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Category Archives: Connecting hexagrams

Speculations on relations between hexagrams: the Sequence, patterns of trigrams, nuclear hexagrams, etc

Nourished by synchronicity: 38 zhi 27

Nourished by synchronicity: 38 zhi 27

The relating hexagram, the one revealed by the moving line changes, can show the aspect or quality of the cast hexagram embodied in those lines. One way to imagine this is to say to yourself, ‘The reading shows how [primary hexagram] might do [relating hexagram].’ That works well in readings, because the relating hexagram typically represents where you are – the title for this chapter of your experience, as it were, where you stand, and probably the filter you’re seeing through.

If your relating hexagram is 27, Nourishment (literally ‘Jaws’), then the situation for you is going to be all about getting fed – on all levels. It’s not just having a framework in place that provides for you, but also – ‘See the jaws!‘ – bringing awareness to that framework as a way of transformation.

So suppose Hexagram 38, Opposing, is changing to 27. How might Opposing find – or transform – Nourishment? How does the outsider, alone and away from the home, get fed? Also, how is her way of living and nourishing herself to be changed? After all, the isolated eccentric, beyond social pressures to adjust, might get set in her ways.

Here’s how that happens: 38.2.4:

‘Meeting a master in the lane.
Not a mistake.’

‘Opposed, alone.
Meet an inspiring man.
Joining together in trust,
Danger, no mistake.’

This is one of those eye-opening two-line changes I’ve written about before, where two changing lines together reveal the connection between the hexagrams just as clearly as a single line usually does. (One of the examples in that post is the reverse of this one – 27.2.4 changing to 38 through ‘unbalanced nourishment’.)

How is the outsider nourished? Through meetings. While every line of 38 describes some kind of encounter, these are the only two to use the word ‘meeting’, 遇 yu4, and describe an encounter with a single person.

What’s a ‘meeting’, exactly? According to Richard Sears’ online dictionary, it means meet, run into, come across, encounter, treat, treatment, opportunity, luck, meeting of minds, to win confidence (of a superior), to rival, to match with. The signific part of the character means ‘walking on the road’. So there’s 38’s 27: the outsider runs into new people on the road, and can be nourished and changed by the encounter.

38 zhi 27 - path through the forest

Theme and variations

From its first appearance in the first words of the Yi, the creative flow through the four characters yuan heng li zhen is tangible. Its power is felt in the other five hexagrams with the whole, uninterrupted formula. But the natural cohesion of the four-word formula can also be felt in the hexagrams where it… Continue Reading

A shared dao of 21 and 48

Complementary hexagrams are paradoxical things. On the one hand, there is no hexagram more different from 21, Biting Through than 48, the Well: Every line is changed, so they have nothing in common. If it’s time to bite through, then it is exactly not time for well-maintenance. And on the other hand, this means that complementary… Continue Reading

This means something

A thoroughly useful guiding principle for both diviners and translators: this means something. For diviners with/ translators of the Yijing, the principle needs elaborating: this means something, whether or not I have the faintest glimmerings of a clue what it means. That should really be inscribed in every Yijing book and journal. Probably the most common beginner’s… Continue Reading

Hexagram 57 in the Sequence

The Sequence – for all the remarkable patterns it contains – is about the simplest ‘tool’ you can add to your interpretive repertoire. No complicated operations are required to find the preceding hexagram, and no concept more profound than steps along the road: ‘You pass through this to reach here.’ To reach Hexagram 57, Subtly… Continue Reading

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