This post is such an agglomeration of things it’s not really title-able. How about ‘Complementary hexagrams, 26 and 45 in particular, and intention, and the usual brilliance of Jen Louden or What happens if you read everything with hexagram eyes’?
Anyway… it starts – before that 61-to-29 reading persuaded me to give readings with specific questions/objectives a break – with a reading about the gift of Jen Louden’s Life Organizer book. The relating hexagram in the reading was 26, Great Taming.
Bought the book, read through, and came to the part where she talks about Intention in a way I hadn’t conceived of it before. She describes the ‘possible bag’, a rawhide bag given to Plains Indian children as they mature. This will be filled with medicine tools, life skills and discoveries. And this, she says, is like intention.
An intention might be ‘staying playfully focussed’ or ‘how can I be kind to myself?’ or ‘listening to Spirit for guidance on the book project’. Any of these would guard you against becoming scattered and losing yourself by creating its own ‘possibility space’ where skills, discoveries, powers – de – can gather.
OK, Jen doesn’t mention de; this is where ‘hexagram eyes’ come in. What she’s talking about sounds to me very much like Hexagram 26. There’s the outer trigram of mountain acting, as it often does, as a kind of ‘lid’, creating a container. And so,
‘Heaven dwells in the centre of the mountain: Great Taming.
A noble one uses the many annals of ancient words and past deeds,
And builds up his de.’
There is the farmer, who initially has just calves, piglets, wild horses and an intention.
It becomes fruitful to cross the great river, perhaps because your intention is a supple, stretchy kind of possibility bag that reaches out to encompass more than you can be at home with.
So if 26 is a space for gathering powers, resources, the means of fulfilling a purpose, then it’s a space for its complementary hexagram, 45. Great Taming allows Gathering to come into being. (It even rears the ‘great sacrificial animals’ that will be called for there!)
I wonder whether this could be a useful way to think about complementary hexagrams in general: that they create the space within which their complement is possible. Decrease, for instance, 41, might be said to empty out space so 31 can invite in new influence and feeling. Harmony between people allows the emergence of a purposeful army. And have you read the quotation LiSe chooses to illustrate Hexagram 19?
In ‘Cave in the snow’, Tenzin Palmo says: “Why does one go into retreat? One goes into a retreat to understand who one really is and what the situation truly is. When one begins to understand oneself then one can truly understand others because we are all interrelated. It is very difficult to understand others while one is still caught up in the turmoil of one’s emotional involvement – because we’re always interpreting others from the standpoint of our own needs. That’s why, when you meet hermits who have really done a lot of retreat, say twenty-five years, they are not cold and distant. On the contrary. They are absolutely lovely people. You know that their love for you is totally without judgment because it doesn’t rely on who you are or what you are doing, or how you treat them. It’s totally impartial. It’s just love. It’s like the sun – it shines on everyone.”
Maybe complements allow one another. What do you think?
(Also, how about, ‘The Yijing ate my brain’ as a title?)