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Category Archives: I Ching Readings

Sample Yijing readings

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 on me…

  • that if I started this 8 week course in mid-May, it wouldn’t finish until mid-July, two weeks into most people’s summer holiday, and also
  • that I always, always underestimate the time necessary for these things, and the 8 modules of the course surely needed to be part of a 12 week class, with weeks dedicated solely to reading practice and integration, but this meant
  • that if I started in mid-May the class would go on through August, ploughing right through everyone’s summer holiday.

So maybe I should postpone the start until September? But on the other hand, September is busy, and maybe people would prefer the summer, and I was all set to press ahead with a May start, and I’d said that was what I would do.

And so on. On the one hand, on the other hand, on the third hand, subtract the hand you first thought of… . Every ‘pro’ had its matching ‘con’.

Time to ask Yi to help me get my head on straight.

Reading 1: What about a brisk 8 week intensive, starting in May?

(Because that could be over before people wanted to leave for their summer holidays.)

Yi’s comment: Hexagram 30, Clarity, changing to Hexagram 27, Nourishment.

changing to

One of the first things I do with a reading with changing lines is to think about how the two hexagrams fit together. If this is ‘the Hexagram 27 aspect or tendency or direction of Hexagram 30,’ then what could that be?

‘Clarity. Constancy bears fruit.
Creating success.
Raising female cattle is good fortune.’

Hexagram 30, the Oracle

‘Nourishment: constancy brings good fortune.
See the jaws,
Your own quest for something real to fill your mouth.’

Hexagram 27, the Oracle

Hmm… two possibilities here:

First, there’s the thematic link of farming and eating: rear the cattle to have the means of nourishment. You need fuel to keep the fire of 30 burning; you need a way to sustain and nourish awareness. So the questions about an 8 week intensive are about sustaining awareness.

And I could also recognise 27, the relating hexagram, as ‘my’ hexagram: hunger, or at least the desire to pay the bills, was definitely one reason for getting on with the class as soon as I could.

How would that work out?

‘In the clear light of the setting sun,
If not beating a pot and singing,
Then you will be making the lament of great old age.
Pitfall.’

30, line 3

I’d been open for readings in the first months of the year, and as that sun set, I’d need to start banging my own drum quite intensely if I wanted to avoid the laments of a half-empty class. Pot-beating and singing are called for any time you want to sell anything, of course, but they’re not my favourite part of the job, and this all felt a bit hectic.

I’m not completely sure about that reading, though. Another possibility is that the ‘sunset’ might come at the end of the 8 week intensive. It might be difficult to keep things going then.

‘Sudden,
It comes,
Burns,
Dies,
Thrown out.’

30, line 4

Oh. That would be the effect of an 8 week intensive course: a shiny experience, plenty of sparkling ‘aha’s in the moment, but in terms of actually helping people and laying foundations for their relationship with Yi? Not much use.

I might not be sure about how to apply line 3, but this one jumped out at me. I dumped the idea of an 8 week intensive and started asking about when to start the 12 week class.

Reading 2: a 12 week class starting in May

That, said Yi, would be like Hexagram 39, unchanging. Limping, Difficulties, a struggle. I hadn’t quite realised this before, but running a class through to August would probably mean no holiday for me this year. Not one of my better ideas.

Still, I didn’t want to leap to conclusions, so how about the alternative?

Reading 3: How about postponing until September?

Yi gave me Hexagram 2, Earth, changing to 8, Seeking Union:

changing to

Those two hexagrams together give me the idea of service to the group. Earth is open, responsive as the mare, willing to lend her strength where – or when – it’s needed. Hexagram 8 seems to be drawing out that strength and giving it a direction with changing line 5:

‘Yellow lower garments.
From the source, good fortune.’

Hexagram 2, line 5

The ‘line 5 question’: how can this hexagram choose and lead? By deliberately putting on earth-coloured clothes, dressing yourself in the qualities of open, responsive service.

I liked the look of this much better than 39 unchanging, but I still set up a poll to ask those people who’d already registered their interest in the class in May which date they’d prefer.

Reading 4: advice for choosing when to start

I’d asked clear-cut questions about the options, the poll was collecting answers – an almost even split, with a very slight preference for a September start – and September was starting to feel like the right choice, so with hindsight there doesn’t seem to have been any logical reason to do this extra reading. I think I just felt oddly nervous and exposed about making a public change of plans.

I asked, ‘Starting in May or September? Advice as I take this decision.’

Yi responded with Hexagram 61, Inner Truth, changing at line 2 to 42, Increase.

changing to

‘Calling crane in the shadows,
Her young respond in harmony.
I have a good wine vessel,
I will share with you, pouring it all out.’

Hexagram 61, line 2

It’s hard to describe what I was asking for with this reading, and equally hard to sum up what I received from it.

Hexagram 61 pointed me back to my inner sense of what would work. I’d asked for advice from a marketing expert or two and basically been told, ‘You can only experiment and see what happens.’ Yi was saying something different: find inner guidance; have confidence in that, and take the plunge.

Hexagram 42 (along with the pigs and fishes of 61) painted a new backdrop for the decision: not hunger, not anxiety, but plenty – and a willingness to make changes.

The moving line, bringing Increase into focus with the powerful lens of Inner Truth, reframed the whole thing. It’s not a decision about logistics, or sales, or even keeping my word and being seen to be consistent: it’s about sharing with the people who respond. Not, ‘Please buy my stuff,’ but, ‘Here, I know this extraordinary oracle and I want to share.’

Conclusions…

As you might know, I postponed the class until September. (Another benefit: I can complete the forum migration before we start – and, I hope, squeeze in a holiday in between.) Since these readings, I’ve been pouring out the good wine as liberally as I can – blogging, posting, course-building, and starting a series of mini-videos on trigrams.

We’ll probably start in the second week of September. Interested? Then please visit this page and take the survey to let me know your thoughts on the proposed syllabus – thank you!

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