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Hexagram relationships

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Two-line relationships

Here’s a whole field of study where (as far as I know) we’ve barely scratched the surface.

Each hexagram line ‘points towards’ the hexagram created when it changes, its zhi gua. It’s natural enough to go through the I Ching line by line and see how each one reflects the relationship of its two hexagrams – that’s one of the things I’ve shared in Change Circle‘s WikiWing.

But what about when two or more lines change? Does the combination of those lines also reflect a relationship with the hexagram created by the change? I think it does – only the relationship doesn’t tend to leap to the eye in the same way.

Samgirl started a discussion at the I Ching Community about how 26 moves to 50. I shared some ideas there from the ‘pathways’ round each line, which seem to bring out their meaning more strongly. (Line pathways are one of the techniques included in the Yijing Class: they really come into their own in personal readings, when they’re the spark for moments of deep recognition.)

I’ve seen LiSe mention these multi-line changes from time to time, but I don’t know of anyone who’s looked at them in detail. Every now and then, though, something lights up. Like ‘Articulating Seeking Union’, for instance, Hexagram 60 changing to 8:

‘Not going out of the door to the family rooms.
Not a mistake.’

‘Not going out of the gate from the courtyard.
Pitfall.’

Articulating your quest for union, getting the measure of it, naturally you must balance out when to stay in your own core and when to go out and share.

Or how about Hexagram 44 moving to 56?

Coupling’s Sojourning:

‘In the trap there are fish.
No mistake.
No harvest in entertaining guests.’

‘Using willow to wrap melons.
Cherishing a thing of beauty,
It comes falling from its source in heaven.’

Here’s a power that can change and disrupt your whole life – the heir, in LiSe’s translation – like a traveller passing through: the heir’s sojourning. And the two lines in Hexagram 44 that describe ‘enwrapping’ something – images of conception and pregnancy.

3 responses to Hexagram relationships

  1. As mentioned in the thread about the Baoti–more as a free association about the issue of trigram interaction–, and elsewhere over the years, there is a work that deals with the exploration of these kind of relationships: the Jiao Shi Yi Lin.

    It is only the work of one man (or maybe a small group of Han exegetes) but perhaps more time should be dedicated to translate that text. The translation of a more recently composed text should be easier to accomplish, from a philological POV, than the Yijing proper.

  2. Yes, it’d be wonderful to have a full translation of the Yilin. If only this were the kind of thing you could post as a project to Elance or something…

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