Study Guide intro: THE DEGREES OF THE ZODIAC AND THE I CHING
For more than fifty years, I have been involved in a study of the I Ching, or Book of Changes. The relationship of the I Ching to astrology has over time provided many astrological insights. The I Ching is a system of metaphysics that deals with change and its implications. The ideas presented within the hexagrams are similar to astrological diagnosis and also contain a very special message about the nature of change and how to approach it. Within each hexagram lies a challenge and a caution, a virtue and a vice. The I Ching has been studied by many scholars from Confucius in the distant past to Carl Jung. Its influence is indeed profound.
The I Ching has mostly been known as a form of divination whereby one asks a question and by throwing coins or sticks, determines one of sixty-four hexagrams which present criteria for dealing with the situation implied in the question asked. This is similar to horary astrology when a chart is drawn up for the moment of the question to determine the outcome.
Working with the I Ching and Astrology involves the use of the I Ching as a zodiac of 64 divisions instead of twelve. The planets and their energies become the question or point of focus. The sixty-four hexagrams become the zodiac and each line of an I Ching hexagram relates to one degree of the zodiac on level l. The entire system repeats itself within itself as a subsystem, somewhat similar to the idea of Duads but different Let’s call the subsystem PEN-TANS. In this subsystem, each zodiacal sign occupies a five-degree section in six different places around the larger zodiac (level 1 ). Also, in this subsystem each hexagram occupies one degree and each line occupies ten minutes of a degree. The entire cycle repeats itself 6 times around the zodiacal wheel to complete level 2. There is also a sub-subsystem in which the whole cycle of hexagrams (and the zodiac) is repeated 36 times around the zodiacal wheel. In this sub-subsystem, the I Ching (or zodiac) repeats itself completely every ten degrees. On this third level, a hexagram occupies ten minutes of a degree, and each line occupies one minute and forty seconds of a degree.
This seems like an extra-ordinarily small division, but it is none-the-less a very sensitive one that elaborates very significant data. This is most obvious in the study of twins and multiple births where a small amount of time difference is involved. It should also be noted here that since DNA and the genetic code parallel the I Ching as a language, this work has the potential of validating astrological genetic code research.
So what has essentially evolved is a system of degree symbols using the I Ching. There are many books on astrological degree symbolism, such as, “The Sabian Symbols”, by Marc Edmond Jones. There are already a few books out concerning the I Ching and the Zodiac but the correspondences are somewhat questionable and usually based on numerology.
The way the system works is to use the horoscope and planet positions to tune into the I Ching via the degrees of the zodiac.
As the I Ching measures the zodiacal circle on 3 levels, it can also be applied to an aspect cycle. In short, any position of a planet or sensitive point that is represented accurately in degrees and minutes will yield three hexagram symbols. In each hexagram one line will be accentuated and have special emphasis.
The LEVEL 1 HEXAGRAM is the ‘Main Theme’ and the line number (L#1-6) is the ‘special emphasis’.
The LEVEL 2 HEXAGRAM is the ‘Specific Focus‘ which elaborates the meaning of the line number in Level l. There is also an ‘especially accentuated’ line in Level 2.
The LEVEL 3 HEXAGRAM is the ‘Intimate Emphasis’ and further elaborates the meaning of the line number in Level 2, and there is an ‘especially emphasized’ line in level 3.
These associations could go further but they stop at three levels.
In the Richard Wilhelm translation of the I Ching, they refer to the Line numbers as “Places”. Line #1 refers to the Beginning or First Place, Line #2 refers to the Second Place, Line #3 refers to the Third Place, Line #4 refers to the Fourth Place, Line #5 refers to the Fifth Place, and Line #6 refers to the Top or Sixth Place.
Not only can a zodiac position produce 3 hexagrams but so can the 1 to 360 degree aspect phase. Any aspect written in degrees and minutes can also yield three hexagrams.
On the computer printout the hexagrams and line numbers are printed out for the Asc., MC, Desc., IC, Sun, Moon, Planets, and Nodes, as well as for each aspect.
While the chart with hexagram positions is printed out, the hexagram accentuations are totalled. This results in a special printout that takes all 513 hexagram accentuations and presents them as a study guide to the I Ching. All the 64 hexagrams are listed by their number in the Wilhelm/Baynes version of the I Ching. They are listed in zodiacal order down both sides of the page. The lines are numbered 1 to 6 from the bottom to the top of the hexagram. The number of accentuations on each line of a hexagram are totalled and presented from left to right for each level. These three levels are then added together and totalled with a percentage of emphasis (in decimal form) and a grand total of accents for each line. Certain hexagram themes stand out … the most and least accentuated. What is most accentuated will appear very familiar and the lessons pointed. What is least accented will be somewhat unfamiliar and at times obscure.
The real work, of course, is to study your own horoscope using the hexagrams as gateways to deeper insight. It is best to proceed slowly at your own comfort. For deep results, study one planet, or focus at a time, and spend about one month to digest the multi-levelled implications presented in the hexagrams and lines.
Start on your natal Sun’s position. Consider the Sun as representing your life’s purpose, your sense of importance, and your capacity to radiate love and being. Study the Sun’s astrological implications as best you can from your own horoscope, then study the hexagrams and lines implied. Take your time. Sometimes a mental break is needed after reading each hexagram and line. Remember that the line number on level one will be carried into and be further elaborated by the whole hexagram on Level 2. The same is true for the line number on the second level; it will be elaborated by the hexagram on level 3. After working on the Sun as far as your conscious mind will work, then I suggest you sleep on it and contemplate on the implications for several days, preferably for up to one month.
The second planet to study is the Moon. Consider it as representing your memory, your past, your capacity to nurture and be nurtured, your sense of security, as well as the way you reflect on and digest anything that has ever happened to you. The Moon in a way represents the collective unconscious. The implications of the hexagrams for the Moon can be overwhelmingly significant and can answer many of one’s questions about the past.
The third point to contemplate is one of the most ignored, yet most important points in the horoscope; that is, the IC. Think of the IC as the motive point of one’s inner being. It represents the motive for living and the backbone of one’s personal integrity. It is like the umbilical cord of the soul to the body. This is a most profound and sensitive point for degree implications, in that it reveals the implications of great depths within each of us and helps us to gain insights about ourselves. The hexagrams for the angles are listed in one line directly underneath the zodiac positions for the angles and house cusps near the top of the chart printout.
Take Your time. Wait for the depth to be fathomed by more than just the intellect. Wonder about it for a while, and it may bring you many revelations and insights.