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hilary

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If you're using an unusual tool or method in your interpretations, one that a newcomer here wouldn't be familiar with, then we ask you to explain it - either in your post, or somewhere you can link to from the post. This is a thread for those explanations!

Please add your tool/ method here, and tell us
  • ...what this is / how you find it, with an example or two. (Something like these explanations of nuclear hexagrams and complements.)
  • and how you would use it in a reading.
If you have a lot to explain, you're welcome to start a new thread in this forum, or link to your own website - whatever works. But this thread should be a useful place to collect the shorter explanations.

(If you want to discuss a method described here in more depth, please start a new thread for that, so we can keep this one manageable.)
 

Trojina

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How I use Change Patterns in readings



When replying in SR I sometimes refer to the ‘change patterns’. They always strike me as similar to the veins, the skeleton, you see within a leaf, a faint underlying structure or pattern showing through the reading as they would with a leaf. They are staring right out at you, they help make sense of multi line readings but if you aren’t aware of them they can be ‘hidden in plain sight’. They might be seen as the hidden skeleton of the reading, well 'hidden' only because not noticed so much.

To find them is easy. First make all your change lines into yang lines and the rest yin. This will give you a hexagram, the yang pattern. Do the opposite to find the yin pattern, make all the change lines yin lines and the rest yang. You will always end up with hexagrams that are opposites or complements. These form a kind of seesaw balance describing the fundamental tensions that bought you to do the casting, a pivotal dynamic in the reading. It’s what the issue is really about, what larger themes are at work behind the question. I can think of these as the flavour or tenor of the conversation between the primary and relating hexagram, almost like a filter over or rather under the reading. You might see these almost as filters that the primary and relating hexagram are talking through, the kind of conversation they are having.

In terms of interpretation I think it is necessary only to hold these fairly loosely in mind as just an added dimension to the reading, there in the background, telling you something of what this is really about underneath it all. The yang pattern can be seen as that which brings you to ask the question. I like to look at it as I often find ‘ah that’s what this is really about, this is why I asked’. The yin pattern can be seen as the way to move on through the problem or situation.

An example.

A primary hexagram with lines 3 and 5 changing will always be linking to the relating hexagram, through a 39 yang pattern and 38 yin pattern. Here too they are next to each other in the sequence So whatever the query is about you’d be coming to it with a sense of struggle, almost a feeling of impossibility and the way to move on through that, 38, would be to take a wholly different perspective.

A primary hexagram with lines 2,3,4,5, 6 changing will always have 44 yang pattern and a 24 yin pattern. With so many change lines in that instance seeing the 44 and the 24 as the leaf like pattern in the reading can really help one through getting a sense of the direction or theme of things amongst the profusion of needing to consider all those change lines! You’d be asking Yi here because of what might feel like or indeed be, an intrusion into your usual way of life. The way through the resolving of that tension will be to return to your own ways, to go home to yourself in 24. However how that happens, how perhaps you can make that happen and the various factors involved, will be shown by the primary and relating hexagrams and the change lines. These will always be your main focus but even just noticing the leaf like change patterns gives another perspective, another shape to how you see the reading and so I think they are worth exploring.


Hilary has written much more about change patterns in WikiWing and has a short course with a video about them in Change Circle here. Stephen Karcher developed the concept of these and called them ‘change operators’. People may see and use them differently to my explanation above which is just my way at the moment. I think what they can signify, how we use them is still quite open to empirical observation through reading experiences.
 
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Liselle

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Sequence

Hilary's explanation, from here:
The hexagram of sequence

This is simply the hexagram that immediately precedes the one you cast in the I Ching. It reveals the roots of your situation, or perhaps something which you will have to acknowledge or work on before you can exploit the current situation’s full potential. Like the contrasting hexagram pairs, the sequence of hexagrams has a Wing to itself, the Xugua. This hexagram can’t be generated from the original one (though it will be the same as the contrasting one 50% of the time, of course) – you have to look it up.

Here’s a blog post on understanding Hexagram 46 in the light of 45, and one on Using the Sequence in readings.

Excerpt from the 45-46 blog post Hilary refers to:
...and the sense of being part of something significant translating into a desire to go somewhere significant, to offer something. The Xugua (Sequence) says,

‘Assembling and moving higher is called pushing upward, and so pushing upward follows.’

This is what is called pushing upward – the sequence follows just from naming the essence of the gathering. There’s a sense that the gathering contains the aspiration within it (‘fruitful to have a direction to go’), and 46 gives it expression. It’s the story we see unfold when a whole group of people all aiming for the same thing starts to move, or when you align your whole self – all the ‘little selves’ – towards a single purpose, and then naturally find yourself in motion. Investing and identifying creates its own momentum.

Receiving Hexagram 46, you look at Hexagram 45 both for this broader sense of story from the Sequence...

If you're a Change Circle member, there is a lot more information in Hilary's book, Exploring the Sequence, in the Change Circle library.
 
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Liselle

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Nuclear


From Hilary:
This is created from the original hexagram’s inner lines. A hexagram’s lines are numbered, from the bottom upwards, 123456, and the nuclear hexagram is formed from lines 234345. To take an example: with the original hexagram 33:
::||||

… then the nuclear hexagram would be #44:
:|||||

The nuclear hexagram is like a seed in the original hexagram: something held in potential, that might grow. It can be a hidden possibility, or a hidden issue that’s being worked out through the original hexagram.​

More on nuclear hexagrams from the blog:
 
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Liselle

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Complement (also called Opposite)

From Hilary:
Complementary hexagram

The complement of a hexagram is its mirror image: each broken line is replaced with a solid one, and vice versa. So the opposite of Hexagram 33, Retreating –
::||||

… is Hexagram 19, Nearing.
||::::

You can imagine how these two together form a yin/yang pair… like the sides of a coin. By showing exactly what your situation isn’t like, this hexagram helps you to understand more closely what it is.

More from the blog on complementary hexagrams:​

Excerpt from the "Pushing Upward, step 4" blog post:
A quite different kind of ‘not that’ comes from the complementary or opposite hexagram, the one created by changing every line.

:||:::
|::|||

Hexagram 25, Without Entanglement, has no line in common with Pushing Upward; nothing could be more different. But of course, seeing them together, that’s not the only thing you notice. You also see how they have the same pattern of lines, and how they fit together like pieces of a jigsaw.

These two are visibly both opposites and complements, and both ways of seeing them help in readings. The opposition is generally easier to observe. Hexagram 46 is wholly committed to striving upward. Hexagram 25 is disentangled. Hexagram 46 can create something good; Hexagram 25 may experience something bad, but knows this is not of its own creation. Basically, if I receive 46 I’m going to be looking for ways I can undertake more, engage more, take it to another level… – and if I receive 25 I’ll be asking myself what I need to put down, to disengage from, to straighten out my relationship with the world. I can do one or other of these things, not both. Simple.

Only… they are also complementary. Seeing them this way is harder – complementarity has something of a koan-like quality to it, I think. I find I will sometimes get a non-verbal sense of how hexagrams are complementary when I’m in the midst of experiencing one. I had that sense of 46-25 once when walking through the woods near our home, with their beautiful mature beech trees. They grow, they draw nourishment upward (standing with them, you can feel the power of that), and their living essence is joined with the creative life of the whole just as 25’s inner trigram, thunder, joins with its outer trigram, heaven. Their dao is natural growth, and that exists simultaneously as 46’s upward striving and 25’s immutable participation in the creative principle.

As I was saying – a non-verbal sense. You might do better to ask the trees directly.
 
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Liselle

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Pair

From Hilary (with slight editing to include the hexagram diagram for 33):
Contrasting Hexagrams

The Sequence of hexagrams in the I Ching is arranged in contrasting pairs. The pair is usually generated by turning the original hexagram upside down. So the contrast to Hexagram 33:
::||||

...is Hexagram 34, Great Strength:
||||::

Some hexagrams, though, are symmetrical – they are the same if turned upside down. In these cases, the complementary hexagram is also taken as the contrast. For example, the complementary and contrasting hexagram to 30, Clarity –
|:||:|

– is 29, Repeating Chasms:
:|::|:

The contrasting hexagrams are paired in the I Ching – in other words, this is a vital part of its basic structure. They provide a context that helps to define the primary hexagram, often as part of a larger unit of meaning.​

This relationship is the subject of the Zagua, one of the Ten Wings of commentary that make the I Ching a classic, which is included in complete translations.

More information in the Quick Insight: Paired Hexagrams course in the Change Circle library.
 
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Liselle

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Shadow and Ideal

The Shadow and Ideal hexagrams are ideas/inventions/discoveries of Stephen Karcher's. They are said to represent the least effective (Shadow) and most effective (Ideal) ways to conceive of your situation.

How to find them
The Shadow is easy and intuitive to find: count backwards from the end of the Sequence by the number of your cast hexagram. 1's Shadow is 64, 2's is 63, and so on. Or just subtract the hexagram number from 65. (50's Shadow is 15: 65 minus 50.)

Finding the Ideal is complicated and not intuitive at all. You must use these two trigram arrangements:


Example: find hexagram 50's Ideal, which is hexagram 10.
  1. Note hexagram 50's component trigrams: :|||:| is made of lower trigram xun, wind/wood :|| , and upper trigram li, fire |:| .​
  2. Find those in the King Wen "Later Heaven" diagram on the left. (The trigram's bottom line is closest to the center.)​
  3. Look across to the same positions in the Fuxi "Earlier Heaven" diagram on the right. Lower trigram xun becomes dui, lake; upper trigram li becomes qian, heaven.​
  4. Use those Earlier Heaven trigrams to make the Ideal hexagram. Dui below qian is ||:||| , hexagram 10.​
⚠️ The rationale for all of this - for the Earlier Heaven diagram, for constructing a hexagram using it, and for matching up the Ideal with the Shadow - is unclear. For that reason, the Ideal is experimental, more experimental even than the also-experimental Shadow. (The I Ching is 3000 years old. New methods need more than a decade or so to prove themselves.)

Using them in readings
You'll often find that the cast hexagram and its Shadow have themes in common: for instance 4 and 61 are about knowing and learning. In 4, you don't know and must learn. In 61 you have learned and do know. Possibly for that reason, Hilary has found that the Shadow often seems like the most obvious way to think about your situation - it can be quite recognizable. When you cast hexagram 4, you might feel like you know something (Shadow 61), but Yi's point in giving you 4 is to say you really don't.

Looking at the Shadow can be quite helpful on its own, but Karcher's idea is that the Shadow and Ideal work together. He says the Shadow is actually a "negative screen" that serves as a block. It will be the least effective way to think or act. Instead, focus on the Ideal as the most effective approach. The nifty thing, he says, is that if you can do that successfully, a more positive side of the Shadow can manifest spontaneously.

Quick personal experience: 40's Shadow is 25 and its Ideal is 35. Message: Don't spend my unexpected free day (40) disentangling from everything (25, a.k.a. being a couch potato). Take advantage of the opportunity: the purpose of freedom is to make progress (35). After I finished 35-ing, I could disentangle with a clear conscience.

Keep in mind that "ideal" means "effective" and not necessarily anything like "happy." That's how a hexagram like 47 can serve as an Ideal.

The Ideal is not a substitute for your cast hexagram. The cast hexagram stands alone as the answer to your question - you don't need either the Shadow or the Ideal. But they can help, especially if you're stuck. (In the example above, my cast hexagram 40 already said to choose a road that leads somewhere and go down it without delay. The Shadow and Ideal restated and re-framed that point, which helped it click with me.)

An analogy: maybe think in terms of a paragraph, a topic sentence with several supporting sentences. You might not need the other sentences, but they can be helpful.

You might have to think of two different angles on the Shadow, one that that you shouldn't do even if you're inclined to, and another, more productive aspect that could be brought out. (I think this might be a continuum: often the angles seem quite different, but sometimes not.)

I've found at times it can be interesting to play with "Shadow readings" or "Ideal readings," where you think about the Shadows or Ideals of your primary and relating hexagrams together. Example of mine from WikiWing:
Had errands; didn't want to do errands; asked Yi about oh-so-reasonable rationale for putting off doing errands. Cast reading: 7 to 29. (In other words, "Nope.") Shadows: 58 and 36. There would be no joy (58) in sitting at home, hiding (36) from errand-chaos. I knew from previous such procrastination attempts that I'd just become more and more anxious. Outcome: once I got going, things went pretty well.​
(The moving line was 7.5, the "nope": '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.' (Hilary's translation.) The game is in the fields: the errands are ripe for doing. Convince myself to "capture" them. Don't cart any corpses that might hinder the operation.)

I often look at the Shadow and Ideal with unchanging readings, because I often feel adrift with those and want more clues.

Hilary has found that when thinking about the Ideal, the Image (Wings 3 and 4) is often relevant, probably because the Image is idealized advice for a noble young one.

Example
"Guidance for making this work?" (Fixing something on my computer.)
1.1.2 to 33

The cast reading seemed like assurance I'd eventually fix it. "From the source, creating success. Constancy bears fruit" (Hilary). But I should withdraw for the time being (relating hexagram 33 and line 1.1) and "see great people" (1.2).

1's Shadow is 64: Well what do you know - exactly what I'd spent a couple of hours doing before casting the reading. Plunging off into the river before conditions were right and without proper preparation. Trial and error, soaking my tail, not making it across. (Trial and error usually works, right, so why wouldn't I do it? The "this seems obvious" trap of the Shadow.)

1's Ideal is 52: Much more effective to stop, "move in my rooms" (Oracle) and "reflect" (Image).

In practice, this meant don't just poke around cluelessly. Stop, go back up on the bank, read and Google stuff as 1.2 recommends (the "great people"). Doing that gave me needed "fox sense" about the problem - the positive aspect of the Shadow that materialized. Then I was able to fix it.

Resources
 
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Liselle

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Fan Yao

(Pronunciation: yao rhymes with "plow" and "now.")

When a line moves or changes in a hexagram, a second hexagram is formed. The line in the second hexagram that corresponds to the first hexagram's moving line is called the fan yao.

For instance, when line 2 of hexagram 8 changes, hexagram 29 is formed. (8.2 to 29.) 8.2 is the moving line and 29.2 is its fan yao. In 29.2 to 8, it's the other way around: 29.2 is the moving line and 8.2 is its fan yao.

The term fan yao was coined by Bradford Hatcher. He describes it like this:
Fan Yao (Reverse Line, or Line-Coming-Back) Pairs. These pairs will often share vocabulary elements, cross-references, subjects, or grammatical tone, voice and mood.
The resonant line in the Zhi Gua. This is not part of the Yi’s response, but it may hold clues to the Changing Line’s meaning

It's important to highlight that the fan yao is not Yi's advice, even if it strikes a chord or seems to explain or support the moving line. Recognizability (or explanation or support) is not advice. Advice by its nature might well be something you don't recognize at all.
 
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wanlihonghu

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I am an I Ching diviner from China,my English is not very good, the method I use is from a branch of the i ching, the book 《zeng shan bu yi 》is about this kind of method, this divination method mainly includes yin and yang and five elements.

Use the celestial stems and terrestrial branches of the year, month, day, and time when the hexagram occurs and the celestial stems and earthly branches corresponding to each line in the hexagram.

the stems is 甲、乙、丙、丁、戊、己、庚、辛、壬、癸;

the terrestrial branches is 子、丑、寅、卯、辰、巳、午、未、申、酉、戌、亥

These elements have different relationships and functions in the hexagram, and they interweave to form the beginning, process, and result of the question asked.

These are not all that can be explained by my current English level. I can only explain a part of them. I hope to gradually improve my English level to explain these.
 

matej1486

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Hello, this is about interpretation when 2 or more moving lines are present.

In this cases it seems to me that the 2nd Hex is not directly connected to the 1st one, but is still connected to the situation I am asking for. Like, 1st H is telling us how situation will be slightly moving in all directions of the moving lines, but then, due to SOME OTHER REASON, the situation will change to 2nd H.
 

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