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Category Archives: Interpreting hexagrams

Comments on whole hexagrams, individual lines and so on

Hexagram 43, Deciding

Hexagram 43, Deciding

Name and nature: the enigma of guai Hexagram 43 is called 夬, guai, which is generally understood to mean‘decision’ or ‘resoluteness’ or ‘breakthrough’. The oldest forms of the character show a hand holding up an object – a token of authority, perhaps, or an archer’s thumb ring. In some early versions of the character, it’s… Continue Reading

Borders and boundaries

Borders and boundaries

What is Jie 介 ? The character jie 介 occurs three times in the Yi: 16.2 ‘Boundaries of stone, Not for a whole day. Constancy, good fortune.’ 35.2 ‘Now advancing, now apprehensive. Constancy, good fortune. Accepting this armour blessing from your ancestral mother.’ 58.4 ‘Negotiating opening, not yet at rest. Containing the affliction brings rejoicing.’ As… Continue Reading

Hexagram 41, Decreasing

Hexagram 41, Decreasing

Decrease, Increase Hexagrams 41 and 42, Decreasing and Increasing, are an especially clear hexagram pair: the two of them together describe a single phenomenon, seen from two perspectives. There is a single flow of energy, life and abundance, and it moves as a cycle: ‘Decrease, Increase, the beginnings of abundance and decline.’ When you receive… Continue Reading

Not knowing about dodder

Not knowing about dodder

Hexagram 4 has an exceptionally clear, direct Oracle: ‘Not knowing, creating success. I do not seek the young ignoramus, the young ignoramus seeks me. The first consultation speaks clearly. The second and third pollute the waters, Polluted, and hence not speaking. Constancy bears fruit.’ It’s often the one that gives people their first sense that… Continue Reading

Lost property

Lost property

A short story In typical Yi style, this is a very short story: ‘Traveller in a place to stay, Gains property and an axe. My heart is not glad.’ ‘Subtly penetrating under the bed, Losing your property and axe. Constancy, pitfall.’ These are lines 56.4 and 57.6, and they have a direct textual parallel: gaining… Continue Reading

The well in the valley

The well in the valley

Hexagram 48 line 6 says, ‘The well gathers, Don’t cover it. There is truth and confidence, Good fortune from the source.’ Bradford Hatcher, who has dug more wells than your average Yijing scholar, suggests that this is an artesian well, one where the water rises spontaneously. That certainly fits with my experience of the line,… Continue Reading

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