Hilary Barrett, I Ching

Archive for the 'Interpreting hexagrams' Category

Hexagram 57 in readings

Friday, August 28th, 2015

(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 couple of messages that Hexagram […]

The elusive hexagram 57

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

‘No one can tell me, Nobody knows, Where the wind comes from, Where the wind goes.’ AA Milne, ‘Wind on the Hill’ Xun 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 really tricky to pin down in readings. But […]

Myth and legend in hexagrams

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

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 their culture’s myth, legend and […]

Hexagram 40, Release

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

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 with the act of removing the […]

More on hexagram 44

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

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 – a distraction, a disruption, to […]

Rethinking the Well

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

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 made me think again about […]

I don’t know the first thing about the Yi

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

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 components work together, and how […]