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An idea about Hexagram 22

Hexagram 21 is Biting Through; Hexagram 22 is Beauty – only I tend to think of it these days more as Making Beautiful. (In much the same way, Hexagram 13 seems to be more to do with ‘creating harmony between people’ than just finding it already there, a fait accompli.)

So you Bite Through obstacles and illusions. You reach the essence of the thing – of the person, of the relationship, perhaps – and you ‘take this in’, make it part of your self. It really works, now, at a deep level.

What now? Now, that essence wants to find expression. It wants to grow, from seed to plant – it wants to flower, to connect with other people. Making Beautiful is all about finding a form that will do justice to the seed. The suitor (who shows up in the moving line texts) wants to show his true, his very best self. Or looking at it from a larger perspective – as the Image does – there must be ways of governing and living that express people’s inner awareness.

I think perhaps the key here is that there must be wayS. Not just The Way. Different ways of life are the right expression for different people at different times. The face the suitor shows to his prospective bride can’t be the same one he shows next morning in the office. Even plants take very different forms through the seasons. (As I discovered to my cost many winters ago, when I happily accepted an offer from the neighbour to rotovate our entire patch. That summer, I discovered that all those little finely chopped white roots were very, very viable bindweed.)

And so in Making Beautiful, there is ‘small harvest in having a direction to go’. The essence could go anywhere, be anything. But there is this desire to be something for someone, and this provides the ‘direction to go’ so that there can be a harvest. We think ‘I’m a teacher!’ or ‘I’m a great cook!’ – and this is how we get results.

Yet this isn’t the whole harvest at once – it isn’t the only expression there could ever be. A direction to go is also a way to explore, something to experiment with. Maybe it would be truer to think, ‘I can play teachers!’

I’ve an idea that if we arrive at Hexagram 23, and there’s a need for Stripping Away, this can be because we’ve confused that beautiful expression with the essence itself. Looking at the trigrams – Beauty is fire below the mountain, the spark of living awareness shining upward and illuminating the form. And in Stripping Away the fire has gone out. Now there’s just earth below the mountain, and it’s time for the mountain itself to be turned back to earth, to make space for something new.

6 responses to An idea about Hexagram 22

  1. using the IC to describe itself through the binary sequence and XOR-ing – 22 has an infrastructure that is described by analogy to 15. The overall focus is on covering up, levelling out, glossing over, facade and so ‘beautify’. There is a sense of using the outside to draw attention away from viewing the inside. This is reflected in the 36,22 PAIR where 36 is unconditional in covering-up, 22 is conditional (particular ;-))

    If we focus on how 22 ‘begins’ – and so the 24-ness aspect – we find analogy to 52 and so the focus on use of blocking/stopping to move us into discernment and quality control.

  2. Fire in the Mountain

    Moving into the darkest night
    Alert to each crinkle in the texture of time
    Alert to minute sounds and startled motion
    There is a flame in the darkness
    Warm, bright, alively intense in color
    sparks flying, singing singing
    soft and low, then more urgent, louder
    singing, entrancing, bringing ever closer
    attention away from the night from the cold.
    Worship that flame.
    Give it your deepest oath of fealty.
    Be it’s bosom ally, it’s shadow, it’s child.
    Bring it into your deepest, strongest part
    and grow with it, together,
    each protected,
    dark earth intertwined with flame.

    (c) 2005 Laurie Corzett (libramoon)

  3. My experience is that this the best hexagram as to the matters of love/marriage and such. Especially lines 3 and 4, it almost inevitably leads to the great plateau of great love that we simultaneously fear and desire our entire lives, but that leads to the next great stage in life: living and sharing one’s life with the being that seems fatally meant to be.
    This hexagram is all about magic, iMO.

  4. Magic…? You mean, the charged appearances that create a reality?

    Your experience with 22 in love and marriage is interesting. It’s certainly about courtship and devotion, but I haven’t always seen it lead to great love. Line 6, for instance, has been known to signal, ‘What you see is exactly what you get… it’s not as if he were misleading you…’

  5. I see some things indicating legal trouble with this hexagram. I am deciding whether to send a letter but this letter might get me into trouble with legal stuff… the first trigram I got was
    14 with 9’s in the 2nd and 4th positions then the change hexagram was number 22. I am wondering whether I should send or not send any advice?

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