Reading for today: hexagram 14, judgment text:
Great Holdings. Great sacrifice.
Great Holdings. Primordial success.
The judgment text of this hexagram is lost, leaving only the divining tag.
As the preceding hexagram concerned those gathered around a Yin line in the lower trigram, that is, in the world of activity, here it is in the same central position in the court ruling from above. In the ancient reading of the text this is a simple affirmation that the great sacrifice can be carried out. In other words, the sacrifice using oxen as well as the lesser animal sacrifices can be carried out. Indeed the oracle bone language shows what appears to a hand holding a piece of meat. In the modern text success fills in for sacrifice. Since sacrifices were offered at regular occasions in the ancestral cult and also on impromptu occasions such as when there was an eclipse, a military attack, etc., to undertake the great sacrifice translates to a great undertaking in modern terms.
Iulian Shchutskii’s Russian translation of the Yi:
Hexagram 14 Possessing the Great (Rule by the Many)
After the elimination of collapse and the joint actions of like thinking people of the last two hexagrams they are in possession of everything. Together they possess the great. Thus there are no obstacles in their path and they carry on with their initial plan. This is shown in the symbolism of the hexagram where one weak line in the fifth place draws all the other lines to it. It effectively owns them all, and this is ‘Possessing the Great’, because the great here are the light lines. Unity of action is stressed here because here, as in the preceding hexagram, the action is mutual. But all that is shown here is an isolated moment of great possession, not showing the forces and qualities that arise which are needed in this situation. One of these, deference, will be discussed separately in the next hexagram. It should be remembered that as favorable as the current situation is, intense activity is still needed. This action is needed form both the possessor and the ones possessed. Only in such conditions described in the lines can the main text of the hexagram be occur:
Possessing the great.
Oracle of the Singularity version from Second Life:
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Forest of Changes verse:
14 - 14
The White Tiger bares its teeth,
A punitive expedition to the east.
The Vermillion Bird races ahead, *
Proclaiming the way and declaiming the words.
The enemy surrenders,
Handing over their jade Bi disk of authority.
*The Four Images, creatures representing the directions: Vermillion Bird in the South, Dark Warrior in the North, White Tiger in the West and Azure Dragon in the East.