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Tag Archives: 48

‘Character’ hexagrams: Confined, the Well, and Subtly Penetrating

‘Character’ hexagrams: Confined, the Well, and Subtly Penetrating
This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series The 'character' hexagrams

Hexagram 47, Confined Confining is de’s test. It is hard-pressed, and wholly connected. It is used to lessen resentment. Wilhelm/Baynes calls 47 the ‘test of character’, which is memorable – but the meaning isn’t so much what ‘puts you to the test’ as the test that identifies something by differentiating it from other things. (It’s… Continue Reading

Nothing quite like it

Nothing quite like it

Ni, 泥 , simply means ‘mud’ – soil, putty, to daub with plaster. It’s the clay that was baked into bricks and tiles. I normally look for how a word is used in the Book of Songs, or the Book of Rites, but ni doesn’t appear anywhere in either of them. I suppose it’s not… 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

The well in the valley

The well in the valley

Hexagram 48 line 6 says, ‘The well gathers, Don’t cover it. There is truth and confidence, Good fortune from the source.’ Bradford Hatcher, who has dug more wells than your average Yijing scholar, suggests that this is an artesian well, one where the water rises spontaneously. That certainly fits with my experience of the line,… Continue Reading

When Yi says ‘me’

When Yi says ‘me’

By and large, we know what sort of thing we expect Yi to say (though not, heaven knows, what it will say): ‘Here’s what you’re doing’ or ‘here’s what would happen’ or ‘here’s how to cope with that’ – something along those lines, describing or advising. Only every now and then – just eleven times, in… Continue Reading

What’s wrong with carting corpses, anyway?

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Two-line relationships

Simple Two lines in Hexagram 7, the Army, talk about carting corpses: line 3: ‘Perhaps the army carts corpses. Pitfall.’ and line 5: ‘The fields have game Fruitful to speak of capture: No mistake. When the elder son leads the army, And younger son carts corpses: Constancy, pitfall.’ The core meaning is surely intuitively obvious:… Continue Reading

A shared dao of 21 and 48

Complementary hexagrams are paradoxical things. On the one hand, there is no hexagram more different from 21, Biting Through than 48, the Well: Every line is changed, so they have nothing in common. If it’s time to bite through, then it is exactly not time for well-maintenance. And on the other hand, this means that complementary… Continue Reading

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