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Bradford Hatcher

Bradford Hatcher

I learned this morning that Bradford Hatcher has died. The Yijing world has lost a treasure, and many of us have lost a good friend.

Brad was ridiculously generous with his knowledge. His epic, two-volume Yijing is available from his site, for free. (He’s made arrangements to ensure it’ll stay that way.) It’s a superb work – including a character-by-character translation to let non-Chinese scholars get a glimpse of the original, a poetic translation, an ‘introduction’ with more meat in it than most books, and unique, original commentary. That commentary comes with an acute awareness of Yi’s internal relationships (he coined the term fan yao) and, especially, of its native humour. It’s an extraordinary gift to us all.

When visiting hermetica.info for the Yijing book, pause and look around to appreciate the breadth of its author’s intelligence, which was intimidating, and his experience, which meant he was one of the few Yijing scholars who could write his commentaries about wells, cows and goats on the basis of personal knowledge of wells, cows and goats.

On a personal level, I know Brad was also generous with his time. A regular at Clarity’s I Ching Community for many years, he also helped me a great deal with my book in 2010, both with practical feedback on translation, commentary and nuance (as I emailed him each hexagram in turn), and with steady encouragement.

We met once, thanks to LiSe, a few years ago in the Netherlands, where I discovered that he also gave very good hugs.

When I heard this morning that he’d died, I looked at the books closest to me on my desk as I work:

And finally – let me give Yi the last word. I just picked up the beads and asked the oracle to talk to me about Brad. Yi gives Hexagram 50, the Vessel, changing at line 6 to 32, Lasting:

A cauldron with a jade grip
Very promising
Nothing cannot be turned to advantage

50.6x A jade grip across the top:
The firm (and) the flexible (are) in due proportion

The cauldron has a carrying ring fashioned from a fine piece of jade. Sensibility and sensitivity find common ground in a stylish understatement. A pleasant and useful presence will combine the best of both worlds. This cauldron will not be abused or ignored, or carried by random people to random places, or hung up on rusty nails. Respect can be a part of design. It’s the thing that will make people say: They don’t make them like they used to. It’s the classical, timeless elements that will set it above all the fashions and trends, those things which are not made to last. So too with the sage and his teachings: he may lean more than a little towards the things we have handed down, and less towards the latest trends that have the new age so excited. He still wants the new, it’s still about changes, but he wants to use finer ingredients.

50.6, from Bradford Hatcher, The Book of Changes: Yijing, Word by Word, Volume 1.

19 responses to Bradford Hatcher

  1. I’ve been reading his books this last few weeks.

    He’s been on my mind.

    Such a sad loss.

    • I told Brad, after downloading his two volumes for free how much work I thought went into thrm.
      Then, I purchased a hard copy set to make legit my compliments,

      He had (has) a good reputation.
      His Tarot writings integrate very well with his overall understanding of elements East and West!

  2. I have been studying the Yijing for almost 30 years and when I first came across Bradford
    Hatcher´s Matrix Translation which I discovered by accident on the Web back in 2004 (it had not
    yet been published in book form), it literally changed my life. For some years previously I had
    been working through the original Chinese Text of the Zhou Yi and not being a natural linguist, I
    was finding it pretty hard going and so when I discovered Bradford Hatcher´s One (Chinese) Word,
    One Line of English Words Translation, it was like a treasure from Heaven and made my study of the
    original Chinese Text so much easier. In addition, I have also been very impressed by Bradford´s
    highly intelligent and perceptive interpretations of this venerable ancient book. Bradford Hatcher
    was a brilliant man and his work is absolutely essential for a serious study of the Yijing.

  3. so sorry to hear about Bradford’s passing.
    his response to a reading once that I posted has had a lasting effect.
    Rest well and with much gratitude.

  4. So sorry to read this news, Hilary. I’ve appreciated his books so much! Condolences to you and all who loved him.

  5. Very sad news. He will he missed…but if the yi is to be believed, he had achieved wise enlightenment and transmuted to a better place:)

  6. Thanks Hilary. That’s a beautiful reading, bringing out his dedication to the Great Work and the lasting impact it will have on the Yi. He will be missed. <3

  7. Very sad news. In our limited exchanges Brad was always generous with his knowledge, particularly in addressing obscure points with cogency and humor. A great loss to the IC community.

  8. What a lovely reading, Hilary, and so very apt.

    You have my heartfelt condolences for the loss of your friend and peer.

    Reading his volumes has given me knowledge, questions, more questions, and, of course, many smiles. He wrote what he felt and believed and was so very direct about it.

    Peace for him as he joins the universe.


  9. RIP
    I’ve learned only now … ((( It’s been a crazy time for me personally, and I guess for many others.
    I had met Bred at (now defunct) Aeclectic tarot forum, very long time ago…
    May he rest in peace.

  10. I got around to printing up Bradford’s Yijing last week, with good binding and a hard cover. Wow! His commentaries are just amazing! Hmm, he had quite a sharp tongue at times, didn’t he? I just spent a few minutes idly looking through some of the (thousands of) threads he contributed to on this forum, just with the feeling that he’d almost always have something interesting to say. Thanks and regards, Bradford!

    • I just read this and found out Bradford is passed away! I’m shocked and sad. I’ve spoken to him on Facebook and he helped me understand the I Ching. RIP to a great man!

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