woensdag 18 juli 2018

Contrast, reflection and contrasting reflection


  Most pairs in the Yi are reflections of each other. Like a mountain in a lake: upside down.

 Another combination is the 'contrast': every yang line in one hex is a yin line in the other and every yin line is a yang line.

 Above is the example of a reflection pair, 5 and 6, and their contrasts, the reflection pair of 35 and 36. Hex.5 and 35 are contrasts, hex.6 and 36 are contrasts.

  When you cast hex.5, the Yi gives advice. But 6 does have some meaning in the advice as well. It is the view from the other side. Not advice about what you should do, but sometimes it is helpful to see "the other perspective".

  The top is now at the bottom, the bottom at the top. Line 5.1 becomes 6.6, and so on. Line 5.5 is about relaxed waiting. Its reflection, 6.2, is also about not being able to do what you want to do, but this time it is not relaxed.

  Hex.5 line 5 changes to hex.11, hex.6 line 6 changes to 12, which is - of course - the reflection of 11, because that is how it works.

 Between 5.5 and 6.2 is a reflection. For hexagrams and for lines it works the same. In hex.5 there is something you need, but you cannot (yet) get it, so you have to wait - or leave if you are in the wrong place.

 In hex.6 there is something you need, but you cannot (yet) get it, so you have to fight for it - or refrain from fighting if a fight makes no sense.
Waiting for it or fighting for it - two sides of a similar dilemma. In hex.5 the solution has to come from the outside, you have to wait. In 6 it has to come from you, you decide if you are going to fight and you are the one fighting.

woensdag 6 juni 2018

Hexagram names: 1 and 2

The names (or tags) of hexagrams 

The names can be confusing. Chinese is extremely difficult to translate, because every character has a wide landscape of meanings. Many meanings are not easy to clarify as a picture. Like eg wind. Wind is only visible in its workings, so the character for wind is a tree with all its branches blown to one side. A picture-with-meaning is called an ideogram.

There are several ways to clarify hexagram-meanings. I start with the contrasting hexagrams with their pictures (ideograms).

1. Comparing contrasting hexagrams

1-2 The contrasting hexagrams 1 and 2.

Hex.1 Heaven, creating the patterns of days and seasons with its laws of time and timing. Its animal is the dragon, which brings the rain according to the seasons and makes the seeds sprout.

The character is a picture of the sun at dawn and banners - the brilliant light reflected on dancing banners. Light, leader, center.

Hex.2 is Earth, with its energies of birth, growth and decay. Of survival and eating each other, but also of connection and supporting each other. Its animal is the mare, with her physical and creative powers.
The ideogram of Kun is a clod of earth, or maybe an earth altar, and a picture of either lightning or stretch-out. Both make sense: stretch-out as a description of the vast wide of earth, lightning as a description of the energies which inhabit the earth. Not only the power which makes everything grow, but also the spirits of the ancestors.

Hexagrams 1 and 2 are contrasts. Every line in hex.1 is yang, every line in hex.2 is yin.
Hex.1 is about the laws of heaven, with its rotating constellations showing the passing of the day and of the seasons, the time and timing which this means, sun, rain and wind which influence the earth, thunder through which heaven impregnates the earth.
Hex.2 is female, dark and nurturing, growing all creatures and vegetation from the seeds she receives. Heaven and earth need each other. Neither can create without the other.