June 2018: Put Family at Your Centre

Greetings and happy June!

As the new month quickly barrels onward, let’s pause for a moment to ask the I Ching what we should most focus on for June 2018. This is a powerful question as it forces us to recognise that not everything is important – indeed the principle of essentialism – and that we can channel our energies into being more effective in what we can achieve and improving our happiness in doing so.

I posed this question to the I Ching by casting the coins and interpreting the hexagrams and changing lines that arose. For this month, we have the current hexagram of 37 The Family, with three changing lines in position one, two and five, and the outcome hexagram of 18 Work on What Has Been Spoiled. So let’s unpack what the I Ching is actually asking us to focus on this month.

Hexagram 37 or The Family, is all about understanding the hierarchy of relationships that we form part of and the responsibilities we carry to the family unit, be that our own family or any form of family we find ourselves in. We are being told that a key part of this month is staying focused and rooted in the intimate group or supportive framework we are part of.

Changing lines are particular lines in a casting (six or nine), which hold so much change that they want to switch to their opposite – a yin becomes a yang, a yang becomes a yin. These provide special and specific pieces of advice, and in this case relate to deeper insight on this focus on family.

In the first changing line, position one, we are symbolically being called to stay within the family ‘house’. This means to stay in the womb or stay close to your core foundation, taking reprieve from within the safety of the home or your internal world. For the first one and a half weeks of June, retreat to your centre and spend time with yourself, your family or in your safe space. The time is simply not right to be on wild adventures in places far outside your comfort zone. Yes, the I Ching is saying it’s okay to stay in your pyjamas and binge watch Netflix! The time to leave the dwelling will come.

The second changing line, in the second position, takes us through the second third of the month. In this line, the symbol is the ‘fire in the hearth’. Here we are being asked not to seek glory or achievement for ourselves yet to stay focused in the centre of the family and to symbolically feed those around us. The hearth has always been a powerful symbol of the burning furnace core of the home, and we are tasked to focus on keeping the light burning for others. This may be frustrating if we want to pursue our own individualistic goals, yet now is not the time. Our task is to support those around us to do so. Bear in mind this may apply equally to your private life as it does to your work or business life – look after those around you and provide what is necessary. You are at the centre of this work or group and are pivotal to its success.

In the last third of the month, we focus on the last changing line in the fifth position. This is a powerful line and takes the symbol of the home from the dimension of the personal family to the much bigger spiritual family. Here we are told that we can create an anchor point for a much bigger family or a community that is far beyond ourselves. This is a call to care for others in a deep and meaningful way and brings a powerful flood of energy in return. Think of your life as a temple through which many will find inspiration and healing. How can you activate this more deeply in June?

The outcome hexagram is 18 Work on What has Been Spoiled. This indicates that our ability to stay focused on the symbolic home and nourishing others over the month of June will help us to put our world to right and create order where before it was chaos. Hexagram 18 refers to the weedy garden that has grown to its dishevelled state through neglect. Some aspect of our life in June will come under scrutiny and we will see the weeds for what they are. Service to others and anchoring ourselves in the home or the centre, are tools to help us clear out our garden and restore order and harmony.

Best wishes to you for the month ahead and may family and order be yours in June 2018. The I Ching is direct and evidential – work with these focus areas for June and you might be amazed at how accurately the I Ching has directed your attention and the results that accrue.  Look to both your personal and professional selves as you apply this.

If you have any experience that resonates with these hexagrams and changing lines over the month, please do share your insights by posting a comment below.

April 2018: Hubble, bubble, toil and (no) trouble

I asked the I Ching: Please advise us what we should most focus upon for April 2018? I love this question because it brings in the word FOCUS, a much needed life management tool that we seem to battle with on so many levels.

Remember that with these monthly overviews, as we are all facing our own issues, opportunities and growing pains, the focus question gives a bird’s eye view of what we all have in common. At the same time, it is uncanny how these big picture focus readings are extremely useful in some way to us in the day to day. They certainly are for me. If you want to make the most of the change energy in April 2018, then you need to align yourself with the state of change that is most dominant. That means we have to develop ourselves and become the ‘superior person’ that the I Ching calls us to realise.

So what does April have in store?

For those of you with your own copy of an I Ching book – Richard Wilhelm, Stephen Karcher or other – you can look it up as follows: Present hexagram 50 The Cauldron, with one changing line in the sixth position, resulting in the outcome hexagram of 32 Duration.

If you are thinking, what strange language is she talking (???), keep reading. I know that the I Ching can be unbelievably confusing. That is why most people who buy an I Ching book to learn never open it again. It can be overwhelming. I will endeavour to bring you practical approaches and insights that can help make sense of the jargon and weird symbolism. Just keep reading articles on this blog and it will make more sense as you go.

Okay, so back to April 2018…

The first hexagram, which represents the present or main state of change for the month, is a wonderful hexagram called 50 The Cauldron. Imagine for a moment a cast iron pot, Dutch oven or potjiekospot dangling over an open flame. Into it you have placed onions, vegetables, a protein, stock and fresh herbs. You close the lid and tend the fire. You are careful not to open the lid as this lets out precious steam. You have to just trust the process. After a long period of time tending your coals, not too hot and not too cold, you open up the pot to see what has emerged. It is the moment of truth. You crack open the lid and ahhhhhhh …. delicious smells waft out.   Yum! Your stomach grumbles with anticipation. You are excited because you know your tribe is going to love it too. Their bellies will feel full and cared for from the inside out.

This is the essence of this hexagram – one of two man-made objects in the set of 64 hexagrams – transforming raw ingredients into nourishment that feeds others. It is magical; it is alchemical. There is an internal growth process and transformation that brings goodness for others.

There is one changing line for this reading – the 9th in line 6, or the yang line sitting at the upper most position of the hexagram’s structure. A changing line, derived by getting a 6 or 9 when casting a line using the coins, is a change point that is so intense that it wants to turn into its opposite. Changing lines provide very specific advice that we must pay attention to.

This line for The Cauldron is very beneficial. It says: that the cauldron has jade rings or handles. Jade was considered precious and spiritually significant in ancient China and is still highly prized to this day. What is indicated is that the pathway to great things is open and your work, or some part of it, is blessed and very powerful. There is nothing left but to go for it – it will open up your world and benefit others deeply.

The outcome hexagram is 32 Duration, which is where this flow of change is moving to, considering the changing line in play. Duration or Endurance is all about going the distance, the long-term relationship that persists, stamina, and the enduring principles that keep us rooted in our life path.

April 2018 wants to show us that our efforts at transformation, an internal reflection and development process, and our life work, is nurturing something truly precious and wonderful that will lifts up the people around us. What results is an enduring principle – the long haul – that carries us into our futures.

Wow! So just go for it – the floodgates are open and waiting for you.

In the beginning…

What is absolutely fascinating to me is how the story of the birth of yin and yang so closely mirrors many other cosmological views on the origin of the Universe. I am sure there are some who might have other theories, yet, from what I can understand, yin and yang were born in the Big Bang. And yes, that is supposed to rhyme!

First there was silence and stillness – the nothingness, the void. No space and time existed. A cataclysm of creation then occurred – the massive explosion of the Big Bang – that put the ball in motion (and later a few galactic balls too). Out of the void came the chaos, and out of the chaos came two polarised forces of creation – pulsating and dancing in a flow of energy. Yang or male / positive energy represented the active driving force of creation or the seed. Yin or female / negative energy provided the womb – the passive, receptive, nurturing creative force. Together they would birth all creation.

In I Ching cosmology, this would look as follows: from ‘zero’ or nothingness came ‘one’ or chaos, out of which ‘two’ forces were born, yang and yin. It goes on. Next came the creation of the ‘four’ primary energies – yang and yin plus two with combinations of each other. The four creation building blocks combined, yet again, into ‘eight’ forces of change, now known as the trigrams or three-lined images. These trigrams represent forces that guide and shape all patterns of change. These eight combined yet again and formed 64 variations of the manifested states of change, known as the hexagrams or six-lined images.

It is these 64 images that provide the I Ching’s basis to guide our understanding of change and how we can best align to that change. The tool known as the I Ching, connects us to what we already know. Being part of the matrix or quantum soup, at a subconscious level we fully understand the change we are dealing with and why. Casting the coins or using an I Ching app just creates visibility for what we know and a language to describe how we can master the change we find ourselves in.

The Unexpected Knot: Hexagram 25 Innocence to 21 Biting Through

Sometimes the I Ching is so accurate, and our confusion on what it means at the time so deep, you literally want to kick yourself up the you-know-what when you figure it out. This happened to me this week.

I have been working on my main web site and was gunning to get it upgraded from an old sorry state into something someone would actually read. I cast the I Ching to ask if there was anything I should pay attention to or know about going live that day. I got the Hexagrams 25 Innocence or Unexpected, one changing line in the 5th position, giving a second hexagram of 21 Biting Through.

I read through the text and could not understand it. Changing line 5 referred to an external evil or difficulty that was not my fault but would clear in the natural order of events. Hexagram 21 is the legal hexagram and asks you to take direct and rapid action. I love using the tale of Alexander the Great’s Gordian Knot to illustrate this hexagram. Sometimes gentle probing and cajoling will not undo the undo-able knot – a sword is the tool that cleaves open the knot. I battled to understand how these hexagrams related to my question. And so, being busy and distracted, I brushed it off and kept going. The I Ching would, of course, get the last laugh.

Later that day, all that was left to get my site live was to upgrade the account and reclaim my domain, which, in a bad case of admintitus years prior, had lapsed. To my horror, the domain was no longer available AND was for sale for $2875! I could see from the whois entry that this predatory domain company (badly want to list the name but have held back) had snapped up my domain when it lapsed and essentially wanted to extort a ridiculous sum from me to get it back.

Enter the I Ching reading, stage left. I groaned. Of course….The unexpected had happened and the cause was indeed an external bad act of cybersquatting. The second hexagram, the legal and knot slayer, now also made sense. The way to deal with it is to be swift in taking action using the recourse available. How evidential!

I feel quite confident that I will get it back, given the case in hand, and the remedial backup of ICANN arbitration. I have mailed the domain company, and do believe, as the I Ching has stated, it will correct in the ordinary course of business. Holding thumbs!

Update: So the I Ching WAS right. The domain company came back to me and said they would be willing to cede to domain to me immediately…..at no cost! 🙂 *happiness*

Learn about the I Ching whilst sipping your latte…