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The Wings


A patchwork of hexagrams

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series The Wings

Introducing the Zagua The Yi became the Yijing, a Classic book, as it grew its Ten Wings: ten bodies of commentary and reflections on the oracle and its hexagrams. The Zagua, ‘Mixed hexagrams’, is the tenth and last of these: a short, simple, rhyming description of the hexagrams in pairs.… Read more »A patchwork of hexagrams


The genius of the Daxiang (part 1)

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series The Wings

Introducing the Image Sometimes we explain things to ourselves by comparing and contrasting – like the Zagua. Sometimes we tell stories, like the Xugua (Sequence of Hexagrams). And often, we paint mental pictures. The Yi is overflowing with pictures, of course – not least the ones created by its component… Read more »The genius of the Daxiang (part 1)

stepping stones in a Zen garden

Telling the story

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series The Wings

The Xugua – its scope and limits As you may know, I’m a huge enthusiast for the Sequence of Hexagrams: its hidden patterns, the ways it creates meaning, its big reflections and arcs and the way it adds depth to readings. The Xugua, the 9th Wing… is not really about… Read more »Telling the story

Shennong, the Divine Husbandsman

Hexagrams as culture heroes

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series The Wings

Here’s Wikipedia’s definition of a ‘culture hero’: A culture hero is a mythological hero specific to some group (cultural, ethnic, religious, etc.) who changes the world through invention or discovery. Chinese mythology seems to be especially full of these: people who are recognised as heroic because they invented millet farming,… Read more »Hexagrams as culture heroes