Notes from A Work In Progress

Monday, February 14, 2011

The theme the I Ching suggests for 2011, is:

"The old is discarded and the new is introduced. Both measures accord with the time; therefore no harm results. Societies of people sharing the same views are formed. But since these groups come together in full public knowledge and are in harmony with the time, all selfish separatist tendencies are excluded, and no mistake is made."

The I Ching. Fu / Return (The Turning Point)

This particular piece of hexagramatic wisdom, has occurred so many times in the past years, that I have considered adopting it as my Mantra. But there is work to be done: What is the Old? In classical astrology, Saturn rules Old Age, but it this sense, the ‘old’ really means calcified, outdated habits, geriatric clinging to power, the obstructing force of Saturn and so forth.

What is the New? Uranus represents in action patterns, invention, deviation from the norm, revolutions, impermanence and sudden change – but essentially Uranian is the sense of creativity as a form of renewal, both social and individual. So, Uranus, The Wheel of Fortune is an apt image for ‘The New.”

Then, how do we go about discarding? The Oxford Dictionary helps us by defining: discard as “…to get rid of (something) as no longer useful or desirable.” For example, President Mubarak of Egypt. And corrupt politicians in general. And nuclear weapons. &c. &c.

How do we form these “societies?” The I Ching was written thousands of years before the Internet and Facebook, thus our means to organize, and to form alignments with enlightened friends and other groups, is now at a higher level than previously. Example: how Facebook was used an as organizational tool in both Tunisia and Egypt.

How do we access Full Public Knowledge? This is a thorny question, and the most difficult to put into effect for the simple reason that the “Old’ power channels of communication still have great control. For example the media Baron Rupert Murdoch throwing his media weight behind the right-wing Tea Party in America and the effect it had on the mid-term election. Forces bent on subverting and obstructing moves towards social enlightenment can also avail themselves of the New Media, even though their print base may be withering.

What are the ‘selfish separatist tendencies’? We know these tendencies very well. The metaphor here, is small fish splashing around in small puddles, which are drying up from global warming. The whales make hardly a ripple in the oceans. The word ‘separatist’ is of course, no more and no less than ‘apartheid’. And somewhere along the evolutionary line, we have to agree that the outdated concepts of the various fundamentalism are destined for the trash can of history. And so on. In a deeply metaphysical modality – there is an idea transmitted of: “The Great Heresy of Separateness.” This perfectly qualifies Saturn, that is to say: “Divine & Rule.” Let us examine a piece of writing by James Hillman in this context:

“Science fosters the separations, the exile; [… ] Science, its root scire, to know has a further root in Greek, schizo (cleft, splinter, separation) and further, Sanscrit chyati (divides). Instead of science, why not séance [. .to . ] invoke our common ancestor? Séance is defined by the dictionary as a meeting of a learned society and also a meeting that attempts to connect with the dead. Jung’s expansive vision in hospital took him to the edge of death. Return to life meant divisions, separations: “the grey world with its boxes.”But there are other ways out of the box, other ways for the grey world to discover a blue vision.” [1]

It is interesting, in this ‘reading of “Séance” “ . . as a meeting of a learned society. . . ” is almost identical to the I Ching’s “Societies of people sharing the same views are formed..” And Hillman suggests that the division, separations, we have associated with the selfish, separatists patterns of Saturn, can be replaced by a ‘Blue Vision.’ Salvador Dali also sees the future as ‘ Blue’:

"The colour of the real cultural revolution is no longer red, but amethyst, bringing to mind, air, sky and fluidity. It is the colour that corresponds to the changing of the world era. The Age of Aquarius, the ruling sign of the next millennium, will see the disappearance of violence and bloodshed. We have assassinated Pisces the Fish (God is dead! and it’s blood will colour the sea blue, giving the waves this amethyst colour."

Beautiful words. But there is a further path to follow in this exploration. Hillman uses ‘séance’ in the sense of invoking our common ancestors. The spiritual richness of the ancestral realm, is a deep aspect of African religion, and a layer of imaginal reality that we [speaking as a European] have ignored at our peril. In Greek Mythology, this is the Realm of Pluto – and in a vulgar correspondence, it is also qualified as the ‘Collective Unconsciousness.’ This Realm of Being transcends the labels of race, gender and class –

Richard Tarnas has identified interest with the collective/ancestral/Plutonic realm, this with great accuracy:

“Public awareness of various esoteric, mystical, meditative, gnostic, mythic, archetypal, and imaginative discourses entered more pervasively into the collective psyche, disseminated by the popular media . . “

This could be linked to the emergence of Depth Psychology, as evidenced in the work of C.G. Jung, and the Jungian School in general. But the subject needs a more exhaustive investigation. Two Poets, Robert Bly and Kathleen Raine, both pleaded for a renewed ‘verticality’ to balance the ‘horizontalism’ of mass materialism. The very nature of Alchemy, which is Plutonic, suggests that we have to dig deep into the ancestral earth, to encounter the Gaian richness. The Plutonic Realm is also to be imagined as an infinite Treasure House of Stored Seeds, or Potentialities. Perhaps perpetually guarded by the Saturnine Dragon. The obstructers and obstructions, are also there for a purpose, for Saturn, is Kronos – Time, and the suggestions embedded in the Saturn – Pluto – Uranus astrological alignments are, that the time is right.

For what? The I Ching , answered that universal question with the Hexagram: Fu / Return (The Turning Point).

It is clear to me, that a Turning Point, is none other than The Wheel of Fortune in the Tarot, and Uranus in astrology.

We should continue racking our brains for creative solutions to these questions . . . while at the same time, in a schizophrenic, [apartheid] sense – try to cope with the flood of ideas, as to what may be done to alleviate the sufferings of the planet, and sentient beings, in both a collective and individual sense . . . and from the perspective of starting at my own front door, though technically, I do not own a front door.

Love and Peace


William Willeford:

“There have been many works of imagination with the theme of “Ubi sunt . . . “?

In which we follow the great ones of the earth as they yield to the common fate of death; we look at the point where they left us and try to find in the dust and ashes a trace of their light.

We do not ponder about fools in this way.” [2]


[1] James Hillman, The Azure Vault, Lecture given at the XVI International Congress on Analytical Psychology, Barcelona, Spain, September 2004.

[2] William Willeford, The Fool and His Sceptre. A Study in Clowns, and Jesters and Their Audience, Northwestern University Press, 1986, p.4.


About arkanaroom

Researcher of Liminal Culture

Posted on February 14, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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