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The Yi barbarians

Hexagram 36 is called Ming Yi 明夷, Brightness Hiding or Brightness Wounded. The double meaning of ‘Yi’ here (a completely different word to the name of the book) allows the hexagram name to contain a whole story: when wounded, you hide; once bitten, twice shy. It also means something ordinary,… Read more »The Yi barbarians

Leave, go out and far away

‘Dispersing blood. Leave, go out and far away. Not a mistake.’ Hexagram 59, line 6 ‘Dispersing blood‘? What does that mean? Wilhelm says it means avoiding an existing danger, ‘dispersion of that which might lead to bloodshed’ for both oneself and others. Lynn, following Wang Bi, has the same idea:… Read more »Leave, go out and far away

Hexagram 64: Not Yet Across

Its name and nature At the very end of the Yijing comes the hexagram called Not Yet Across – the embodiment of incompletion and imperfection, an ellipsis in hexagram form. It’s a very large-scale, oracle-sized joke about our expectations of tidiness and order. The Chinese name has two characters: 未濟,… Read more »Hexagram 64: Not Yet Across

Hexagram 56 in trigrams

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Hexagram 56, Travelling

Fire on the mountain The trigrams of Hexagram 56 show inner mountain and outer fire. The picture, for me, suggests the nomads’ campfire. It has limited fuel and a limited duration, and the travellers will need to resolve any disputes before the ashes are cool, so they can move on… Read more »Hexagram 56 in trigrams

Hexagram 56, Travelling

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Hexagram 56, Travelling

Following your flag The name of Hexagram 56 is lu 旅, Travelling. The Chinese character (which also means a division of troops) originally shows people around the flag, and was normally written simply with two people under the flag, almost as if sheltering under a roof: An ancient Chinese settlement would… Read more »Hexagram 56, Travelling