I Ching Ritual

by Trevor Stone

I designed this ritual to explore the symbology of the I Ching from a Pagan ritualistic perspective. The only concrete things I wrote were direction calls. During the ritual itself, we played with give-and-take balance. This included having two people move a stick with their palms and keep it suspended, pushing hands, mirror imaging, etc. I will write more about this in the near future.

The Tao is the way. It flows through everything, it is the primal force of the universe. Tao is the force of change, like a river, the universe always changes, even as it stays the same. Tao has two complementary principles, yin and yang.

Yang, the masculine, the light, heaven, the one, the firm, the creative, the odd. Yang, what we know as the god, we welcome you, be with us now.

Yin, the feminine, the dark, earth, the many, the yielding, the receptive, the even. Yin, what we know as the goddess, we welcome you, be with us now.

The Creative is heaven. It is round, it is the prince, the father, jade, metal, cold, ice; it is deep red, a good horse, an old horse, a lean horse, a wild horse, tree fruit. It is the dragon, the upper garment, the word.
Ch'ien, the Creative. The strong father; heaven, the realm of spirit, the one. Time of Samhuin. We honor you in the south, but you are all about us. May you fill with fantastic light and fill our minds. We welcome you, be with us now.

The Receptive is the earth, the mother. It is cloth, a kettle, frugality, it is level, it is a cow with a calf, a large wagon, form, the multitude, a shaft. Among the various kinds of soil, it is the black.
K'un, the Receptive. Devoted and yielding mother, earth, the realm of things, the multitude. Time of Lughnasadh. We honor you in the north, but you are always beneath us. May you bear what we need and take what we cannot bear. We welcome you, be with us now.

The Arousing is thunder, the dragon. It is dark yellow, it is a spreading out, a great road, the eldest son. It is decisive and vehement; it is bamboo that is green and young, it is reed and rush.
Among horses it signifies those which can neigh well, those with white hind legs, those which gallop, those with a star on the forehead.
Among useful plants it is the pod-bearing ones. Finally, it is the strong, that which grows luxuriantly.
Chên, the Arousing. Thunder, the first son incites movement. Time of Ostara. Movement begins. We honor you in the northeast where you spawn tornadoes. May you amaze us with your grandeur this night and help us start in the future. We welcome you, be with us now.

The Gentle is wood, wind, the eldest daughter, the guideline, work; it is the white, the long, the high; it is advance and retreat, the undecided, odor.
Among men it means the gray-haired; it means those with broad foreheads; it means those with much white in their eyes; it means those close to gain, so that in the market they get threefold value. Finally, it is the sign of vehemence.
Sun, the Gentle. Wind and wood, the penetrating first daughter. Time of Beltane. Gentle penetration in devotion. We honor you in the southwest where you blow through pine trees bringing us a warm chinook. May you clear away what clouds our sight and prove a firm guide as we walk the trail. We welcome you, be with us now.

The Abysmal is water, ditches, ambush, bending and straightening out, bow and wheel. Among men it means the melancholy, those with sick hearts, those with earache. It is the blood sign; it is red.
Among horses it means those with beautiful backs, those with wild courage, those which let their heads hang, those with thin hoofs, those which stumble.
Among chariots it means those with many defects.
It is penetration, the moon.
It means thieves.
Among varieties of wood it means those which are firm and have much pith.
K'an, the Abysmal. Water, the dangerous second son. Time of Yule. There is danger in movement. We honor you in the west, from whence our rivers flow and rain clouds form. You nourish us, may you help us stay safe in times dry and wet. We welcome you, be with us now.

The Clinging is fire, the sun, lightning, the middle daughter.
It means coats of mail and helmets; it means lances and weapons. Among men it means the big-bellied.
It is the sign of dryness. It means the tortoise, the crab, the snail, the mussel, the hawkbill tortoise.
Among trees it means those which dry out in the upper part of the trunk.
Li, the Clinging. Fire, the light-bringing second daughter. Time of Lithia. Clarity and adaptability. We honor you in the east where you rise each day, giving us light and heat.
May you provide a wonderful show this night and refrain from alighting the dry grass. We welcome you, be with us now.

Keeping Still is the mountain; it is a bypath; it means little stones, doors and openings, fruits and seeds, eunuchs and watchmen, the fingers; it is the dog, the rat, and the various kinds of black billed birds.
Among trees it signifies the firm and gnarled. Kên, Keeping Still. The third brother rests as a mountain. Time of Imbolc. Completion of movement brings rest. We honor you in the northwest, where you bring travelers from throughout the world to marvel at your static majesty. May you continue to protect us and spawn new life and movement. We welcome you, be with us now.

The Joyous is the lake, the youngest daughter; it is a sorceress; it is mouth and tongue.
It means smashing and breaking apart; it means dropping off and bursting open. Among the kinds of soil it is the hard and salty. It is the concubine. It is the sheep.
Tui, the Joyous. The joyful third daughter, a lake. Time of Mabon. Joyful tranquility. We honor you in the southeast where birds flock at Sawhill ponds. May you receive us when we come, give to us when we need, and bring a quiet smile to our lips. We welcome you, be here now.