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The ‘character’ hexagrams

The ‘character’ hexagrams
This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series The 'character' hexagrams

In Part II, chapter 7 of the Great Treatise (Dazhuan), nine hexagrams are singled out. The authors of the Yi, it says, knew sorrow and disasters (or, specifically, they worried about disasters), and therefore… and it goes on to list the qualities of these nine hexagrams. You can read the whole passage here, in Legge’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 you can see, I haven’t… Continue Reading

The noble one’s story

Where you find the noble one We mostly come across the junzi, the ‘noble one’, in the Image Wing of the Yi. But he also features in many oracles and lines of the original text. Here’s the whole list: 1.3, 2.0, 3.3, 9.6, 12.0, 13.0, 15.0, 15.1, 15.3, 20.1, 20.5, 20.6, 23.6, 33.4, 34.3, 36.1,… Continue Reading

Additive hexagrams?

OK, here’s the off-the-wall idea for the day. What if you could add two hexagrams together? Not changing lines to move from one hexagram to another, but ‘adding’ them, on the basis that yin + yin = yin, but yang + yin = yang, because you imagine the yang line ‘filling’ the empty yin space.… Continue Reading

Yi on Twitter

Yi on Twitter – or, “three thousand year old oracle meets microblogging app” – or something. Hm. What’s Twitter? As far as I can make out, it’s a strange little hybrid of a blog and an instant messaging client: people post personal updates, thoughts of the moment and links to their Twitter page, and also… Continue Reading

The Jewel of Yi

The Jewel of Yi

I asked, “What is it about Yi that makes it precious as a spiritual ‘tool’?” And received Hexagram 15, Integrity, with no changing lines: This is one of those answers that gives me an immediate glow of recognition – and then unwraps like a gift, with more and more shining layers. The name of Hexagram… Continue Reading

Reducing the many

‘At the centre of the earth is a mountain. Integrity. The noble one thus reduces the many to increase the few, He weighs things up to balance out their distribution.’ According to Wilhelm, the noble one is involved in the redistribution of wealth, but it’s always seemed to me that there is more to it… Continue Reading

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