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48 The Rose

hexagram-48-rose‘A YELLOW ROSE means: “Don’t you love me any more?” A rose with blackfly means:
“I wash my hands of you!”’

Flower losses are easily dealt with. Pull the affected petals off or snip
the whole head. Ignore the complacent camellia, smiling unarmed at its
enemies. War can shake up any court, dress uniforms slashed in battle.
Ordinary armies feel the stress first, ending up in tatters, too exhausted
for mourning; then the state as a body suffers, waking to a withered dawn.

1st – The Medieval Rose
Deer fell by the dozen, spreading bonhomie. The emperor ordered a mass
in the forest and left the reliquary hanging on a wild rose. The Virgin’s
deer-slaying hair must be found! It was, but the object was inextricable
from the tree, alive today, clinging to the apse of the hunter’s cathedral.

2nd – The Hazardous Rose
Caged within a pergola,‘Kiftgate’ is choleric and dangerous. Or if it
captures an oak, branches brought down by autumn storms are panthers,
suddenly your problem on a fateful morning – scars both physical and
mental. One opts instead for the lax demeanour of ‘Rambling Rector’.

3rd – The Old-fashioned Rose
The old roses are run to earth in sidelong places – tennis courts, almshouse
yards, patches of land between butcher’s and bakery. Too wise and decent
to conspire, they make no attempt to reassert ascendancy: the enthusiasts –
vicars, teachers, factory-owners’s wives – will see to that on their behalf.

4th – The Rose Tattoo
The floriferous needle has brought the boldest template shinily to life, an
allotment of cabbage roses spreading from buttocks to thigh and lower
back, counterpoint to the lithe body’s torque. Those who once lusted for
her naked rear now see inky end-of-pier damask chasteningly draping it.

5th – The Rose Garden
Campaign dreams are often of special places. She wakes from a nap in
the Oval Office – the President is busy in the press room. Tempted by a
glowing afternoon, she strolls into the Rose Garden. Fragrant ‘Monica
Lewinksy’ has vanished. Orange ‘Laura Bush’ flares like a Texas sunset.

6th – The Self-healing Rose
Sports concealed in the inner layer of the meristem can break free if you
take a root cutting, wreaking fancy havoc with the establishment – a petal
defiantly striped, a rebel’s battle flag; or a raggedy two-tone leaf. Yet the
nation is resilient – designed to starve its outlaws, soon forgotten.

All six – The Mystic Rose
Chevalier of the pelican! Working late at the museum, he sees the
rose hover and vibrate again, infinitely expanded goddess of the night
withering on the atomic cross, shedding petals on parquet. Most others
would be uncomfortable here. He sweeps discarded raiments into his pan.

Introduction to Six-Way Mirror | The Index of Hexagrams and Cantos



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