Hexagram 45, judgment text:
萃 亨。王假有廟。利見大人。亨。利貞。用大牲吉。利有攸往 。
Gathering. Sacrifice. The king enters his temple. Beneficial to see the great man.
Sacrifice. Beneficial to divine. Using the great victim is fortunate. Beneficial to move.
Gathering. Success. The king enters his temple. Beneficial to see the great man.
Success. Beneficial to be firmly correct. Using great gifts is fortunate. Beneficial to move.
Before any great enterprise the people would gather and the king would make sacrifices to his ancestors in his temple. This would happen on the eve of a battle, with divination often being performed to determine the prospects for the war.
This hexagram is unusual in having what seems like a double text. The term for sacrifice/success occurs twice, dividing the text fairly evenly into two sections, each of which contains a complete set of omens. This is conjecture, of course, but one can’t help but wonder if some ancient scribe, faced with two versions of the text just included both. Interestingly, in the Ma Wang Dui Yi Jing on Silk the first instance of the word sacrifice/success is missing, giving rise to another conjecture…that it is just a duplicate and the first of the two doesn’t belong in the text.
The great victim would have been a full grown ox that met ritual specifications, a rare and expensive beast.
Iulian Shchutskii’s Russian translation of the Yi:
Hexagram 45 Reunion
We have seen several instances of how hexagrams opposite in meaning follow one another in the sequence of the book of Changes. We see it here with this hexagram of reunion following one of confrontation and fragmentation. The reunion was already present as an internal quality in the previous situation. Here it becomes the basic theme of the hexagram as a whole. In ancient China the king was seen as the living representative of his ancestors, the previous rulers. Thus the contrasting of the living and dead is used in the aphorism of this hexagram. But the text speaks both of the contrast between the two and the reunion of these opposites. This is the meeting with the great man mentioned in the text. Since this reunion both as a whole and in all its particular aspects is a great and serious enterprise there is a call for a great sacrifice. If a person undertakes all of this their actions will be beneficial; although great, they guarantee their own success. We read in the text:
The king comes to the possessors of the temple (the ancestral spirits).
Beneficial to meet with the great man. Success.
A great sacrifice is needed (then there will be) good fortune.
Beneficial to have somewhere to go.
Oracle of the Singularity version from Second Life:
The king approaches the temple.
Meet with a great avatar and make a make a donation to their cause.
Consult the Oracle again.
Find a temple where there are animals and donate there, then travel on.
Commentary: The Great Avatar is either a semi-divine figure or a great (noble) leader or teacher.
Forest of Changes verse for today:
45 - 16
An animal bound to a tree by a pierced nose,
Fallen upon by a tiger.
Disaster strikes but the calamity is not complete.