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Saturday, June 13, 2015

Shao Yong's Temple and the Plum Blossom I-Ching System.

Shao Yong died in the city of Lo-Yang in 1077.After his death,his home became a temple,which was destroyed by fire during the invasions of the Chein Dynasty.In 1455,two Farmers were ploughing a field near Lo-Yang when they found a large,beautiful stone.They began to argue.One farmer said,"It's mine.I found it."The other countered,"It's mine.It was in my field."They continued to argue and since neither would give in they took their dispute to the Local Magistrate.
The magistrate,Yu T'ing Shih,heard their dispute and ordered them to bring the stone to court.On examining it,he found an inscription carved on it that read:

"In the year of Cing Tai (the Blue Pig) 1455 and during the reign of the Ming Dynasty,the Magistrate Yu T'ing Shih will restore my home and build a temple in my honor."

Yu immediately recognized that the stone must have come from Master Shao Yung's property because only he could have predicted the event's so accurately.Therefore Yu T'ing Shih got some folks rounded up and built a temple in Shao's honor.(paraphrased from "I-Ching Numerology",by Da Liu)
Now I know you've got to be asking yourself,"What in the nine Hells is Vincent going on about this time?"What I'd like to talk about today is a little know system of divination called Plum Blossom,that uses Numerology and the I-Ching to to divine the moment and give understanding about changes coming up in one's life.Most practicing soothsayers in the west know of the I-ching from a limited number of sources.Jung and Crowley both wrote about it and used the system extensively in their work,but mainly with the Three Coin or Yarrow Stick method.I've used the three coin for years, have worked with the Yarrow from time to time, and found each to be spot on when asking questions that needed a clear cut response,or when needing a bit of guidance about a spirit that I planed on working with at the time.Then I stumbled upon the Plum Blossom Style system in a book by Master Alfred Huang called "The Numerology of the I-Ching"and became a devoted student of the style ever since.This caused me to do my homework on the system and read everything I could find (in English, that is a depressingly small amount)The Method solely employs numbers,and the Shao Yung's Predictions were unfailingly accurate.He was famous for using every sign in the moment as a omen for the system:Sounds,words,objects and animals.These observations, combined with the date and time of the divination allowed him to predict the rise and fall of dynasties.For Example with the Early Heaven Formula,the Upper Trigram is found by something observed by the soothsayer,wile the lower Trigram is determined by the time that the reading is being made.The changing line is also taken from these numbers,and by doing so the interpretation can be made directly from the trigrams and the action of the five elements within the Hexagram,without the need of the text of the I-Ching itself.This makes for fantastic readings on the fly with no tools,and when you add Holding the Eight Primary Gua in the Hand (a method of counting the Trigrams using one hand)The system becomes even more Intuitive.
I quote Master Huang for the way that I learned it:

"Heaven is put in the lower space of the ring finger;
Water is in the lower space of the middle finger;
Mountain is in the lower space of the index finger;
And Thunder is in the middle space of the index finger.

These four gua are yang gua
Heaven denotes the father
Water denotes the middle son
Mountain denotes the youngest son
And Thunder is the eldest son.

Then Wind is put in the upper space of the index finger;
Fire is in the upper space of the middle finger;
Earth is in the upper space of the ring finger;
And Lake is in the middle space of the ring finger.

These four gua are yin gua.
Wind denotes the eldest daughter
Fire denotes the middle daughter
Earth denotes the mother;
And Lake denotes the youngest daughter."

The sequence of eight gua follows the clockwise direction of the eight spaces on the left palm,and it is counted with the thumb.
These formulas do more then just give a mathematical method to work with the I-Ching,they also help develop the perception and foresight of the soothsayer,as well as give a true Mudra to be used when working with the Ba Gua.I plan on covering these, and the Later Heaven Formulas in my book.I use them often and recommend this system highly to anyone with an interest in the I-Ching, Taoist magic and divination in general.I believe it adds a whole new dimension to the process and teaches the Art worker to look at everything that happens at the moment of prediction,not just rote use of the system itself.This skill can be applied to the Tarot,Runes,Geomancy or half a dozen others that I could name,and that's not a bad thing.  Till next time everyone....Stay Gold. Copyright 2015 Vincent Piazza

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