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Shakuhachi flute
Question: "What advice can be offered for more effectively providing meditative peace and healing through playing Shakuhachi flute music?" Answer: Great Vigour in Flow. changing to A Yeeky thing I mentioned during this reading: the idea of a dabagua, or 'big trigram' hexagram. If you take the trigram dui, lake ...
Alberto Ramon 'Conversations with the I Ching'
Alberto Ramon has been developing his approach to Yijing readings for many years now, and recently published a new book: Conversations with the I Ching. Its subtitle: 'An intuitive approach to understanding the answers, with 85 explained readings.' I'm finding it a worthwhile read. What I like about this book ...
Han dynasty depiction of Yu the Great

Hexagram 53, Gradual Progress, has two lines about the high plateau: 'The wild geese gradually progress to the high plateau.
The husband marches out and does not return,
The wife is pregnant, but does not raise the child.
Pitfall.
Fruitful to resist robbers.' Hexagram 53, line 3 'Wild geese gradually progress to the high ...
A tied-up bag
Question: 'What do I need to know as I prepare to finish this book and send it out into the world?' Answer: Hexagram 2, Earth, changing at lines 4 and 6 to 35, Advancing: changing to As Kat and I discussed this one in this latest podcast episode, we mentioned ...
rabbit disappearing into its burrow
On the one hand... ... it makes me unhappy to hear that someone isn't consulting the Yijing because they 'don't have time'. This is distressing and unnecessary. You can connect to a reading intuitively in a matter of minutes, have that unmistakable sense of being spoken to, and develop an ...
butterfly chrysalis hanging from a twig
There are two lines in Hexagram 27, Nourishment, that refer to 'rejecting the standard': ‘Unbalanced nourishment.
Rejecting the standard, looking to the hill-top for nourishment.
Setting out to bring order – pitfall.’ Hexagram 27, line 2 'Rejecting the standard,
Dwelling here with constancy: good fortune.
Cannot cross the great river.' Hexagram 27, line 5 ...
sunrise over mountains
This episode of the podcast could also be entitled 'light dawns in the end,' as it took a while for me to join all the dots between the querent's situation and the reading. It's a great example of how Yi talks to the whole person, though, as well as answering ...
man and woman in cangue
Some Yijing imagery is immensely straightforward to relate to. I was having the 'What do you do?' conversation a few weeks ago, and a friend asked me what kind of thing readings said, and how they answered questions. 'Imagine,' I said, 'you're asking about taking on a new voluntary role, ...
duck-rabbit
Hexagram 36, Brightness Hiding, might be one of the easiest to connect with. Isn't there a story in the Sorrells' I Ching Made Easy of someone in an abusive relationship who received Hexagram 36 and broke down in tears of recognition and relief when she heard the story of Ji ...
a thornbush blocks the view out to sea
The listener's reading for this episode has an unusual premise: Beebee was trying to work out why what she was trying to manifest in her life wasn't happening. Where was the block? She asked, "What actions are needed from me in order to achieve my desires?" And Yi responded with ...
close-up of light on flowing water
Tradition tells us that Hexagram 63, Already Crossing, has its trigrams in the right places: water is above fire, like the pan on the stove; things are cooking; everything is in good working order. And then by contrast, Hexagram 64, Not Yet Crossing, with the same two trigrams in reverse ...
windswept grass
A new podcast reading: how to find more fulfillment in life? Not (in this reading) by doing stuff - more by feeling your way deeply into experience. The answer was Hexagram 57, changing at lines 2 and 3 to 20, Seeing: changing to I quoted from LiSe Heyboer's page on ...
mountain fire
There's a well-established tradition that these trigrams portray fast-moving fire burning through mountain vegetation.
Kong Yingda (574-648AD) wrote, 'When fire is on top of the mountain, it races through the grass and shrubbery, a condition that does not leave it in one place for long. Thus this provides the image for ...
Wood fire
The trigram picture of Hexagram 50, the Vessel, is a dynamic one: wood in the fire, burning. The wood is becoming fire; the food in the vessel is cooking for the ritual meal. 'The vessel.
From the source, good fortune.
Creating success.' Hexagram 50, the Oracle This is an exceptionally fortunate beginning, ...
autumn leaf
Hexagram 23, Stripping Away, is not generally much fun. Of course, we all know there is no such thing as a negative hexagram. But it's a rare reading when the sight of 23 fills one with joy. Stripping away means loss; usually, it means having something taken from you that ...
spiralling descent into a well
Episode 37 of the I Ching with Clarity podcast features a listener's reading. She's wondering whether her desire to create a business is her real path, or whether she could be losing herself. Her reading - Hexagram 48, the Well, changing at line 3 to 29, Repeating Chasms: changing to ...
sunlit landscape
The next three hexagrams with trigram li outside are 30, Clarity (doubled li, inside and out), 35, Advancing (fire over the earth) and 38, Opposing (fire above the lake). Each one has a different kind of trigram interaction, but the outer light always seems to be expanding awareness: spreading the ...
tabby cat watching
Episode 36 of the I Ching with Clarity podcast - a reading of my own, received in a way that might be new to you. I was asking for guidance in a new situation, and the response was Hexagram 27, Nourishing, changing to 54, the Marrying Maiden. (The completely positive ...
new seedling
The Yijing Foundations Class is an opportunity to learn all the essentials for clear, confident readings, in a small group of up to 12 students. This gives you the best of both worlds: all the individual support you need, plus the chance to learn from your fellow-students' readings, experiences, questions ...
timelapse photo of night sky with star trails
I've written about the trigram li, fire and light, and the role it plays as inner trigram, inside the hexagram. Here's a look at fire on the outside... In the 'Trigram Associations' pdf that's part of the Yijing Foundations Course, I simply wrote that, The outer li illumines more expansively, ...
eroding rockface and green slopes below
A podcast reading with two radically contrasting hexagrams: 23, Stripping Away, changing to 42, Increasing: changing to Maria's question: 'How should I lead my spiritual life to know the truth?' In this reading, she and Yi trace a path through what seems like an impossible situation. Links I mention in ...
small dog, blocked path
The muddle If you're new to the I Ching, you could be forgiven for wondering why there are apparently two hexagrams called 'Obstruction': Hexagram 12 (according to such translators as Cleary and Richter) and Hexagram 39 (according to Balkin, amongst others). Neither hexagram is one you'd generally rejoice to see ...
handprints on cave wall
I went away for a week this summer and met a lot of new people. As you can imagine, the "what do you do?" conversations are always interesting for me. "What do you do?"
"Divination, with the I Ching." And once we had got past the "you do what with the ...
night sky
Hexagram 49, Radical Change Fire in the lake: awareness shining through all kinds of human interaction and exchange. I've imagined before that this could be the shaman's eyes shining through his mask; it's certainly the light of astronomical awareness shining through the calendar. 'In the centre of the lake there ...
ancient beech trees
Adeola shared a remarkable question and reading for this episode of the I Ching with Clarity podcast: "How is this travelling life shaping my character? (what kind of person am I becoming?)" Yi's response: Hexagram 14, Great Possession, changing to 53, Gradual Progress: changing to I hope you enjoy this ...
Cottage at night with light shining from its windows
36, Brightness Hiding With Hexagrams 13 and 22, and maybe even 30, I could build up a picture of how li inside projected its light through the outer trigram, bringing awareness and enlightenment to it. When I get to Hexagram 36, with light inside earth, this becomes altogether trickier. It's ...
luminous spiral
Recently, when I don't have any particular news to link to, I've taken to making my forum signature read, "You are the expert on your own readings." I've found this is something people really need to hear. There's a very widespread tendency to rush to commentaries, or the helpful people ...
flames
One intriguing way to learn more about hexagrams is to study them in groups: contrasts and opposites, groups that are joined in sequence, nuclear families, and so on. Recently, I've been looking at the groups of hexagram that share a trigram in the same position, like for instance mountain on ...
spring blossom with bee
Episode 33 of the I Ching with Clarity podcast features a listener's reading about moving to a new country. How best to make a positive transition to this new place, wherever it may be? The Oracle answered with Hexagram 16, Enthusiasm, changing at line 2 to Hexagram 40, Release: changing ...
line of ducklings
Before you start reading this article, or anything anyone writes about how to consult the Yijing, do bear in mind that there are no rules for this. All I can share is what I've found works best in readings, for myself and for other people: the approach that will help ...
Chinese bronze chariot
'Where to go?' was Lilian's reading for this episode of the podcast; Yi answered with Hexagram 47, Confining, changing at lines 2 and 4 to 8, Seeking Union - changing to - which is a lovely example of Yi answering the person even when I couldn't quite see how it ...
tree roots
It probably shouldn't surprise me to discover that 57, Subtly Penetrating, as relating hexagram is very hard to pin down. That seems to be just the nature of the hexagram. But the most general way of looking at a relating hexagram still works here: imagine how the primary hexagram is ...
Raindrops on lake surface.
In this episode, Katie - a psychotherapist in training - asks, "What do I most need to know right now?" Behind this question lies a worry that she ought to be doing more, or achieving faster or maybe starting a side business: she was wondering, she said, whether she ought ...
frozen bubble with ice crystals
The Yi is an oracle; it speaks. (The word 'oracle' has its roots in the Latin orare, to speak, and oraculum, the name of the priest/ess who gave voice to the god.) Other oracles people use now, like tarot, have interpreters to speak their meanings, but Yi is unique: it ...
An outsider seeking nourishment
Here's the 30th episode of the I Ching with Clarity podcast - a short one, this time, with a reading of my own. I asked for an auspice or advice for joining a new orchestra, and received Hexagram 38, Opposing, changing at lines 2 and 4 to 27, Nourishment: changing ...
hay bales in sunlit field
Make hay while the sun shines Hexagram 35 is one of the sunniest in the Yijing: 'Advancing, Prince Kang used a gift of horses to breed a multitude.
In the course of a day, he mated them three times.' Look, it says, you are recognised, you have wonderful gifts, and now ...
Lake below the mountain
Here's a new episode of the I Ching with Clarity podcast for you, with a listener's reading about a relationship problem that a lot of people will be able to relate to. Danielle's reading was Hexagram 41, Decreasing, changing to 42, Increasing: changing to Seven minutes or so into the ...
Signpost pointing to 'yes' and 'no'
As you might know, I'm very keen on keeping things as simple as possible - not least the questions we ask the Yijing. But this can cause some bafflement when I advise against asking questions that are looking for a 'yes' or a 'no' answer. What could be simpler than ...
kayak on the river
At the very end of Hexagram 16, Enthusiasm, in its final line, 'results bring a change of heart': 'Enthusiasm in the dark.
Results bring a change of heart,
No mistake.' And then at the very beginning of Hexagram 17, Following, its first line begins with an official's change of heart: 'An official ...
stepping stones across a pond
A couple of things I've noticed at the I Ching Community
  • how much good, natural, intuitive interpretation goes on there, and also
  • how if people get stuck, it's often because they haven't looked at the whole reading.
There's a natural tendency to jump straight to the moving lines ...
mouth of a cave with lake stretching out into sunlight
In this podcast episode, Elisabeth asks Yi, 'What approach or attitude should I adopt to have the best chance of serving other people through my writing?' Yi answers with Hexagram 61, Inner Truth, changing at lines 1, 4 and 6 to Hexagram 47, Confining - very apt hexagrams, as the ...
pair of socks
Eight hexagrams of the Yijing are formed from doubled trigrams (chong gua 重卦) - the same trigram above and below.
  • Qian, Creative Force, Hexagram 1
  • Kun, Earth, Hexagram 2
  • Xi Kan, Repeating Chasms, Hexagram 29. (For some reason, this hexagram alone mentions 'repeating' in its name.)
  • Li, Clarity, Hexagram ...
abundant blackberries growing wild
Three lines Here's another phrase that appears three times in the Yijing: 富以其鄰, fu yi qi lin, 'rich in one's neighbours'. In 9.5, you are rich in your neighbours - 'There is truth and confidence as a bond.
Rich in your neighbours.' while in 11.4 and 15.5, you aren't - 'Fluttering, ...
two candles in the dark
In this 27th episode of the I Ching with Clarity podcast, Anita shares a reading about trusting her new relationship. She received Hexagram 30, Clarity, with no changing lines - the hexagram made by doubling the trigram li, fire and light: 'Unchangingness' can colour a hexagram's meaning in interesting ways ...
single Christmas bauble
I've just added another ebook to the little 'library' page of free downloads for all Clarity members. It's a handy compilation of the articles I wrote this year about periods of time in the Yijing: 'seven days', 'three days', 'ten years' and 'all day'.
streams flowing together
Hexagram 8... ...is called bi 比, which means…
  • association, neighbouring, being close together
  • matching, joining, belonging with
  • comparison, analogy, metaphor
Bi, name of Hexagram 8 You can see the core idea in the old Chinese character: two human figures walking together, one following the other, their outlines matching ...
spring rainbow
A reading of my own for this episode of the I Ching with Clarity podcast: what are the characteristics of a good question? Yi answered with Hexagram 16, Enthusiasm, changing at line 2 to 40, Release: changing to I've written about 16.2 a couple of times before - about its ...
wrapped gift
To celebrate my upcoming birthday, I'm doing something I've never done before - making a big, fat special offer on Change Circle, the membership that's the heart of Clarity. Just briefly - from now until Wednesday, December 7th - you can get lifetime access to Change Circle for a single ...
A trigram picture of Opposing
I mentioned in a recent post how the hexagram picture of Hexagram 38, gui, Opposing, looks like the eyes in its name. The six lines together illustrate two eyes that see differently, or squint - which is one of the meanings of gui. What about the trigram picture, though - ...
flooded fields
In this episode, Tricia shares her reading about how to leave a conflict behind. Yi answered with Hexagram 59, Dispersing, changing at lines 2, 4 and 5 to 35, Advancing: changing to It's a remarkable reading - I really enjoyed exploring it with her, and I hope you will, too ...
Hexagrams as pictures
On not knowing the first thing about the Yi Back in 2015, I titled a post, 'I don't know the first thing about the Yi'. By this I meant not knowing how it came to be - how people first knew that a certain pattern of lines belonged with certain ...
small spoonful of quinoa grains
The character yue, a 'summer offering', is one of those interesting ones that appears three times in the Yi: 'Being drawn. Good fortune, no mistake.
With truth and confidence, it is fruitful to make the summer offering.'Hexagram 45, line 2 'With truth and confidence, it is fruitful to make the summer ...
piggy bank on beach
Well, this is fun, isn't it? Shortening days, falling temperatures and prices leaping joyfully as the newborn lamb. So, though it makes me very happy when people buy things from me - seriously, I do appreciate you! - I thought I'd write a post about what's available here at Clarity ...
Clouds below mountain summit
In this episode of the I Ching with Clarity podcast, Rachel asks the Yi how she can 'lose habitual hardship' - shift her experience so not everything is about crisis management! Yi answers with Hexagram 26, Great Taming, changing at lines 1 and 6 to 46, Pushing Upward: changing to ...
day calendar with all pages torn out
People quite often ask me about the Yijing's vocabulary of periods of time. But as I worked my way through them - seven days, three days, ten years… - I found one that I haven't been asked about: a whole day. Just like seven days, three days and ten years, ...
medicinal herbs
It's only natural that we should turn to the Yijing with medical questions: we're vulnerable, uncertain and out of our depth, facing the unknown, so of course we want to consult the oracle. Or if we encounter someone else dealing with a medical crisis who asks for a reading, of ...
waterfalls flowing together
A listener's reading for this episode of the I Ching with Clarity podcast: Vidia asked, 'How can I move forward and be of service?' Yi answered with Hexagram 8, Seeking Union, with no changing lines - a beautifully simple answer that gave us the opportunity for a deep dive into ...
calendar day view
Here's another period of time mentioned three times in the Yijing: 'Corruption. Creating success from the source.
Fruitful to cross the great river.
Before the seed day, three days. After the seed day, three days.' 'Brightness hidden, flying away,
His wings hanging down.
The noble one is on the move,
For three days, eats nothing,
Has ...
cross section of bedrock and earth
A Change Circle member recently mentioned getting a whole series of readings with 15 as relating hexagram, so I thought I'd dig in and explore how it works there, as the background to a reading… Integrity, humility… The name of Hexagram 15, qian, means humility - or perhaps integrity, ...
endless desert road
Why ten years? Years, in the Yijing, usually come in threes. I've counted seven mentions of 'three years', most of them indicating a long period when something doesn't happen:
  • 13.3 three years without rising up
  • 29.6 three years without gain
  • 47.1 and 55.6, three years without meeting anyone
  • 53.5 three years without pregnancy
  • 63.3 ...
stone troll
In which you will encounter hesitation, second-guessing, repetitious readings, decision, 'contradictory' moving lines (what do you do with those?), a good dose of common sense and a particularly persistent troll. Also these readings... Hexagram 18, Corruption, changing at line 3 to 4, Not Knowing: changing to Hexagram 49, Radical Change, ...
ferris wheel at night
People often ask about the significance of the specific periods of time mentioned in the Yijing. Does this literally mean seven days, or ten years? Very occasionally, it can - but normally, these periods have symbolic value. It's interesting to see that 'seven days' get three mentions in the Yijing: ...
Finding meaning
Sergio asked a big question for this podcast reading: how to deal with his sense that his life lacked meaning. Yi's response was quite a modest, domestic one: Hexagram 37, People in the Home, changing at the fifth line to 22, Beauty: changing to 'With the king's presence, there is ...
bamboo segments
Measuring Hexagram 60 is called Measuring, or Limits - not in the sense of imposing restrictions, but of knowing where the edges are, and discovering or negotiating what's workable. The original concept is the knots and segments of bamboo, and hence all ways of dividing up something big into smaller ...
Levels of questioning?
Something I just came across… Alan Seale, in Create a World that Works ( a book I haven't read, and no doubt should) described four levels of engagement with experience - from the most easily accessible to the most creative: Drama - the blow-by-blow, he-said-she-said reliving of events, in a ...
marsh wren singing
The Yijing is an optimistic oracle: omens of good fortune come more often than those of misfortune. But on four* occasions, it goes one step further and promises great good fortune: 'Enriching the home.
Great good fortune.'Hexagram 37, line 4 'Great good fortune, no mistake.'Hexagram 45, line 4 'Welcomed pushing upward,
Great ...
no through road sign
'Not yet across, creating success.
The small fox, almost across,
Soaks its tail:
No direction bears fruit.' There are ten places where the Yi says that 'no direction bears fruit', or (in the Wilhelm/Baynes version) 'nothing furthers': 4.3, 19.3, 25.6, 27.3, 32.1, 34.6, 45.3, 54.0, 54.6, and finally 64.0. It's easy to see ...
trees on a mountain
This podcast has a reading of my own, about creating a home. Yi answered with Hexagram 53, Gradual Progress, changing at line 5 to Hexagram 52, Stilling: changing to If you'd like to discuss a reading with me for a future episode (it's free, as a 'thank you' for sharing), ...
Reflections on Lasting
A little background Let me set some context for this one. Back in November 2021, I'd just finished planting garlic round the half-dozen raised beds I've created over the years, then mulching the beds with a good layer of compost, ready for sowing the following spring. The next day, we ...
straight muddy ditch
If you try for an 'eagle's-eye view' of the Yijing, you get to admire its architecture: the intricate connections between hexagrams, the Sequence, two-line changes and so on. What if you zoom in, instead, for a mouse's eye-view? Here's an example of that. I've translated Hexagram 4's Oracle like this: ...
looking out of a deep cave
A reading for an I Ching Community member, Honey, aka MeltingPot247, with four moving lines full of darkness and warnings - What do I need to know about this relationship as it is now? The answer: Hexagram 32, Lasting, changing at lines 1, 3 4 and 6 to 41, Decrease ...
geese in flight
Here's an interesting experiment you can play with: a reading without an oracle. That means setting out to receive guidance from the world without using anything intended for divination: no cards, runes, coins, stalks, charts or anything of the kind. Instead, you might listen to the first few words you ...
Eglise St Jeanne d'Arc, Rouen
I'm repeating myself here, but never mind - it bears repeating. The Yi is wonderfully made, with mind-boggling depth. One of the ways this manifests is in the relationships between changing lines and their zhi gua, the hexagram that follows from the change. For example, 49.3 changes to Hexagram 17, ...
light of camp fire on rock face
In this episode, Raka shares two readings:
'What if I go back to university for postgraduate studies?' Yi answers with Hexagram 22, Beauty, changing at line 2 to 26, Great Taming: changing to and
'What if I just leave this whole university thing?' ...which gave her Hexagram 20, Seeing, changing ...
hiking gear
A Change Circle member asked for examples and impressions of Hexagram 56, Travelling, as relating hexagram. After I'd trawled through my journal for examples for her, I thought I'd like to keep digging, so here's the result… I'd expect the relating hexagram to describe subjective more than objective reality, and ...
herring
In this episode, I share a couple of readings from my journal:
  • 'What about leaving this volunteering role?' 32.3 to 40
  • 'What do I do when I'm there?' 61.4.6 to 58
And I talk about conversation with Yi, the interplay of text and structure, catching up with the reading years later, ...
Not yet
Hexagram 63, Ji ji, Already Crossing, is followed by Wei ji, Not Yet Crossing. Wei 未, 'not yet', is the opposite of ji 既, 'already'. It occurs three times in the Yi in addition to its appearance in Hexagram 64: in the Oracle of Hexagram 48, and in 49.5 and ...
Ji Already
It can be interesting to look at how the names of the hexagrams are used in the text of the Yijing - I mean, besides in the eponymous hexagram. This happens quite a bit, and while sometimes it's obviously just normal usage of a common word (like you 有, 'having' ...
mountain camp in the mist
In this podcast episode, Lucy asks why she's hesitant to use her gifts - and Yi responds with Hexagram 7, the Army, changing at line 4 to Hexagram 40, Releasing: changing to The moving line: 'The army camps on the left,
No mistake.'Hexagram 7, line 4 ...which certainly casts new light ...
U-shaped bend in the road
'Above the mountain, there is water. Limping.
Noble one turns himself around to renew his character.'Hexagram 39, the Image When the Image authors talked of 'turning oneself around' in Hexagram 39, they were picking up on a theme in the older layers of text. To start with, the Oracle says that ...
Shennong, the Divine Husbandsman
Here's Wikipedia's definition of a 'culture hero': A culture hero is a mythological hero specific to some group (cultural, ethnic, religious, etc.) who changes the world through invention or discovery. Chinese mythology seems to be especially full of these: people who are recognised as heroic because they invented millet farming, ...
stepping stones in a Zen garden
The Xugua - its scope and limits As you may know, I'm a huge enthusiast for the Sequence of Hexagrams: its hidden patterns, the ways it creates meaning, its big reflections and arcs and the way it adds depth to readings. The Xugua, the 9th Wing… is not really about ...
Roots round a temple door
For this 15th episode of the I Ching with Clarity podcast, I asked the oracle to explain the whole idea of a 'New Year' to me. 'What's a creative way to imagine New Year? What's its deeper significance?' Yi responds with Hexagram 57, Subtly Penetrating, changing at lines 2 and ...
The genius of the Daxiang (part 2)
In my last post, I talked about how the Daxiang paints pictures of individual hexagrams, as a whole. In this one, I'd like to try a change of perspective, zooming in and zooming out, to see what comes into focus. Commentary on the lines The Image builds on and humanises ...
paintbrushes
Introducing the Image Sometimes we explain things to ourselves by comparing and contrasting - like the Zagua. Sometimes we tell stories, like the Xugua (Sequence of Hexagrams). And often, we paint mental pictures. The Yi is overflowing with pictures, of course - not least the ones created by its component ...
Patchwork
Introducing the Zagua The Yi became the Yijing, a Classic book, as it grew its Ten Wings: ten bodies of commentary and reflections on the oracle and its hexagrams. The Zagua, 'Mixed hexagrams', is the tenth and last of these: a short, simple, rhyming description of the hexagrams in pairs ...
Repeating Chasms
In this fourteenth episode of the I Ching with Clarity podcast, Sasha shares a relationship reading: Hexagram 29, the Repeating Chasms, with no changing lines: If you've ever wondered what to make of an unchanging reading, this one could be helpful: we take our time exploring the hexagram's atmosphere, its ...
Rain on a window
The Yijing mentions rain several times - in Hexagram 9, and then in 38.6, 43.3, 50.3 and 62.5. What does it represent? Wilhelm, writing about 50.3, has a succinct answer: 'The fall of rain symbolizes here, as in other instances, release of tension.' Wilhelm is (here, as in other instances) ...
water overflowing a fountain basin
Episode 13 of the I Ching with Clarity podcast features an author who's on the cusp of sending her book out into the world, just not quite sure why she doesn't feel ready for this. Is this the time, or should she wait? Yi gave her Hexagram 42, Increasing, changing ...
rough mountain track
It’s a not-unfamiliar experience with readings: the oracle text of the hexagram says one thing, and then a moving line says something quite different. You probably know the basic principle: the moving line text takes precedence. It's the 'You Are Here' sign to the hexagram's overall scene-setting. Still, it's worth ...
About a snake
Pamela contributed a thoroughly unusual reading for episode 12 of the podcast... She asked, 'What do I need to know about the snake?' and Yi answered with Hexagram 8, Seeking Union, changing at lines 1, 3 and 5 to 36, Brightness Hiding: changing to Here's the snake in question (with ...
fish on plate
This was going to be a simple post A worried client emailed me. He'd just been organising his journal, listing all his readings, and found there were a whole lot more on one topic than he'd thought. He said he was wondering if he'd become 'a bit of a Yi-aholic.' ...
Chinese character yong, 'perpetual'
This is episode 11 of the I Ching with Clarity podcast, featuring another listener's reading. Sarah asked, "How can I better convey my authentic and true self with others?" and Yi replied with Hexagram 45, Gathering, changing at lines 4,5 and 6 to 23, Stripping Away - changing to It's ...
close-up of old gate latch
This is by way of a follow-up to my 'Dispersing Nourishment' reading. I thought I'd share as it's another reading that shows how Yi helps with the small stuff, and on multiple levels. Besides, I appreciate the eloquence of the trigrams in this one. Background, reading… My joints ache - ...
A sage bush
This is an embarrassingly 'first world problems' kind of reading, but happily Yi doesn't judge - and it was tremendously helpful at the time, so I thought it would be a good one to share. The background How were things for you in March 2020? Round here, they were just ...
fou vessel
Introducing the 缶 fou jar Here's another character that occurs just three times in the Yijing: fou 缶. This is a vessel for holding liquids, something like an amphora, with a narrow neck and large body. It's originally a pottery jar - that's the first meaning of the character - ...
Green-backed heron
Episode 10 of the I Ching with Clarity podcast features a listener's reading. Lynn Keller's book, Thanksgiving in America, is just coming out; she asked Yi what her focus should be now with the book, and received Hexagram 33, Retreating, changing at lines 3 and 4 to 20, Seeing. changing ...
ancient wall at Machu Picchu
When I teach the Yijing Foundations Class - which I'll be doing again in September - I concentrate on the few really necessary basics for good readings:
  • ways to relate to all the imagery (words and trigrams)
  • understanding the structure of a reading (primary, relating, lines positions)
    and also
  • knowing what you're asking
...
Mirror reflecting a window
How lucky we are that scholars have dug out some of the ancient stories 'behind' the Yijing - stories its authors would have known naturally, but that can require some real ingenuity to ferret out nowadays. Hexagrams 55 and 56, Abundance and the Traveller Hexagram 55 is Abundance, and Abundance, ...
Readings for restarting the podcast
I'm sharing two 'behind the scenes' readings of my own in this one - encouragement from Yi that nudged me along the path towards relaunching the podcast. The questions: 'What about restarting the podcast soon?'
and
'How about this idea of a podcast solely of readings?' There's also a lovely example of ...
two pairs of woolly-socked feet warming at the fire
I've been writing a lot lately about seeing readings with fresh eyes, engaging with the imagery directly, as if for the first time. Here's a post about the other side of that coin - about the joy of being familiar with Yi, so that readings are like chatting with an ...
chicks
If you're new to the I Ching, this episode and the one before it will make the readings in Clarity's podcast much easier to follow. Here’s the audio version of the beginners’ course, part 2. (You can find the written and illustrated version of the course at https://www.onlineclarity.co.uk/learn/beginners/ .) ...
chicks
If you're new to the I Ching, this episode and the one that follows will make the readings in Clarity's podcast much easier to follow. Here's the audio version of the beginners' course, part 1. (You can find the written and illustrated version of the course at https://www.onlineclarity.co.uk/learn/beginners/ .) ...
egg hatching
Next month, I'm restarting the Clarity podcast. Formerly 'Living Change', now just the 'I Ching with Clarity podcast', it'll have a new episode each month, and every episode will discuss a real-life reading. (Actually the next couple of episodes will come sooner than that and won't be readings: I'm going ...
roe deer fawn with ears pricked
I was lucky enough to play in a good youth orchestra with a conductor who had plenty to teach us. One of many things he said that stuck with me was that, when playing something familiar, you should imagine someone in the audience who's hearing this music for the first ...
rough river water
The second line of Hexagram 11 generates some of the most strangely varied translations. Here are two from the same book - John Minford's I Ching, which contains two incarnations of the Yi, as 'Book of Wisdom' and 'Bronze Age Oracle': 'Embrace the wilderness, ford the river. Do not forsake ...
almost full moon
Some of the Yi's most interesting phrases come in threes. The advice not to chase what's lost, for instance, or 'not robbers, marital allies'. This is another of those: 'the moon is almost full'. 'Already rained, already come to rest.
Honour the power it carries.
The wife's constancy brings danger,
The moon is ...
rusty gate opening to view of beach and sea
This is a challenge I set for Change Circle members in the first week of our Imagery Class: to find a way to respond to a reading without interpreting it. The idea is to create a space where we can interact with all the layers and facets of the Yi's ...
Walking round the pathway of 42.6
This isn't one of those posts where I explore many different experts' translations and interpretations of a line. Instead, it's just things I've learned from a combination of reading experiences and a line pathway. What's a line pathway? A line pathway is what LiSe calls 'mirrors': a group of four ...
Clarity: the acknowledgements section
There are a few websites without which this one would be only a pale shadow of itself. Here are four huge thank yous… Hermetica.info This is Bradford Hatcher's site, and contains much of his life's work - work that Yi described better than I can. The individual help and support ...
golden key
On 26th April, 2000, I registered the domain name onlineClarity.co.uk. (Back then, adding 'online' to your business name showed you were really up-to-the-minute with the interwebs. Or something.) So I think that makes today Clarity's 21st birthday. I want to celebrate by doing more of what Clarity's been doing for ...
paraglider
Here at the very beginning of Not Knowing, there's a line that says, 'Sending out the ignoramus,
Fruitful to make use of punishing people,
To make use of loosening fetters and manacles.
Going on in that way is shameful.' Or, you know, something along those lines. It's a little too early to be ...
mountain reflected in a lake
There are just two 'outer mountain' hexagrams in the Upper Canon: 41, Decreasing, and 52, Stilling. Hexagram 41, Decreasing The Oracle Hexagram 41 is Sun 損: decrease, damage, harm, weakening. So the words of the oracle that define it are startling - 'Decreasing has truth and confidence.
From the source, good ...
An interview
CJ Liu kindly invited me to be interviewed on her show, and here's the result. (I just want to reassure you that CJ did get a better reading from me than you see here! We talked about her reading for an extra half-hour or so in private, when she didn't ...
Mountain above: hexagrams 26 and 27
Two more hexagrams with mountains on top, two more intriguing trigram pictures… Hexagram 26, Great Taming Hexagram 26 is 'Great Taming'; 'taming', chu, originally means simply to rear domestic animals. Great Taming - rearing big animals, like the horse, bullock and boar in the moving line texts. By extension, it ...
Line pathways course title
I've just added a new page to the 'Learn' section of the site, introducing the fan yao: what this line is, what it shows you, and how to use it in readings. Also something of a health warning, as it can be quite misleading if you're not clear on how ...
Hexagram 31, © shenpen chökyi, returntotheway.org
A bucket-full of cold water to start with I'm not normally very enthusiastic about I Ching cards, simply because the oracle was never designed to be consulted that way, and it shows. Where tarot creates meaning with the relationship between a card and its position in the spread, the Yi ...
Mountain above: Hexagrams 22 and 23
I talked in a previous post about gen, mountain, as the outer trigram of Hexagrams 4 and 18. There, it 'nurtures de', with a dual obstructing and protecting function that feels something like mentorship. The next appearances of mountain outside come in the 20s, a series of hexagram pairs with ...
News about Resonance Journal for Mac
Long, long ago, when Justin (the programmer) and I started incubating the idea of Yijing journal software, we settled on building it in Java so it would work for Windows and Mac. And thanks to much attention and TLC from Justin, that's what it does. However... it all turned out ...
painting of Chinese mountains
When you're looking at a hexagram through the lens of its trigrams, I think it's important to see how they work together, as a trigram picture rather than a dry list of attributes. However, it's still interesting to single out a trigram and a position (inside or outside), to compare ...
Painting of carp leaping the falls to become a dragon
I've been having another look at the mysterious fourth line of Hexagram 1, Creative Force: 'Someone leaping in the abyss.
No mistake.'Hexagram 1, line 4 A story of dragons This line is generally understood to be part of the story that begins in line 1, with the dragon still asleep underwater, ...
The noble one's constancy, and inner light
Hexagram 12 is no fun at all... 'Blocking it, non-people.
Noble one's constancy bears no fruit.
Great goes, small comes.'Hexagram 12, Oracle The noble one is typically imaginative and willing to learn; constancy means persistence, loyalty, holding firmly to the truth... and none of this is going to make any difference. The ...
1867 illustration of horses fording the Volga
The Yijing's changing line texts are in conversation with the hexagrams created by each change. But they can also have quiet exchanges with their fan yao, the 'reverse line' that travels in the opposite direction. For instance, 11.2 changes to 36, and in reverse, 36.2 changes to 11: 11.2 and ...
Not a mistake
Recently, I heard someone say that the phrase 'no mistake', wu jiu 无咎, occurs so often in the Yijing that he tends to ignore it in readings. Well… you know how I generally feel about ignoring bits of readings... so, naturally, I dived back in to see what more I ...
Gathering readings, overturning the block
Here's a lovely message I had last year from PeterS, getting on well with his Resonance Journal: "I should note that a pressing reason for me to adopt Resonance Journal is the sense that I was building up a collection of readings for which I was taking careful notes (in ...
too many diamonds to count
In my last post, I mentioned all the meaning packed into a tiny space in Hexagram 56, line 6. The nest is burned, line 6 changes, and you can see the bird flying away, into Hexagram 62. Because the Yijing's lines move, it creates this kind of magic all the ...
Oriole in flight
As I was saying in my last post, Hexagram 61, Inner Truth has a hatchling in its name, and a crane with her young in it second line. Its paired hexagram is Hexagram 62, Small Exceeding - is the pair and complement of - and this has its own calling ...
Jue vessel
In my last post, I mentioned how ten pairs of tortoises hexagrams lead us from Hexagram 41 to 61, where the crane calls back across the space between hexagrams. This line is a not-so-hidden gem, beautiful in its own right: 'Calling crane in the shadows,
Her young respond in harmony.
I have ...
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 ...
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 ...
:|:::|
(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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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: ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
'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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.
...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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' ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
7.3.5
Simple Two lines in Hexagram 7, the Army, talk about carting corpses: line 3: 'Perhaps the army carts corpses.
Pitfall.' and line 5: 'The fields have game
Fruitful to speak of capture:
No mistake.
When the elder son leads the army,
And younger son carts corpses:
Constancy, pitfall.' The core meaning is surely intuitively obvious: an ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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: ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
'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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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.' ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 how its ...
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, ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
resonating strings
Here it is - https://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 ...
Resonance Journal: Cast history
(Note… of course this post is inspired by the Resonance Journal.) 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. I thought I could enlarge on that a bit for a blog post, ...