Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Derivation of the Natal Hexagram

Sample Natal hexagram construction:


An individual desiring to derive their own natal hexagram would simply use their birth horoscope to fill in the middle two columns of the chart.  The contents of the final column are determined by the following schema*, which maps the astrological elements to the Chinese xiang (symbols):
: Dynamic YANG = AIR
: Dynamic YIN = EARTH
: Stable YANG = WATER
: Stable YIN = FIRE

Once the final column is completed, the three symbols are simply copied line-for-line to form an hexagram.

Resulting Natal Hexagram (from sample data above)

⚎        (MOUNTAIN)
==>   =============  
==>    #41 (DECREASE)
⚌        (LAKE)

**Corresponding Tarot trump: XX (JUDGEMENT)

This presentation is derived (with minor modification) from the works of:
Charlie Higgins, “Mensionization Complementation: Construction of an I Ching/Astrological Natal Hexagram” (1997)

**Steve Krakowski's, “An Ancient and Occult Genetic Code” (1996) provides the mapping between Tarot trumps and I Ching hexagrams.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Xiang: The Yarrow Oracle Depicted Graphically

The yarrow oracle method as related through Ta Chuan (the Great Treatise) is attributed to Kung-fu Tze. The querent begins with 50 (fifty) yarrow stalks and manipulates them in a prescribed and probabilistic manner until few remain.  This remainder may take on one of exactly four possible symbolic values, though the actual number of stalks may vary according the the precise form of the ritual.  The symbolic values are sometimes referred to as 'xiang.'  Each manipulation of the stalks produces one line of a six-line figure commonly known as an hexagram.  Thus, six "randomly-generated" xiang produce an hexagram.  Once generated, the querent references the scripture according to that hexagram.

In recent years, capable persons have employed mathematics to reduce the yarrow-stalk oracle to the raw probabilities it produces for each of the four types of lines that may obtain from a divination operation.  The following table is a description of those lines and their relative probability of occurrence in divination:

dynamic yin,   represented by '6' and symbol ⚏ ( 4 in 64 = 0.0625)
dynamic yang, represented by '9' and symbol ⚌ (12 in 64 = 0.1875)
static yang,     represented by '7' and symbol ⚎ (20 in 64 = 0.3125)
static yin,       represented by '8' and symbol ⚍ (28 in 64 = 0.4375)

The graphic depicted here shows the xiantian arrangement overlaid on a tableau of concentric squares, each discretely colored. This presentation is remarkable in that it implicitly encodes the yarrow oracle probabilities; i.e.  each ring comprises a specific proportion of the hexagrams as shown in the table above.