branch on our lines.) So I regard that event as both a personal as well as a general one. The message also included 44 but was much more negative and my wife and I have taken heed and changed some of our plans for the year accordingly. Nothing major, but a shift in emphasis and timing which we had been skirting around for a while but have now shifted more decisively into. (It was 33 > 12 < Nuclear 44. The past influence was Exhaustion 47 and the Future Influence was the somewhat encouraging #10 Treading the Tail of the Tiger. The message to us seems to be that things are going to get a little hairy in the larger world and it is time to emphasize local community. I have been invited to be the lead dancer with the bride in a wedding in the village next to where we are building a house which my wife informs me is a significant thing, so we are beginning a new chapter in any case. But the Yi Cast indicated – at least to me – that there is a little more urgency in the mix due to the wider world perhaps getting more unpleasant (involving Retreat when leadership becomes corrupt so good people retire from public view, and Standstill which is when leadership and common people drift further apart.) And the area where the animals died from the hail was further up in the hill country a bit higher up than where we are soon – hopefully – moving so that accentuated the feeling I got that this was a message partly for us (the power failure which only affected a tiny group) and our relations / future life further up in the hills to where we will soon be executing a #33 Retreat maneuver!