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Yi and the Southern Hemisphere

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eremita

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Hello

I have forever wondered about northern-centric ‘bias’ regarding which way the earth ‘stands up’. From space there is no top or bottom. But on earth, we tend to think that there is a ‘top’ and ‘bottom’. However the cardinals do help us navigate, position, etc.

Having said that, now that I have been drawn into the Yi, I find it quite disconcerting when the reference to north is winter, etc. because it does not fit my reality. Further, Winter and Summer are at the opposite ends of time in the North and South.

So, in the South, the Sunny side of the mountain is that which faces North, etc. etc.

I have drawn two graphics (Early Heaven representations) to illustrate what i mean.

Should Yi interpretations, when we are south of the equator, be seen as I suggest?

Or am I …. crazy!

It is a proposition that i put out there
If I am wrong, then i will be educated
if i am right, then i will be assured

Also note the TaiJi relationships
e.g. sunrise from the East

Your comments please.
Thank you
Ano Eremita

Northern Hemisphere Image . . .
trigram circle circle northern hemisphere.png


Southern Hemisphere Proposed Image . . .
trigram circle circle southern hemisphere.png
 

dfreed

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So, in the South, the Sunny side of the mountain is that which faces North, etc. etc
Hello Eremita:

In ancient China maps were all drawn with South at the top. And therefore the accompanying 'compass' or directions would have East on the left side of the maps, West on the right side ....

But to our modern our way of thinking/understand, we would likely see these maps as being 'upside down' (or even 'wrong').

As I understand it, what you are doing here with your 'early heaven' trigram images is akin to turning a map upside-down - or your swaping some of the directs (northeast becomes southwest, etc.); but regardless of the original orientation, I don't think your 'altered' maps would appeart correct (to anyone) and could easily send any of us off in wrong directions.

I work with the Late - or Later Heaven Trigram (bagua) circle, which I shared below. With this arrangemet, all the trigram are associated with compass directions, seasons, and times of the day.

For example trigram Li/light is at the top, and it (or can) represent South, mid-day (noon) and summer (the time when we have the longest days, and the most sunlight). Trigram Thunder is to the left, and it represents East, springtime, the beginning of the year, and early morning (the start of the day and the year!). And all eight trigrams also have other meanings associated with them.

As I understand it, even if you are in the southern hemisphere, south is still south (at the top of the ancient maps); and east is still east, etc. I do not think it means that all the meanings, direction, etc. we find in the Yi are turned upside-down, nor do we need to turn our maps upside down or mix up SOME of the directions in order to read/understand them. (But perhaps someone is coming at this from a different direction?)

I am, however, checking with a few people I know who are more familar with what the directions mean and how we accurately use the Yi in the southern hemisphere - and I'll share what I find out.

houtian-bagua-circle-02.jpg

PS - I think this thread goes in Exploring Divination, so I'll ask the admin. to move it there - no worries and no big deal; it's just this is about the Yi, and not about a particular reading or interpretation.

Best, D
 
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dfreed

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PS, so no, the Yi should not be used as you suggest in the Southern Hemisphere.

I confirmed with one of my Yi teachers - There is no need to change any trigram circle: everywhere on the planet the sun rises in the east and sets in the west (and the south side of the mountain is still the sunnier side). Some kinds of Yi-based divination systems take the seasons into account, but even here, the trigrams are not changed or swapped out.

Also, while the Later Heaven (Houtian) Trigram Circle - which I shared - is assocated with the seasons, directions, times of day .... the Early Heaven (Xiantian Bagua) circle which you are using was never meant to be connected to the seasons or the compass directions, as far as my teacher can tell.

It is also much more 'connected' to Taoist alchemy, and much less so to the Yijing. And it is much more recent in its use and development; people think that because it's called the 'early' heaven circle that it's ancient in origin, but that just ain't so.

Best, D
 

dfreed

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PPS - I once saw a map of the world with the text/titles all shown correctly, but it had the southern hemisphere at the top of the map, and my homeland towards the bottom.

I can say, it messed with my head! ... but in good way, in that it challenged my usual way of seeing our world.

From space there is no north or south, and neither hemisphere is better or more on top than th other! There are cultural, racial, national, even religious biases in how we see our world, but that has nothing to do with divination or the Yijing.

I've been curious however, why would ancient peoples in the northern hemisphere (the ancient Shang and Zhou peoples of China) put South (trigram Li/Flame) at the top of their maps?

I'm think they were more 'oriented' towards the meaning / meanings of 'South' and were not just looking at it as a direction on a map. And maybe by putting the 'sunnier' trigram - which is also about seeing clearly - at the 'top' of the map, they were trying to make the maps be more auspicious (good, positive) to use.

Best, D.
 
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E

eremita

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I can say, it messed with my head!
:) so put yourself in my position
it messes with my head when i see my homeland below

I've been curious however, why would ancient peoples in the northern hemisphere (the ancient Shang and Zhou peoples of China) put South (trigram Li/Flame) at the top of their maps?
it makes sense when viewing from the north, relative to the solar ecliptic.
the modern maps placing north above, imo, is politically motivated
but from the south, it makes sense to me

'm think they were more 'oriented' towards the meaning / meanings of 'South'
I do agree
I accept the symbolism, the inference, etc. suggested.
However, I want to think, being such a profound document, that Yi covers all the layers i.e. literally, philosophically, spiritually, graphically, symbolically, etc.


It is also much more 'connected' to Taoist alchemy
I guess so and I do admit it attracts me somewhat . . .

bagua ~wiki.png

and so I came up with this . . .
trigram circle circle S tao.png

I'm exploring, want to explore all avenues. But I must say 'the Yi has blown my socks off'
Anyway D, I sincerely thank you for your time/input/consideration.

be good
take care
all the best

Ano Eremita
 

Gmulii

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Hello

I have forever wondered about northern-centric ‘bias’ regarding which way the earth ‘stands up’. From space there is no top or bottom. But on earth, we tend to think that there is a ‘top’ and ‘bottom’. However the cardinals do help us navigate, position, etc.

Having said that, now that I have been drawn into the Yi, I find it quite disconcerting when the reference to north is winter, etc. because it does not fit my reality. Further, Winter and Summer are at the opposite ends of time in the North and South.

So, in the South, the Sunny side of the mountain is that which faces North, etc. etc.

I have drawn two graphics (Early Heaven representations) to illustrate what i mean.

Should Yi interpretations, when we are south of the equator, be seen as I suggest?

Or am I …. crazy!

It is a proposition that i put out there
If I am wrong, then i will be educated
if i am right, then i will be assured

Also note the TaiJi relationships
e.g. sunrise from the East

Your comments please.
Thank you
Ano Eremita

Northern Hemisphere Image . . .
View attachment 3826


Southern Hemisphere Proposed Image . . .
View attachment 3827

Last time we were on that question was here:

May seem like something else, but its the same question, should we invert Water and Fire if the Solstices are inverted, only in other systems it shows up in different places, but it is there in most.
 
E

eremita

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PS - I think this thread goes in Exploring Divination, so I'll ask the admin. to move it there - no worries and no big deal; it's just this is about the Yi, and not about a particular reading or interpretation.
Thank you

I work with the Late - or Later Heaven Trigram (bagua) circle, which I shared below
how do the seasons work in your diagram seasons?

trigram circle dfreed S.png

I feel really comfortable seeing it like this though from the south (there is no difference in the meaning/implications). . .

trigram circle dfreed N.png
 

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eremita

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dfreed

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so put yourself in my position
it messes with my head when i see my homeland below

What I meant to say is this messed with my head in good way - that it challenged my usual way of seeing our world (and I'll correct this above).

I guess so and I do admit it attracts me somewhat . . .

bagua ~wiki.png


and so I came up with this . . .

What you came up are trigram circles based on Taoist alchemy, not on something related to the Yijing. And because I don't know much about Taoism, I can't speak to the correctness or usefulness of what you came up with - only to say that for me, it does not feel at all related to the Yi.

how do the seasons work in your diagram seasons?

Seasons, using the trigram circle I shared, and starting in the East (left side of a map), and moving clockwise:

* Thunder - Spring (in the east; the beginning of the year and the day)
* Wind - Late Spring (in the SE)
* Flame - Summer (south, at noon: the brightest locatin, time and season!)
* Earth - Late Summer (in the SW)
* Lake - Fall (in the west, the joyful fall harvest)
* Heaven/The Creative - Late Fall/Early Winter
* Moving Water (pit, abyss) - Winter (darkest season and time of day)
* Mountain - Late Winter (just before the new year begins again)
" ... and that takes us back to Thunder".

I feel really comfortable seeing it like this though from the south (there is no difference in the meaning/implications). . .

What you're doing and saying here feels contradictory to me: you say "placing north above, imo, is politically motivated" but then you place North at the top, ABOVE you in the south, which I think may imply all kinds of political, religious, racial beliefs and even stereotypes? And this is what you feel comfortable with?

I don't get it, but if you do ... then go for it. The main points I'm making:

* the ancient Chinese maps and directions had Thunder-Spring-East at the left, and Flame-Summer-South at the top, and so forth ... and

* the diagrams of the trigrams are related to Taoism and Taoist Alchemy and not to the Yijing, as far as know.

D.
 
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Gmulii

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If you look at only one Diagram, then it can be turned anyway one wants.
Yet if we are looking at 4 diagrams related to each other, the question becomes should one of them be turn around(related to the month), Because the inversion changes its relation to everything around it and now it isn't just one diagram with only inner relations, it becomes connected to other ones.

This is relevent even for Mei Hua(Trigrams), as their strength is also related to the season, and for the season we need to know how to position that same diagram in each of the branches of the Chinese Calendar.

So while the answer was not on the exact question, "is it ok to invert one diagram alone), as by itself one diagram is not related to much yet it was basically expanding it to the next step, "is it ok to invert one diagram if it connects to 3 more". That is the way it will be used practically, so seemed fair. : )


I'm not sure this will make much sense without looking at the calendars, though. There are 4 of these going on in there, one for hour, one for day, one for month(what we may want to invert) and finally one for year. So it becomes important here. If we invert how one is position through the seasons it changes the strength of everything, as Water will be stronger in the Summer.
 

dfreed

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If you look at only one Diagram, then it can be turned anyway one wants ...
This is true, and we can do the same with maps: we can turn a modern map upside down so that South is now at the top, and all the directions and locations still correspond and 'relate' in the same way. Or I could turn a map so East is at the top ... same thing.

However, it's big problem when you turn a map upside down and also switch out some of the directions - so East becomes southwest, and West become North .... there is no way in hell that I'd understand nor want to use a map like that !!!

Further you can not mix and match trigram circles which all have different meanings - at least not without having some reason or logic behind it.

None of the many systems that make use of trigrams: the Yi, Heluo Lishu, (maybe) Mei Hua ... are thrown together haphazardly, nor randomly. But I think you know that.

I just hope author of this thread understands this as well!

D.
 
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eremita

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Seasons, using the trigram circle I shared, and starting in the East (left side of a map), and moving clockwise:
thank you

What you're doing and saying here feels contradictory to me: you say "placing north above, imo, is politically motivated" but then you place North at the top, ABOVE you in the south, which I think may imply all kinds of political, religious, racial beliefs and even stereotypes? And this is what you feel comfortable with?
that's like saying . . .
don't use a knife to cut vegetables 'cause someone else uses it to kill humans
 
E

eremita

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very interesting discussion
thank you dfreed and Gmulii
i am not convinced by everything said here
but i keep learning
so thank you again

my bottom line . . .
reality trumps theory

be good; nay be excellent
take care
stay well

Ano Eremita
 

dfreed

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that's like saying ... don't use a knife to cut vegetables 'cause someone else uses it to kill humans
No ... that's not what I'm saying.

I'm saying that it doesn't matter what hemisphere you're in; the Yi and its images, trigrams, and words still all work the same - there's no need to change or mess anything up.

And ... I said seeing, contemplating a map legend (graphic) with south (trigram flame, summer) at the 'top' ...

... "messed with my head ... but in a good way, in that it challenged my usual way of seeing our world."

And so what you're doing - messing up the trigram arrangements and directions - doesn't make sense to me, feels unnecessary, and is confusing.

But if you're not convinced, you're not convinced.
 
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eremita

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But if you're not convinced, you're not convinced.
you know what D
i’m just learning and can’t find myself in a pigeon hole
i gotta meditate

“an artist has got to be careful never really to arrive at a place where he thinks he’s ‘at’ somewhere. you always have to realise that you’re constantly in the state of becoming, you know. and as long as you can stay in that realm, you’re sort of be alright”
~ bob dylan

neverending changes is the way of the multiverse . respect . peace
 
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rosada

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Feng shui Master Sang, American Feng Shui Institute, California:
South is at the top because the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Fire rises upward, Water runs downward.
The correct way to display the tai chi is with the white - light - ascending on the left, the East, and the black - dark - descending on the right, the West.
 
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IrfanK

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As an Australian, I'm quite used to the idea of sitting around in sweltering heat on Christmas Day, possibly singing carols that describe Santa on his way in a sleigh over the snow. That's part of our colonial heritage. (We also used to eat food incredibly unsuited to hot weather, like turkey and plum pudding). Recently, over the past few decades, there's been a move to at least change the food, with more salads and cold cuts.

Personally, I'd accept the standard interpretations of the positions of the trigrams, usually following the Later Heaven cycle. But there are other cycles that people have used over the millenia. I think if you decided to change the attributions, make it clear that that's what you are doing, before you cast the coins, and stick to it. Don't just change in mid course, after you've cast. I don't really like the idea myself, but I have a conservative streak.
 

dfreed

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i am not convinced by everything said here

i’m just learning and can’t find myself in a pigeon hole
i gotta meditate

What is it you are not convinced of?

I can of course understand needing time to absorb new ideas. And you and I do not have to accept anything we don't like or find useful.

Being 'of use' is key to me. So if people more knowledgeable than I tell me we don't need to change the Yi, etc. just because we're in the southern hemisphere, I tend to believe them.

So that makes me want to ask you eremita, is there some practical way you're using your new arrangements? Is there anything that makes you think the late heaven trigram circle or the yi, as is, won't work where you are?

Personally, I've never found a practical use for the early or pre-heaven circle. It is more 'balanced' in appearance, with the opposite trigrams opposite each other, but I find nothing useful with regard to actually making use of it for divination.

But maybe you have had different experiences in its practical application, or in how you actually make use of your new arrangements.
 

dfreed

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I'd accept the standard interpretations of the positions of the trigrams, usually following the Later Heaven cycle.

I do too. Its 80 deg. here in Wash. State, and it's -65 deg. in Antarctica. But despite the temperature diffence, if I go there and cast the Yi or make use of the late heaven bagua arrangement, they still work. There is no practical or useful reason to rearrange them in order to make use of them.

And there are other trigram arrangements, but I don't think we need to rearrange them either to make use of them in a different hemisphere.
 

IrfanK

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And there are other trigram arrangements, but I don't think we need to rearrange them either to make use of them in a different hemisphere.
Well, neither do I. But it's quite likely that the trigram arrangements, including both Later Heaven and Early Heaven, came into existence a fair bit later than the Zhouyi, as people tried to make sense of the trigrams. I don't see anything particularly wrong with people looking at new ways of arranging them, building on what's gone before. In a different thread, we were talking about "Ideal" and "Shadow," and where they came from. I don't think it detracts from any value to say that Karcher came up with them, building on the simultaneous existence of two widely accepted trigram arrangements.

Fairly similar, in fact, to Harmen and his use of Baoti. That was derived from a fairly obscure and late tradition, but, as he said, he finds it useful. Karcher obviously found it useful to consider superimposing the two trigram arrangements.

This is what I mean when I say that the Yi is an evolving, living tradition. Perhaps when the Zhouyi was written, nobody had the faintest idea that the seasons might be different at other points on the globe. There doesn't strike me as being anything wrong with recognizing that fact and incorporating it into your (one's) interpretation. I just personally don't feel the need for it.
 

dfreed

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... it's quite likely that the trigram arrangements, including both Later Heaven and Early Heaven, came into existence a fair bit later than the Zhouyi,

I looked back at one of the videos in Harmen's hexagrams / trigrams course. He says the Pre-Heaven (or Fuxi, or early heaven) trigram circle was developed around 900 AD and there are no images of this circular arrangement before about 1,000 AD.

The Late Heaven (houtian) bagua circle is first found around 350-300 BC. It is also described in the Shuogua (Wing's commentary), where the trigram directions (Li in the south, etc.) are described.

So yes, you are correct that neither of these was likely around in 900 or so BC when the Zhouyi was written, but one is much closer in age, and is also 1,200 or so years older than the other.

I don't see anything ... wrong with people looking at new ways of arranging them, building on what's gone before. In a different thread, we were talking about "Ideal" and "Shadow," and where they came from.

If you look back in Hilary's thread, Foundations: trusting the oracle, I respond to Liselle's inquires about Karcher's Ideal / Shadow method. In one post I shared a myth - of my own making - about a young girl whose knowledge and understanding of the Yi is based entirely on the Shadow / Ideal method, but she is still able to work with it ...

... and that it still includes the 'foundations' Hilary started that post with: Respect, Confidence, Patience, Openness.

So yes, I get what you are saying here. And I think it's also true that as part of this great Yi tradition - at least as how I define it - we can also be descerning and question what Karcher (or anyone) says, and we can ask if we think it's valid, fabricated, made-up, useful, a load of BS, etc.

This is what I mean when I say that the Yi is an evolving, living tradition ...

(Note: if what I say here is offensive and you want me to delete it, just let me know, since I seem to be getting into deep doo-doo these days for ....)

You have mentioned this idea of a 'living tradition' (or something similar) quite a few times througout this forum. My issue is you seem to pick and choose what you find acceptable, what you think is a valid part of this 'tradition' and what isn't.

For example, in an earlier thread you were extremely critical of me using trigrams and also because I like using Rutt's Zhouyi translation. You said or implied that this was 'outside' this living tradition, as you define it.

But then you speak highly of Wilhelm's translation (if memory serves), even though he too makes extensive use of trigrams and nuclear trigrams, and you now also include Karcher in this living tradition - even though his method is (to me and others) somewhat fabricated and contrived - and he mixes two trigram circles from very different times and which have very different purposes.

So okay, I get the idea of a living tradition - that we're all a part of - but I don't get how you pick and choose what gets to part of, or not a part of that tradition.

And ... another part of this living tradition seems to be that people often attributed ancient, primal 'roots' or beginnings to some of their ideas, even if they came much later.

Example: even though the Pre-Heaven bagua circle is from around 900 AD, the 'myth' around it says that it was Fuxi who first gave it to us .... And at times these sorts of myths take on the solidness of history and therefore give a sort of 'ancient credibility' to someone's ideas.

Example: that the trigrams come from Fuxi (or one of the other ancestors), and that they too are of ancient origins - and they magically appeared on the back of a sea turtle (whom had found his way up a river, thousands of miles inland) ....

And this reminds me of when Karcher says:

It is a brilliant move that has a solid foundation in Daoist thinking about the relation of these two primal trigram sequences ... or when he talks about a kind of mystical re-birth ....

So it seems that this 'living tradition' we're all part of includes being open to new ideas - and also 'old' ones like using trigrams and the Zhouyi - and it includes questioning and exploring ideas and methods - and it also includes telling tall tales about the 'ancient origins of the primal Fuix bagua circle' ...

... which reminds me of something a neighbor used to say to me, 'come on over, we'll get drunk (or take other mind-altering substances) and tell each other lies.'

I have drawn two graphics (Early Heaven representations) to illustrate what i mean. Should Yi interpretations, when we are south of the equator, be seen as I suggest? Or am I …. crazy!

It is a proposition that i put out there - If I am wrong, then i will be educated - if i am right, then i will be assured

Getting back to Eremita's original inquiry - I get the sense (and I've asked above about this), that Eremita's questioning of the Yi's interpretation and of the already existing trigram circles comes more from an intellectual inquiry - and not from actual use.

E.g. that if we think about it, it seems that the Yi shouldn't work in the southern hemisphere, and therefore we need to come up with other trigram arrangements to make it work.

So yes, as part of our living tradition, we can (and should) explore possibilities. However, my understand of our tradition also includes asking: did you actually do a reading in Lima, Peru (or wherever you are) and did you then discover that the Yi clearly does not work correctly in the southern hemisphere - and therefore you needed to come up with other arrangements for your location?

Or is all this just based on what someone 'thought' about the Yi - and not on it's actual application?

And as I and others have said, even in the Southern Hemisphere it's sunnier and warmer during their summer and it's colder and darker in their winter, and the sun still rises in the east, and sets in the west ....

... and even though I've never consulted the Yi while in that location, all indications are that it still works, just as it does here.

Regards, D
 
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IrfanK

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David, I'm not offended in any way. There are a fair few ideas that you attribute to me that I don't recognize as mine, but I'm not sure that it's worth going through that right now. If I said something specific on some other thread that still concerns you, perhaps you could reply to my comment there, and I'll see if I can help to clarify?

But the living tradition. Okay, I'm referring to the way people over the millennia have tried to understand the Yi, building on the understanding and knowledge of earlier generations. As their ways of viewing the world have evolved, so have their ways of understanding it. Occasionally, they incorporate new tools, new ideas, into their framework. So, it grows and changes over time. For example, I very much doubt that the Zhou dynasty had the kind of elaborate system of cosmology as was found in the later dynasties, but when people came to the Yi at these later times, they bought their new understandings of the world with them. And the process is ongoing, we're still doing it today.

Which segues back to the original post. If you want to explore ideas related to using the Yi in different parts of the world, you're part of the tradition of exploring and understanding the Yi.
 

dfreed

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Which segues back to the original post. If you want to explore ideas related to using the Yi in different parts of the world, you're part of the tradition of exploring and understanding the Yi.

I can't tell if we are agreeing or no. Where this started was with the question:

Should Yi interpretations, when we are south of the equator, be seen as I suggest (via rearranged trigram circles)?

An answer was offered: no, you don't need to rearrange the Yi, or the trigram circles for them to work south of the equator. And Li (flame) still represents south, and the sun still rises in the east ....

And I asked more about this - which is also part of our tradition: is this thread based on someone actually using the Yi south of the equator, and they found that it did not work ... or is this (as I suspect) a completely mental, intellectual endevour?

In either case, people can explore however they want to explore .... I'm not questioning that. However, for me it's a question of how real or useful all this is.

E.g. I don't just use trigrams because I think they might work, but because they do work, for me.

D
 
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