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Making the most of it

Making the most of it

I’ve been thinking about Hexagram 35 – and especially how it shows up as a relating hexagram. Introducing Hexagram 35 The name of this hexagram is ‘Advancing’, or ‘Progress’ or ‘Flourishing’. The oldest form of the character seems to show arrows in their sheath: Those arrows – along the text of the oracle – suggest… Continue Reading

Hexagram 33, Retreat

Hexagram 33, Retreat

Looking simply at the shape of hexagram 33 with a naïve, imaginative eye… …we might see the entrance to a cave. And if you look at the picture painted by the trigrams, heaven above the mountain, then it conjures up the idea of a hermit who Retreats to the mountain-top. Retreat from… All this is… Continue Reading

Contemplating 20 line 4

Contemplating 20 line 4

I’ve been mulling over this line – part of a recent open reading of mine – for a while. ‘Seeing the realm shining out. Fruitful and useful to be a guest of the king.’ Changing this line takes you to Hexagram 12, Blocked – a situation where no messages get through and basically nothing’s working.… Continue Reading

Drums in the lake

Drums in the lake

Integrating trigram imagery into a full reading is sometimes tricky: we don’t, after all, know what the trigrams represented to the people who first wrote the book. So attempting to justify text in terms of trigrams can get one tied up in all sorts of over-elaborate knots. However… those original writers were surely aware of trigrams,… Continue Reading

A framework for readings

A framework for readings

When we approach a reading, we generally have some principles in mind for how the parts of the answer will fit together and work as a whole. In the beginners’ course on this site, I outline the framework I’ve found works best: the cast hexagram’s the basic answer, the relating (changed) hexagram underlies this and is… Continue Reading

A spring of doubt

A spring of doubt

A thought on Hexagram 4. We think of Not Knowing as a default state, a starting position: children don’t know at first, so they learn; we start off not knowing, so then we consult the oracle. (Though preferably not for a second and third time…) In today’s news, the BBC announces the results of a poll about… Continue Reading

Hexagram 28, Great Exceeding

Hexagram 28, Great Exceeding

Crossing the line: guo Hexagram 28 shares its core concept with 62: Exceeding, guo, great or small. I wrote about this a while ago: Hexagrams 28 and 62 are both about guo: ‘passing, going by, exceeding’. The central idea is crossing a line – whether that’s a standard of morality or of customs, or a border… Continue Reading

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