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"WT" Hexagram Groups - Help Please


Jun 13, 1970
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Hello everyone,

Can anyone help me with a bit of a mystery.

Last week I was away with friends and I spent a lot of time in a house that used to belong to my friend's late father.

He was a fascinating man and we had a wonderful time going through his old books and photos.

I came across a small battered notebook of his where he'd copied out the I Ching to carry around with him.

There were pages of extraordinary notes on coincidences that had happened to him as well.

For each hexagaram he'd written "N" (presumably for Nuclear) and then listed the core hx and the core-of-the-core and for 63/64 even the step beyond that!

So, for example for hx 47 he'd written "N 37 63 64"

But I couldn't understand the next line of his notes.

For each hexagram he'd written "WT" and a list of 3 other hx numbers.

All in all, I worked out that there were 16 groups of 4 hexagrams.

Here's the full list. Each group is in the sequence that he wrote them.

1 52 51 30

2 57 58 29

3 36 9 31

4 16 50 10

5 15 42 49

6 23 32 38

7 20 28 60

8 46 61 47

11 53 17 63

12 18 54 64

13 26 62 21

14 33 27 55

19 59 45 48

22 34 56 25

24 37 43 39

35 44 41 40

Where a hexagram had already appeared in a previous group he referred back to the original hx number. For example, under hx 9 he'd written "see 3".

I couldn't work out the pattern that forms these groups or what "WT" stands for.

All that I spotted was that each group of 4 contains either 3 Yang lines and 1 Yin line or 3 Yin lines and 1 Yang line in each of the 6 positions.

Can anyone help me please? It would be much appreciated.

Thanks very much,



Jan 19, 1971
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Dear Mick,

About your WT query:

Without knowing whether you solved the mystery, I'm wondering if the two letters tally with an abbreviation I've used myself, which is "WofT", and stands for World of Thought.

When I first purchased the I Ching many years ago, the only book I could find on the nuts and bolts of consulting was a slim volume by Diana Ffarrington Hook (may have got the name slightly wrong, though think the "Ff" is right).

At the end of her book were three lists: nuclear hexagram for each cast hexagram, World of Thought hexagram for each cast hexagram, and the hexagrams divided into groups of four.

I seem to remember that the cast hexagram and its World of Thought counterpart both appeared in the same group.

This book also contained the "core of the core" hexagram, using the term "nuclear".

I often found the World of Thought counterpart useful, and the group of four; although I haven't used them systematically since then.

Anyway, I'll find the book over the weekend and see if your list tallies. I don't have the internet at home, so I'll post a reply next week.

Thanking Hilary and all Regulars and Irregulars (including yourself) for a wonderful site. I've been learning silently for several months, and this is my first posting!

All the best,



Jun 13, 1970
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You are absolutely right. I'm sure of it.

My friend's father had a book by Diane ffarington-Hook called "The I Ching and Mankind".

He had also drawn out in his notebook the 2 arrangements of the trigrams known as earlier heaven and later heaven one of which ffarington-Hook calls the World of Thought (I can't remember which).

On another list, someone spotted that if you transform the I Ching, trigram by trigram, between the corresponding positions in the earlier heaven and later heaven arrangements, you get exactly the "WT" sequence in the notebook.

For example

1 52 51 30

Heaven => mountain => thunder => fire

2 57 58 29

Earth => wind => lake => water

These sequences then fold back around themselves which explains why there are only 4 hexagrams in each "WT" group.

Thanks very much and best wishes,



Jan 19, 1971
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Dear Mick,

Mystery ends, unfolding still more!

Thought I'd add some information from the DffH book I have (The I Ching And You) in case you or anyone else is interested in pursuing the World of Thought arrangement.

DffH calls cast hexagrams the World of the Senses arrangement, behind which lies the WofT arrangement.

Concerning the trigram arrangement you mention, she has one as the basis for the WofS, which she calls King Wen's trigrams; and another as the basis for the WofT arrangement, Fu Hsi's trigrams.

WofT represents "the world of thoughts, wishes, motives, ideas, within, unobservable things, way of thinking and spirit or influence behind all actions". She gives alternatives names as World of Ideas, Primal arrangement, Before the World arrangement, Sequence of Earlier Heaven, and Fu Hsi's trigrams.

WofS represents "the cast hexagram in the world of the senses, manifestation and phenomena, observable things, outward. The World of Thought shines through this one." Other names: World of Phenomena, World of Senses, Inner World arrangement, Sequence of Later Heaven, King Wen's trigrams.

The WofT hexagrams in groups of four DffH carries are identical in content with the late father's list, but in each case she switches nos. two and four.

The father's order is actually a bit more user friendly because it has WofS and WofT in sequence:

eg in 1 52 51 30 ....
....hx 1 has 52 for WofT, 52 has 51, 51 has 30, and 30 has 1

....which is the rolling, folding around effect you mention.

For easier use in the first stage, I include DffH's list of World of Senses hexagrams (left) and their World of Thought counterparts (right):

1 52
2 57
3 36
4 16
5 15
6 23
7 20
8 46
9 31
10 4
11 53
12 18
13 26
14 33
15 42
16 50
17 63
18 54
19 59
20 28
21 13
22 34
23 32
24 37
25 22
26 62
27 55
28 60
29 2
30 1
31 3
32 38
33 27
34 56
35 44
36 9
37 43
38 6
39 24
40 35
41 40
42 49
43 39
44 41
45 48
46 61
47 8
48 19
49 5
50 10
51 30
52 51
53 17
54 64
55 14
56 25
57 58
58 29
59 45
60 7
61 47
62 21
63 11
64 12

In my first phase with the I Ching, I'd found some of the WofT hexagrams terrific in helping to place cast hexagrams in context, and in non-linear sequence of something like cause in effect; while others eluded me. I think the latter may partly have been due to my newness, and initially being a bit shut off in terms of images. Another factor may be that the system helps more with certain types of question than others.

Since I've been with the I Ching much more closely for the last couple of years, I think I'll take a second look, with your mystery question providing the impetus.

Just glancing through a few recent I Ching replies I sought, one group of four appears and reappears both as cast and "shining through" hexagrams in closely related questions.

I would guess that your friend's late father unlocked the key to the World of Thought, as he carried the list around with him to accompany the text.

If anyone else experiments with this, I would love to hear about it.

All the best,



Jun 13, 1970
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My friend's father was called Chris, that should make this topic less cumbersome to write about, I hope.

The way you've written King Wen's sequence out in pairs is food for thought. I wonder if Chris used these pairs to help understand the answers he received from the I Ching and then extended it even further along the chain of 4 hexagrams in his "WT" groups.

How would you tend to use these pairs?

For example, what do you make of the combination of hx 63 and hx 11? Behind the sense of fulfillment is a feeling of peace?

And hx 64 and hx 12? Behind our insatiable hunger is stagnation?

- - -

I only met Chris once, towards the end of his life and we never got the chance to talk.

He was a remarkable man. One of the first people to work as a conservationist. His library of books and his own notes are absolutely fascinating.

The book I spent most time with this summer was his signed copy of Kenneth Walker's "Venture With Ideas". This is a beautifully straightforward account of work with Ouspensky in London and later Gurdjieff in Paris.

From what I can gather, Chris's father was involved in Gurdjieff groups in the 1920's.

I think it's wonderful that finding his notebook has opened up something about the I Ching for myself and others.

Best wishes and thanks again,


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