- chapter index -
pg. 1 - Epitaph | pg. 2 - The Iron Gates of Fate
pg. 3 - The Fate of All Mankind | pg. 4 - Moonchild
pg. 5 - The Court of the Crimson King | pg. 6 - The Purple Piper
pg. 7 - Averroes | pg. 8 - The Keeper of the City Keys
pg. 9 - The Pilgrim's Door | pg. 10 - The Return of the Fire Witch
pg. 11 - The Gardener Plants An Evergreen | pg. 12 - The Prism Ship
pg. 13 - The Grinding Wheel | pg. 14 - On Soft Gray Mornings
pg. 15 - Divining Signs | pg. 16 - The Yellow Jester
pg. 17 - Remember the Future | pg. 18 - The Return of the King
pg. 19 - The I Ching | pg. 20 - Octants

site index

    Alta Vista Translations
  Translate from  

The I Ching

The foundations of the I Ching are the principles of Yin and Yang, the dualities of weak and strong, dark and light, female and male, earth and heaven, chaos and cosmos, above and below. Written some 3,000 years ago during the Chang dynasty, The I Ching is primarily concerned with a balancing of the female and male energies, Yin and Yang.

In the Court of the Crimson King is a meditation on the I Ching.

"The wall on which the prophets wrote"

The I Ching is also a divination system composed of 64 hexagrams that are based on 8 trigrams. The hexagrams are used to make prophecies in a way similar to Tarot cards. Castel del Monte consists of eight towers each with eight walls adding up to 64 (the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching).

On the inner cover illustration the moon is displaying hand signals representing the dualities of Yin and Yang. The open hand represents the receptive (female) principle of Yin, while the vertical hand signal represents the creative (male) principle of Yang. This is a variant of the union of opposites theme we find throughout the Sinfield albums.
In that its horizontal and vertical aspects represent the passive and active principles of Yin and Yang, the Christian cross is also a symbol of the union of opposites and represents something of a mandala.

"The cross also symbolizes the totality of space and time, with its center marking the meeting of four directions and then transcending them. The cross is compared to a tree, the mediator between earth and sky, representing the tension point of the union of opposites. It evokes verticality, and provides access to the invisible. It is the mythological threshold between time and eternity, the axis mundi (the world axis) through which heaven descends toward man. It is also the world -- a tree that the shaman goes up to reach the top of the universe"
"The technique of weaving is cross-like, requiring two threads to cross at a center and transforming chaos into cosmos."

- Jasimilla M. Harris and Bud Harris, Like Gold Through Fire (Alexander, NC: Alexander Books, 1996), p. 104.

The album also represents something of a mandala. As you may recall from the beginning of the chapter; in relation to the album's other tracks, Epitaph can be described as a mirror by which the two sides (past and present, above and below) are reflected, or as the veil between the material and spiritual worlds, life and death. This suggests the image of a mandala, the Yin - Yang symbol. Mandalas are used as a focus for meditation and, as stated earlier, the album is a meditation on the I Ching.

"Mandala, in Hinduism and Buddhism, a diagram, usually circular, used as a focus and guide for meditation. Each mandala represents the universe pictorially. The worshiper imaginatively enters the mandala, focusing successively on each of its stages and absorbing the logic of its form while approaching the center."

- fUSION Anomaly. Mandalas

"From the One we can find the Two Extremes"

Twenty First Century Schizoid Man and I Talk to the Wind , for example.

"The Creative represents
the extremes of creative force."

Twenty First Century Schizoid Man and the title song.

"The Receptive represents
the extremes of yielding behavior."

I Talk to The Wind and Moonchild

"The Creative represents leadership.
The way of the Universe is to lead."

The Crimson King (the masculine principle)

"The Receptive represents devotion.
The way of Our World is to follow."

This is the basic issue explored in I Talk to the Wind , resisting the temptation to follow. (the feminine principle)

"Success through strong action.

Again, the title song and Twenty First Century Schizoid Man (strong action).

"Success through yielding.
Quiet perseverance."

I Talk to the Wind is an inner dialogue. The narrator is not actually confronting the entity with whom he disagrees. He quietly perseveres against the temptation to submit to outside (social and political) forces.

"The Creative represents the paternal power
of the Universe the Progenitor."

"The Receptive represents the maternal power
of Our World the Progenitrix."

- The Book of Change by Steven Ericcson-Zenith

These last two represent the basic duality of man and woman, sun and moon, which are dealt with on side two with Moonchild and the title song. The duality is resolved with the alchemical ascension of the sun in the title song.

"The Master says: The Creative (Yang) and the Receptive (Yin) are really the gate to the Changes. The Creative represents bright active things and the Receptive dark inactive things. As the dark and light join, various positions for the firm and yielding lines embody the hexagrams. Thus heaven and earth are made visible, and we can grasp the inner workings of the intelligence of spirit."

- The Book of Changes translated by Sasha Newborn

On the most basic level, Yin is chaos and Yang is cosmos, or creation.
The I Ching states, "Before the beginning of great brilliance, there must be chaos". This describes the chaos before the creation of the universe, but there is also musical chaos at the end of Twenty First Century Schizoid Man (the beginning of the album). The beginning of the album, because it takes place in the future, really is "before the beginning" of our time. The album does not arrive in the present until I Talk to The Wind .

"Mandalas act as a bridge between the higher and lower realms. They are interdimensional gateways linking human consciousness to the realms of archetypes and the infinite. The relationship of form, movement, space and time is evoked by the mandala."

- Sacred Geometry Mandala Art, Interdimensional Gateways to the Infinite by Jonathan Quintin

Twenty First Century Schizoid Man , I Talk to the Wind , Moonchild and the title song represent the four quarters of the mandala. Epitaph , the dividing line between above and below and the reflection of both sides, is at the center of the mandala. Imagine Epitaph as the fulcrum in the below cite:

The Extremes

"For any given circumstance there are extremes of balance. Think of this balance as that expressed by the motion of the pendulum rather than that expressed by static scales dependent on a fulcrum and balanced weight. Events in the world are always in transition and not in the delicately poised state scales suggest.

The pendulum swings to both the left and the right of its perfect center; the point at which momentum is captured to return."

- The Book of Change by Steven Ericcson-Zenith

In the Court of the Crimson King ~ The Return of the King return to
chapter & page index

In the Court of the Crimson King ~ Octants

Sign the Dreambook Dreambook Read the Dreambook

Chapter One The Metaphysical Record In The Court Of the Crimson King In The Wake Of Poseidon Lizard The King In Yellow The Sun King Eight
The Lake Which Mirrors the Sky In the Beginning Was the Word In the Beginning was the Word...side two Eros and Strife Dark Night of the Soul...Cirkus Dark Night of the Soul...Wilderness Big Top Islands
Islands Two Footnotes in the Sand Still Still 2
Works Lyrics
Gallery Guestbook
Links Discography E-mail:
Peter Sinfield
Jon Green
Page One

Return to the Song Soup On Sea Homepage

These Pages Created and Maintained using Arachnophilia
Copyright 1998 - 2001 ~ Jon Green /All rights reserved