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Author Archives: Hilary

Hexagram 3 and the very beginning

Hexagram 3 and the very beginning

Hexagram 3 is the first hexagram where the two kinds of line mingle, and so it’s associated with the very beginnings of life. The Sequence says,

‘There is heaven and earth, and so the ten thousand things are born.
Overflowing the space between heaven and earth, the ten thousand things.
And so Sprouting follows: Sprouting means filling to overflowing;
Sprouting means the beginning of things’ birth.’

Hexagram 3, Xugua

The long-standing ‘primordial soup theory’ of the origins of life on earth says that lightning strikes in surface water created more complex proteins that were the beginning of RNA.

If you squint a little at the trigrams of Hexagram 3 –

zhen inside kan, or thunderbolt/ shock in the water, you might imagine this as the generative moment.

However, a new theory is catching on, that life began in hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. Seismic activity in the depths: a perfect match to zhen within kan.

underwater image of hydrothermal vent

Taking a decision with Yi’s help

Taking a decision with Yi’s help

The background Early this year, I told people that I’d be running a Yijing Foundations Class in May. Not just the course, which is always available in a self-study version, but an online class with weekly video sessions, a private forum, and lots of individual help and opportunities to practise readings. And then it dawned… Continue Reading

Layer cake imagery (and Hexagram 53)

Layer cake imagery (and Hexagram 53)

The Yijing’s full of imagery. Even though the first impression when you open it is one of wall-to-wall text, it’s also a picture book. In last month’s ‘Connecting with Imagery’ workshop I put a reading on the screen and asked people to mark all the images they could see. They saw quite a few… There’s… Continue Reading

Forum Remodelling Coming Soon

Refurbishing? Remodelling? The I Ching Community will be migrating, fairly soon, to some new forum software. I don’t want to say, ‘We’re moving,’ because at the end of the process the forums will still be accessible at the same address as before. But they’ll look somewhat different and work somewhat differently, so there’ll be a… Continue Reading

Hexagram 5, and rain-making (a rethink)

Hexagram 5, and rain-making (a rethink)

What are we Waiting for? Wilhelm says Hexagram 5 is about waiting for it to rain. SJ Marshall says it meant waiting for rain to stop. So too does Stephen Field: the hexagram name means ‘to stop for the rain’, but originally would probably have had the ‘water’ radical added and meant simply ‘drenched’. In… Continue Reading

‘Connecting with Imagery’: a free workshop

‘Connecting with Imagery’: a free workshop

For a really good understanding of your own Yijing readings, I think there are basically two things you need to know: How the parts of a reading work together. How to connect with its imagery. (Click here to skip this blog post and just register for the workshop.) The first of those can get a… Continue Reading

Yi’s kindness

Yi’s kindness

It’s easy to become preoccupied with how beautiful, subtle and complex the Yijing is – there are endless layers and dimensions to discover – but more than anything, I keep coming back to its kindness. For example, the readings I cast when a close friend had just been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. I looked… Continue Reading

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