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Category Archives: Interpreting hexagrams

Comments on whole hexagrams, individual lines and so on

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

Multiple moving lines, revisited

Multiple moving lines, revisited

It’s a common source of confusion and frustration with I Ching readings: ‘My answer has multiple moving lines, and they contradict one another. How am I supposed to make sense of this?’ Here’s an article to help you with that. Why ‘revisited’? Many years ago now, I wrote a rambling overview of ways people consider… Continue Reading

Not robbers, but marital allies

Not robbers, but marital allies

Things that come in threes One of many things about Yi that I first became aware of when Scott Davis pointed it out: there’s a tendency for motifs to occur three times. (He gives the example of whether words are trusted – not in 43.4, not in 47 – not until 49.3, when words of… Continue Reading

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

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