Three pennies ...


I've just read for myself ... I need the sane and calming voice of the oracle today ...

I wonder if our divinations, like prayers, can be whittled down to "HELP!" or "Thank You" (I always underlie my howls for help with awareness of all that sustains me in spite of fear) ...

Then I smile, because the hexagram that emerged in my reading was 41, DECREASE. Oh no -- not more loss -- please --, I immediately thought. My gut clenched. Then I began to read ... I'd gone through five books and three websites; was noting, asterisking, saving ... slowly defusing and soothing the fear that had compressed to a nearly intolerable intensity in my chest. Wisdom always softens the edges ...

DECREASE always and only functions in relation with its opposite, INCREASE (Hexagram 42). As one thing decreases, another increases. The understanding and wise application of this natural law is our saving grace, and a caution. We must decrease or increase what is right -- not the fear and anger we tend to drive ourselves further into when we feel like the walls are closing in (as I felt earlier today); not what we persist in acquiring more of, when continued accumulation might bring devastation -- One of the oracle's cautionary images for H41 is that of a house being built -- with too heavy a roof. Too much above, not enough below: Collapse.

Where fortune smiles on a situation of DECREASE is that seeming loss is also, under the surface, a situation of INCREASE. We always have the wisdom of Life operating in and through us -- as long as we are alive, we are being sustained.

I've been studying the I Ching for 30 years now ... and this afternoon, after I awoke from a sleep studded with nightmares (daymares?) and feeling desolate and terrified for my future, I leapt for my coins. I don't know how many times I've cast the three pennies that I have used for every reading since my first ... The pennies, like me, are thinning (decrease) and becoming smooth, somehow softer on the surface and around their edges (increase). Their visages have faded -- yet appear burnished ... polished ... buffed. Laid low and reduced by countless rubs, shakes, tosses -- and occasional abscondments by my cats! -- yet so familiar to me, so at home in my hand. There's less to go around materially -- my pennies are subtly smaller ... and there is more serenity at knowing what matters most: right now, these coins and the wisdom I bow to as I release them ... The wisdom that I know will help me to restore myself and go on.

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