So I finally took the plunge and bought a book on the I Ching. I guess the online resources just weren’t enough for me, and I felt the need to do a bit more in-depth work, or something. I ended up buying this book, The Complete I Ching by Alfred Huang.
It was quite an eye-opener. The author provides a very close translation of the original texts, and this means that the metaphoric and often vague qualities of those texts are preserved, leaving ample room for interpretation. This is the art of divination, I guess: learning how to interpret the texts in a way that illuminates the situation.
He also provides a number of ways to do the divination, from using yarrow stalks, to the more common coin toss, to a rather simple method using gemstones. I did one reading this evening to see if I could gain any insight into my reconciliation prospects, and the results seemed quite auspicious. Here’s what came up:
The main hexagram was #8: Union. Good fortune is to be sought in seeking union. In this reading, there was one moving line — the fourth line from the bottom (called the fourth six), indicating that the one who seeks union from without will find good fortune by being steadfast and upright. In this hexagram, the correspondence between the first (bottom) and fourth lines is weak, since they are both yin, so the upper yin (fourth line) yields to the line above, which is yang — and the only yang symbol. The weak yields to the strong.
I also learned about the so-called “mutual” hexagram, which is composed from the inner lines of the main hexagram. Basically, what one does is to take the second, third, and fourth lines from the bottom and construct these as a new lower trigram, and then take the third, fourth, and fifth lines from the bottom and construct these as a new upper trigram. This yielded hexagram 23, Falling Away. The image here was one of mountains eroding into the ground; this sounds perhaps negative, one metaphor given was that of building a house on a solid foundation. One acst in accordance with the situation and keeps still; unnecessary actions, emotional baggage, and mental clutter can fall away.
The moving line of the main hexagram (#8, above) changes that hexagram to #45: Bringing Together. This is a strengthening hexagram 8, Union, in that it has two yang lines in the internal positions of the upper trigram. There is correspondence between these yang lines and the yin lines in the lower trigram. This hexagram again states that it is favorable to be steadfast and upright, and should one do so, there will be good fortune.
The mutual hexagram of this transformed hexagram is #53: Developing Gradually. Again, this augurs good fortune and favors steadfast and upright behavior.
My interpretation, amateurish though it may be, was one of positive and auspicious indicators. This reading is very positive and auspicious. It begins with the premise that the one seeking union from outside (me) will find that fortune fulfilled by being steadfast and upright — a common theme throughout this reading. For the one who lags behind (my wife) there will be no way out: the only way forward is through reconciliation. This will become evident. Concomitant with this is an erosion of the negativity that has plagued our situation, and this yielding of the weak aspects (immorality) to the strong (morality) will allow the strong to build a foundation that is favorable for the continuance of the relationship.
The moving line is in a very favorable position, and indicates the strengthening of that union. The original symbol is water above earth, and this consolidates to lake above earth: a great gathering of the forces. The forces involved will bring us together, creating great fortune. The mutual hexagram of Developing Gradually indicates that this situation indicates a gradual movement forward through reconciliation, with a strengthening of moral behavior that will enable this relationship to progress from its strong, stable foundation.
Or so it would seem. How is this going to play out? I have no idea. I do have a session with my counselor tomorrow in which I at least can talk over some of the recent, more positive developments. I very much look forward to his insight.