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1. Relations between hexagrams.
King Wen's sequence
Multiple moving lines
Line-correspondences (jiao yao, fan yao, qian yao)

The Big Pattern (The Bagua as lay-out map)

The structure of a hexagram page 2 (Why do hexagrams look the way they do?)

Mirrors and reflections (The relations and meanings of hexagram-pairs and lines)


The structure of a hexagram

15 14 person or situation


  Draw a figure of a man (or woman, whatever you prefer) and draw your hexagram next to it. Connect the bottom line with the feet, the second line with the legs, the third with the belly, the fourth with the arms and back, the fifth with shoulders and face and the top line with the brain. Now you have some clue to the realm of each line. This applies not only to people - situations or ideas also have 'feet', 'legs' and so on.

  The top line has to do with spirit. Religion, tao, the end or 'beyond' things.
  The fifth line with organizing, leading, ideals, giving structure to things.
  The fourth line with decisions, finding the road, choices.
  The third line with emotions and evaluation.
  The second line with reactions, 'walking in the world', connections with other beings.
  The bottom line with reality, action, matter, the way one stands on the earth, beginnings.

  I did not make this up by myself, there are many clues that hexagrams are built up this way. Most are ideas from later ages, but in the YiJing itself there are many lines with parts of the body, and they usually are used as symbols for certain behavior.
  So the answer can tell you about relations and emotions (2 and 3), or reality, decisions and spirit (1, 4 and 6), and it is not a question of which one is the most important. It is a combination. If you go to the Northpole, you need warm clothes and a ship and a lot more. If you go to the beach, you need lemonade and maybe money and a train ticket, but no warm clothes. Every situation asks for a different set of attributes.

EXAMPLES for the meanings of line-places:
When the top line is yang, one can take a look at hex.23, a hexagram with only the top line yang: leaving or losing outer things, receptive, only the spirit is active. All the other lines or options are receptive. I chose the yang lines for examples, because yang is by its nature more visible than yin.
Line 5 is yang: hex.8: the ability to lead and organize is active, the other abilities are receptive.
Line 4 is yang: hex.16: finding the road is active - motivation, choices, decisions.
Line 3 is yang: hex.15: empathy is active, emotions are strong, but for the rest you follow the situation.
Line 2 is yang: hex.7: conquering the world or defending your territory or interacting with your people.
Bottom line is yang: finding one's own orbit, one's road in life - and walk it in every action.

  The trigram-lines and the hexagram-lines were combined with earth, man and heaven, from the bottom up. For the hexagram lines 1 and 2 belong together (earth), 3 and 4 (man), 5 and 6 (heaven).

MustardSeedGardenManual  Line 6: brains and beyond (heaven). Living with and in heaven (spirit).
 Line 5: upper back, neck, lungs, face, eyes, ears, mouth. Organize, lead.
 Line 4: spine, shoulders, arms, hands. Motivation, choices, decisions.
 Line 3: belly, thigh, sex, stomach, heart. Emotions, influences, empathy, evaluation.
 Line 2: legs. Drive and energy to move, to build and defend your life, connect to the world, walking in the world.
 Line 1: feet and beyond (earth). To stand on one's feet, go one's own road - or to take another one. To live with and on the earth (reality).


The combinations of the trigram- and hexagram-attributes give related meanings:
heaven heaven

Top line heaven-heaven: pure spirit.
Line 5 heaven-man: human side of spirit.
Line 4 man earth: reality of man.
Line 3 man heaven: spirit of man. Spirit is not only what we today call spirit, but all intangible things, in contrast to the matter of earth. So spirit of man is human emotions, thoughts and so on.
Line 2 earth man: human reality.
Bottom line earth earth: pure reality.

heaven man
man earth
man heaven
earth man
earth earth
trigram hexagram

Since the trigram is more abstract than the hexagram, 'man' in the trigram is human, humane, humanity. In the hexagram it is human, personal.

Why do hexagrams look the way they do?

Yang lines are active, yin lines show what it is about or what it will become, its reality. Yang is inspiration, yin is manifestation, yang is action, yin is being.



Brain and face active and alert; decisions, emotions, contacts and position (moving) receptive


Withdraw, 33

Receptive in one's moving and
relations, but all senses active.


Family, hex.37

Here the two lines which combine earth and man are receptive: being comes from human reality. The feet - territory - emotions, leadership and spirit are all active.


Speaking Staff, hex.43

The spirit is receptive, all the rest is active.


Marrying maiden, hex.54

Moving and decisions are active, but everything 'heaven' is receptive.

More about the meanings of line-places

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