Hilary Barrett, I Ching

Archive for the 'Interpreting hexagrams' Category

Hexagram 20: the Tower?

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Hexagram 20 is called Seeing – but if your I Ching experience began with Wilhelm, then you’ll be familiar with the idea that the shape of the hexagram itself is a picture of an ancient tower: ‘A tower of this kind commanded a wide view of the country; at the same time, when situated on […]

Contrasts of Hexagram 6

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Hexagram 6 is called Conflict, or Arguing; its name also means bringing to court and calling for justice. Fittingly enough, it’s best understood through contrasts and oppositions. The authors of the oracle seem to have thought so, too: its Oracle is laid out as a series of contrasts: ‘Arguing. There is truth and confidence, blocked. […]

Yuan heng li zhen

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Hexagram 1 says yuan heng li zhen – from the source, creating success, constancy bears fruit. Hexagram 2 says yuan heng li pinma zhi zhen – from the source, creating success, a mare’s constancy bears fruit The remaining hexagrams can be seen as ‘children’ of these two – 62 ways of blending their natures – and most […]

The elusively simple Hexagram 1

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Hexagram 1 is so simple it’s tremendously hard to get to grips with. The simplicity starts with its shape – – six solid, ‘yang’ lines, pure and whole, light with no shade, no nuances, no spaces, no ‘picture’. The significance of those six solid lines is a bit easier to see in contrast to Hexagram […]

Hexagram 57 in readings

Friday, August 28th, 2015

(Continuing a series on hexagram 57, because it makes sense to approach this hexagram of all hexagrams incrementally!) What does Subtly Penetrating mean in readings? Well… like any hexagram, it means what it says and what it is, and no amount of commentary changes that. But I have noticed a couple of messages that Hexagram […]

The elusive hexagram 57

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

‘No one can tell me, Nobody knows, Where the wind comes from, Where the wind goes.’ AA Milne, ‘Wind on the Hill’ Xun has to be the most elusive hexagram. It’s awkward to translate (you need one word that means penetrating, interpenetrating, subtly, imperceptibly, gently, submitting…) and really tricky to pin down in readings. But […]

Myth and legend in hexagrams

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Why look for the stories behind the hexagrams? To start with something uncontentious: the people who wrote the Yi had wisdom and intelligence (as well as mind-boggling genius), and were well-informed, and had good reasons for their choices. One of the things they appear to have been well-informed about is their culture’s myth, legend and […]