My regular readers will probably be aware that I have said enough rude things about Kim Jong Un to merit a swift appointment with an angry firing squad should I ever be in the neighbourhood of North Korea (e.g. see here and here). My regard for South Korea, is altogether more pleasant, the musical output of PSY notwithstanding. In the New York Times on Sunday I read that Korean executives often consult spiritual advisers before making major business decisions, and the belief in divination and shamanism is fairly mainstream.
Really, one should not be surprised about acceptance of such matters in South Korea. I mean, just look at their flag! The central motif is clearly inspired by the Tai Chi (i.e. the symbol of Yin & Yang), whilst surrounding it are four of the eight traditional Trigrams of the I Ching, to wit:
Top left – CHIEN – east – Awareness here means living in tune with the spirit of the time, the East. The image is the night heaven. The motivation is creativity. The purpose of the I Ching is to merge with cosmic creativity.
Top right – KAN – south – Soul. The soul is between heaven and earth, spirit and body. It is always in danger of stagnation, based on the six primary relations of the family: Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Daughter, Son. The Soul, like the river, has to flow from the source in the mountain to the sea, then be transformed, die, into clouds, and finally be reincarnated again as rain in the mountains. The motivation is danger and the abyss.
Bottom right – KUN – west – Earth. The image is the vastness of our planet. The motivation is the receptive, to receive the germ and let it grow.
Bottom left – LI – north – Thinking. Thinking links up sense data with words, following the wishes or motivations and impulses. Thinking has a beginning and end, visualized in the image of burning wood. You should not think beyond the solution of the problem. The motivation is to attain clarity, unattached to the thought. Thinking, like dialogue, is not an end in itself.
Or, as another source has it, “Heaven, Water, Fire, Earth.” By comparison with “neo” Feng Shui, we may say that South Korea has chosen to invoke good luck in regard to patrons and benefactors (Chien), careers (Kan), Love and marriage (Kun), and recognition and fame (Li).
It is interesting to consider that conspiracy theorists strive to find occult symbolism hidden in the insignia of the USA, when by contrast it is open plain to see elsewhere in the world! Anyway, South Korean businessmen, please take note: if you are keen to expand your operations into the west and need a local astrologer and tarot reader for European office, I’m just saying that I’m available and my rates are very reasonable. 🙂