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Category Archives: Interpreting hexagrams

Comments on whole hexagrams, individual lines and so on

Hexagram 51, Shock

Hexagram 51, Shock

Thunderbolt and earthquake The name of Hexagram 51, zhen 震, means Shock, Quake, and encompasses both thunder and earthquake. (Nowadays there is a specific word for earthquake made of the components ‘earth’ and ‘zhen’.) The old character has two components: rain, and chen, the name of the fifth Earthly Branch in the Chinese calendar – which… Continue Reading

Understanding marriage imagery

Understanding marriage imagery

Marriage is one of the Yijing’s most-used recurring images – and in relationship readings, it’s one of the easiest to relate to. Hexagram 54, the Marrying Maiden, has told a lot of women, quite straightforwardly, that she’s not the most important thing to him. (Maybe another woman is, or maybe it’s his career, or any… Continue Reading

Hexagram 44, Coupling

Hexagram 44, Coupling

The ‘powerful woman’ problem In Hexagram 44, we are encountering, meeting or ‘coupling’ with a powerful woman. ‘Coupling, the woman is powerful.Do not take this woman.’ To ‘take’ her means to seize, as one might seize a criminal, but in this usage it’s something like the old-fashioned English, ‘taking a woman in marriage’ – maybe… Continue Reading

Hexagram 52, Stilling

Hexagram 52, Stilling

Looking away Hexagram 52 is called gen, 艮, and so too is the trigram that’s doubled to make the hexagram. It translates as ‘looking away’: in the ancient character, you can see a reversed human figure with a great eye. Nowadays, it apparently also translates as ‘tough, hard to chew’ – something that resists. The trigram gen is… Continue Reading

Hexagram 55, Abundance

Hexagram 55, Abundance

Its name (and nature) Hexagram 55 is unusual in that its name contains two meanings – The character feng 豐 means abundant, bountiful, plentiful. The ancient character appears to be an elaborated, decorated version of the character for ‘drum’: see Richard Sears’ site – Feng, name of Hexagram 55 Zhu, drum the donations link where you can help keep… Continue Reading

Seeing the Great Person (a story)

Seeing the Great Person (a story)

‘See the great person’ (or ‘great people’) is one of the Yijing’s recurrent phrases: in Hexagram 1, lines 2 and 5, in the oracle texts of hexagrams 6, 39, 45, 46 and 57, and in 39, line 6. (There’s also just ‘great person’ – without the advice to see them – in 12.2.5, 47, and… Continue Reading

Melon perspectives

Melon perspectives

I’m experimenting with a different kind of post: taking just one line of the Yi, looking at what the translators and interpreters make of it, and seeing what I can learn from the different perspectives. Let’s start with the fifth line of Hexagram 44, Coupling – a strange line, in a mysterious hexagram: ‘Using willow… Continue Reading

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