Monday, March 21, 2005

Mme Z moves to a new Blogspot!

Hello All! my Blogspot, "Mme,Zaratamara's I CHING Readings" has been moved to a new url,
http://z-i-chingreadings.blogspot.com/.
I tried to change the format in this blog so people could read the introduction, and how the divining is done, without searching for the first post.

Somehow, I screwed it up and couldn't UNscrew it, so I had to copy everything onto a new blog, which I think works much better. Check it out!
I have just asked the I CHING to speak on the occasion of the second anniversary of our invasion of Iraq. Comments are most welcome!
Signing off on this blog, see you on the new one,
Mme.Zaratamara

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Getting OUT of Iraq

Good Morning!
Mme. Zaratamara has been asked to consult the I-Ching on the question "How do we get out of Iraq?" I have just tossed the coins and this is the Hexagram:
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_______
___x___
_______
___o___
___ ___

This is #33 RETREAT! (I know. Blows MY mind every time, too!)
It pictures a time when the "Power of the Dark" is ascending. The light retreats to security so that the dark cannot encroach upon it(a matter not of Man's will, but of Natural law) therefore in this case withdrawel is proper; it is the correct way to behave in order not to exhaust one's forces (similar to what Jesus said about not resisting evil).
The Judgement line says:

"RETREAT. Success.
In what is small, perseverence furthers" .. and further explains:
"Hostile forces favored by the time are advancing. In this case retreat is the right course and through retreat success will be achieved. Retreat is not to be confused with flight, which means saving oneself under any circumstances, whereas Retreat is a sign of strength. We must be careful NOT TO MISS the right moment, while we are still in possession of power and position.One must interpret the signs of the times before it is too late and prepare for a provisional retreat before one is drawn into a desperate life-and-death struggle. Thus, success lies in being able to retreat at the right moment and in the right manner, making it the voluntary withdrawel of a strong (person), not the forced flight of a weak one."
THE IMAGE:
"Mountain under heaven..
thus the superior man keeps the Inferior man at a distance,
not angrily, but with reserve"

Now come the "changing" Lines:
>Six in the second place says:
"He holds him fast with yellow oxhide.
No one can tear him loose"
Retreat is hampered by the Inferior's (Bush et al) perseverence in what is "small"(short-sighted and self-serving)
>Nine in the Fourth place says:
"Voluntary Retreat brings good fortune to the superior man

And downfall to the inferior man."
(in voluntarily retreating the superior man does not have to do violence to his convictions. The one who suffers is the inferior man, who will degenerate when deprived of the Guidance he needs. This is also applicable to the attitude nescessary toward the Neocon infestation of our government: we do not simply abandon the field to the inferior man, we make it difficult for him to advance by showing perseverance in "single acts of resistence". In this way we prepare, while retreating, for a counter-movement. Understanding the laws of such constructive retreat is not easy, but "Great indeed is the meaning that lies hidden in such a time"
Incidently, this Hexagram is linked to the sixth month (July/ August in the Chinese year)
NOW the hexagram is redrawn with the "changing" lines and we see:
_______
_______
___ ___
_______

_______
___ ___

#57 The Gentle, Penetrating Wind
(this is also the Hexagram of home-coming!)
"The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is disolved by the penetratiing light principle. Like the wind that disperses the clouds in nature,and can even erode stone, so in human life it is the penetrating clarity of judgement, ceaselessly expressed, that thwarts all dark hidden motives. In the life of the community it is the powerful influence of a great personality that uncovers and breaks up those intrigues that shun the light of day."
The Judgement says:
"The GENTLE. Success through what is small.
It furtheres one to have somewhere to go. (like,Home!)
It furthers one to see the great man"
(the "great man" is refered to as the "ruler" of the hexagram, the fifth line, which says
"Perseverence brings good fortune. Remorse vanishes.
Nothing that does not further.
No beginning, but an END.
Before the change, three days, After the change, three days"
(the Beginning has not been good, but the moment has been reached when a new direction can be taken. However, such changes must be made with great deliberation and care, for success to be achieved) and it notes,
"In contrast to the situation in #18, Work on what has been spoiled, where it is a question of compensating for mistakes of the parents, is is work on public matters that is described here, characterized not so much by love that covers up defects, as by impartial justice, as symbolized by the West,Metal, Autumn.) In order to enforce commands, it is nescessary to first ABANDON A WRONGE BEGINNING so that a good end is attainable."The Image:"Winds following one upon the other; The Image of the Gently Penetrating.Thus the superior man spreads his commands abroad And carries out undertakings"The penetrating quality of the wind depends on its ceaselessness. This is what makes even gentle wind so powerful; Time is its instrument.Change is effected not by an act of violation, but by influence that never ceases, and always moves in the direction of the desired goal. Results of this kind are less striking than those won by surprise attack, but they are more enduring and complete."It may not yet be clear who the "Great Man" is (it could be the People as a greater body)... Clearly, we must keep a constant wind-like pressure on our demands for this Change, penetrating the dark motives of the Warmakers with our myriad small but ceaseless voices speaking Truth to Power, that cannot but eventually accumulate to achieve our goal,ending the Occupation and entering upon a new and better way.Mme Zaratamara
1:06 PM

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Welcome to the I Ching!

Welcome to my new Blog, in which I will consult the I CHING Oracle about matters of national and international import to us all.
The I Ching is the Chinese "Book of Changes" that was created by the Ancient Sages around 2205- 1766 BC, later annoted and further edited by
Confucious in the 5th century BC. Originally used as an Oracle to impart wisdom and advice to Kings and Rulers, it addresses itself to the "Superior Man"
and is as remarkably applicable, now as it was then, to the "Superior Man/Woman" in all of us.
One could only WISH our present leaders could
benefit from its timeless wisdom. (but what are the chances of GW Bush ever being receptive to good advice? In any case, I will be consulting the I-Ching FOR them and us, in hopes that the guidance will somehow "trickle down" to them.)

The I Ching, being the only great ancient work of this period to survive a huge book-burning by the Tyrant, Ch'in Shih Huang Ti, in 213BC, was never-the-less
not translated from the Chinese until early in the 20th century AD, by German scholar Richard Wilhelm, and finally into English in 1965. This is the copy, with a forward by Jung, that I have studied, used and cherished in my own life since my first experience with it as a young woman when it struck me between the eyes with its personal relevance in 1968. It was the absolutely perfect time for it, not only in my own life, but also in the momentous mind-evolving times of the late sixties.
Although I could not understand how the three pennies I tossed six times could have resulted in such a totally accurate picture of what was happening in
my life at the time, it could not have been more accurate, and further consultations convinced me it was NOT a fluke! The Symbolic language
is at once mysterious, and when the mind opens, universal. As Jung points out, the I Ching both expects and demands a certain degree of Self-knowledge and even rebukes the "Frivolous Importuning" of those who would ask only silly self-centered questions. For that, it seems to say, "you have your Gypsy Fortune Teller".


The I Ching is firstly a book of Wisdom -about the state of Human affairs in Transition,.. the "changes" we go through, as individuals and as Nations...in a series of 64 Hexagrams; poem-like verses invoking archetypical Images of and advice for, situations in flux, often further "Changing" to another situation/picture, according to the complexities of the particular Hexagram one has "Thrown"..
It starts with the basics: the Male (Yang) Creative, represented by the Dragon, first (naturally! But one mustn't be put off by the sexist-sounding language, as the Book assigns equal power to both sexes, and assumes both polarities exist in all men and women. The Creative is first because it represents the initial spark, of Life, of an Idea, and then Must come the Receptive, to nurture it on the Earth and give it Actuality! Thus the Physical and the Metaphysical act in concert)
The Female (Yin) Receptive, has the Image of a Mare, tirelessly roaming the earth, grounded and Real.
These are the first two hexagrams, represented by six straight lines for The Creative and six broken lines for The Receptive.
Then Life gets more complex, as do the Life-situations pictured by the Hexagrams, cycling all possible combinations of six solid and broken lines, returning at #64 to Before Completion (NOT, it should be noted, After Completion) , which renews the cycle.
(Whoever figured all this out must have had one incredibly amazing Mind, not to mention being Cozmicly Connected!)

The most ancient method of Divining a Hexagram used yarrow stalks, but a simpler numeric method using coins is quicker, though no less miraculous.
The coins' two sides are designated with numeric values as well as having a Male and Female side : Male Heads=3, Female Tails=2. The Hexagram is drawn from the bottom up, with straight lines Male and broken lines Female, the six lines stacked up in succession.
The Consultant to the Oracle (in this case, Me, as your humble Medium and Interpreter ) First calms herself and focuses on a situation where guidance is desired.
Then she tosses three coins (Pennies are fine) on a cleared table and counts them up.
There's two heads and a tail, so 3+3+2=8. Since 8 is an even number, it is Yin,Female, so the first toss is a broken line --- ---.
The next toss is two tails and a head, so 2+2+3=7, a male, straight line ---------, which is placed over the first, and so on, building from the bottom up. The next toss is three Heads, 9, also marked with a straight line, but because it's a 9, it is further marked with an x in the middle of the line, and a toss of three Tails, is a 6, and also marked, but with a O in the space. These last two are called "Changing Lines", because these lines not only speak in more detail about the subject at hand, but are then changed to the opposite line when, after reading the First Hexagram, it is re-drawn and the next Hexagram represents what this situation/action, will further develop. What has never failed to amaze me, is how, out of 64 possible combinations of my coin toss, seemingly random, but actually no more random than one's birth, it can be so amazingly RELEVANT!

...So anyway we now have four of the six lines of our Hexagram, looking like this

___0___
___x___
_______
___ ___

and let me just Actually TOSS the other two>>>>>> it was a 7 and an 8, which added to the top gives us the final hexagram
(there is a chart to locate it, dividing it into two Trigrams, upper and lower.... they all have a name,too! this one is Wood over Water)

___ ___
_______
___0___
___x___
_______
___ ___


This Hexagram is #48, called "Ching,The Well' (Wow! This is the I Ching speaking directly to us!) it is the universal Image of the "Inexhaustible dispensing of Nourishment" -and that includes Wisdom! the Image is Water over wood, both wood as a bucket and wood as a plant that sucks water out of the ground. "Thus the Superior Man organizes human society so that all parts of the whole benefit"

The Judgement verse says,

"The Town may be changed,
but the Well cannot be changed.....
They come and go from the Well... (and then a warning )
If one gets almost down to the water
And the rope does not go all the way, (this signifies only a partial understanding, which is worse than none at all)
Or the Jug Breaks, it brings misfortune." (The breaking of the jug means carelessness, but also in the sense of mis-using
the Military, the "groundwater" of defence in excess, resulting in the annihilation
of the State. WHOA! like I said, Bush needs to consult this Oracle! That's what I got
last time I asked about the him and the Iraq War!)

Then, each Hexagram has six "Lines", which can be read as a general progression of the situation or the lesson, but in the case of our two "changing lines", (even though they were superficially picked to illustrate the mechanism) they are speaking further to us:
9 in the third place means:

"The Well is cleaned, but no one drinks from it.
This is my Heart's Sorrow,
For one might draw from it.
If the King were Clear-minded,
good Fortune might be enjoyed in common." (It's the Book itself speaking, and HOW TRUE! King George is definitely NOT clear-minded!)

6 in the fourth place means:

"The Well is being lined. No Blame" ( it will soon be in use again! How exciting!)

Ok, as if that wasn't Far-Out Cool enough, we now re-draw the Hexagram changing the marked lines to their opposite sex:
We now have (no more marks)

___ ___
_______
_______
___ ___
_______
___ ___

#47 "Oppression/Exhaustion" the Image of a Lake drained dry from below...Like our Economy?! and explains
"Thus everywhere Superior Men are oppressed and held in restraint by inferior Men" (ain't THAT the Truth!)

... but The Judgement says

"Oppression. SUCCESS. Perseverance. (a favorite concept in the I Ching as in "Furthering through Perseverance")
The great man brings about good fortune.
No blame.
When one has something to say,
it is not believed" .... and explains in the footnotes, "Times of Adversity..can lead to success if they befall the right man.
He who lets his spirit be broken by exhaustion certainly has no success. But if adversity only bends
someone, it creates a power within to react that is bound in time to manifest itself even though for the
time being outward influence is denied .

"Thus the Superior Man stakes his life
On following his Will."
(for this alone is superior to all external Fate)


Pretty much IT in a nutshell, wouldn't you say?

I will be asking the I Ching to speak to us regularly, as I regularly have alot on my mind, and things are in an especially huge state of flux right now.
Please think about what's going on in the World and what larger issue you might want to consult with the Oracle about. Please no personal stuff at this time, as I'm doing this for free, and I want to stick to the Big Picture. "Yes" and "No" questions don't really work here, and a humble universal approach works best. I will try to pick the best topics first, and I can't guarantee I'll address all of them, but I'd like to hear from People! Your Guide and Reader, Mme. Zaratamara


**************************************************************************


3/14/05 Good Morning!

Today I will ask the I Ching to speak to us about the Social Security issue.
The Hexagram derived from my coin tosses is:
#15, MODESTY ...with marked lines in the first and fourth places

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___ ___
___o___
_______
___ ___
___o___


The Judgement says "Modesty creates Success.Thus the superior man carries things through"
(as in "Don't mess with it)
the Commentary says,
"Modesty creates success, for it is the way of heaven to shed its influence downward and to create light and radiance. It is the way of earth to be lowly and go upward.It is the way of heaven to make empty what is full and give increase to what is modest. (thus)Modesty that is honored spreads radiance; Modesty that is lowly cannot be ignored. This is the end attained by the Superior Man."
The IMAGE:
"Within the earth, a mountain:the image of Modesty.
Thus, the superior man reduces that which is too much,and augments that which is too little.
He weighs things and makes them equal"
(pretty good picture of what Social Security is supposed to do, isn't it?)
It goes on to say,
" the wealth of the earth, in which a mountain is hidden is not visable to the eye, because the depths are offset by the height of the mountain. Thus high and low compliment each other, and the result is the plain. (the "level playing field idealized, until recently, it seems, as the Great Society). Here, an effect that has taken a long time to achieve, but that in the end seems easy of accomplishment and self-evident, is used as the image of modesty. The Superior Man does the same thing when he establishes order in the world; he equalizes the extremes that are the source of social discontent and thereby creates just and equitable conditions."
(George Bush, of course, seeks to do just the OPPOSITE, as evidenced by his actions favoring the rich, of which his Social Security privatization scheme is one.)
Now the "Changing " lines:
>Six in the beginning means
"A superior man modest about his modesty

May cross the great water(he is lowly in order to guard himself well) Good fortune"
The meaning here is that Modesty in a lowly place cannot be ignored(the People)and even dangerous enterprises, such as crossing the great water, can be accomplished if done in the simplest most straight-forward way.(the way SS was always supposed to work)
>Six in the fourth place means:
"Nothing that would not further modesty in movement.
He (the superior man) does not overstep the rule"
( of course, GW is NOT a modest man, and would wish to once again "overstep the rule" in his arrogance)

This hexagram then Changes to #55 , Abundance
___ ___
___ ___
_______
_______
___ ___
_______


"Abundance has success.
The King attains abundance.
Be not sad.Be like the sun at midday"
( midday suggests that this extraordinary condition of abundance is usually brief) It explains,
"There is only one means of making foundations firm in times of greatness, namely, spiritual expansion. Abundance can only endure if ever larger groups are brought to share in it, for only then can the movement continue without turning into its opposite".. and, very interestingly, goes on to recommend in
the IMAGE:
"Both thunder and lightning come:The image of Abundance.
Thus, the Superior Man decides lawsuits And carries out punishments."
("The trigrams Li, light and clarity, and Chen, shock, terror, give the prerequisites for a clearing of the atmosphere by the thunderstorm of a criminal trial.Clarity within makes it possible to investigate the facts exactly, and shock without ensures a strict and precise carrying out of punishment.")
This says to me, that we must clarify the facts, and a due punishment -and rejection of Bush's plan- will ensue. This already appears to be happening, as Bush's Privatization scheme is being widely exposed and rejected, even by his own party members.
(Now, if we can just get some more clarity on 9/11, perhaps we can mete out the justice so long overdue where this "king" is concerned!)
Your humble reader, Mme.Zaratamara
5:59 AM