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Yearly Archives: 2012

Hexagram 46, Pushing Upward (step 3: some hexagrams of context)

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Hexagram 46

I call the hexagrams that are naturally related to the cast hexagram, regardless of its changing lines, ‘hexagrams of context’. They make an extended family of contrasts and sources. (Those simple old human ways of understanding something – seeing what it isn’t, and telling its stories – work just as well with hexagrams.)

Hexagram 46 isn’t Hexagram 45 –

:::||:      :||:::

– except that, if you turn round and come at it from the opposite direction, it is after all…

That is, these two are an inverse pair: two perspectives on the same pattern of lines. Hexagram 45 has its two solid lines high up in the outer trigram, a Gathering of meaning, resource and dedication all focussed into one powerful moment. The king is present in the temple, the great people can be seen, great offerings are made, there is a direction to go…

…and this naturally tends to turn around, with the solid lines internalised, and the sense of being part of something significant translating into a desire to go somewhere significant, to offer something. The Xugua (Sequence) says,

‘Assembling and moving higher is called pushing upward, and so pushing upward follows.’

This is what is called pushing upward – the sequence follows just from naming the essence of the gathering. There’s a sense that the gathering contains the aspiration within it (‘fruitful to have a direction to go’), and 46 gives it expression. It’s the story we see unfold when a whole group of people all aiming for the same thing starts to move, or when you align your whole self – all the ‘little selves’ – towards a single purpose, and then naturally find yourself in motion. Investing and identifying creates its own momentum.

Receiving Hexagram 46, you look at Hexagram 45 both for this broader sense of story from the Sequence, and also for the ‘this is not that’ insight from the contrasting pair.

The contrast within each pair of hexagrams is summed up in the Zagua (contrasting hexagrams):

‘Gathering means assembling; Pushing Upward means not coming back.’

That gives you a simple idea of the dynamics of the thing: you could represent Gathering with a lot of lines spiralling inward towards a focus, and Pushing Upward with one broad arrow pointing upwards. If you receive Hexagram 46, you don’t have to try to uphold a great meaning, all pooled into a single reservoir. You can travel one step at a time.

Sometimes that comes as a relief: I’m only expected to take one step, not leap the mountain in a single bound. But it can also be disconcerting, as it speaks of real commitment. (You can imagine that deciding to climb to an altar to make an offering, and then deciding it’s too much like hard work and turning back would not be the done thing.)

So some people receive 46 and say, ‘What, all that?’ (or ‘what, no helicopter ride?’) and realise they don’t want to start. Especially when it’s unchanging, Hexagram 46 invites some questions about the ascent: is this something you can commit to wholeheartedly? What are you pushing up towards –  and is that somewhere you want to be so much that you’ll undertake the climb? Which wall is this ladder leaning against anyway?

And this brings us to the hidden core of 46, its nuclear hexagram: 54, the Marrying Maiden. (A nuclear hexagram is found by ‘unpacking’ the original hexagram’s inner lines – 2345 – into a full hexagram – 234,345.) Pushing upward contains a drive towards relationship and connection, a desire to participate in something bigger. And the ultimate experience of participation in something bigger would be finding you have become part of something much too big for you, you’re relatively much smaller than you’ve been used to, and your own will and intention are of no consequence. So – apparently paradoxically – at the heart of all the purpose and drive of 46 is the girl who finds that ‘to set out to bring order means a pitfall, and no direction bears fruit.’ For example, you get the dream job but find it overwhelmingly stressful, and hard on your self-esteem.

(The other hexagrams with 54 as nuclear are 11, 18 and 26. They have in common this inner experience of getting out of your depth – by no means always a bad thing.)

(And speaking of going one step at a time and getting utterly out of your depth – I think there’s another post’s worth of hexagrams of context to write before I start on the moving lines, post-apocalyptically.)

Hexagram 46, Pushing Upward (step 2 – trigrams)

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Hexagram 46

The trigrams of Hexagram 46 seem to embody its nature particularly clearly. Earth   contains wood   – a straightforward picture of a germinating seed. The Image says: ‘Centre of the earth gives birth to wood. Pushing upward. A noble one with patient character, Builds up small things to attain the high and great.’ The… Continue Reading

46: Pushing Upward (step 1)

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Hexagram 46

Hexagram 46, Pushing Upward, has to do with step-by-step progress onward and upward, and the effort of the climb. It also has to do with offerings: Harmen, in his fascinating article on the hexagram, says, “Sheng was the name of a certain sacrifice, and because of the close resemblance between the old forms of sheng and dou, I believe… Continue Reading

US election readings from Stephen Karcher

If you click through to http://www.ichinglivingchange.org/, you’ll find a series of four posts on the US election. I wanted just to mention them here, as I think they’re intriguing readings and worth a closer look. Here are Stephen’s questions and Yi’s answers: What is American hiding? 56.3.5.6 changing to 45 – the Traveller’s Gathering (A search… Continue Reading

Casting the Vessel, so… (part 2)

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Casting the Vessel

I’ve been looking at the patterns that take shape within the ‘container’ formed by hexagrams 3 and 50, and wondering what they might mean. Here’s a bit more wondering. It looks as though hexagrams 3 and 50, living energies and vessel, form a mould, within which an individual life (or culture, or way of living)… Continue Reading

Casting the Vessel – so…?

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Casting the Vessel

… what does it mean for readings? That’s what an aggravatingly clear-sighted friend asked when I started enthusing at her about the beautiful ‘casting’ structure between hexagrams 3 and 50. And I suppose it’s not an unreasonable question… 😉 Maybe one day it’ll mean I routinely consider the matching hexagram from the other side of… Continue Reading

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