Party I Ching readings
Prior to Fire and Ice:
First pawn, now prince, the winter's price was high.
As summer comes the winter's innocence must die,
For with the fiery bird returns the seeker who is prey,
though once again, the prince forsworn on this midsummer's day.
Still pressing on, and closing in is key to holding fast.
For should the prince fail saving Death, he'll be forsworn at last.
After Fire and Ice:
Yang. Life, haunted with a core of death. He is the bright side of the Tao, both here before you, and in the greater world.
A tool can turn and cut the hand of its master, when the master has made a mistake, and even the greatest master is not infallible. A tool is a lever, amplifying the potential for change, both desired and undesired. The moment of error must be waited for, but it can be created. In the moment, the tool must be sharp. Until the moment, the tool works as it must, according to its nature, maintaining its edge.
Yin. Death, with a core of life. She is the dark side of the Tao, both here before you, and in the greater world.
She will be visited by those who seek to strengthen her and those who seek to bind her. In the now, should she be strengthened, she will aid those in need. In the end, should she be strengthened, she can grant access to the place no man may go. In the now, should she be bound, she will suffer the pain of another. In the end, should she be bound, she can cause the fall of every house.
In the end, should she be strengthened and bound, all this and more...
The Teng Twins Together
(Also before Fire and Ice)
They're all about the Tao. Deeply connected to it, especially Hana. Not that Hiro isn't... In fact, they're more connected as a pair than either is individually. But Hiro's connection is more latent, while Hana's is active.
Considering them separately, they seem to be growing even farther apart as they grow closer together. Yang and Yin, Active and Receptive, Life and Death, Moving and Waiting.
Considering them as a pair, they are moving towards something larger than themselves. When they arrive, they may master themselves, or be lost in the maelstrom.
That which they were chosen for, they are even more so now.
Destruction (like fire) is easy. Transformation (like water) is slow, and difficult, and often hard to see.
But the ripples from a stone dropped in water still travel even when the stone rests at the bottom of the stream.
Some ripples return to the point where the stone was dropped.
For water to polish a stone from jagged to smooth is not the work of an instant. But even after a little polishing, the stone is not the same.
Song Min Feng
A drop of Water from which Fire burns.
The Silence at the eye of the storm is the heart of motion, but does not move. She is one of three, the heart of the Flaming wheel, though not yet connected to it.
When all this happened before, the Flaming wheel was at the center; now it harbors but the memory of the road as it follows a new path.
The man whose hands hold sharp steel is not a man of steel, but of blood. The blood of enemies is the same color as the blood of friends and the blood of family. Connections long lost can come between a hunter and his prey, or bind them more closely together.
The moth is attracted by the fire, but is consumed.
The phoenix is attracted by the fire, and is transformed.
The fire with many sources of fuel will burn stronger and brighter, but not everything is safe to burn. When the fire is the self, what one burns alters what one is. This one has great potential to transform and alter himself in this manner - for he seeks the flame in many places far from his home.
Unite the flames, allow them to transform the self, and be reborn.
Live too deeply in the many-colored flame, and be consumed.
Blood of the Bear's Last Child
The Child Emperor is no more,
only the Child Emperor remains.
Magic must defeat magic.
Only an apprentice can pluck the pebble from the master's hand.
Riches are needed to dispossess the wealthy.
There is normally truth in this.
A King needs two things -
Young men to follow orders with honor
Old men to disobey orders with honor
A King needs two things -
Young men to accomplish tasks before them
Old men to wander mindfully
"May you live in interesting times" is a curse, but it is also a blessing.
To seek to be worthy of another's trust leads to betterment.
The man who extends his hand to another in friendship finds that he has four hands to work with instead of two.
When his enemy is victorious will the game be unmasked.
As you are throwing the reeds, you find your movements becoming more cautious, more smooth and minimal, as if you are trying not to be obvious...
You shiver for a moment, but then the feeling passes. Not that you have not been noticed, but that you have not been judged dangerous.
For every ten, only one has potential
For every ten of those, only one has motive
For every ten of those, only one finds the right place
One in ten is but the first step
The Harmony ties the storm together, motion and stillness, into a great chord. She is one of three, the spokes of the Flaming wheel, though not yet fully connected to it.
A focus on people may lead to overlooking esoteric information, but it does mean that priorities remain where they are most important, for she can and has seen the signs of the heart that may lead to a change in the greater order.
Shen Wei Han
You begin to toss the reeds from hand to hand, discarding some. Your first couple of successes are the basic patterns of a soldier, but you keep tossing, trying to expand the reading to encompass his whole and not just his moment. You keep tossing them, stretching the pattern back... and back.... and back... and back, into the darkness and the cold. For a timeless interval, you feel that you are walking through the path the I Ching leads for you, and that it stretches farther than you could ever walk. Eventually, there is a hesitant touch on your arm, and in the moment before you come back to the tent, you see as if you *were* walking through a cold and deserted landscape towards the setting sun. A great stone wall rises at your right hand, stretching behind you thousands of years into the past, and stretching before you forever. A fragment of a book you read once comes to mind:
The primary defense of the Empire, the Wall guards the north border. Said to have been constructed by the Dragon himself, the stone of the Wall seems as resistant to aging as was its master, though over the years assault after assault have taken their toll.
You shiver, and clear your thoughts again. It is *freezing* in this tent.
Enemy becomes friend through sacrifice. Friend becomes more through union. Two paths stand before him. Return to power through betrayal of the self. Or destiny through betrayal of the other.
You begin your reading, but the sticks don't seem to fall as they ought, and you keep getting distracted by something at the edge of your vision. You look up and see the fluttering of a stunning butterfly, yellow and black, as large as the hand of a man. It flutters back and forth and then lands on Anto's head. He starts briefly, and then appears to calm completely.
Anto regards you and speaks:
"Too soon, lover of Water, do you seek to probe the mysteries of the Wu Xing. Unlike you, a true Wu Xing is master of all five elements, and so is both Gate and Key to the World Above. To see his future, is to see Our realm. When he masters himself, and the forces that sustain him, then can he provide you with access to Our World. But not before."
"Those who gaze too far into the sky, without first passing through the Gate, never find what they seek; indeed they often lose what they have. However, for your service to Our Art, you are now spared..."
The butterfly flutters away and out of the tent. Anto blinks a few times, looks down, and then says... "Er, you dropped a couple of sticks on the ground... is that bad?"
Xian has declined to have his I Ching read at this time.
(Master Zhou's I Ching was read in the first run, so I don't actually have a hard copy of it to quote. It was something like "As you start to toss the reeds, you start strewing them on the ground, more and more of them. He has been in a great battle, a battle from which nine out of ten did not survive." - I don't remember if that was actual deaths, or nine-tenths of him did not survive, or both.)
Tsai Su-yin left us before Takanata had a chance to read her I Ching.