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Index of posts

wine poured into glass
I've written all about this before, so now I'm simply going to repeat myself. In my defence, I will point out I'm in good company: 'Maybe increased by ten paired tortoise shells,
Nothing is capable of going against this.
From the source, good fortune.'Hexagram 41, line 5 'Maybe increased by ten paired ...
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paintbrush mixing brightly coloured paints on palette
There's more than one way to engage with the trigrams that make up the Yi's hexagrams. The one that I find most engrossing - that most often shows me hidden beauties of the book, and most often makes for powerful, transformative readings (not unconnected!) - is to look at them ...
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:|:::|
(This post's one of a series about the hidden gems of the Yijing. They may quite often describe things I've mentioned before, but I think they bear repeating. The idea is to point to especially lovely or ingenious or playful ways that the Yi creates meaning and speaks to us ...
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filled skip and dark forest
Lately, I've been noticing differences between approaches to the Yi. We might describe what we do in the same words - we all 'consult the oracle' - but what actually happens next is not at all the same thing. And I think these differences come down to how we conceive ...
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Lost property office
A set of three lines Something I learned from Scott Davis*: it's worth taking a second look at anything that shows up in the Yijing in a set of three. *Though come to think of it, there are about eight reasons why I might've got a clue a little earlier ...
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view across a river
This post is for Liz, who commented, "Hi Hilary,
Ok. Point blank - what does crossing the great river mean?" How does it feel? This is a better question to ask, because divination does not work by replacing images with what they mean. First, you use your imagination to get inside ...
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question marks chalked on a blackboard
I just listened to an excellent story that... well, I won't spoil it for you. Here's the teaser: What if a device could tell you exactly how satisfied you’d be with any decision? What if you could carry the future around in your pocket? What if you never had to ...
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small box of 9 chocolates
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 ...
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compass on an antique map
I've just added a dedicated blog index page to the site's menu. (You'll find it under 'blog' and also under the search icon for good measure.) You can use this to scan a compact list of all posts, or filter the list by category or series. You'll also find a ...
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Resonance Journal
If you've opened your Resonance Journal today, you'll have noticed the 'Update available' button is active. Click it! Your journal will update to version 2.5.1, which includes some nifty new features. If you don't have a copy of the Resonance Journal, you can download a trial from here. It's available ...
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leaves and squash in the garden
Here are the next three ‘character’ hexagrams... 32, Lasting Lasting is de's steadfastness. It means [encountering] miscellany and not [feeling] disgust. It provides for a single de. As you can see from the [square brackets], I haven't quite managed to find English equivalents to the Chinese words for this one ...
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red triangle warning sign
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 ...
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swan in a flock of ducks
Some 15 years ago, I wrote on this blog about the non-people of Hexagram 12. 'Blocking it, non-people.
Noble one's constancy bears no fruit.
Great goes, small comes.'Hexagram 12, the Oracle Back then, I emphasised how the idea of 'non-people' (fei ren, 匪人) could mean labelling people and sticking them in boxes, ...
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hippo wallowing in mud
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 ...
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Seismograph
You know how the lines of some hexagrams unfold and tell a story? Hexagram 53 traces the journey of the wild geese; follows the dragon's journey across the skies; 48 describes well-repair. Well... I'm wondering whether something similar might not be happening in Hexagram 51. The name of the hexagram, ...
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Two birds on a branch, one with a backpack. Caption: 'Let's try it once without the parachute.'
It's one thing to consult the Yijing; finding the confidence to act on what it says is something else. (What if I've got this wrong?) Yet readings without this, without change, are theoretical at best, and at worst... maybe something more serious than a mere waste of time. We need ...
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The king's presence
(The story so far: I asked what to write about, and Yi's response - 37.1.2.5.6 to 46 - gave me the idea of writing about what makes for a friendly, domestic, quotidien, integrated relationship with the Oracle. I've written about lines and ; here's line 5.) What makes for an ...
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slice of bread with butter
The second line of Hexagram 37 (and the second thing Yi suggested I write about) says, 'No direction to pursue,
Stay in the centre and cook.
Constancy, good fortune.'Hexagram 37, line 2 This line places us, and our readings, firmly at the foundations of Maslow's pyramid: Chiquo / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0) There's ...
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Readings within walls
A while ago - as participants in our weekly Well Gatherings will know - I asked Yi what to write about on this blog, and received Hexagram 37, People in the Home, changing at lines 1, 2, 5 and 6 to 46, Pushing Upward. It's a rich reading that works ...
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mountaineer's rope hammered into the rock face
Every article and every commercial email nowadays says something about 'these challenging times' or 'these uncertain times'. And of course, we know an oracle for that: Yi is made for challenging, uncertain, bewildering times when none of our normal responses or resources is helping. Talking with Yi lately, and seeing ...
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overflowing bucket drawn from a well
It seems like a good time to provide another way for people to connect and help one another with/through Yijing readings. So I'll be hosting 'Well Gatherings' - an hour of chat and sharing readings - via Zoom each Monday for the next month or so. Who it's for Normally, ...
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woodland with sapling in the shade of great trees
Hexagram 12 is called Pi 否 - Blocked, Standstill, Stasis, Negation. It encapsulates the experience of being denied and stymied. The noble one's constancy bears no fruit: despite your best, most creative efforts, it just isn't happening. The Sequence into this one is (as so often) quite enigmatic: 'Things cannot ...
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taut threads of spider silk in the dark
Divination means we're connected. It demonstrates that there's no such thing as 'isolation': the cosmos has 100% uptime. You can toss three coins six times, any time, to experience its absolute connectivity. Yi's connection works, as it always has, through imagery. It doesn't just talk (though it certainly does that, ...
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compass on map
I've mentioned this before, and no doubt will again... the question you ask the Yi matters. It's important to understand that this isn't about choosing the right wording for your question. The words really don't matter. 'Argh - help!' can be a perfectly-formed question for the Oracle, leading to a ...
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tin can phone
Consulting the I Ching? You will need...
  1. to know what you're asking
  2. a sense of how the parts of a reading fit together, and
  3. to be able to get inside the oracle's imagery.
If you're missing any of these, you'll tend to get stuck and frustrated at some point - but anyone ...
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ancient character 'dui'
Opening other hexagrams I mentioned in my post on Hexagram 58 how its meanings of joy, communication and exchange are connected with the action of breaking things open, opening them up. When lines change and Opening is joined with other hexagrams, it seems to be opening them up for exchange ...
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arrows ready in quiver
Archery in Hexagram 40 Hexagram 40 is Release: its core theme, from the simple decision of the Oracle to the clear air after the storm of the Image, is the release of tension. That might remind you of archery, which is a special, intentional kind of tension-release: deliberately drawing the ...
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Robin with worm
I'll be opening for readings very shortly. To make sure you're notified when I open and have a chance to book a slot, please sign up on the readings page for 'Ways of Opening', a pdf guide to finding your question. (And have a look through it - I hope ...
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Aerial view of water flowing between two lakes
In context After Hexagram 57, Subtly Penetrating, comes 58, Opening. It's an inverse pair: 58 is 57, turned around: There's a change of orientation: 57 faces inward, 58 outward. 57 enters in - the Sequence says it's like entering the home - and 58 opens out, shares and circulates. When ...
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2 hummingbird eggs in nest
Hexagram 12 - Blocked? 'Blocking it, non-people.
Noble one's constancy bears no fruit.
Great goes, small comes.'Hexagram 12, the Oracle However clearly we understand that there are no 'bad' hexagrams, we're probably not over the moon when we cast Hexagram 12. It's at least nice to be able to think ...
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The Yi barbarians
Hexagram 36 is called Ming Yi 明夷, Brightness Hiding or Brightness Wounded. The double meaning of 'Yi' here (a completely different word to the name of the book) allows the hexagram name to contain a whole story: when wounded, you hide; once bitten, twice shy. It also means something ordinary, ...
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barchart screenshot
The Yijing doesn't just talk to you one reading at a time: it communicates a lot through the patterns and themes that recur through many readings. The Resonance Journal has always been brilliant for finding these patterns in your readings: they're a click or two away, via the Cast History ...
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Leave, go out and far away
'Dispersing blood.
Leave, go out and far away.
Not a mistake.'Hexagram 59, line 6 'Dispersing blood'? What does that mean? Wilhelm says it means avoiding an existing danger, 'dispersion of that which might lead to bloodshed' for both oneself and others. Lynn, following Wang Bi, has the same idea: ...
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Hexagram 64: Not Yet Across
Its name and nature At the very end of the Yijing comes the hexagram called Not Yet Across - the embodiment of incompletion and imperfection, an ellipsis in hexagram form. It's a very large-scale, oracle-sized joke about our expectations of tidiness and order. The Chinese name has two characters: 未濟, ...
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Resonance Journal
Does computerised casting work? From time to time, someone will ask me whether it's acceptable to cast the I Ching - that venerable, 3,000-year-old oracle - by tapping a button on a screen. And quite a bit more often, I'll hear from someone how they received an answer that spoke ...
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Hexagram 56 in trigrams
Fire on the mountain The trigrams of Hexagram 56 show inner mountain and outer fire. The picture, for me, suggests the nomads' campfire. It has limited fuel and a limited duration, and the travellers will need to resolve any disputes before the ashes are cool, so they can move on ...
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Hexagram 56, Travelling
Following your flag The name of Hexagram 56 is lu 旅, Travelling. The Chinese character (which also means a division of troops) originally shows people around the flag, and was normally written simply with two people under the flag, almost as if sheltering under a roof: An ancient Chinese ...
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feet of a hill-walker on rocky ground
The person who emailed me this question found the expression 'superior man' quite off-putting. I can see why: arranging half of humanity into superiors and inferiors, inviting the reader to identify not just as a good person but as someone better than the rest... none of this feels sympathetic to ...
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'Haven't I seen this reading before?' Finding half-remembered I Ching readings.
I'm going to be sharing a few mini-videos of some of my favourite Resonance Journal features. Here's one about the 'Cast History' search. The point of this is that Yi doesn't just communicate one reading at a time; the connections between readings can be quite eloquent, too. And sometimes it ...
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Yijing Foundations Class 2019
Starting on Sunday, September 15th, a small group of like-minded students will embark on a 12 week journey from 'The Yijing is fascinating, but I'm not really confident with it...' to a fluent, dependable, individual relationship with Yi as guide and companion. (Might you be one of them?) This is ...
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collage of sunlit doorways in Greece
All kinds of mind, all kinds of entrance The Yijing can speak to all kinds of people - I think this may be one way in which it's unique. Tarot, for instance, is undoubtedly a multi-faceted system, but to use it fluently you'd better be moved by its images and ...
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The joy of ROQs and making sense
ROQs, as you may know if you came to June's 'Connecting with Imagery' workshop, are Really Obvious Questions. They're the simplest, most child-like questions you can think of:
  • what's this?
  • what do you do with one?
  • what's it like?
These are the key to getting unstuck at pretty much any stage of ...
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mists rising over mountain lake
Here's an example reading of mine, showing how trigrams can cast more light on changing lines. The background I was contacted a while ago by someone (I'll call her S) who wanted to invite me to participate in a project of hers. Actually, that's not quite how it happened. S ...
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How I imagine primary and relating
Following up on my last, long post with the example reading, I thought it might help to share this tiny excerpt from Yijing Foundations, where I explain how to imagine the structure of a reading without falling into the trap of pigeon-holing the second hexagram as 'future': Sign up for ...
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looking up at the sky through the frame of a tipi
As I prepare for the Yijing Foundations Class, I'm realising there are really just two essential elements for dependable readings: being able to connect with imagery, and knowing your way round the structure of a reading. This post's about structure. At its very simplest, a reading's structure is just the ...
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underwater image of hydrothermal vent
Hexagram 3 is the first hexagram where the two kinds of line mingle, and so it's associated with the very beginnings of life. The Sequence says, ‘There is heaven and earth, and so the ten thousand things are born.
Overflowing the space between heaven and earth, the ten thousand things.
...
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Yijing Foundations Class cover image
The background Early this year, I told people that I'd be running a Yijing Foundations Class in May. Not just the course, which is always available in a self-study version, but an online class with weekly video sessions, a private forum, and lots of individual help and opportunities to practise ...
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Still not enough time for the I Ching
Some 11 years ago (!) I wrote about people telling me they didn’t have enough time for the I Ching, and the gifts of time it offers. Well... we haven't got noticeably less busy since 2008, and I still hear this quite often. What distresses me most are the people ...
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close-up of many-layered chocolate gateau slice
The Yijing's full of imagery. Even though the first impression when you open it is one of wall-to-wall text, it's also a picture book. In last month's 'Connecting with Imagery' workshop I put a reading on the screen and asked people to mark all the images they could see. They ...
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Forum remodelling coming soon!
Refurbishing? Remodelling? The I Ching Community will be migrating, fairly soon, to some new forum software. I don't want to say, 'We're moving,' because at the end of the process the forums will still be accessible at the same address as before. But they'll look somewhat different and work somewhat ...
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Hexagram 5, and rain-making (a rethink)
What are we Waiting for? Wilhelm says Hexagram 5 is about waiting for it to rain. SJ Marshall says it meant waiting for rain to stop. So too does Stephen Field: the hexagram name means 'to stop for the rain', but originally would probably have had the 'water' radical added ...
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close-up of artist's palette
For a really good understanding of your own Yijing readings, I think there are basically two things you need to know:
  1. How the parts of a reading work together.
  2. How to connect with its imagery.
(Click here to skip this blog post and just register for the workshop.) The first of ...
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great tree
It's easy to become preoccupied with how beautiful, subtle and complex the Yijing is - there are endless layers and dimensions to discover - but more than anything, I keep coming back to its kindness. For example, the readings I cast when a close friend had just been diagnosed with ...
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Lightning strike at night
Thunderbolt and earthquake The name of Hexagram 51, zhen 震, means Shock, Quake, and encompasses both thunder and earthquake. (Nowadays there is a specific word for earthquake made of the components 'earth' and 'zhen’.) The old character has two components: rain, and chen, the name of the fifth Earthly Branch ...
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A free sample of the Paired Hexagrams course
I've had some questions about the Paired Hexagrams Course. Rather than just talking about it, I thought it would be better to show you some of it - so here's the introductory lesson. It simply runs through the three kinds of pair, so you can see clearly what they are ...
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crater lake with shady trees
Marriage is one of the Yijing's most-used recurring images - and in relationship readings, it's one of the easiest to relate to. Hexagram 54, the Marrying Maiden, has told a lot of women, quite straightforwardly, that she's not the most important thing to him. (Maybe another woman is, or maybe ...
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distant tornado over fields
The 'powerful woman' problem In Hexagram 44, we are encountering, meeting or 'coupling' with a powerful woman. 'Coupling, the woman is powerful.
Do not take this woman.' To 'take' her means to seize, as one might seize a criminal, but in this usage it's something like the old-fashioned English, 'taking a ...
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sheep in a field
I hope this post will make sense. It's something I thought of in the small hours of the morning when I couldn't sleep, and started counting complementary hexagrams instead of sheep (as you do...) - Here's a picture of the Sequence of Hexagrams: Hm... maybe that could do with some ...
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my 'cello posing with the Bach suites
I've left a longer gap between posts here than I intended, mostly because March has been very full of ’cello-y things. Still, there's a reading from one of these that cast a new light on Hexagram 31 line 3 for me, so I can at least share that with you ...
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elephant with hind legs in the mud
About getting stuck... Lately, I've been writing a series of sunny posts about how Yi helps: how it brings understanding and insight, of yourself as well as other people; how it triggers little inner shifts that can change your life; the odd magic of everything falling into place. And... let's ...
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parent and child walk across the beach
Writing lately about ways Yi helps reminded me of possibly my favourite chapter of the Dazhuan (the 'Great Treatise', 5th and 6th Wings of the Yijing): 'Yi is a document that should not be set at a distance.
Its dao is ever-changing,
alternating and moving without rest,
flowing through the ...
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clasped hands close-up
Yi helps in the ways we need... I've been thinking about ways Yi helps, and it occurs to me that different ways will be important to different people, or at different times of life. An obvious example: as a business owner, my days are full of 'What if I try ...
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resonating strings
A Resonance Journal retrospective Over four years ago now, we first brought out the Resonance Journal: software to keep a journal both of your Yijing readings and also of dreams, synchronicities and simple daily experience, and to reveal and explore how all these things connect and resonate together. We've come ...
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Mountains through the mist
Looking away Hexagram 52 is called gen, 艮, and so too is the trigram that's doubled to make the hexagram. It translates as 'looking away': in the ancient character, you can see a reversed human figure with a great eye. Nowadays, it apparently also translates as 'tough, hard to chew' - something ...
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aerial view of road winding through forest
Not just for decisions It's no secret that Yi is tremendously helpful when it comes to decision-making. You look at your options, single out the most likely one, and ask Yi, 'What about this?' And the oracle tells you what to expect if you take that road - be that ...
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hand turning shop sign to 'open'
Update:  Since this post was published, I've filled all the available places for readings now and 'closed' again. If you're interested in a reading in future, please be sure to get yourself on the list for 'Ways of Opening': that way I'll be sure to email you when I next ...
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Log fire
What's an annual reading for? Every year on my birthday, I cast a reading for the coming year. Not as a prediction - imagine the gloom and suspense if you spent a year under the shadow of 24.6! - but for guidance. Perhaps it's a little like the people who ...
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unknown tree
One of the good things about our little rented home has always been the thick shield of trees that stands between us and the road. Great glossy green laurels, disappearing in late spring under huge white blossoms, blanketing the whole house in heavy scent. The slender, fragile-looking deciduous tree with ...
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hexagram 55 trigrams in space shuttle launch
Its name (and nature) Hexagram 55 is unusual in that its name contains two meanings - The character feng 豐 means abundant, bountiful, plentiful. The ancient character appears to be an elaborated, decorated version of the character for 'drum': see Richard Sears' site -
psychic with crystal ball
Do you need to be psychic to read the I Ching? Well, if you do, I'm in trouble. Yet this is something readers - maybe mostly tarot readers - often claim: that their psychic powers have been apparent from early childhood, and it was always clear that they were destined ...
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Misty path up a mountain
'See the great person' (or 'great people') is one of the Yijing's recurrent phrases: in Hexagram 1, lines 2 and 5, in the oracle texts of hexagrams 6, 39, 45, 46 and 57, and in 39, line 6. (There's also just 'great person' - without the advice to see them ...
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Melon perspectives
I'm experimenting with a different kind of post: taking just one line of the Yi, looking at what the translators and interpreters make of it, and seeing what I can learn from the different perspectives. Let's start with the fifth line of Hexagram 44, Coupling - a strange line, in ...
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bench with coins
I love Robert Moss's books; they're inspiring, wise and lucid. He mirrors my understanding back to me - that we belong here, that life has meaning and the cosmos actively wants to communicate this to us. Also, he does this in a very practical, down-to-earth way: this communication, through dreams, ...
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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 ...
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galloping white horse
Things that come in threes One of many things about Yi that I first became aware of when Scott Davis pointed it out: there's a tendency for motifs to occur three times. (He gives the example of whether words are trusted - not in 43.4, not in 47 - not ...
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Yi in 19th Century Japan
I've been browsing with growing fascination through the Takashima Ekidan. Published in 1893 in Tokyo, this is an English translation by Shigetake Sugiura of an original Yijing translation by Kaemon Takashima, a successful serial entrepreneur and respected diviner. ('Eki' is the Japanese name for the Yi, and I believe 'dan' ...
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Backlit rain storm at sunset
Name and nature: the enigma of guai Hexagram 43 is called 夬, guai, which is generally understood to mean‘decision’ or ‘resoluteness’ or ‘breakthrough’. The oldest forms of the character show a hand holding up an object – a token of authority, perhaps, or an archer’s thumb ring. In some early ...
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ancient character jie
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 ...
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rotary dial telephone with handset raised
Talking with Yi is a conversation - and with regular readings, we develop a relationship with the oracle. We habitually talk about it as a person: 'Yi' rather than 'the Yi'; something we can 'get to know' rather than just 'learn'; something that speaks. (The roots of the word 'oracle' are ...
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New Resonance Journal, now with password and printing
I'm very, very pleased to announce the birth of The Resonance Journal, version 2.0!   With this version, you can: Print your entries ...which also means you can use your computer's 'print to pdf' driver to share individual entries. Protect your journal with a password And adjust the size and ...
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lake at the foot of mountains, South Tyrol
Decrease, Increase Hexagrams 41 and 42, Decreasing and Increasing, are an especially clear hexagram pair: the two of them together describe a single phenomenon, seen from two perspectives. There is a single flow of energy, life and abundance, and it moves as a cycle: 'Decrease, Increase, the beginnings of abundance ...
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a Chinese bronze vessel
A few years ago now, I first noticed the Vessel Casting pattern in the Sequence, and got tremendously excited about it. For the past couple of months, I've been developing those ideas and their application in readings for Part 5 of 'Exploring the Sequence', which Change Circle members can find ...
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pig at the window
Its name and nature The name of Hexagram 37 is simply 家人, jiaren, 'Home People' - which also means the members of a family. Here's the old form of the character - - where you can see that a 'home' is an animal - a pig - under a roof ...
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Bridles hanging in a stable
The Yijing as a whole is a rather disconcerting book. It can say things we don't understand, or, worse, things we understand perfectly well but don't want to know. A reading can be reassuring, can reinforce your thinking, or it can give you a real jolt. 'I have had this ...
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Paul Fendos 'Book of Changes' review
Short review Don't buy this one. Buy Minford and Redmond instead - or save up for Field, which I feel is worth its somewhat eye-watering price. Longer review Here's the publisher's blurb for Paul Fendos' new I Ching: 'The Book of Changes: A Modern Adaptation and Interpretation attempts to breathe ...
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Perching oriole
I've written before about looking at groups of changing lines, and seeing how they point towards their changed hexagram - just as a single line would do. (I've just added all those posts to a series, so you can find them all easily.) Here's another for the collection: Hexagram 62, ...
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Dodder plant
Hexagram 4 has an exceptionally clear, direct Oracle: 'Not knowing, creating success. I do not seek the young ignoramus, the young ignoramus seeks me. The first consultation speaks clearly. The second and third pollute the waters, Polluted, and hence not speaking. Constancy bears fruit.' It's often the one that gives ...
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sand running through fingers
A short story In typical Yi style, this is a very short story: 'Traveller in a place to stay, Gains property and an axe. My heart is not glad.' 'Subtly penetrating under the bed, Losing your property and axe. Constancy, pitfall.' These are lines 56.4 and 57.6, and they have ...
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smoke rising from incense burner
One of many interesting things I found in Richard J. Smith's The I Ching: a biography was an account of Zhu Xi's approach to divination. Zhu Xi (1120-1200) wrote firmly of Yi's identity as an oracle, not just a 'book of wisdom'. In addition to creating the yarrow method we ...
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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 ...
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empty speech bubbles suspended in blue space
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 ...
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Tram tracks bifurcating
Possibly the most Frequently Asked Question about interpreting readings: 'This line says one thing, but that one says the opposite! How can I make sense of the reading when it contradicts itself?' It happens a lot: you ask how to go about something, and one hexagram says it's fruitful to ...
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|::::|
Name and Nature The name of Hexagram 27 translates literally not as 'Nourishment' but as 'Jaws' - not something we call it, because shark. But it does help to remember that it's not specifically about nourishment (of whatever kind), but rather about the framework that makes nourishment possible. Just looking ...
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What's wrong with carting corpses, anyway?
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 ...
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Car horn
Line 3 of Hexagram 37, People in the Home, is full of noise and emotion: 'People in the home scold and scold, Regrets, danger: good fortune. Wife and child giggle and giggle. In the end, shame.' What's the story behind this? Traditional interpretation... Read any traditional translation - Wilhelm/Baynes, Lynn, ...
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Geoffrey Redmond, and what we can see
I've treated myself to another new Yi book - Geoffrey Redmond's I Ching (Book of Changes) - a critical translation of the ancient text - and it got me thinking about the different aspects of the book that are visible to different people. The good... To start, though, a sort-of ...
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galloping horses
I've been thinking about Hexagram 35 - and especially how it shows up as a relating hexagram. Introducing Hexagram 35 The name of this hexagram is 'Advancing', or 'Progress' or 'Flourishing'. The oldest form of the character seems to show arrows in their sheath: Those arrows - along the text ...
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Pig on the mountain
Looking simply at the shape of hexagram 33 with a naïve, imaginative eye... ...we might see the entrance to a cave. And if you look at the picture painted by the trigrams, heaven above the mountain, then it conjures up the idea of a hermit who Retreats to the mountain-top ...
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out of focus city lights
I've been mulling over this line - part of a recent open reading of mine - for a while. 'Seeing the realm shining out. Fruitful and useful to be a guest of the king.' Changing this line takes you to Hexagram 12, Blocked - a situation where no messages get ...
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lake ripples
Integrating trigram imagery into a full reading is sometimes tricky: we don't, after all, know what the trigrams represented to the people who first wrote the book. So attempting to justify text in terms of trigrams can get one tied up in all sorts of over-elaborate knots. However... those original ...
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leaf skeleton against the sky
When we approach a reading, we generally have some principles in mind for how the parts of the answer will fit together and work as a whole. In the beginners' course on this site, I outline the framework I've found works best: the cast hexagram's the basic answer, the relating ...
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stream under mountain
A thought on Hexagram 4. We think of Not Knowing as a default state, a starting position: children don’t know at first, so they learn; we start off not knowing, so then we consult the oracle. (Though preferably not for a second and third time...) In today's news, the BBC ...
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Willow trees by water
Crossing the line: guo Hexagram 28 shares its core concept with 62: Exceeding, guo, great or small. I wrote about this a while ago: Hexagrams 28 and 62 are both about guo: ‘passing, going by, exceeding’. The central idea is crossing a line – whether that’s a standard of morality or ...
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Identical doors in a grey wall
How often have you heard someone say they need to consult with Yi (and perhaps need help with the interpretation) because they're 'too subjective' or 'too emotionally involved' with the topic? In a way, that can be true. We can be too close to something, too caught up in its ...
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vast ocean
A friend who works as a coach/counsellor, who's learned from and drawn on probably hundreds of sources as she develops her own way of helping, has recently had a couple of teachers ask her for payment for her use of their intellectual property. I was bemused, because this is something ...
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cat stuck on tree trunk
I wrote before about why we want to do readings for other people - in essence, because we want to help, and we know what Yi gives, and we want to share that. As I prepare for the Reading for Others Class, I've really been learning a lot from the in-depth responses people ...
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Snowflake
Hexagram 8 is called Bi  - 比 - a very ancient, simple character that originally depicts two people side by side. It implies both that they're together, and that they can be compared to one another, and so the word means belonging, seeking union, holding together, comparing, neighbouring, side-by-side... really, to translate ...
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Water bottles offered to runners
In 2014, Sheffield's half marathon was cancelled. It was some kind of last minute organisational shambles: not until the spectators were lining the route and the runners waiting at the start did the organisers report that their water supplies hadn't shown up, so they couldn't go ahead. The runners started ...
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Fireworks at night
Plans for Clarity in 2017... I don't have my calendar filled in with a Grand Plan for the Year, because you know how those turn out. (I'm learning that they turn into colour-coded confetti by about mid-February.) But I have some plans for the first few months, and it occurred ...
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Shadowy figure in misty forest
Each year on my birthday, I ask Yi for guidance for the coming year. Then over the course of the year I revisit the reading, finding guidance and gleaning understanding as I go. At least, such is the theory. Last year's reading, cast on 7th December 2015, was Hexagram 55, ...
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Book of Stories ebook cover
A 'nuclear story' (my term for something many people have described before me) is found within a single hexagram, by 'unpacking' its trigrams and nuclear trigrams. It unfolds a kind of 'hidden adventure' for the hexagram. I realise I've written this up for Change Circle members in some detail (see this ...
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falling leaf
I wrote about a core message of Hexagram 23 when it's your cast hexagram: how it demands a true tabula rasa, not just a 'rethink'. What about 23 as relating hexagram - what can that mean? Of course, there are 64 different ways a reading can change to Hexagram 23, but ...
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Tabula rasa
The essential message of Stripping Away is devastatingly simple: 'Stripping away. Fruitless to have a direction to go.' Your 'direction to go' can be whatever plan you have in mind, your purpose or vision or intent, or something as slight as a curiosity to explore in a certain direction. The root ...
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Listening differently (and not posting much)
Background Well... in the first weeks of September I was bubbling over with ideas for blog posts. I'd write two, and 'schedule' one to be published later so as not to overdo it. And then I published that last one on Hexagram 23, and waited for inspiration to strike again ...
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Journal updater desktop icon
Version 1.5 of the Resonance Journal is ready! This version includes Volume 1 of Bradford Hatcher's Yijing - the full translation with commentary - as a built-in translation to explore via the hexagram browser and select there for use with your reading entries.  If you already have the Resonance Journal installed, you must ...
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apple
I wrote about how Stripping Away, in its ideal form as depicted by the Image, might be painless - but that's not how the process starts, and not our dominant experience of it. Hexagram 23 typically shows up as something you have to undergo; it is fruitless to have a ...
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:::::|
In a little post on hexagrams and scale I wrote,­ Just on this blog, I found three readings I’d shared with Hexagram 23. They were, in order:
  • auspices for using a certain technology during a webinar. (I persuaded myself I could use it anyway, and it failed impressively.)
  • foreshadowing ...
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Yi as inspiration
Yi tends to shape people's thinking, and when it gets hold of an artist or writer the consequences can be thoroughly interesting... I mentioned Will Buckingham's Sixty-Four Chance Pieces once before, but I'll happily jump on this opportunity to recommend them again. These are 64 short stories, one inspired by each ...
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Why dragons fight in hexagram 2
The second chapter of David Pankenier's lovely book, Astrology and Cosmology in Early China - Conforming Earth to Heaven - rejoices in the title, 'Watching for dragons.' In it he talks in detail about the dragon of Hexagram 1, and also proposes a whole new idea about why the dragons ...
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Book of (very big) stories
The fourth kind of Yijing story I mentioned when I first called it a 'Book of Stories’ was
  • the huge narrative arcs of the Sequence – ‘you are here’ on the grand scale.
Which is an easy bullet-point to write, but not so easy to expand on. Also, ...
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Slice of apple pie with ice cream
Tucked away in a hidden corner of Harmen Mesker's Yijing site, there's a very interesting blog, Lessons from the Lake. Its author is learning from Harmen how to read the Yi through its trigrams, and as she puts what she learns into practice she writes clear, detailed posts about it all ...
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coloured threads on spools
The Image of Hexagram 3, Sprouting, says, ‘Clouds, thunder, Sprouting. A noble one weaves warp and weft.’ or as Bradford Hatcher translates, 'sorts warp from weft'. What the noble one does is just two characters: jinglun, 經綸. Jing is the same word as in Yijing and literally means the warp threads on a loom, ...
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Sparkler firework
I've just opened the (virtual) doors for a new I Ching chat service... What this is A 30 minute chat on anything I-Ching-related - a line you're stuck on, a reading where you could really use a fresh perspective, an image or hexagram that keeps coming back, even a knotty ...
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thundering waterfall
...disguised as an archaeological discovery about Chinese pre-history. You might have seen the reports: someone has found clear evidence of a great flood in China. Here's a good account of the discovery with a link to the full paper: in a nutshell, there was a great earthquake in about 1920BC which caused ...
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The original two-pane reading is back
Short version: here it is, with my apologies. (I didn't know anyone still used it!) Backstory: A few years ago I commissioned Ewald Berkers (creator of the I Ching Community's indispensable hexagram search) to make us a new online I Ching. I did so because the old reading, the one in two ...
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Log in link top right
As you can see... we have a new Clarity website. I really hope you like it! Here's an explanation of the changes and a guide to the new site. Why change the design? Because the old one was old  - some nine years old, in fact - which means it ...
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Change is coming...
or 'Where did Hilary go?' For the last several months, I've been working on redesigning the website - which has been so time-consuming that really only Change Circle members have seen much of me. It has all taken just a bit longer than expected... But we are almost there. All that's ...
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A baton being passed from one hand to the next
A few posts ago, I tried to list all Yi's ways of telling stories:
  • those little one-line vignettes
  • allusions to the culture’s big stories – both history and myth
  • the individual steps of the Sequence of Hexagrams (‘Here’s how you reach this place.’)
  • the huge narrative arcs of the ...
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Yi debugs a plugin
I'm not sure what kind of geek it takes to appreciate this reading - probably something quite extreme - but I think it's brilliant and wanted to share. The background: a helpful programmer had fixed up a Wordpress plugin for me, for use in the redesigned version of Clarity (still ...
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Inscription in the base of the Kang Hou Gui (British Museum)
If you think about it, some stories play a big part in our conversation even though we never tell them in full. With a story everyone knows, you don’t need to tell it, you only need to allude to it. So 'No, he isn't Prince Charming' becomes a short way of saying, ...
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Opened book, open paths
Stories are a big part of how readings work. When we've gone round and round the situation a few (dozen) times in our thoughts, and everything is stale and stuck, Yi says, 'Imagine, it's as if...' - and everything changes. How I got here, where 'here' is, what paths might ...
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choicetree
I spend a lot of time thinking about what we ask the Yi and helping other people find their questions. This is a bit odd, because finding the question really isn't complicated at all. It's not a matter of devising a question nor even really of deciding on one, but ...
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LONDEN WORKSHOP
This sounds interesting: a two day course in London on 9 Star Ki astrology and its roots in the Yijing. If you're interested I would recommend getting in touch with the organisers soon, as they're only taking six students. Click the image for more information: ...
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generous above, tranquil home below
También disponible en español Hexagram 23 is called Stripping Away. The old character shows a knife, and a less-clear component that might be a well winch or a bag for filtering wine, separating the wine from the dregs. As LiSe shows, that blends into the meaning of the whole. But the knife component ...
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big dog, small dog
I started work recently to research a post on Hexagram 23, Stripping Away - a hexagram of loss, whether that means painlessly shedding what's outlived its usefulness, or having something you're very much attached to torn away. Looking through a dozen reading experiences with this one, I was struck again ...
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Thunder over the lake
I imagine anyone who's lived with Yi for a while has also got used to the idea that the world around them gives them signs, and often these signs resonate strongly with readings. I had a 'big' Hexagram 10 reading a few years ago, and saw tigers everywhere. (Pictures of ...
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38 zhi 27 - path through the forest
The relating hexagram, the one revealed by the moving line changes, can show the aspect or quality of the cast hexagram embodied in those lines. One way to imagine this is to say to yourself, 'The reading shows how [primary hexagram] might do [relating hexagram].' That works well in readings, ...
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dandelion seeds
Back in 2007, I wrote about the nuclear family of Hexagram 37, People in the Home. That's the four hexagrams that contain 37 as a nuclear, coiled in potential within their inner lines. If you unpack lines 2,3,4 and 3,4,5 from any of these hexagrams - - you see Hexagram ...
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youvsyi
It's not uncommon to have the experience of a reading confirming what you already know - even if you hadn't quite acknowledged that you knew it. But what when the reading simply goes against what you feel is right? You're drawn to do something, you're excited about doing it, your intention's taking ...
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Resonance Journal 1.4 - now with added openings
Just a quick note to say here is version 1.4 of the Resonance Journal. (Note: if you already have the software installed, you need to run this updater program instead.) It has a shiny new random entry option. You simply select 'Review Random Entry' from the 'entries' menu (or use the keyboard shortcut ctrl+m) to bring ...
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Hexagram 26: Great Taming
Hexagrams 9 and 26 are 'Small Taming' and 'Great Taming' - the same activity on a different scale. That activity is xu, 畜: rearing livestock, and farming in general. (Stephen Field actually translates these two hexagrams as 'Lesser Stock' - mostly goats - and 'Greater Stock', namely the horses, cattle and pigs ...
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one thing
I spend a lot of time exploring and writing about the endless depths of Yijing readings. There are those little seeds of meaning hidden in the etymology of individual characters, the long resonances across the structure of the Sequence, the pictures to be painted with trigrams and stories to tell ...
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sky at night
También disponible en español Hexagram 20 is called Seeing - but if your I Ching experience began with Wilhelm, then you'll be familiar with the idea that the shape of the hexagram itself is a picture of an ancient tower: 'A tower of this kind commanded a wide view of ...
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stream under mountain
Last March I explained how I don't know the first thing about Yi (namely, why these line-patterns mean these words). I'm happy to report that I still don't, and I'm still lit up with curiosity and fascination for this strange and beautiful old creature we call Yi - and I think ...
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reflections
Here's an excellent article I stumbled across about the real meaning of synchronicity: Synchronicity and the mind of God: unlocking the mystery of Carl Jung's "meaningful coincidence". A quotation (among many I could have chosen): "The universe is a reflection of an underlying spiritual reality; all phenomena express the deeper ...
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giving readings more space
I've been blessed with some wonderful reading clients over the past year, and I'm hugely grateful for the experience. I've witnessed clarity dawning, knots untying themselves, blocks dissolving - Yi at work. I love it. And... I realise there's something I need to tweak a bit to create more space ...
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depths
Reading a book about healing, I came across two diagrams of the relationships between external events and emotional response. The first, very simple, diagram, showed our common misconception. It had two boxes, one for 'external events' and one for 'emotional response', and an arrow pointing from events to response. That's ...
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seastorm
También disponible en español Hexagram 6 is called Conflict, or Arguing; its name also means bringing to court and calling for justice. Fittingly enough, it's best understood through contrasts and oppositions. The authors of the oracle seem to have thought so, too: its Oracle is laid out as a series ...
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snowflake crystal
From its first appearance in the first words of the Yi, the creative flow through the four characters yuan heng li zhen is tangible. Its power is felt in the other five hexagrams with the whole, uninterrupted formula. But the natural cohesion of the four-word formula can also be felt ...
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|::||:
Hexagram 1 says yuan heng li zhen - from the source, creating success, constancy bears fruit. Hexagram 2 says yuan heng li pinma zhi zhen - from the source, creating success, a mare's constancy bears fruit The remaining hexagrams can be seen as 'children' of these two - 62 ways of blending ...
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n1small
También disponible en español Hexagram 1 is so simple it's tremendously hard to get to grips with. The simplicity starts with its shape - - six solid, 'yang' lines, pure and whole, light with no shade, no nuances, no spaces, no 'picture'. The significance of those six solid lines is ...
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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 ...
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'Language of Change' Yijing glossary
I've just made Language of Change available separately. It's a Yijing glossary covering common phrases, words and omens ('crossing the great river', 'feudal lords', 'regrets vanish'…) and also some key concepts (centrality, offerings, marriage...), and it's available in pdf (digital) format for £7, here. This is the same glossary that's included ...
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walking a path that disappears into the mist
(Or - how I learned that while there are problems inherent in asking for a prediction, there are even more problems with trying to make rules about what kind of question is best.) The well-known problems with asking for a prediction It's not what we want to know Often, wanting ...
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reflective tortoise
A thoroughly useful guiding principle for both diviners and translators: this means something. For diviners with/ translators of the Yijing, the principle needs elaborating: this means something, whether or not I have the faintest glimmerings of a clue what it means. That should really be inscribed in every Yijing book and ...
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Using the Sequence in readings, part 2
The changing lines Continuing from my previous post: Yi’s answer to ‘How to use the Sequence in readings?’, 25.4.6 to 3… 25.4: ´There can be constancy. No mistake.´ Line 4 is just across the threshold between inner and outer; it’s just stepped out into the world. So – in any ...
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|::|||
I'm working, bit by bit, on an advanced Yijing course – sharing ideas with Change Circle members as I go along. I've started with the Sequence of Hexagrams. On the one hand, this is a nice, simple place to start, as using the Sequence is about as un-technical as you can ...
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small xun
The Sequence - for all the remarkable patterns it contains - is about the simplest 'tool' you can add to your interpretive repertoire. No complicated operations are required to find the preceding hexagram, and no concept more profound than steps along the road: 'You pass through this to reach here.' ...
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A Hidden Pattern in the Sequence of hexagrams
The King Wen Sequence of hexagrams (who knows who really created it or how old it might be?) is a source of endless fascination. People keep on finding patterns in it. The first to catch my interest was Danny Van den Berghe's discovery of a 'landscape' of trigrams (download the ...
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xun
(Continuing a series on hexagram 57, because it makes sense to approach this hexagram of all hexagrams incrementally!) What does Subtly Penetrating mean in readings? Well... like any hexagram, it means what it says and what it is, and no amount of commentary changes that. But I have noticed a ...
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windswept
'No one can tell me, Nobody knows, Where the wind comes from, Where the wind goes.' AA Milne, 'Wind on the HillXun has to be the most elusive hexagram. It's awkward to translate (you need one word that means penetrating, interpenetrating, subtly, imperceptibly, gently, submitting...) and ...
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ripening blackberries
For updates... If you'd like to be kept updated on these changes, subscribe to the associated forum thread. Where I start from... Yi is pretty extraordinary. I know, this isn't exactly breaking news. But I keep noticing it all over again: partly because I keep looking at more complex structures ...
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Field cover
I'm really the wrong person to review this book: it's a scholarly work, and I'm not remotely qualified to write a scholarly review. So here is a diviner's take, instead. It comes as a sort of 'whinge sandwich': appreciation beginning and end, nitpicking in the middle. (Don't take too much ...
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Jack Russell chasing tail
Here is a cautionary tale about involving Yi in decision making, how this can get you tied up in an endless series of unpromising readings, and the tremendously simple way to avoid this. Why is this a cautionary tale? Well, because I've managed to act out the full story twice ...
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Some ways Yi doesn't answer your question
This oracle, as I keep saying, isn't a slot machine. It's not 'insert question, get answer'. Someone who is completely familiar and comfortable with Yi does not therefore receive the answers to all their questions and live in a state of perfect certainty. What they are is deeply engaged in ...
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book opening into a landscape view
Why look for the stories behind the hexagrams? To start with something uncontentious: the people who wrote the Yi had wisdom and intelligence (as well as mind-boggling genius), and were well-informed, and had good reasons for their choices. One of the things they appear to have been well-informed about is ...
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Resonance Journal taskbar icon
I asked Yi for work advice recently, and received hexagram 58. It seems that work has a lot to do with communicating - who'd've thought, right? So I will do more of that and less keeping of things under wraps, and if I ever seem to have gone a bit quiet, please ...
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14.2.4 zhi 22
From time to time, someone asks me about the validity of consulting with a computer program. Does it work - are the answers real? I always say yes, it works. What matters is not the physical method, but the quality of your attention. I have plenty of experience to back ...
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jie, release
The ancient character for jie, the name of Hexagram 40, shows hands with a knife removing a cow's horn. Perhaps this has to do with a horn implement for prising knots apart - Chinese boys could carry a knot-horn at their belt when they became men - or perhaps simply ...
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wrecked ship
Hexagram 44 is - famously - a tricky one. 'Coupling, the woman is powerful.
Do not take this woman.' That's all it says - which is more than enough to give rise to all kinds of ideas. The traditional one is that the woman represents something malevolent, the seductress, power-grabbing ...
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Lars Bo Christensen, Book of Changes
Here's a new I Ching worth getting: Lars Bo Christensen's Book of Changes, available (in the US and UK) for Kindle and now also on paper. His aim is to create a coherent, usable and authentic translation of the Zhouyi core text. That's interesting in itself, as 'usable' and 'authentic' are usually separated ...
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Rethinking the Well
Lars Bo Christensen has brought out a very interesting new translation of the Zhouyi: Book of Changes - the original core of  the I Ching. I should post a full review one of these days (short version: yes, definitely buy it), but for now I just wanted to share something that's ...
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:||:|:
Well, here I am getting started teaching week 1 of the I Ching Foundations Class, so it's hard to think of a better title for a blog post... Oh, I know quite a few things about Yi. I know some of its history and the stories behind its words, and ...
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hiding
I've taken my courage (and three shiny 10p pieces) in both hands and created another video. This one with my face in...   It's about how to consult the I Ching with three coins. I had wondered whether to include this in the Foundations Class, when most people are already familiar with it, ...
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jigsaw
Thinking about the I Ching Foundations Class has got me thinking about what's actually necessary to be able to interpret your own readings with some confidence - not with a cast-iron assurance that you'll never make a mistake, just enough confidence that you can have a useful, creative, supportive, working relationship with ...
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:|||||
Here is a remarkable article from Alexa over at the Quotable I Ching, about Hexagram 44 and desire - and, yes, insect bites. Remarkable for how she captures the spirit of the hexagram - and without mentioning the 'powerful woman' even once. She says the 'encounter' of 44 is like ...
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Clarity in 2015
I haven't made a post like this before, but I can see the wisdom in making public commitments, so here goes... this is what I intend to offer you through Clarity this year. I Ching classes I'll run a series of live online classes - using a combination of live calls ...
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Hexagram 63 continued
'...and now the conclusion.' So as I was saying... trigrams, in Hexagram 63. On the inside, li, fire and light: vision, awareness, lucidity. As an inner trigram, li tends to mean insight into the nature of the time. On the outside, kan, dark depths and unceasingly moving waters that can ...
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capybara on muddy bank
63 seems a good choice of hexagram to write about at the turn of the year, with its theme of endings-and-beginnings. Hexagrams 63 and 64, of course, stand at the very end of the Yijing, and they deal with themes of completion and arrival - or not. Their very order ...
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wrapped gift
The blog has gone quiet lately, and is likely to remain quiet until I finish up the 'Enliven' email course. This is an eclectic mix of ideas for bringing your relationship with guidance to life (hence the title!) through keeping a journal. That includes dreams and synchronicities as well as Yi ...
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resonating strings
Here it is - http://www.onlineClarity.co.uk/journal/download.php Please download and enjoy - the 30 day trial should give you plenty of time to explore. It includes...
  • my Language of Change Yijing glossary (not yet available anywhere else)
  • quick ways to enter a reading you've cast yourself, as well as a 'three coin' cast ...
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Resonance Journal: Cast history
(Note… of course this post is here now because the Resonance Journal is coming tomorrow. Other means of keeping a journal are also available!) At the beginning of my last Resonance Journal video, I mentioned a couple of (embarrassingly obvious) reasons why it's good to be able to remember readings ...
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goldfish swimming round in recycling symbol
I'd been planning on writing a devastatingly insightful post about some rarefied, recondite connection you can find between readings with the Resonance Journal. Maybe the karmic significance of a repeated nuclear hexagram emerging as primary when you ask a Big Question - something deep and meaningful like that. Only when ...
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Image © Freeteo
Image © Freeteo I've taken to thinking just about the position of a changing line, as a starting point for looking at its imagery and connections - and it's surprising how often this provides the key to a reading. Line 6, for instance. We've passed line 5 - the culmination, ...
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© Depositphotos.com/urban_light
A couple of months ago I wrote about 'Essentials for Yijing readings' and included that old favourite hobby horse of mine: the commentary is not the answer, along with some examples of commentary - Wilhelm's, Karcher's and mine - that was decidedly not what the oracle said. All three examples ...
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Living Connection
Thinking about why we're creating the journal software,  I found myself writing a sort of personal creed. Here it is - Living Connection Nothing definitive - of course - but heartfelt. If you like it, please share it freely ...
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li, danger
I'm just coming to the end of the 'omens' section as I revise and enlarge 'Words of Change', my Yijing glossary. This involves testing out ideas by looking at every instance of each omen, along with all the example readings I can find. Since I'm going into more detail this ...
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Example reading after a dream
Since I wrote about 'Four ways Yi works with dreams’, I've been on the alert for how this conversation's working for me. Here's an example from my journal. I'd been divining - and worrying - about how I was going to promote the journal software. I've never been very good ...
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tourist binoculars at a viewing point over Barcelona
Talking about 'line positions' sounds painfully dry and academic. (Not least if it makes you think of the formulas about line correspondence and so on.) What to call them instead? 'Hexagram layers'? Too much like a trifle. Maybe 'line voices', or places to stand, ways to engage... What I'm trying ...
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Building blocks
Responding to emails from someone struggling with his readings started me thinking about the basic principles of interpretation - the real essentials. Of course I have picked up a bunch of background knowledge along the way, and it all contributes, but people can do perfectly useful readings without most of ...
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Fanfare
======================== Update It took longer than planned, but the Resonance Journal software is now available for download. ======================== Announcing... at last... with fanfare... The Yi-plus-dreams-plus-signs journal software - that's been in a sousaphone-sized pipeline for a while - is really taking shape now. We'll be calling for half a dozen ...
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ancient chinese character zi
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, ...
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Stormclouds
Hexagram 9 says, 'Small taming, creating success. Dense clouds without rain Come from my Western altars.' The dense clouds without rain suggest that what we need is tantalisingly close, just not quite here yet.  Those 'Western altars' are probably a subtle reference to the Zhou, people of the West. Before ...
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Getting inside the imagery
- or, How just a Smidgen of Background Knowledge can take you a Surprisingly Long Way. As soon as you start talking with the Yijing, it’s apparent that there are things here you don’t understand. ‘Crossing the great river’, for instance. You probably don’t make a habit of wading rivers, ...
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weaver's loom
As I've probably mentioned from time to time, I'm working on an enlarged and improved version of the Words of Change Yijing glossary, to be included as part of the upcoming journal software. This gives me the perfect excuse for lots of completely engrossing research and exploration into Yi, while ...
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fox
Four years ago 😯 , I posted about my first encounters with shadow hexagrams. And last week I was reminded of them again when a friend asked me to look at his connected-hexagrams-generating script that included Ideal and Shadow, along with many more of the creations from Stephen Karcher's divination-laboratory ...
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Four ways Yi works with dreams
A wise person said to me recently, 'There's only one oracle.' She meant that there's only one reality speaking to us - so it shouldn't surprise us when dreams, Yi, guides, synchronicities and all turn out to be working together. On reflection... this turns out to happen more often and ...
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Old phone
I thought I'd make a quick post about this to be sure no-one who's interested misses out. Change Circle are resuming regular monthly calls, on the 4th Saturday of each month. We'll talk about a variety of Yi-related things: anyone can bring a reading for discussion, or we may settle ...
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Oracle bones and remembering
I have a lovely, fat book on my shelves called Sources of Chinese Tradition (volume 1), full of excerpted translations from the Chinese. Chapter 1, fittingly enough, is about oracle bone inscriptions: the earliest Chinese writing, divination records from the Shang dynasty, long before Yi came into being. The bone ...
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Two-line changes
If you've been working with Yi for a while, you're probably familiar with the idea of looking at the hexagram each individual moving line would change to on its own, to give you a better context to understand its meaning. You might have heard them referred to as zhi gua, ...
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I've written very excited posts before about the pattern of complementary hexagrams in the Sequence of the Yijing. Quick recap: to find a hexagram's complement, you change all 6 of its lines. Thus the complement of hexagram 1 is hexagram 2 -         and the complement of Hexagram 3, Sprouting ...
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Something I'd like to do this year: learn more about how to work with dreams and Yi, together, as a single fabric of meaning. (Something that'll be made much more practical by this journal software.) So I'm casting readings like this one and this one in an attempt to create ...
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I Ching readings available for January
Just a quick note: I'm excited to say my doors are open for readings this month. I have a limited number of openings - just four this time. I limit myself to these small numbers because I 'carry the reading with me' for a month, reviewing and revisiting, listening for ...
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xu, waiting
I asked Yi, 'Why do we dream?' I had a few reasons for asking: huge curiosity about the answer, of course, and wondering what Yi might say out of all the possible answers I could think of. ('Processing' stuff from the day? Receiving messages? Random noise? Ongoing inner work?) Also ...
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Checking the answer?
A kind correspondent (I haven't sought his permission to quote, so I'll just call him KC) wrote to ask me my opinion on the 'RTCM' - the 'Retrospective Three Coin Method' developed by Carol Anthony and Hanna Moog, which is meant as a way to confirm or deny your interpretation ...
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Feel free to ignore anything the I Ching says
I hope I win some kind of prize for provocative titles? Good... but there is a point to this. I always have my ears open to pick up insights and ideas from outside 'Yijingland' that will make for better Yijing divination. (I have  something coming up called Into the Flow ...
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Red traffic light
Wouldn't it be nice if I broke my excruciatingly long silence here with something in-depth and profoundly meaningful? Well... too bad... On a car journey today, I noticed - Gen, the mountain, meaning a barrier, stilling, stopping. Kan, chasms and flowing water, danger and the unknown. Zhen, ...
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Small cosmic joke
...at my expense, of course. Shenpen Chokyi has just launched her new site, about her upcoming Yijing book and cards. (At least, it will be upcoming if we let her know we're interested!) So... I looked through her site, and let her know about a couple of errors I found ...
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77
Here's a post I should have made yesterday morning, when I cast my usual playing-in-the-sandbox readings for the Wimbledon finalists. Then I could have made a prediction and invited you to do the same, and... let's face it, if I tried to cast readings with public predictions in mind, Yi ...
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The old 'resulting hexagram' conundrum
I recently had an email from 'M', who's baffled by a recent reading. M's particular question was a little unusual, asking what he himself is really looking for in a given situation, but the basic problem he's having is familiar: "Essentially, I am confused as how to interpret the original ...
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paperbag
(This post is about the basics. If you know them already, you can skip this and seek out something more sophisticated.) 'How important are the changing lines?' Someone emailed me to ask that: his 'I Ching' book had taught him to read one hexagram with one changing line for every ...
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'Not possible' querents, impossible readings
I like reading tarot blogs - there's a whole supportive culture out there of readers, and the challenges they face are not so different from   those encountered by Yi people. For instance, here's Brigit writing warmly and with a good dose of common sense about dealing with difficult clients ...
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Clarity news: site upgrades
I've been very quiet lately - busy preparing to upgrade all the software that runs Clarity. Now it's time to take the plunge and run the upgrades. While the upgrades are running, some things - the forum, shop and anything you log in to - won't work. They'll close on ...
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Learning the I Ching from experience
When people ask me how they can become more fluent and confident with their readings, I always, predictably, say something about experience. Consulting with Yi is a relationship and a practice - not something you can learn how to do first, and then start doing it. You get to know ...
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Stone steps up to horizon - hexagram 46
Here are some thoughts on the moving line texts of Hexagram 46, Pushing Upward. I'd like to have a good dive in here - drawing on the meaning of the line position, the relationship to the zhi gua (the hexagram each line changes to) and the line pathway, along with ...
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trees
As promised... one more step along the path through Hexagram 46. In this post, I'll have a go at a couple more 'hexagrams of context': two more ways of saying 'this is not that'. In the last post I looked at 46 with 45, Gathering: the contrasting, paired hexagram. Pushing ...
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Scary readings
This is a topic that came up in the I Ching Community with reference to weekly and annual readings - how people can be frightened by them, maybe scared into paralysis by a sinister-looking line - and it got me thinking about the scariness of readings in general. What is ...
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:::||:
I call the hexagrams that are naturally related to the cast hexagram, regardless of its changing lines, 'hexagrams of context'. They make an extended family of contrasts and sources. (Those simple old human ways of understanding something - seeing what it isn't, and telling its stories - work just as ...
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::: - the trigram kun, earth
The trigrams of Hexagram 46 seem to embody its nature particularly clearly. Earth contains wood - a straightforward picture of a germinating seed. The Image says: 'Centre of the earth gives birth to wood. Pushing upward. A noble one with patient character, Builds up small things to attain the high ...
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46: Pushing Upward (step 1)
Hexagram 46, Pushing Upward, has to do with step-by-step progress onward and upward, and the effort of the climb. It also has to do with offerings: Harmen, in his fascinating article on the hexagram, says, "Sheng was the name of a certain sacrifice, and because of the close resemblance between ...
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US election readings from Stephen Karcher
If you click through to http://www.ichinglivingchange.org/, you'll find a series of four posts on the US election. I wanted just to mention them here, as I think they're intriguing readings and worth a closer look. Here are Stephen's questions and Yi's answers: What is America hiding? 56.3.5.6 changing to 45 ...
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weekly diary
Or annual readings, or readings for the season or even just for the day... all the readings where the question is just, 'What do I need to be aware of for this period of time?'
or maybe just,
'Advice?' You might have some ongoing issues in mind - we usually have, after ...
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Hexagram 5, Waiting
I've been looking at the patterns that take shape within the 'container' formed by hexagrams 3 and 50, and wondering what they might mean. Here's a bit more wondering. It looks as though hexagrams 3 and 50, living energies and vessel, form a mould, within which an individual life (or ...
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... what does it mean for readings? That's what an aggravatingly clear-sighted friend asked when I started enthusing at her about the beautiful 'casting' structure between hexagrams 3 and 50. And I suppose it's not an unreasonable question... 😉 Maybe one day it'll mean I routinely consider the matching hexagram ...
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Warning: this post is pure, unadulterated gleeful Yeekery. I've been reading about how the ancient Chinese bronze vessels were made. Here's a fascinating pdf on the subject (right click and choose 'save as' to download), with images of the finished vessels and also the moulds used in the casting, and ...
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Bluebottle courtesy of Seymoursimages on Flickr
My reading for this past week was hexagram 4, Not Knowing, with no changing lines. I appreciate getting unchanging hexagrams: it seems to me that Yi's making allowances for me, giving me just one simple thing to keep in mind. I take it as an invitation to reflect. The issue ...
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Dake bronze ritual vessel, Western Zhou Dynasty
That need Yi answers is for... 'The Well. Moving the city, not moving the well. Without loss, without gain, They come and go, the well wells. Almost drawn the water, but the rope does not quite reach the water, Or breaking one's clay jug, Pitfall.' in the background as underlying ...
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The basic human need Yi answers, part 4: changing line 1
As I've mentioned a few times before, I asked Yi what the basic human need is that it answers, and it responded with Hexagram 49, Radical Change, moving at lines 1, 2 and 4 to Hexagram 48, the Well. Here (at last!) are that reading's moving line texts: 'Bound with ...
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The basic human need Yi answers, part 3: the change
This is a follow-up post from these two, about a reading. (And there will be more to come: a single post covering three lines, change patterns and speculations about trigram changes would have been ridiculously long.) Thought in passing... Talking to people in the comments on those posts about personal ...
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Journal Software Survey: a quick request
More on that 'Radical Change at the Well' reading soon, I promise. But first... Please will you do me a big favour and take this survey? ======================== Update! Two years on, the Resonance Journal software is ready for you to download. Give it a try! ======================== Some background... I store ...
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The basic human need that Yi answers
I'm not quite sure how long ago I cast this reading. A search at archive.org reveals that I'd already uploaded it to IChingResources by April 2001. So some time before then, I had at least noticed that there were, as I put it, 'books to be written about this answer' ...
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First instances
The lines of the first two hexagrams can be regarded as keys to understanding all the lines - all yang lines at the beginning being a little like the submerged dragon, all yin lines at the beginning being somehow akin to treading on hoarfrost. These lines are formative, models for ...
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Another (possible) pattern
Every pair of hexagrams, ie every odd-numbered hexagram with the even-numbered one that follows it, carries some un-pin-downable feeling of 'inspiration and manifestation' or 'question and response' or 'yang and yin'. Only I just wonder whether there might be a more specific patterns in the 7s and 8s... Hexagram 7, the ...
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Hexagram 40 and forgiveness
Apologies if you had higher expectations from that portentous title, but this is just a quick note - the kind of meeting of patterns of ideas that I enjoy. Here's an article from Bri Saussy about sin. Now I've learned that the original Greek, hamartia, means missing the mark, I ...
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Yi and times of crisis
I see I have made no posts here for over a month. Eep. Why? Erm, let me give you the short version. My Mum-in-law was admitted to hospital as an emergency (this is not the same admission I wrote about before). That was all very intense and dramatic... and it ...
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Hexagram 19 and ancestors
También disponible en español I've just had some experiences with hexagram 19 I'd like to share. To give you a bit of context, the long version of the story is in a thread in Reading Circle, but the short version is that we've just been through a few wholly nightmarish ...
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New online I Ching reading
Clarity's free online I Ching is new and improved; the oracle's sense of humour is much the same as ever. First, the new reading features:
  • instead of showing all the text of both hexagrams, leaving you to pick out the relevant parts, this displays only the hexagrams and lines ...
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Half a thought that came to me when meditating (along with 'I wonder how long I've been sitting for?' and 'must buy broccoli' and all the rest, which are not so much blog post material...) I've embarked on Clare Josa's excellent 28 day meditation challenge. The guided meditation she recorded ...
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Is this a pattern?
...or am I imagining things? A brief note about this post: after someone let me know he was unsubscribing because he hadn't been able to understand any of my posts, I've aimed for a mix of generally-intelligible things and pure Yeekery. Yeekery is that which is only intelligible to Yeeks; ...
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Margaret Pearson: The Original I Ching
I've been looking forward to this book ever since I met Margaret and ran a webinar with her back in 2005. And late last year, it finally became available. It's a neat little hardback with the characters for 'yin', 'zhouyi' and 'woman' on the front and a hexagram reference ...
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Just an oracle
Oh dear, oh dear. Another one - someone explaining how the Yijing is not just an oracle, but 'so much more than that'. I do wish people would not say this without pausing for a moment to contemplate what an oracle is. A variation on this 'just an oracle' idea ...
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As I've mentioned before, I first got to know Hexagram 14, Great Possession, through volunteering. When I was just getting started with Yi, I asked about volunteering in general and about various individual opportunities, and received 14 again and again in the answers. What I came to love about volunteering ...
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Bad hexagrams, problem cards
I don't do tarot readings, or know anything worth mentioning about tarot, but I still like reading what wise tarot people write. They seem to have a creative, flexible, improvisatory approach to divination that I think Yi people could learn something from. And a lot of the problems/ questions/ possibilities ...
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Are you free on Tuesday 20th?
... starting at 9pm UK time? (That's 4pm Eastern.) As that's when Kim Gould of Love Your Design has kindly asked me to join her for her web-radio show. Kim's speciality is Human Design, a modern system that brings together astrology, the chakra system, Kaballah and the I Ching. Fortunately ...
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Hexagram 29: Repeating Chasms
“What an abyss of uncertainty whenever the mind feels that some part of it has strayed beyond its own borders; when it, the seeker, is at once the dark region through which it must go seeking, where all its equipment will avail it nothing. Seek? More than that: create. It ...
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The Lorelei
I've been listening to Clarissa Pinkola Estés talking about creativity and telling stories (always a good idea). She talked about that time when an artist becomes utterly obsessed by his (or her) art: the work is so perfect, so beautiful, so right, that nothing else matters. The artist forgets all ...
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A line pathway
I'm sure I must have mentioned these before, so let me start with a quick recap before I get to something I just noticed about 57.5... A 'line pathway' is my name for what LiSe calls 'line squares' and Stephen Karcher calls 'crossline omens'. (LiSe and Stephen are the ones ...
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Hexagram 26, intention and space
This post is such an agglomeration of things it's not really title-able. How about 'Complementary hexagrams, 26 and 45 in particular, and intention, and the usual brilliance of Jen Louden or What happens if you read everything with hexagram eyes'? No? Anyway... it starts - before that 61-to-29 reading persuaded ...
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The trouble with impetration
Jack Balkin (The Laws of Change) and Richard Rutt (Zhouyi) both explain the distinction between two kinds of oracle: impetrative and oblative. Since they give subtly different definitions, I'll content myself with sharing what I've understood from them both. An oblative oracle is one that's given to you: an omen ...
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Quick update
If you're a Change Circle member, or if you've clicked the 'Readings' tab of this site lately, you'll already know this: I've stopped giving I Ching readings. The I Ching Community remains - definitely no plans to close that - as do the various downloads and the full I Ching ...
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An oracle for multiplicity?
I've been reading Multiplicity: the new science of personality by Rita Carter. I'm only part way through, so this isn't a good representation of the book, just half an idea that struck as I was reading. The basic thesis of the book is this: your character as an individual is ...
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Wait or Argue?
Here - http://i-ching-news.blogspot.com/2011/06/two-different-approaches.html - is a lovely post from Cesca, talking about hexagrams 5 and 6, Waiting and Arguing, as a pair. She describes them succinctly as 'two very different ways of dealing with a situation that isn't going in the way you would prefer.' This - at least for ...
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chair missing a leg
Why would someone ignore the relating hexagram? A few people have told me lately that they don't tend to look at the relating hexagram - the second one, the one found by changing any changing lines in your cast hexagram - as they don't really find anything in it. They're ...
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Asking for awareness
In the past I've done a lot of readings, for myself and other people, seeking advice about what to do and how to do things. I expect I'll do a lot more of them, too, because they are direct, clear, straightforward and massively useful. 'How can I do this?' 'What's ...
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fantasy castle in the clouds
Most people seem to get started with the Yijing by asking about a relationship. It's a good way to start: it's present, immediate and something you care about - when you ask these questions, you're really asking them. It's also potentially tricky, that mix of getting started with overwhelming emotion ...
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Living the image
I've written before about not being in too much of a hurry to get past your reading's imagery to 'what it means', because the image is what talks to you, and where you live, and somehow is the hinge and pivot of change in a way that a concept isn't ...
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How does it work?
No, this is not going to be the post where I explain how Yi answers questions - ask me again after a few more lifetimes - but one where I ponder in a meandering way about how these conversations we have with the Change Book actually result in personal change. ...
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More accidental Yi wisdom
This is from Havi at Fluent Self, who once again is writing about Yi without knowing it. This time she's unwittingly explaining Hexagram 11, line 1, as a matter of fractal flowers. Hexagram 11 is about Flow, working with it or creating it or stepping into it. There is no ...
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Just one more of those moving-line-related connections that makes it look for all the world as if the people who wrote this oracle knew what they were doing - Start with Hexagram 14, Great Possession - 'Activate' its third and fourth lines - change them by opening them out from ...
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::|:::
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 ...
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Already Crossing?
On the one hand, 'Already Across' is certainly a good, literal translation of the name of Hexagram 63. The old character for 'already' shows someone turned away from a food pot, implying a completed action. The historical resonances of the book as a whole imply that this is the moment ...
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A cycle for diviners?
I wanted to see what you thought of this blog post from James Warlock, who was part of last year's Festival of Change: The Magickian's Cycle. It begins: The magickian's cycle is, in essence, as follow:
  • Become very enthusiastic about magick
  • Practice magick in a regular and dedicated fashion
  • ...
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Reading with hexagram eyes again
This morning I picked up a book at random, opened it at random, and found myself reading what Thomas Moore has to say about jealousy in Care of the Soul. He relates it to the myth of Hippolytus, a young man who was a devotee of the goddess Artemis, something ...
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Turning points
Someone, some day, really is going to have to write a huge Yi book that not only describes individual moving lines with their zhi gua in mind - for example, writing about 27.6 with 24 in mind - but also describes groups of moving lines with their zhi gua in ...
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Wanting
On the one hand... ...divination with Yi is not particularly about getting what you want. As a wise person pointed out recently in Reading Circle, it's not life-as-catalogue: 'I want that person/ this experience/ that possession, so how do I get it?' We need to be at least somewhat aware ...
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In the pot
Well... Bradford came over to the UK from the States to see Cesca, and while he was here we got together and went over to Holland to see LiSe (and connect up with Harmen, too). And this was brilliant in many, many ways. I want to share the reading I ...
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I Ching journal software
======================== Update! There's now software available here at Clarity to keep a complete journal - not only of Yijing readings, but also of dreams, synchronicities and more. Created by Justin Farrell, it's the successor to his I Ching Journal reviewed below. It's called the Resonance Journal. ======================== Why would you use ...
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Camped on the left
...or 'Where did Hilary go?' Well... I sit myself down in front of a task and my brain goes on strike. It's got quite radical about it: 'Sit and stare at the screen all you like,' it says, 'but if you think anything useful is getting done here, you've got ...
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Hexagram 53 - pair of geese in flight
‘Gradual advance. The woman marries. Good fortune. Constancy bears fruit.’ Hexagrams 53 and 54, Gradual Advance and the Marrying Maiden, are what Stephen Karcher calls 'The Great Marriages'. So what does 'marriage' mean? To a large extent, that depends on your perspective: in old China, marriage for the man means ...
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Deeper waters
I enjoy the basement of Oxford's remaindered/discount book shop - all kinds of entertaining things end up there. My latest trip yielded The Psychic Tourist by William Little, a journalistic book in which he investigates one claim after another (psychics, mediumship, remote viewing...), typically finding good stories that turn out to ...
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How to write an I Ching book about 20 years too soon
Step 1 - have an I Ching website. Step 2 - have a nice publisher contact you via said website and ask you to write a book. Then... Think of all the reasons why you absolutely should not do anything of the kind for another 10, 20 or 30 years ...
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Responses to lines
Technology has apparently come full circle: first we made every word count as we laboriously inked, scratched or engraved them by hand; then the printing press brought doorstop-sized novels (and Yijing commentaries likewise); now a phone with a 100 character limit prompts these brief responses to hexagrams, lines and commentaries: ...
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Introducing Ravi Walsh
...at the last possible moment! I was very, very lucky that Ravi Walsh agreed to step in at the last minute after one of the Festival of Change speakers had to drop out. He's a spiritual life coach who works with a method of his own creation - or maybe ...
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Introducing Claire Hayes
In the Festival of Change, Claire Hayes will be helping with the integrating phase of a reading. You know... the moment when you understand what it's saying to you, and the only minor detail left to deal with is actually changing in response. Occasionally this is easy - as simple ...
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Introducing James Warlock
Every time I mentioned some new aspect of the Festival of Change to a certain friend and mentoring client, she'd tell me I really needed to talk to James about that. Looking at his various websites, I could see what she meant - lots of breadth there, signs of a ...
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Introducing Tori Janaya
I only got to know Tori because a friend recommended her as a speaker for the Festival of Change. I started reading her blog, was smitten, and then downloaded her audio about full spectrum listening. Normally this is only available when you sign up on her site, but she's given ...
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A reading for Jennifer
Another example reading for you, this one for Jennifer Louden, whom I just introduced. I'm reading for as many of the Festival of Change speakers before the event as would like to be read for - obviously, not everyone has something share-able going on that calls for a reading. But ...
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Introducing Jennifer Louden
Jennifer Louden's an opening speaker - and a speaker about 'opening' - for the Festival of Change. I asked her to participate after I discovered her 'listening to the question’ audio. As you might imagine, the title caught my attention - I spend a whole lot of time listening to ...
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Shape of a reading
I've been talking with each speaker for the Festival of Change, bouncing ideas around, discussing what we'll cover in their call, and getting to the point where - never mind the whole running-an-event, selling-tickets thing - I'm really looking forward to this just for what I can learn from these ...
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A reading for Pamela
Some background to this... Pamela Moss is one of the speakers for Festival of Change; I asked her to talk about integration, carrying change through in practice, as I happen to know she's Very Good At This, and she said 'yes', and I danced round the room a bit, in ...
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As simple as possible
Some wise person (who may or may not have been Einstein) once said that everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Seems like good advice for divination. Thing is, we do seem to make it complicated. There's the way we somehow manage to get from spending ...
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The Image of Stripping Away
The more closely I look at the Image - the Daxiang wing, I mean - the more I think whoever wrote it was a sage. One tiny example... you know how most of the hexagrams' Images tell you what the 'noble one' would do? And then there are three that ...
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Coming soon: Festival of Change
I've been working hard on this behind the scenes for a while now, and it's high time I let you know about it... When - 4th to 12th September Where - wherever you happen to be, within reach of a phone line - we'll connect via teleseminars and a private ...
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Ask about the gift
I've stumbled across a question to ask Yi that's rapidly becoming one of my favourites: 'What's the gift?' It can be asked about almost anything, of course. A situation, an approach, a book... I just asked about what my new way of eating gives me, and had a very clear, ...
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Accidental Yijing commentaries
These are something I can't write - I can't help seeing the world through 'hexagram glasses' - but I love coming across them: articles about other things that just happen to be really excellent hexagram commentaries. Havi Brooks has been writing some very nice inadvertent Yijing things lately, even to ...
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Synchronicity with readings
I'm sorry to go so quiet lately. I've been having wonderful experiences with Yi, and readings, and connections and shifts happening... and all to do with clients' readings, so I can never share them here in public. (I'm very happy that I'm blessed with clients who share my joy in ...
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||:|::
Each hexagram of the Yijing contains a nuclear hexagram at its core. And since the nuclear hexagram unfolds from lines 2-5, it's the first and last lines, the 'entrance and exit' or 'roots and shoots' of the hexagram, that vary - so that four hexagrams can be formed around each ...
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Hexagram 38 and bag ladies
I always enjoy finding someone writing about hexagrams without knowing it. Here is Zoë of 'Essential Prose' writing about Hexagram 38, Opposing. The way she is, in fact, talking about Hexagram 38 really leaps from the page: "...the things we dismiss or reject because they don’t fit inside our perception of ...
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Hexagram 19
On my 'day off' a couple of weeks ago, I went and wandered round the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, going whereever I felt drawn. Presently I found myself up on the second floor, in front of a huge wooden carving of a seated Guan Yin. There she is in her ...
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ROFL
I don't normally find it easy to read tarot blogs - I just don't know enough about tarot to 'get' it most of the time - but I'm delighting in Ginny Hunt's post about Intuition and Making Shit Up. She's definitely talking about people's experience with the I Ching, too: ...
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Hexagram 36, Brightness Hiding
The name of Hexagram 36, ming yi, is translated as ‘brightness hidden’ or ‘brightness wounded’. The two ideas blend together in readings: the light is hidden away to escape the danger of injury. The wealth of layers of association in this hexagram hint at a complex relationship of light and ...
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Shadow hexagrams
I sometimes think of Stephen Karcher as the alchemist of Yijing interpretation, working away in his divination-laboratory and emerging from time to time with new techniques and tools of interpretation for diviners to test out. I'll always try what he offers, and often find it immensely useful - though by ...
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Last few laws
... all still from Harmen. Laws 5 and 6 - If you cling to the answer you will lose the solution. The symbolic replies from the Yijing can invite you to endless lingering in the field of metaphors, chewing on every possible piece of information that might or might not ...
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More laws of Yijing practice
Continuing with Harmen's Ten Laws of Proper Yijing Practice... Law 3 - Too much is less than enough. "Can I expect any positive movement from P's corner in the next couple of months?" I got Hex 10 unchanging. I get a sense that 10 means moving with caution. So I ...
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Laws of Yijing Practice
Here's a challenging post from Harmen Mesker: Ten Laws of Proper Yijing Practice Explained. While I'm unlikely ever to call anything to do with the Yi a 'law' (there's a distinct shortage of rules graven on stone tablets for divination), this is a really thoughtful and thought-provoking article. Law 1: ...
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Online I Ching reading news
Since I had to remove the Wilhelm/Baynes translation from the free online I Ching here, I've had several people ask after it. I can't restore it, but I can at least offer an alternative to good old Victorian James Legge. So I've just added excerpts from my own upcoming I ...
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Unchanging hexagrams and patterns of change
(Note: this is a quick post, throwing an idea out into the ether as soon as it hatches, with just a few feathers sticking to its scrawny neck, and a great big gaping beak squawking 'Feed me!' It is distinctly lacking in flight-feathers of its own as yet.) People instinctively ...
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Stephen Karcher I Ching the Symbolic Life
Stephen Karcher’s latest book, I Ching – the Symbolic Life - is a self-published work. The advantage of this: he’s been able to create and illustrate the book he wanted, in colour, with no corners cut. The disadvantage: the price is a little scary. I ordered my copy from ...
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fish glimpsed through water's surface
There's a much-quoted passage from Wang Bi's General Remarks on the Zhouyi about concepts and images: "Images are the means to express ideas. ...The images are generated by ideas, thus one can ponder the images and so observe what the ideas are. The ideas are yielded up completely by the ...
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Hexagram 10, Treading
También disponible en español Hexagram 10 tells you that you are 'treading the tail of the tiger.' The first question to ask yourself about it is always - naturally enough - 'What tiger? Where?' There is something here that could devour you; you need to know what it is. In ...
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Review: Way of Harmony software
I've been taking a good, long look at the Way of Harmony I Ching software. It's designed to encourage that kind of steady, take-your-time approach: it offers you gentle colours, the option of soft background music or sounds, and a simple, uncluttered interface. Some real thought has gone into creating ...
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Irrationally different seeing
I've been reading Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, and just reached the chapter on the power of expectations to change perception. The introductory example comes from sport: the supporters of two rival teams watch the same key, game-deciding moment, and for one of them the ball (or player, or something ...
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Inner li as vision
This is just a speculative post, or a starting point for speculation... I've started thinking of the trigram li - fire and light - as being like eyes, particularly when it's the inner trigram. Then sometimes it seems to look out at the outer trigram, and sometimes it seems to ...
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Already Across?
There's a deep humour to the last two hexagrams of the Yijing. 63: Already Across. Already Completed. Every line is in what was traditionally said to be its 'right place' - that is, the yang lines are in the odd-numbered positions, 1, 3 and 5, and yin lines sit quietly ...
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dui
A thought about Hexagram 58, line 5... not yet completely confirmed by experience, just a thought... Hexagram 58 is Opening, Joy and Communicating: the human figure with the great mouth who seems to dance and sing. This post is about its fifth line - the peak and culmination of the ...
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Casting a yearly reading
Do you cast a reading for the year? For many years now, I've cast mine on my birthday - I'm lucky to have a birthday in early December, so there's plenty of time for the reading to start to sink in during the depths of winter. Winter is an utterly ...
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||::||
One of the fascinating things about the structure of the Yijing is the way one hexagram in a pair (an odd-numbered hexagram with the even-numbered one that follows it, that is) can point to the other. It might contain it, or imply it, or give you a different perspective on ...
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Stirring the lake
Every now and then, I open a book and the words leap out at me as hexagram commentary - and then ramblings like these result... Here's Thomas Moore, in Care of the Soul, talking about faith. 'Imagine,' he says, 'a trust in yourself, or another person, or in life itself, ...
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Dangers of experience
Ah - experience. People phone me up to say they'd like an interpretation from someone who has more of the stuff. We gather it in journals (and Change Circle's WikiWing); it crystallises into a clear inner sense of what lines and hexagrams mean; it's worth more than any 20 commentaries ...
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Getting written
There's something about writing on the Yijing - it's not like other books, that just sit there mutely and allow themselves to be translated. I think people who've worked through the hexagram-by-hexagram threads over the years have had similar experiences, as the line of the day just happens to show ...
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Pounding the drum
Hexagram 14, Great Possession, says at line 4, 匪其彭。无咎。 - Not your (or its) peng, no mistake. Peng means power and dominance - Wu Jing Nuan translates with his usual succinctness, 'Not his to be strong' - and the old character shows a drum with three strokes next to it, ...
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Not Knowing etymology
All meanings of the name of this post are intentional, as I really don't know the first thing about Chinese etymology. But in my ignorance, I just stumbled over something wonderful in the first line of Hexagram 4, Not Knowing. Hexagram 4, line 1 speeds the young ignoramus on her ...
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Not Knowing and Protection
One of the meanings of Hexagram 4, Not Knowing, is being 'covered over', like a young animal whose mother hides it in the undergrowth. This means you can't see as far as you'd like to, something which people tend to find frustrating - and yet the image of the young ...
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Yi, or the Yi
A while ago, I received an email politely suggesting I stop referring to the Yi simply as 'Yi' without an article. The writer maintained that since the oracle is 'not a person', it would be better not to give it a 'pet name'; this was not good English usage when ...
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Lasting
For some reason, working through the lines of hexagram 32 recently took much longer than any other hexagram had done... 😉 I did find, looking through threads about it at the forum, that other people find it hard, too. Especially, it's puzzling how a hexagram that describes something essentially positive ...
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A fresh start for the I Ching Community
The I Ching Community is closing today, and will re-open soon. This is a new start. Vision The I Ching Community is a warm and open place for free, wide-ranging exploration of the I Ching. It’s a place to learn about and from this oracle, through experience, one ...
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Truth, confidence and captives
Harmen has just published a new article, which is always a wonderful thing (even if I wish he'd translate his Chinese sources for me!). This one is about fu - that word from the name of Hexagram 61 that means truth or trust or sincerity or confidence, or 'conforming' in ...
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Using Yi to help others
(Where have I been since my last post? Following Yi's guidance through the emotional minefield that is house-hunting. Still in one piece, though, and starting to see a way through.) Sometimes people will ask you to consult the Yijing on their behalf, or to help interpret their readings. It's a ...
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Mare in motion
Yi's been reminding me of hexagram 2 lately. It's my 'hexagram for the year', unchanging, so I have the opportunity to see it from the inside - after seeing it through my mother's example a few years ago. One of the biggest changes in my life this year is going ...
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No mistake
(Eep... this is the longest gap between blog posts in ages. Where have I been? I'm not completely sure... but it's involved getting started writing a book (more about this in Change Circle shortly), getting to know the excellent people who are participating in this year's Yijing Class, and starting ...
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White thatchgrass
(Sometimes I'm working through my notes and some small thing comes into focus. Here's one of them.) Hexagram 28 is 'Great Overstepping': the time of 'overstepping the mark' or 'stepping over the line', when the weight of things goes beyond what the structure can support, and the ridgepole begins to ...
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cobweb and dewdrops
I wrote before about how Yi can be a vehicle for instantaneous change, through an image that immediately transforms your experience. Immediate change... The effect of a 'vehicle for change' tends to be an immediate change of perception and experience. One moment your inner space is just hollowed out and ...
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Download the notes for the free call today
I just finished the handout for today's free call on the I Ching as 'Book of Transformations': you're welcome to download this in pdf format (to print out and write on) or as an editable rtf file. Do get yourself a copy even if you can't make it to the ...
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Book of (real) Change
I'm running a free call this Sunday (10th) about the I Ching as 'book of transformations'. This is all part of the preparations for this year's I Ching Class: I'm trying to use the free calls to give a flavour of what it's about, as well as some practical suggestions ...
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Going deeper
Sometimes, after you've looked at an I Ching reading for a while, the natural next step is to ask another question to help you understand aspects of that first reading. And sometimes the further answers you're looking for are already present in your original reading, if you just have the ...
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Introducing Divination
This is a 7 minute excerpt from the beginning of last weekend's 'Introducing Divination' call, in which I introduce the call and people introduce divination to one another.  Participants include Lynne Tolk of lifedirectionscoach.com, Jane English of eheart.com, and Josephine. (Click the blue 'play' button to play, or right-click here ...
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Download the handout for today's free call
I'm hosting a free call today - at 7pm UK time, 11am Pacific (more timezones here) - introducing and exploring divination and the I Ching. The call will include...
  • "What's divination for?" - how you can use it to make a difference in your own experience
  • three tips for ...
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Free call on the 26th
Just to make sure you don't miss this... On Sunday 26th at 7pm here in the UK (which is 11am Pacific time - and you can translate this to your own timezone here) there's a free call to discuss synchronicity, divination and the I Ching.  Someone just emailed to ask ...
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Hexagram 34: Great Vigour
Hexagram 34 is Great Vigour - or Power, or Strength. The old character shows a scholar, or an impressive man, and half the character for 'tree'. It means robust, powerful, in the prime of life. Combined with the character for 'great' - a man standing straight - this gives a ...
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The lines that don't change
The other day, I responded to a client's I Ching Course assignment about a reading with five moving lines. Since I'm not a fan of systems that reduce the number of moving lines (I reckon that if your answer were contained in a single moving line, you'd have received just ...
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More steps when stuck
I was writing on Saturday about a reading kindly shared by Eric Bryant of I Ching Insights ('petrosianii' here at Clarity). He asked about the effect of purchasing some nicotine-free cigarettes as an aid to giving up smoking; he received first Hexagram 25 moving to 41, and then Hexagram 37 ...
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Steps when stuck
Over at his 'I Ching Insights' blog, Eric Bryant's doing sterling work writing up the whole process of a reading: formulating the question, and interpreting the answer. And in the process, he's run into an experience that's pretty familiar to anyone who's ever talked with the oracle: he's got stuck ...
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'cello (and diviner)
I was just listening to a recording of a call from a couple of years ago, where I suggested that divination was like becoming a 'cello. Then I stopped and asked if anyone had questions, and a nice participant told me that I'd just lost him with that last bit ...
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Changing lines in groups
You can learn a lot about moving lines in the Yijing by looking at where they're headed - that is, the hexagram that would be generated if this line alone were changing. Arguing doesn't lead to good fortune - unless it's done in an awareness of being 'Not Yet Across' ...
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I Ching hexagram characters
Paul Guérin, also known as 'confucius' in the I Ching Community, is offering these drawings of the old forms of the sixty-four hexagram names: The images are drawn in Chinese ink on rice paper, and they're available for all of $20, including postage anywhere in the world, only to Clarity ...
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Knitting?
I came across this animation at Patricia Bralley's excellent blog, where she has it under the title 'Addiction, Ego, Pain'. Of course, we don't know what the scarf is made of... but it seems to me that another good title might be, "How to tell when you really need Hexagram ...
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Carol Anthony interview online
There's an interview with Carol Anthony (author of Guide to the I Ching, Oracle of the Cosmic Way and so on) on BlogTalkRadio. It's good to hear the voice after experiencing the books, and get some insight into the process that gave rise to them. There's a long introduction before ...
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Yi on life purpose
A couple of days ago, I recommended the Divine Purpose Unveiled course, and all kinds of debate ensued. Some of that was about the very idea of having a 'divine purpose' at all, and whether it's remotely helpful. Is it good to believe that we have a specific personal contribution ...
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Recommended: Divine Purpose Unveiled
Update: at least some of the bonus sessions mentioned below are gone now (including the ones with me - see CK's comment). Check on the sales page to see which are left. ~~~~~~~~~ As you know, I don't exactly litter this blog with recommendations for other people's products ...
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Living Change I Ching podcast 5
One more episode - this one about staying connected to a flow of energy. [podcast]http://livingchange.s3.amazonaws.com/living-change-i-ching-5.mp3[/podcast] Download mp3 Any comments? Any suggestions for future questions? ...
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Gifts, life purpose and Yu the Great
Hexagram 35: Advancing, Prospering, Flourishing - I love getting this one in readings and introducing people to it. 'Prospering, Prince Kang used a gift of horses to breed a multitude. He mated them three times in one day.' (There are other possible translations - it could be that Kang was ...
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Just divination?
I quite often have people ask me whether I don't agree that the I Ching is essentially philosophy, and wisdom, and 'more than just divination.' And I find it hard to know how to respond. Yes, there is wisdom there, though the only consistent 'philosophy' I find is a very ...
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Honouring guests
Hexagram 5, Waiting or Attending, ends at the 6th line with 'Entering into the cave There are uninvited guests, Three people come. Honouring them, in the end good fortune.' So on the one hand the waiting is almost finished - instead of going out and crossing the river to show ...
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Thoughts on Hexagram 11
Years ago, I wrote that Hexagram 11 seems like the hexagram of love - "not so much love in its various expressions in human relationships, but as a pure, overwhelming cosmic force for creation." I think it's also love as power. Certainly I've rarely seen it mean a peaceful experience ...
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What makes for clearer readings?
One of the highlights of Opening Space for Change, for me, was when one of the participants said she'd found her readings had become clearer. This is someone who already has plenty of experience with the Yijing, and she's a very good interpreter who's always willing to give plenty of ...
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Why open space for change?
I've been asking people, for the past couple of weeks, why it's important to them to open space for change. The answers have been eye-opening - and with the first space-opening call today, it seemed a good moment to try to respond myself. Why's it important to me to open ...
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How you can win a free ticket...
...to Opening Space for Change. You can win a free ticket to the whole event. That includes the two calls - clearing and opening a space to listen in, and attuning to the response - ...and their recordings ...and a copy of the music Eliana just recorded at an ancient ...
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How New is your Year?
I'm not a great Christmas-enthusiast, but there's something about New Year that always delights me. I imagine it's simply the promise of newness: things may have been a certain way last year, but that needn't prove anything about this year. It's a grand, sparkling invitation to remake habits and patterns, ...
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No fears
I was pretty much bowled over a couple of days ago when a publishing company - a real one that does real, paper books and pays authors - contacted me to ask if I'd be interested in doing an I Ching book. Would I?! Of course I would. At least ...
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Trigram topography?
I'm enjoying reading Stephen Field's Ancient Chinese Divination, especially the insight into the early understanding of qi and how it flows. I'm just reading his description of Form School fengshui. While its earliest written description is (in Yijing terms) relatively young (the Tang dynasty Book of Burial), the fundamental idea ...
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The role of music in divination
Back when Eliana and I first started juggling ideas for Opening Space for Change, of course one of the first things I did was to ask Yi for a comment on the idea. Not for the business partnership side of things, but first of all for the whole idea of ...
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The ruined city at Megido
I love those synchronicities that come as pure encouragement, like welcoming signposts saying, 'Yes, this way.' I was talking to Eliana, who's joining with me to create the Opening Space for Change event in a few weeks' time. I'd just been working on a reading for the podcast about how ...
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Living Change I Ching podcast 4
Well, I'm still getting the hang of my new microphone (I hope), and recovering some voice after the seasonal cold, and experimenting with recording without a script... not sure about the merits of that one... but anyway, here's podcast 4. [podcast]http://livingchange.s3.amazonaws.com/living-change-i-ching-4.mp3[/podcast] The question this time was about opening the channel ...
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Self-cultivation?
Browsing Allan Lian's blog, with a New Year post offering a Confucian perspective on self-cultivation, got me thinking. What is self-cultivation - where and how does this idea show up in the Yijing? Luckily, I don't have far to look: my guiding principle for the year for Clarity, as given ...
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Direction
or - why is Clarity here? I've been running Clarity now for some eight years, so this post's probably about eight years overdue. What can I say? I'm a bit slow at times. Also, hopefully some things have got clearer for me since 2000. Why is Clarity here? Because I ...
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Are you free at the weekend?
...because if enough people are interested, we could get together online to chat and explore a shared reading. These live events are normally only for Change Circle people, but this one's open to all Clarity members. Please come and read the thread about this and...
Turnaround in Hexagram 39
Hexagram 39 is called 'Difficulties' or 'Limping'. It describes the experience of a perpetual uphill struggle: just one thing after another, grinding on and on, battling with handicaps or with the elements or with an unforgivingly inhospitable world... ...and it also describes the moment when you turn this around. I've ...
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Talismanic qualities of hexagrams
This is a subject that deserves much more than these few lines, but I'm so interested to hear what you think about it that I don't want to wait until I have something more eloquent to say. The 'default' idea of divination is that we cast hexagrams, and they describe ...
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Asking how he feels
This topic's been discussed more than once at the I Ching Community, where I Ching beginners very often show up asking questions like, 'What does he feel about me?' Goodness knows this is an absolutely normal, human thing to want to ask - but anyone who's watched a few of ...
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Living Change I Ching podcast 3
Here's the latest Living Change for you to download, with a reading on how to nurture creativity. Please comment! (I'm especially interested in thoughts on practical ways to respond to the reading.) [podcast]http://livingchange.s3.amazonaws.com/living-change-i-ching-3.mp3[/podcast] Download mp3 Change Circle members will find the promised interview in the members area. I'm aware that ...
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looking out of a dark castle gate into wide open landscape
A couple of my most startling, transformative readings lately have come when I asked questions I could and should have asked a year or more ago. The issues were on my mind - in some cases driving all I did - yet it never dawned on me to talk with ...
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I Ching on Obama
A round-up of readings from the run-up to the election, with thanks to Google. The earliest pertinent reading I found was from 24th May: "What will an Obama presidency bring to the nation?" Now, there's some ambiguity around this reading: for one thing, by July the original poster was saying ...
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What Yi answers
It's one of those FAYQ*: "Does the Yijing always answer the question you ask?" My standard answer is yes, almost always. And yes, it is always good to assume in the first place that this is what's happened, and you're looking at an answer to your question. The alternative - ...
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I Ching chat tomorrow
There's an I Ching online chat tomorrow - simple text chat as far as I know - run by our own Petrosianii (aka Eric Bryant). It's at 2pm Eastern time (you can check other timezones here): full details here ...
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Living Change I Ching Podcast 2
Here's the second episode - shorter than I'd intended, but it's here. Today's reading is about money, and came out rather more topical than I'd planned. I hope you enjoy; please comment to your heart's content. Links mentioned in the audio: The music is from here; Change Circle is here ...
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Gifts of time from the I Ching
I wrote a few days back about how the I Ching unavoidably, undeniably, takes time. I also touched on how it gives time back, re-tuned and humming. Setting aside enough time for a reading means greater clarity, better decisions, and just a more grounded, fluent experience. Also, it makes for ...
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Change and Cinderella
I just heard this in an audio sample from Marianne Williamson's Sacred Dialogue programme: "We say, OK this is not joyous, and so I want another life, and so we pray for another life. ...We tend to think of it like, 'This life isn't good enough, and I want another ...
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I Ching Workshops in Manchester
Message from Mick Frankel: "The first of my three Theosophical Society workshops on the I Ching is on Saturday 25th October at the Friends' Meeting House, Mount Street in Manchester City Centre near the Library. The workshop runs from 2 - 4 and costs £4 which includes a cup of ...
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No time for the I Ching
Ever heard this? "I know the I Ching works, but I don't have time for it." Ever said it? I have... which is more embarrassing than I care to think about. Naturally I have endless time to work on readings for clients, and work out the best possible ways to ...
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Earth revealing heaven
It was some time after I thought I'd 'completed' my hexagram commentary to contribute to Change Circle's WikiWing when I realised there was a line I'd completely forgotten. Hexagram 2, 'using sixes': the text that's read when every line is moving, and Hexagram 2 changes towards Hexagram 1. 'Harvest from ...
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Living Change I Ching podcast
Here it is... I Ching podcast, episode 1. In future I'd like to add more sections to this - some interviews, feedback, shared experiences, maybe even some music like a real, grown-up podcast. Some of the more in-depth stuff will be for Change Circle members only, but there'll always be ...
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