Great Accumulates/Gathering the Spirit
Concentrate, focus on one idea; accumulate energy, support, nourish; bring everything together; great effort and great achievement.
Myths for Change: The Story of the Time
Charge to the Oracle: When you are disentangled from affliction, you can accumulate the Spirit of the new. Accept this and use the energy of Great Accumulates.
This refers to offerings made by the King to the High Lord through the First Ancestor. They include offerings to the Four Winds and Directions, to River and Mountain and to the Five Sacrifices of the House. These were great jiao-sacrifices that included dances, wine drinking and celebration in which a spirit-meal was shared. These sacrifices included all the clans, bringing them out of their dwellings, and were held in a great assembly at the Outskirts Alter. They opened and closed the seasons and announced the Changes. This power to open and close was invested in the King. Most important he could end the isolation and restriction of winter and open the fields. To do this he had to announce the Change to the ancestors, waking and nurturing the Great.
The King prepared the Change by offering to the Four Distant Ones at the Hidden Temple, using wu-intermediaries to invoke and call them. The victim for the main ceremony, The Red Bull, was selected and prepared long in advance. On the appointed day, all mourning or funeral practices ceased, for it was a day of rejoicing. The King dressed in the Sun and Moon robe and stepped into the chariot of Heaven, holding the Twelve Flame Standard adorned with dragons and heavenly bodies, and proceeded to the Southern Mound. Peasants lined the way, standing at the edge of the fields with torches. The Blind Musicians played as the King entered the Mound and faced east, calling the spirits down. A large pyre was lit on top of the Mound. The Boundary Men, those who drew the limits of the fields, brought in the flawless Red Bull with a horn board attached to his horns, leading him to the sound of gongs and singing stones. The Great Minister then invited the King to kill the victim. He shot it with arrows. The blood was collected and presented to Heaven as first offering, then the body was placed on the pyre together with a long bolt of silk and circular pieces of blue jade, the ‘holes to paradise’. The Chief Priest lit the fire with the Burning Mirror – the new fire – and recited the prayer for the good year. The Choir of the Blind sang the Sheng-min ode that recalled the founding rite established by Hou Ji Sovereign Millet, the First Ancestor.
We fill the cups with offering, cups of wood and earthen vases.
The aroma rises. The High Lord begins to eat.
How fine the aromas, how perfect the ritual moment.
Hou Ji founded this. We carry it out without error or omission
From that first day until now.
When everything on top of the Mound had been burned, it was swept and the King ascended, accompanied by the corpse-embodier, the person whose body First Ancestor inhabited, dressed in the same costume as the King. Hou Ji who ‘gave grain to all the people, a marvelous gift without equal’, ascended to the court or Shang Di in the Dipper to act as intermediary to the High Lord. The ceremony ended with a great dance and celebration called the Gate of Clouds in which the King himself took part.
Great accumulates. Gather the spirit.
Advantageous Trial. Harvesting.
Don’t eat in your dwelling or clan, Wise Words! The Way is open.
Advantageous to step into the Great Stream
-From Total I Ching, Myths for Change by Stephen Karcher
Offer not to the past but to the potential. The Seed hidden in the moment.
The Sand glitters with the possibility of transformation.
Our Ancestors wrapped in the warm embrace of becoming.
We too become in time.
Allow the Great Bull to cut a path through Thinking to Knowing.
Possibility surrounds the Ritual.
We gift the Past to Our Future. The Sprout pushing through the Shell.
Relinquish Certainty for Experience.
Open your Heart to the elements that make up Life.
The people united in this Purpose reveal the Vine.
You truly are the First Ancestor.
Become a guide for the Time.