The Lines Continued
1. The Changes is a book vast and great, in which everything is completely contained. The Tao of heaven is in it, the Tao of the earth is in it, and the Tao of man is in it. It combines these three primal powers and doubles them; that is why there are six lines. The six lines are nothing other than the ways (Tao) of the three primal powers.
The Changes is a book vast and great,
The changes is a teaching.
It is vast like the space in which all things exist.
This is the universal mother or yin principle.
It is the darkness in which all light is born and exists.
This also refers to the vastness of the earth we live on.
The scope of the earth below.
Great is the light in the heavens, like the sun which is the greatest light and creator of life.
It includes all light, the source of all action and power.
This refers to the heavenly lights above.
in which everything is completely contained.
The teaching of the changes includes the heavens above, the earth below, and everything that moves or exists in between.
It is a universal teaching and an almanac whose scope of wisdom represents all possible actions, relationships and circumstances.
The Tao of heaven is in it,
Once again Tao is referred to as the balance of the changes rather than that which is beyond all change.
This refers to the harmonious ebb and flow of the increasing and decreasing light across the year.
The light of the sun or daylight increases for half of the year from Dec. 22 to Jun. 21, and then it decreases for the remaining half of the year from Jun. 21 to Dec. 22.
This sequence of light and darkness or the fluctuating of light across the cycle of the year creates or defines the four seasons and the zodiac
It is the pulse of life.
This is the great cycle of the heavens that determines the destiny of all living things.
the Tao of the earth is in it,
The balance of the light that the earth receives is included in these teachings.
It is represented in the changes.
This refers to the increasing light of the morning or the rising half of the heavens, and to the decreasing light of the afternoon or the setting half of the heavens.
The balance of earth is contained in the hours of the day and all the possible situations that this includes.
Each astrological house represents a two hour period of the twenty-four hour day or rotation of the earth.
These houses are considered to contain the spectrum and scope of human experience, in the circumstances of worldly life.
and the Tao of man is in it.
The balance of man and his relationship to woman, or the feminine is included in these teachings.
Man lives between heaven and earth and is continually adjusting to the changes of the heavenly lights above and the earthly or worldly circumstances below.
Thus man has his relationship to heaven and earth and the changes in between, in the same way as the waters of life or tides are affected by the changing relationship of the sun and moon, every day of each month, and throughout the seasons of the year.
It combines these three primal powers and doubles them; that is why there are six lines. The six lines are nothing other than the ways (Tao) of the three primal powers.
This refers to the structure of each hexagram in the changes.
Each trigram has three places or lines.
The top place refers to the heavens or zodiac above.
When a solid line is in the top place of a trigram the sky is bright and daylight prevails.
When a broken line is in the top place of a trigram the sky is dark and night time prevails.
This interprets the light of the seasons as it shines down on earth day by day.
Every day there is a different amount of light and darkness, thus in the changes, in the cycle of the day we see the heavenly light fluctuate.
This is the perspective of heaven or what is above as seen by man.
In astrology this is the effect of each zodiac sign or season on the divisions of the day.
The bottom place refers to the earth below us, beneath our feet.
When a solid line occupies a bottom place in a trigram the earth beneath our feet is firm and solid and we will stand or walk on a firm foundation.
When a broken line occupies the bottom place the earth beneath our feet is soft and yielding and we will stand or walk on an insecure foundation.
In astrology man can be secure or insecure in each of the circumstances represented by the houses or divisions of the day.
The middle place refers to the place of man in between the changing lights above and the various worldly circumstances below.
When the middle place is occupied by a solid line one will be active and moving, being strong and doing things.
When the middle line is occupied by a broken line one will be passive and inactive, being vulnerable, weak and resting.
Thus the balance of man is represented as movement and stillness.
It combines these three primal powers
of what is above, what is below and what is in between.
In astrology we have the heavenly lights of the zodiac or seasons and they light up or affect the astrological houses in various degrees.
The moving lights (sun, moon and planets) wander around above the earth in the heavens, acting as gods, casting their influence on man and setting a divine or higher example of how man is supposed to live.
When man follows the light of the gods he lifts his nature to the level of the miraculous and can even assist the gods themselves.
Thus the eight trigrams in their natural sequence represent the seasons of the year, the houses of the day, and the phases of human experience.
and doubles them; that is why there are six lines.
The doubling of the trigrams reveals the relationship between each of the trigrams to each other, and it shows the nature of this relationship as each trigram become dominant or subservient (above or below).
In astrology, this would be like the relationship of the zodiac signs to each other, or more specifically of the zodiac signs of the year to the astrological houses of the day.
By doubling the trigrams and studying their interrelationships one also doubles the places to be considered and the result is a hexagram with six places.
We now have a trigram above for the heavens or zodiac, and a trigram below for the earth or houses.
This is the primary means of observing and understanding the relationship of the trigrams to each other.
Because the trigrams each have an association to family members and their natures, they reveal the nature of human relationships and their changes as one dominates or influences the other.
The doubling of the trigrams also creates the six places from bottom to top.
These allow for a differentiation of how prominent each place in a hexagram is.
Place #1: is at the bottom or beginning of the hexagram in the lower trigram.
It is an odd numbered place where action is appropriate.
Hence this first place represents the first step into the situation.
Place #2: is at the middle or central position in the lower trigram.
It is an even numbered line and it is supposed to be passive and receptive.
It is considered to be the prince or wife, with limited status, who must be receptive to and listen well to advice from the emperor and from the heavens above.
The second place is sensitive to the needs of those close by, and is still the subject of the emperor in the fifth place.
Place #3: is considered to be the administrator of the prince, because it is the top place in the lower trigram and is above the position of the prince.
It is an odd numbered place implying the need for action and strength or firmness.
This represents action undertaken for the prince.
One must be firm and strong, but not overstep one’s position for that would diminish the emperor and humiliate the prince.
Place #4: is the bottom line of the upper trigram.
It is in a prominent place close to the emperor (fifth) but it is not the ruler.
This is an even numbered place.
Receptivity and listening are appropriate qualities.
This is the ambassador or chief minister of the emperor.
He must follow orders and be ready to make adjustments as the emperor decides.
This place has influence and status in the outer world but it does not have control.
It must do what it is told.
Place #5: is the central place of the upper trigram.
It represents the man in a higher position close to heaven above and influencing the world below.
This is an odd numbered place.
Strength and firmness are appropriate.
This is the place of the ruler, or emperor.
Place #6: Is the top place of the upper trigram.
It is an even numbered place.
Yielding receptivity is appropriate.
This is the last or top place in the hexagram and one where the whole process can be observed.
It is close to heaven and can see what is right.
It is close to the emperor and can offer advice.
This is the place of the advisor to the emperor.
It is important for his advice to be valid and correct or his position will not remain secure.
He must be worthy of the trust of the emperor.
Thus the places are attributed to different positions of rank and status.
As each place is occupied by a solid or a broken line there will be expressions of strength and weakness in that position.
Within the hexagram as a whole, another doubling occurs.
The whole hexagram can be seen as a big trigram with two places above, two places below, and two places in between.
Thus there are four different qualities to the positions of above, below and in between.
The first two places are the lowest two (first and second)
and they represent the circumstances of the earth below.
The feet are starting to move but the effects cannot yet be seen.
They are becoming more firm
The feet are moving firmly and the effects can be seen
Firm action becomes firmer.
The feet are hesitating but will move if they must.
The feet are not moving and are relaxed and still.
One is on a weak and unstable foundation, and does not move or act.
The top two places are the highest two (fifth and sixth)
and they represent the circumstances of heaven
or what is above and prominent.
It is getting brighter and one can see better.
It is very bright and every action can be seen.
It is bright but getting darker. One cannot see everything.
It is dark and getting darker. One cannot see at all.
The middle two places represent the life of man (third and fourth)
with its changes and opportunities
as he moves on the earth and under heaven.
One acts with some sensitivity to and consideration for others.
One acts with strength and power without receptivity to others or their reactions..
One hesitates but acts according to what is required of him.
One is passive and does not act.
One is receptive to the vulnerabilities of others and will yield or adapt to the greater need.
The six lines are nothing other than the ways (Tao) of the three primal powers.
Thus we can observe the ways of the three primal powers of what is above, what is below and what is in between, in the lines of the hexagrams and from this one can observe the circumstances of light and dark, of action and rest, and of firm and yielding.
In astrology these primal powers are the zodiac or seasons of the year, the moon phases or tides of the month, and the hours of the day or houses of worldly experience.
In the zodiac: the four combinations refer to the four seasons.
Daylight is increasing but darkness is greater.
Daylight is increasing and daylight is greater.
Darkness is increasing but daylight is still greater
Darkness is increasing and darkness is greater.
In the month or moon phases:
The beginning of light waxing.
From the new moon through the crescent moon to the waxing half moon.
The completion of light waxing.
From the waxing half moon through the gibbous moon to the full moon.
The beginning of the waning light.
From the full moon through the gibbous moon to the waning half moon.
The completion of light waning.
From the waning half moon through the waning crescent moon to the new moon.
In the day or astrological houses:
It is the dark half of morning.
The sun is rising but it cannot be seen.
The beginning of firmness.
It is the light half of morning.
The sun is above the horizon and everyone is active.
The complete expression of firmness and strength.
This is the light half of the afternoon.
The sun is setting but still above the horizon.
There is action but concern is focused on the coming night.
Get what you can, before it is too dark to do it.
The beginning of receptivity and caution.
This is the dark half of the afternoon or evening.
The sun has set. Darkness predominates.
It is the time of sleep.
The maximum of receptivity and yielding.
One must be secure to sleep.
It must be remembered that the old ways were made illegal and the books were even burned, except for books on divination and husbandry.
It becomes obvious that the old ways of astrology were transformed into divinatory form.
This new divinatory form became the standard in the new era of mathematical understanding.
Thus the hexagrams became used for divination but they contained a bigger secret for those who knew.
The secret was that the changes are inherently astrological.
2. The Way has changes and movements. Therefore the lines are called changing lines. The lines have gradations, therefore they represent things. Things are diverse; this gives rise to line characteristics. The line characteristics do not always correspond. From this arise good fortune and misfortune.
The Way has changes and movements.
The six places represent the way of the hexagrams.
Every hexagram has six places, numbered 1 to 6 from the bottom to the top.
Each of the places contain a solid or a broken line determined by the natural sequence of the year or zodiac, of the month or moon cycle, and of the day or earth.
In other words, by the sequence of heavenly lights (zodiac) above, the dark earthly circumstances below, and the moving lights in between.
In astrology: the places would be considered as similar to the degrees of the zodiac.
Each degree has a fixed relationship to the other degrees around the cycle of the year and each degree represents a different balance of light and darkness.
The solid and broken lines represent light and darkness, activity and stillness, as well as firmness and yielding receptiveness.
The lines, as they occur in each of the places by turns, represent changes and movements.
In astrology: this would be like the moving lights (sun, moon & planets) moving through the degrees of the zodiac and creating changes in life on earth below, which man resembles and is affected by in his life.
These changes set the standard for what is divine, as revealed by the heavenly actions of the gods, and what is not.
The man who takes the actions of the gods as his guide will elevate his nature and lift his action to the level of the miraculous.
Therefore the lines are called changing lines.
This has several implications:
The changing of the solid and broken lines in each of the six places create sixty-four possibilities or sixty-four hexagrams.
In the era of Later Heaven mathematical counting of the yarrow stalks
was used to generate the hexagrams, independent and detached from celestial considerations.
In this counting process each line was determined by obtaining odd or even numbers, odd for solid lines, even for broken lines.
Two odd numbers (7 & 9) and two even numbers (6 & 8) would result from counting through the yarrow stalks.
These were considered young and old lines.
8 represented a young broken line.
6 represented an old broken line.
The old broken line was considered to be changing into its opposite or into a solid line.
7 represented a young solid line.
9 represented an old solid line.
The old solid line was considered to be changing into its opposite or into a broken line.
Hence the term changing lines refers to this process.
Within the text of the I Ching, when considering the implications of the lines only changing lines were considered.
So we read of 6 or 9 in the first, second, third, fourth. fifth, or sixth places as representing changes within the hexagram and within the situation in the person’s life.
In astrology: the places or degrees become activated as each of the moving lights (sun, moon, planets) move through them presenting a heavenly order that will affect the affairs of man on earth.
The lines have gradations, therefore they represent things.
In the sequence of Later Heaven:
the lines were represented by the position of each line (solid or broken) in one of the six places.
Hence within each hexagram, each line would represent a different level of application or a different gradation or status.
From their positions in the places numbered 1 to 6 associations were made to different things and concerns.
The things and concerns were the ways of the earth.
The light and darkness of the lines were the ways of heaven.
The fortunate or unfortunate actions were the ways of man.
Thus the sense of order, of light descending from the heavens through the affairs of man, down to the earth, was represented within the microcosm of the hexagrams.
In the natural sequence of Earlier Heaven:
In the cycle of the year or sun, the places represented the various degrees of light and darkness as observed through the seasons.
In the cycles of the month or moon, the places represented the various degrees of light and darkness as observed in the waxing and waning moon phases.
In the cycle of the day or earth, the places represented the various degrees of light and darkness in the rotation of the earth.
Thus the natural sense of order, of light descending from the heavens or zodiac signs, by the moving lights influencing the affairs of men and things on earth, was represented in the microcosm of the hexagrams.
Things are diverse; this gives rise to line characteristics.
In the vastness of the earth there are many diverse things.
The receptive earth is the representative of these vast things.
It is also the nature of the receptive to represent inner virtue.
Thus the superior man, to live appropriately, would maintain his virtue.
The diverseness of things is also represented by the changing lines in the diverse places of each hexagram.
From this association of lines to places line characteristics were determined.
Likewise, the unique places of each hexagram across the zodiac or seasons represented great diversity from which individual line or degree characteristics could be determined.
Likewise, in the cycles of the moving lights and in the rotation of earth, within each day or degree.
The earth makes a complete rotation each day and light and darkness have their gradations.
Each day of the year (degree-place) the balance of light and darkness is unique but the process of sunrise and sunset is the same.
From these varying times of light and darkness characteristics for each place are determined.
The line characteristics do not always correspond.
A solid line can be in an odd or an even place.
A broken line can be in an odd or an even place.
When a solid line is in an odd place, or a broken line is in an even place it is said to correspond with the place it is in and its behaviour will be appropriate.
If a solid line is in an even place, or a broken line is in an odd place it will not correspond with the place it is in and its behaviour will be inappropriate.
From this arise good fortune and misfortune.
Appropriate behaviour will bring good fortune.
Inappropriate behaviour will bring misfortune.
Misfortune signifies that something is lost.
Good fortune signifies that something is gained.
It is great good fortune to understand the changes of the heavens and the gods and the subsequent implications on earth, for in this way we can learn from the gods (moving heavenly lights), elevate our natures and improve our circumstances.
Such is the nature of the I Ching.
Such is the nature of astrology.
It is therefore wise to use this almanac of life and its changes for guidance.