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Confidence in Change

For some 3,000 years, people have turned to the I Ching, the Book of Changes, to help them uncover the meaning of their experience, to bring their actions into harmony with their underlying purpose, and above all to build a foundation of confident awareness for their choices.

Down the millennia, as the I Ching tradition has grown richer and deeper, the things we consult about may have changed a little, but the moment of consultation is much the same. These are the times when you’re turning in circles, hemmed in and frustrated by all the things you can’t see or don’t understand. You can think it over (and over, and over); you can ‘journal’ it; you can gather opinions.

But how can you have confidence in choosing a way to go, if you can’t quite be sure of seeing where you are?

Only understand where you are now, and you rediscover your power to make changes. This is the heart of I Ching divination. Once you can truly see into the present moment, all its possibilities open out before you – and you are free to create your future.

What is the I Ching?

The I Ching (or Yijing) is an oracle book: it speaks to you. You can call on its help with any question you have: issues with relationships of all kinds, ways to attain your personal goals, the outcomes of different choices for a key decision. It grounds you in present reality, encourages you to grow, and nurtures your self-knowledge. When things aren’t working, it opens up a space for you to get ‘off the ride’, out of the rut, and choose your own direction. And above all, it’s a wide-open, free-flowing channel for truth.

For I Ching Beginners -

How do you want to get started?

There are two different ways most people first meet the I Ching. There’s,

‘I’m fascinated by this ancient book and I want to learn all about it,’

and there’s,

‘I need help now with this thing (so I’ll learn whatever I need to know to get help with The Thing).’

Learning about the I Ching, or learning from the I Ching?

In the end, these two ways aren’t actually different. It isn’t possible to do one without the other, and people end up wanting both: the ‘learn about Yi’ people draw on its help more as their knowledge grows; the ‘learn from Yi’ people find they want to know more, once they’ve got the help they need.

But... they are different at the beginning:

Not a beginner?

Welcome - I’m glad you’ve come. Clarity’s here to help you deepen, explore and enjoy your relationship with Yi. You might like...

And so you can get to know some like-minded Yi-enthusiasts and we can keep in touch, do join Clarity

Hello, and thank you for visiting!

I’m Hilary - I work as an I Ching diviner and teacher, and I’m the author of I Ching: Walking your path, creating your future.

I hope you enjoy the site and find what you’re looking for here - do contact me with any comments or questions.

Clarity is my one-woman business providing I Ching courses, readings and community. (You can read more about me, and what I do, here.) It lets me spend my time doing the work I love, using my gifts to help you.

(Thank you.)

Warm wishes,
Hilary”

From the blog

Short version: here it is, with my apologies. (I didn’t know anyone still used it!)

Backstory:

A few years ago I commissioned Ewald Berkers (creator of the I Ching Community’s indispensable hexagram search) to make us a new online I Ching.

I did so because the old reading, the one in two frames, created a lot of confusion for beginners. It always shows two hexagrams even when you’ve only cast one, so people get the impression that that an unchanging hexagram is ‘casting the same hexagram twice’. And it displays the complete changing line texts of both hexagrams, leaving newcomers far from sure what’s actually part of their answer.

The new reading cleared up the confusion: an unchanging hexagram just appears as one hexagram, and only the relevant text is displayed. Also, since it casts one line at a time and displays the answer on a new page, it’s just a little slower to use, which in my book is a Good Thing. (And it can be saved and exported to pdf and linked to…)

I left the old frames reading around in case anyone wanted to use it, though I didn’t really expect anyone would. And then when I created the redesigned site, I called on Ewald again to make his reading script work with it (as a WordPress plugin)… and pretty much forgot the two-pane reading still existed.

Well… I live and learn…

I’ve already had about 20 requests to put the old reading back. So, in response to popular demand, here it is. Restyled a little to match the new site, and with the links corrected, but otherwise unchanged.

I’ve included a link to this on the main free reading page – tucked away at the bottom, under the ‘introduction for beginners’.

As you can see… we have a new Clarity website. I really hope you like it! Here’s an explanation of the changes and a guide to the new site.

Why change the design?

Because the old one was old  – some nine years old, in fact – which means it wasn’t at all adapted for browsing on smartphones/ tablets. (You may have found it disappeared from Google search results on your phone – that would be why.) So that had to change… and while I was working on that, I’ve also tried to make it look a bit less like 2007.

In the process I get to do something I always wanted: fill the site with images of the natural world, showing what Yi is and what it’s made of. When I started out, ‘site full of images’ meant ‘site no-one can actually load over their dial-up connection’ – but times have changed, and there’s no need for a site about the Yi to look like a site about a bank.

The new header image shows the sun emerging from behind clouds – which is (probably) what the Chinese character yi originally represented. Yi is change as in ‘a change in the weather’ and ‘the emergence of light’ – something I didn’t yet know in 2000 when I named the business ‘Clarity’.

‘Life can be translucent’, says the header. That’s my idea of what Yi does – it opens up ordinary life so meaning shines through.

What’s changed?

Content-wise…

Not a huge amount has changed. What I’ve done is to move things round and consolidate all the learning material in one place. So instead of a private free course for members and a bunch of public pages that sort-of more-or-less duplicate its material, there is a single free beginner’s course. You’ll find it (unsurprisingly) under ‘Learn’.

There are still bonuses for free members. The difference: you don’t have to seek out a separate download area to find them, you only need to be logged in when you look at the course pages. On the same page, people who haven’t joined (or aren’t logged in) will see messages saying ‘Sign up to get this download’, while as a member you’ll just see a link to download it.

If you’re on any page and not seeing what you think you should (eg if you’re a Change Circle member not seeing the full Foundations Course), click ‘log in’ at the top right.

Log in link top right

You’ll be redirected back to the same page afterwards, now displaying the right version for you.

Navigation-wise…

You no longer have to click over to ‘Learn’ to see what’s available there. Any main page is available from any other page – just mouseover/ tap on the main menu.

Site search is also available directly from the main menu, and so is a contact form under ‘About –

Contact form in the menu under 'About'

That’s on every page except the forum, where you’ll just see a link to the contact page. Please use one of these if/when you find bugs!

Finding forum things

Mouseover/ tap on ‘Community’. Here you’ll find a complete list of forums and – once you’re logged in – the forum search options, notifications, private messages and links to profile and settings. On a computer, you mouseover and then click what you want; on mobile, you tap a submenu to open it and then a link to access it.

the 'Community' menu

So everything that was under the ‘Talk’ tab is here, and so is most of what you used to access by clicking the ‘account’ link in the top right-hand corner. The exception to that: the log in form and the link to your main account page for Clarity as a whole (not just the forums) are still at the top right:

'Your account' link top r for the whole site, 'forum settings' link under 'Community' just for the forums

Go to the ‘Your Account’ link at the top right if you want to – 

  • see everything you’ve purchased
  • change your password
  • change your registered email address (for forum notifications and product orders)
  • change your username (that’s for future posts – it won’t affect what’s displayed on your previous posts)
  • delete your whole account at Clarity

 Use the ‘Forum settings’ link under the ‘Community’ menu if you want to – 

  • tweak how you appear on the forum – profile picture, the avatar by your posts, etc
  • change your forum signature
  • change any of your forum preferences: skin, subscriptions, friends, private messaging etc
  • access your bookmarks (CC members)

To access what you’ve purchased…

Log in, and then –

You can look under the relevant tab: access Reading Circle, WikiWing, Yi Academy etc via the ‘Community’ menu; access the Foundations Course via ‘Learn’ and the ‘Treasure Chest’ extra articles via Learn > More tools – or from the ‘Change Circle’ home page under ‘Community’.

You can also click ‘Your Account’ in the top-right hand corner of every page for… well… your account, which includes a list of direct links to ‘active resources’.

Using the forum on your phone/ tablet

I’ve had the menu adapted to be mobile-responsive in the forums too, so you may be quite happy using the forum just as it is. But if you’d prefer something simpler, there is a mobile skin you can choose as your default instead. To try it –

  • At the bottom of the ‘Community’ menu, tap ‘Forum settings’
  • In the left-hand menu under ‘My Account’ tap ‘General settings’
  • In the very last section of this page, ‘Miscellaneous options’, you’ll find a dropdown menu for ‘forum skin’. Change that to ‘default mobile style’ and tap ‘save’ at the bottom of the page.

This gives you a rudimentary, very quick and simple version of the forum: no links to the rest of the site, no ‘post thanks’, no settings page or hexagram search. Its main menu is the blue square grid icon at the top right.

To change back, click ‘full site’ at the bottom of any forum page, and then make your way back to the settings page again to switch your default skin.

If you find a bug…

Then please oh please let me know. Click ‘About’ in the main menu and try out that nice, new contact form! Or visit this page at the forum where kind people are already posting about bugs/ questions.

or ‘Where did Hilary go?’

For the last several months, I’ve been working on redesigning the website – which has been so time-consuming that really only Change Circle members have seen much of me. It has all taken just a bit longer than expected…

But we are almost there. All that’s left to do is the actual changeover to the new design. This is a bit more complicated than it sounds, so I’m getting a tremendously helpful expert to do the heavy lifting.

What to expect on Saturday…

Saturday 23rd is Changeover Day, and there will be some odd moments: bits of the site looking different from other bits, links that lead nowhere, and so on. But everything should be working again normally within 48 hours or so. First the blog, then the main site, then the forums and finally your ‘account’ and ‘profile’ pages will be changed to the new design.

…and afterwards

I expect I’ll spend the following few-days-to-a-week doing the remaining technical chores and chasing down any unexpected bugs. (Just imagine me staggering blearily about, waving a fly swatter.) If you could let me know about any issues you find during this time, that would be brilliant – thank you.

And then I’m going to have a holiday. Not something I normally do, but I think I need one. (Error 404, brain not found. Error 418 is also a distinct possibility.)

And then, when I’m back, I’ll invite you to have a look at the new ‘I Ching chat’ option. This is a quite different animal from the full reading service: it’s just a thirty minute chat to help you get ‘unstuck’ on a specific reading sticking point. The same service has been included in Change Circle for a while now, and since that’s worked well, I thought I’d try making it generally available. More information coming with the new site…

A few posts ago, I tried to list all Yi’s ways of telling stories:

  • those little one-line vignettes
  • allusions to the culture’s big stories – both history and myth
  • the individual steps of the Sequence of Hexagrams (‘Here’s how you reach this place.’)
  • the huge narrative arcs of the Sequence – ‘you are here’ on the grand scale
  • multiple moving line readings that unfold one line at a time
  • the ‘nuclear story’ within each hexagram
  • the stories told through the connections between readings

So I’ve written about the vignettes and the mythical allusions, and now we come to individual steps through the Sequence.

If you’re looking at a reading and wondering, ‘Where am I in all this?’ then the Sequence will probably help. It shows you where you’ve been and how you got here – or how you can get to where you need to be. Sometimes Yi’s answer is one step ahead of you, as it were, and then the Sequence helps you catch up.

A couple of examples…

Nourishment needs Great Taming

A(nother) redesign-related reading, about embarking on changing the forum’s appearance myself. For the last redesign I paid someone else to make a matching template for the forums, and I was left with the impression that the forum appearance was Much Too Hard for me to take on. On the other hand, I didn’t want to throw money willy-nilly at things I could potentially do myself without too much trouble. In the end I asked a carefully time-limited question,

‘What about setting aside a week to work on the forum templates myself?’

Answer: Hexagram 27, Nourishment/ Jaws, with line 6 changing:

‘Origin of nourishment. Danger, good fortune.
Fruitful to cross the great river.’

I decided it was worth trying to be the ‘origin of nourishment’ and commit some time and effort to this. (And in the event I waded into the river and did get most of it done, though I needed help to sort out the menu.)

Nourishment follows from Great Taming, because,

‘Things are tamed, and so there can be nurturing, and so Nourishment follows.’

…which really hardly needs any commentary beyond farmers grow food; food feeds people. What kind of Great Taming might this situation call for? I think the clue was in the Image:

‘Heaven dwells in the centre of the mountain. Great Taming.
A noble one uses the many annals of ancient words and past deeds,
And builds up his character.’

Literal nourishment requires the cultivation of food; becoming the source of forum-coding ‘nourishment’ requires the cultivation of knowledge. The ‘many annals of ancient words and past deeds’ were to be found in the Vbulletin docs and across various support forum threads. I still had plenty to learn at the time of asking, but everything I needed was available.

Inner Truth arises from Measure

A friend kindly invited me round to visit… in what turned out to be probably the most expensive private home I’ve ever been in. I found the whole thing weirdly disconcerting, and wasn’t quite sure why. Perhaps something to do with finding someone who’s more or less ‘like me’ (we have things in common, and in some parallel universe I might have followed the same career) living in such a space. So to help me reflect and understand, I asked Yi,

What to learn from the experience of visiting this home?

Hexagram 61, Inner Truth, unchanging.

I could learn something about inner truth… something about what I trust, and why, and where and how I feel connected, and the nature of blessing. Hexagram 61 shows the inner space of a life, inside the home – and seeing that quite different space gave me a clearer view of my own.

Inner Truth follows from Measuring, and the Sequence says,

“Measuring and also trusting it, and so Inner Truth follows.”

Often, I read that as trust arising between people because of the ‘measures’ they share – language, standards, expectations. Here, it seems to be talking about how each person’s own set of ‘measures’, and how the truth of a person’s life arises from that framework: our individual limits, routine, expectations, mindset… everything that seems normal and natural to us, amounting to what we might call a ‘way of life’.

(A tiny example –

‘What would you like to drink?’
‘Water, please.’
‘There’s a water filter over there.’

There was a long moment when I stared dumbly and could not see a water filter. I was looking for a plastic jug, so I couldn’t see the large unit set into the kitchen wall. A mismatch of Measures.)

Our individual Measures become something we can trust and stand in for ourselves. The inner truth of my friend’s life is fundamentally not mine, and not something I can covet any more than I can want to be someone else. That tremendously driven working life is not for me – and actually, nor is the task of filling such a vast space with a sense of ‘home’.

Following and passing along

In readings like these, the Sequence provides a foundation for understanding the whole. It’s ‘here’s how you get here’ or ‘here’s where this comes from’ – a ‘handover’ of experience from one hexagram to the next. Given the context of the Sequence, I can make connections with what I’ve already experienced (the vBulletin manual, the invisible water filter) and move on to what Yi’s showing me with the answer.

The actual formula used in the Sequence Wing to describe how one hexagram follows from another is always translated with some simple variant on ‘and so x follows’ or ‘hence what follows is x’ – except, that is, by Ritsema/Sabbadini, who have,

‘To anterior acquiescence belongs the use of x.’

…which is interesting. A quite literal translation might (might – I am not a scholar of Chinese) be, ‘therefore receiving the use of x’. The important word is shou, 受, ‘receive’ or ‘accept’, which has roots in an image of passing something from one hand to another. When you cast a hexagram, it’s handed to you by the Sequence.

 

A baton being passed from one hand to the next

I’m not sure what kind of geek it takes to appreciate this reading – probably something quite extreme – but I think it’s brilliant and wanted to share.

The background: a helpful programmer had fixed up a WordPress plugin for me, for use in the redesigned version of Clarity (still a work in progress). It all worked fine until I tried to add a sidebar to the page displaying the plugin output. Then the sidebar suddenly ceased to work as a sidebar – it was ‘displaced’ to the bottom of the page.

I set out to troubleshoot this through trial and error. Tried removing the plugin display from the page – sidebar displayed correctly. Replaced plugin display on page – sidebar displaced again.

So it had to be something about the code generated by the plugin causing the problem – but what? There’s nothing in the source code to say it has to display at full-width, or indeed to set any width at all. No funny css classes, either; it’s all very simple stuff: a heading, some divs, some paragraphs.

I have the same layout with the same right-hand sidebar on my new free reading results page, and that works… doesn’t it? I cast an online reading just to check the sidebar was where it should be on the results page. What to ask? How about, ‘Why doesn’t that sidebar work?’

Answer (with the sidebar in place next to it): Hexagram 8 with line 6 moving:

‘Seeking union without a head.
Pitfall.’

After a bit more puzzling, I found the problem. The code generated by the plugin ended with ‘</div>’, but there was no corresponding opening ‘<div>’. Seeking union without a head of its own, the stray tag had prematurely closed a wrapper div before the sidebar.

You wouldn’t necessarily think a 3,000 year old book could debug your WordPress plugin for you…

bug

From the I Ching Community

Short version: here it is, with my apologies. (I didn’t know anyone still used it!)

Backstory:

A few years ago I commissioned Ewald Berkers (creator of the I Ching Community’s indispensable hexagram search) to make us a new online I Ching.

I did so because the old reading, the one in two frames, created a lot of confusion for beginners. It always shows two hexagrams even when you’ve only cast one, so people get the impression that that an unchanging hexagram is ‘casting the same hexagram twice’. And it displays the complete changing line texts of both hexagrams, leaving newcomers far from sure what’s actually part of their answer.

The new reading cleared up the confusion: an unchanging hexagram just appears as one hexagram, and only the relevant text is displayed. Also, since it casts one line at a time and displays the answer on a new page, it’s just a little slower to use, which in my book is a Good Thing. (And it can be saved and exported to pdf and linked to…)

I left the old frames reading around in case anyone wanted to use it, though I didn’t really expect anyone would. And then when I created the redesigned site, I called on Ewald again to make his reading script work with it (as a WordPress plugin)… and pretty much forgot the two-pane reading still existed.

Well… I live and learn…

I’ve already had about 20 requests to put the old reading back. So, in response to popular demand, here it is. Restyled a little to match the new site, and with the links corrected, but otherwise unchanged.

I’ve included a link to this on the main free reading page – tucked away at the bottom, under the ‘introduction for beginners’.

As you can see… we have a new Clarity website. I really hope you like it! Here’s an explanation of the changes and a guide to the new site.

Why change the design?

Because the old one was old  – some nine years old, in fact – which means it wasn’t at all adapted for browsing on smartphones/ tablets. (You may have found it disappeared from Google search results on your phone – that would be why.) So that had to change… and while I was working on that, I’ve also tried to make it look a bit less like 2007.

In the process I get to do something I always wanted: fill the site with images of the natural world, showing what Yi is and what it’s made of. When I started out, ‘site full of images’ meant ‘site no-one can actually load over their dial-up connection’ – but times have changed, and there’s no need for a site about the Yi to look like a site about a bank.

The new header image shows the sun emerging from behind clouds – which is (probably) what the Chinese character yi originally represented. Yi is change as in ‘a change in the weather’ and ‘the emergence of light’ – something I didn’t yet know in 2000 when I named the business ‘Clarity’.

‘Life can be translucent’, says the header. That’s my idea of what Yi does – it opens up ordinary life so meaning shines through.

What’s changed?

Content-wise…

Not a huge amount has changed. What I’ve done is to move things round and consolidate all the learning material in one place. So instead of a private free course for members and a bunch of public pages that sort-of more-or-less duplicate its material, there is a single free beginner’s course. You’ll find it (unsurprisingly) under ‘Learn’.

There are still bonuses for free members. The difference: you don’t have to seek out a separate download area to find them, you only need to be logged in when you look at the course pages. On the same page, people who haven’t joined (or aren’t logged in) will see messages saying ‘Sign up to get this download’, while as a member you’ll just see a link to download it.

If you’re on any page and not seeing what you think you should (eg if you’re a Change Circle member not seeing the full Foundations Course), click ‘log in’ at the top right.

Log in link top right

You’ll be redirected back to the same page afterwards, now displaying the right version for you.

Navigation-wise…

You no longer have to click over to ‘Learn’ to see what’s available there. Any main page is available from any other page – just mouseover/ tap on the main menu.

Site search is also available directly from the main menu, and so is a contact form under ‘About –

Contact form in the menu under 'About'

That’s on every page except the forum, where you’ll just see a link to the contact page. Please use one of these if/when you find bugs!

Finding forum things

Mouseover/ tap on ‘Community’. Here you’ll find a complete list of forums and – once you’re logged in – the forum search options, notifications, private messages and links to profile and settings. On a computer, you mouseover and then click what you want; on mobile, you tap a submenu to open it and then a link to access it.

the 'Community' menu

So everything that was under the ‘Talk’ tab is here, and so is most of what you used to access by clicking the ‘account’ link in the top right-hand corner. The exception to that: the log in form and the link to your main account page for Clarity as a whole (not just the forums) are still at the top right:

'Your account' link top r for the whole site, 'forum settings' link under 'Community' just for the forums

Go to the ‘Your Account’ link at the top right if you want to – 

  • see everything you’ve purchased
  • change your password
  • change your registered email address (for forum notifications and product orders)
  • change your username (that’s for future posts – it won’t affect what’s displayed on your previous posts)
  • delete your whole account at Clarity

 Use the ‘Forum settings’ link under the ‘Community’ menu if you want to – 

  • tweak how you appear on the forum – profile picture, the avatar by your posts, etc
  • change your forum signature
  • change any of your forum preferences: skin, subscriptions, friends, private messaging etc
  • access your bookmarks (CC members)

To access what you’ve purchased…

Log in, and then –

You can look under the relevant tab: access Reading Circle, WikiWing, Yi Academy etc via the ‘Community’ menu; access the Foundations Course via ‘Learn’ and the ‘Treasure Chest’ extra articles via Learn > More tools – or from the ‘Change Circle’ home page under ‘Community’.

You can also click ‘Your Account’ in the top-right hand corner of every page for… well… your account, which includes a list of direct links to ‘active resources’.

Using the forum on your phone/ tablet

I’ve had the menu adapted to be mobile-responsive in the forums too, so you may be quite happy using the forum just as it is. But if you’d prefer something simpler, there is a mobile skin you can choose as your default instead. To try it –

  • At the bottom of the ‘Community’ menu, tap ‘Forum settings’
  • In the left-hand menu under ‘My Account’ tap ‘General settings’
  • In the very last section of this page, ‘Miscellaneous options’, you’ll find a dropdown menu for ‘forum skin’. Change that to ‘default mobile style’ and tap ‘save’ at the bottom of the page.

This gives you a rudimentary, very quick and simple version of the forum: no links to the rest of the site, no ‘post thanks’, no settings page or hexagram search. Its main menu is the blue square grid icon at the top right.

To change back, click ‘full site’ at the bottom of any forum page, and then make your way back to the settings page again to switch your default skin.

If you find a bug…

Then please oh please let me know. Click ‘About’ in the main menu and try out that nice, new contact form! Or visit this page at the forum where kind people are already posting about bugs/ questions.

or ‘Where did Hilary go?’

For the last several months, I’ve been working on redesigning the website – which has been so time-consuming that really only Change Circle members have seen much of me. It has all taken just a bit longer than expected…

But we are almost there. All that’s left to do is the actual changeover to the new design. This is a bit more complicated than it sounds, so I’m getting a tremendously helpful expert to do the heavy lifting.

What to expect on Saturday…

Saturday 23rd is Changeover Day, and there will be some odd moments: bits of the site looking different from other bits, links that lead nowhere, and so on. But everything should be working again normally within 48 hours or so. First the blog, then the main site, then the forums and finally your ‘account’ and ‘profile’ pages will be changed to the new design.

…and afterwards

I expect I’ll spend the following few-days-to-a-week doing the remaining technical chores and chasing down any unexpected bugs. (Just imagine me staggering blearily about, waving a fly swatter.) If you could let me know about any issues you find during this time, that would be brilliant – thank you.

And then I’m going to have a holiday. Not something I normally do, but I think I need one. (Error 404, brain not found. Error 418 is also a distinct possibility.)

And then, when I’m back, I’ll invite you to have a look at the new ‘I Ching chat’ option. This is a quite different animal from the full reading service: it’s just a thirty minute chat to help you get ‘unstuck’ on a specific reading sticking point. The same service has been included in Change Circle for a while now, and since that’s worked well, I thought I’d try making it generally available. More information coming with the new site…

A few posts ago, I tried to list all Yi’s ways of telling stories:

  • those little one-line vignettes
  • allusions to the culture’s big stories – both history and myth
  • the individual steps of the Sequence of Hexagrams (‘Here’s how you reach this place.’)
  • the huge narrative arcs of the Sequence – ‘you are here’ on the grand scale
  • multiple moving line readings that unfold one line at a time
  • the ‘nuclear story’ within each hexagram
  • the stories told through the connections between readings

So I’ve written about the vignettes and the mythical allusions, and now we come to individual steps through the Sequence.

If you’re looking at a reading and wondering, ‘Where am I in all this?’ then the Sequence will probably help. It shows you where you’ve been and how you got here – or how you can get to where you need to be. Sometimes Yi’s answer is one step ahead of you, as it were, and then the Sequence helps you catch up.

A couple of examples…

Nourishment needs Great Taming

A(nother) redesign-related reading, about embarking on changing the forum’s appearance myself. For the last redesign I paid someone else to make a matching template for the forums, and I was left with the impression that the forum appearance was Much Too Hard for me to take on. On the other hand, I didn’t want to throw money willy-nilly at things I could potentially do myself without too much trouble. In the end I asked a carefully time-limited question,

‘What about setting aside a week to work on the forum templates myself?’

Answer: Hexagram 27, Nourishment/ Jaws, with line 6 changing:

‘Origin of nourishment. Danger, good fortune.
Fruitful to cross the great river.’

I decided it was worth trying to be the ‘origin of nourishment’ and commit some time and effort to this. (And in the event I waded into the river and did get most of it done, though I needed help to sort out the menu.)

Nourishment follows from Great Taming, because,

‘Things are tamed, and so there can be nurturing, and so Nourishment follows.’

…which really hardly needs any commentary beyond farmers grow food; food feeds people. What kind of Great Taming might this situation call for? I think the clue was in the Image:

‘Heaven dwells in the centre of the mountain. Great Taming.
A noble one uses the many annals of ancient words and past deeds,
And builds up his character.’

Literal nourishment requires the cultivation of food; becoming the source of forum-coding ‘nourishment’ requires the cultivation of knowledge. The ‘many annals of ancient words and past deeds’ were to be found in the Vbulletin docs and across various support forum threads. I still had plenty to learn at the time of asking, but everything I needed was available.

Inner Truth arises from Measure

A friend kindly invited me round to visit… in what turned out to be probably the most expensive private home I’ve ever been in. I found the whole thing weirdly disconcerting, and wasn’t quite sure why. Perhaps something to do with finding someone who’s more or less ‘like me’ (we have things in common, and in some parallel universe I might have followed the same career) living in such a space. So to help me reflect and understand, I asked Yi,

What to learn from the experience of visiting this home?

Hexagram 61, Inner Truth, unchanging.

I could learn something about inner truth… something about what I trust, and why, and where and how I feel connected, and the nature of blessing. Hexagram 61 shows the inner space of a life, inside the home – and seeing that quite different space gave me a clearer view of my own.

Inner Truth follows from Measuring, and the Sequence says,

“Measuring and also trusting it, and so Inner Truth follows.”

Often, I read that as trust arising between people because of the ‘measures’ they share – language, standards, expectations. Here, it seems to be talking about how each person’s own set of ‘measures’, and how the truth of a person’s life arises from that framework: our individual limits, routine, expectations, mindset… everything that seems normal and natural to us, amounting to what we might call a ‘way of life’.

(A tiny example –

‘What would you like to drink?’
‘Water, please.’
‘There’s a water filter over there.’

There was a long moment when I stared dumbly and could not see a water filter. I was looking for a plastic jug, so I couldn’t see the large unit set into the kitchen wall. A mismatch of Measures.)

Our individual Measures become something we can trust and stand in for ourselves. The inner truth of my friend’s life is fundamentally not mine, and not something I can covet any more than I can want to be someone else. That tremendously driven working life is not for me – and actually, nor is the task of filling such a vast space with a sense of ‘home’.

Following and passing along

In readings like these, the Sequence provides a foundation for understanding the whole. It’s ‘here’s how you get here’ or ‘here’s where this comes from’ – a ‘handover’ of experience from one hexagram to the next. Given the context of the Sequence, I can make connections with what I’ve already experienced (the vBulletin manual, the invisible water filter) and move on to what Yi’s showing me with the answer.

The actual formula used in the Sequence Wing to describe how one hexagram follows from another is always translated with some simple variant on ‘and so x follows’ or ‘hence what follows is x’ – except, that is, by Ritsema/Sabbadini, who have,

‘To anterior acquiescence belongs the use of x.’

…which is interesting. A quite literal translation might (might – I am not a scholar of Chinese) be, ‘therefore receiving the use of x’. The important word is shou, 受, ‘receive’ or ‘accept’, which has roots in an image of passing something from one hand to another. When you cast a hexagram, it’s handed to you by the Sequence.

 

A baton being passed from one hand to the next

I’m not sure what kind of geek it takes to appreciate this reading – probably something quite extreme – but I think it’s brilliant and wanted to share.

The background: a helpful programmer had fixed up a WordPress plugin for me, for use in the redesigned version of Clarity (still a work in progress). It all worked fine until I tried to add a sidebar to the page displaying the plugin output. Then the sidebar suddenly ceased to work as a sidebar – it was ‘displaced’ to the bottom of the page.

I set out to troubleshoot this through trial and error. Tried removing the plugin display from the page – sidebar displayed correctly. Replaced plugin display on page – sidebar displaced again.

So it had to be something about the code generated by the plugin causing the problem – but what? There’s nothing in the source code to say it has to display at full-width, or indeed to set any width at all. No funny css classes, either; it’s all very simple stuff: a heading, some divs, some paragraphs.

I have the same layout with the same right-hand sidebar on my new free reading results page, and that works… doesn’t it? I cast an online reading just to check the sidebar was where it should be on the results page. What to ask? How about, ‘Why doesn’t that sidebar work?’

Answer (with the sidebar in place next to it): Hexagram 8 with line 6 moving:

‘Seeking union without a head.
Pitfall.’

After a bit more puzzling, I found the problem. The code generated by the plugin ended with ‘</div>’, but there was no corresponding opening ‘<div>’. Seeking union without a head of its own, the stray tag had prematurely closed a wrapper div before the sidebar.

You wouldn’t necessarily think a 3,000 year old book could debug your WordPress plugin for you…

bug

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