An I Ching Reading:
* The 36th hexagram of the I Ching is called "Eclipsing the Light."
* The hexagram tells the story of a mad king who will not listen to any of his advisors. In fact, the mad king threatens, kills, or imprisons those who disagree with him or question his motives or decisions.
* The hexagram includes several different lessons. Simply summarized: don't be the person who is blinded by your own ambitions, don't be the person who doesn't listen, or, if you're the one whose counsel is being ignored, then hide your light and don't bother trying to convince those who are blinded by their own ignorance. Similar to this, hexagram 36 says, if you're being imprisoned because of being virtuous, then outwardly you may have to feign insanity, darkness, or ignorance while holding your light inwardly.
* The 6th and final line of the hexagram says, "The one who ascends to heaven will fall again to the earth." OR, "Not light at the top, but darkness. He who climbs will fall down again."
* The 6th line shows the dark ruler at the top of the hexagram, having ascended to the top of power but due to evil and ignorance bound to descend back to where he came from. Ambition is endlessly connected to destruction when it is not aware of the Tao. On the other hand, the ambition that accords with the Tao liberates us from the ignorant cycling of worldly power depicted in this hexagram. Hexagram 36 line 6 shows us that real light is not the light that can be eclipsed. Real light is not the light whose opposite is darkness. Real light is not literal light.
* It's worth repeating. Say it with some heart and soul today, "Real light is not the literal light. Real light cannot be eclipsed. The tao that can be named is not the tao."
* When the 6th line of hexagram 36 changes it becomes hexagram 22, called "Grace" or "adornment." The hexagram is related to ornamentation, to its beauty, and possibly its superficiality.
* Hexagram 22 is called grace or adornment, but it also refers to etiquette, to proper procedures, or to the expected code of conduct.
* The juxtaposition between the first hexagram and the second can be read in a few ways. Summarized: The ruler descends from his place of power due to ignorance, but ultimately the fall happens because of a simple failure to behave according to a well known/well respected social code; the ruler falls due to ignorance of proper procedure; the ruler falls due to lavishness or due to some form of decadence; the ruler falls due to desire or lust; the ruler falls unceremoniously; the ruler seals his fate by dismissing people below him who will now work against him; the ego is distracted by superficial rewards and it causes shame; the ruler distracts ignorant people with shiny things, in this way he stays in power despite corruption.
* The "ruler" is anyone in power or the ego.
* Okay. But what does any of this have to do with Venus and Jupiter? That's the real riddle, right?!
* Traditionally, as I mentioned last week, Venus was thought of as a minister or acolyte to the ruler, Jupiter. Venus is overtaking Jupiter from the position of her detriment or exile. This is perfectly expressed, for example, by the number of men in power being called out by women for sexual harassment.
* On the other hand, Jupiter in Scorpio is adorned by Venus in her exile. A dark ruler is adorned with shiny and ignorant coverings in order to distract from the corruption. Think for example of Roy Moore and the evangelicals claiming that Joseph dated Mary, who was much younger than him, while other colleagues are calling for him to step down.
* Aside from the clear political connections here in the US, the planetary correlation is there for us personally right now, as well. Where are we not listening to reason? Where are we overcome by desire? Where are we polishing turds? Where are we living in denial even when we know the fate of something?
* The real opportunity of Venus and Jupiter coming together right now is reflected by the idea that real substance, real wealth, real beauty, and real privilege, are not defined by what is gained or lost but by the consciousness we cultivate in all seasons, whether the light is bright or the light is hidden or dim. The real crown of heaven is not something that we buy low and sell high. It is something that we buy high and never sell, or it is something that we are given only to wrap in the thankfulness of our heart before gifting it back.
* Praise the gift that has no beginning and no end. Praise the opportunity of love, always open, always free. Praise the minister of love, whose name is truth. Praise the "ruler" wise enough to listen...to listen so as to serve truth...the truth of love.
Prayer: Minister to us in our darkness, so that we might surrender all decorations of falseness, so that we might hear your voice and remember our home in love.