The Christian I Ching, Part Four of this book, is divided into 64 sections, one for each of the 64 situational archetypes recognized by the traditional I Ching. Each one of these sections has a name, a number, and a hexagram associated with it.
The archetype name is a short mnemonic that helps us remember the archetype meaning. In the traditional translations, this name is not too helpful. It is usually an obscure translation of some ancient Chinese word. When I asked the question about this book’s outcome, the name of the situational archetype was, in the Wilhelm/Baynes I Ching, “The Arousing.” Not too informative, is it? I will try to do better in The Christian I Ching.
The archetype number serves as an index. When I asked my question about this book, I was directed to situational archetype number 51. Once I know that my archetype is number 51, I can quickly look it up in the I Ching. So the archetype number is very important.
The archetype hexagram is a pictogram that represents the situational archetype. This archetype hexagram is useful, especially to those who are highly trained in using the I Ching. Even for those of us who will be using the I Ching informally, a basic understanding of the hexagram is helpful. So let’s take a look at those next.
A hexagram, in the context of the I Ching, is a stack of six lines. Hex means six in Greek. Any one of these lines can be either solid or open. The hexagram associated with the situational archetype I received (number 51) looks like this:
So far, we have seen three numbers standing out in the description of a hexagram: one, three, and six.
One represents the individual line which can consist of either male or female energy. In Christian Theology, this one corresponds to the Unity, to God, which contains everything, both male and female.
Three is the number of lines in the trigram. In Christian Theology, this number represents the Trinity.
And finally, six represents the complete hexagram. In Christian Theology, six represents the number of days it took God to complete the universe.
So even at this level of detail, we can see reflections of some of the most important aspects of the I Ching to Christian Theology. Wisdom, apparently, does not recognize geographic, temporal, or theological boundaries.
In traditional translations of the I Ching, the hexagram is not seen as distinct from the archetype it represents. If I was using the language of traditional translations, I would say that in response to my query about this book I received hexagram 51. Of course, my goal in this book is not to create another version of the traditional I Ching, but to reinterpret the I Ching within the context of contemporary Christianity. From this perspective, the situational archetype is much more meaningful than the pictographic representation of that archetype.
There is one more aspect of the lines of a hexagram that we need to understand. This is the energy state of each of the lines. A line can have either low energy or high energy. Recall earlier I said that lines are fluid. The yang (solid) line can turn into the yin (open) line and visa versa. A line that has low energy is in a state of rest. A line that has high energy is moving, or in a state of flux. If a line is in flux, it is getting ready to turn into its opposite. Lines that are in flux are often called moving lines. The protocol you use to determine the lines in your hexagram will also tell you which of the lines is in flux.
Receiving a Response
|Hexagram Index Table|
|Finding Hexagram 51|
- The index number and name of the archetype.
- The pictographic representation (hexagram) of the archetype
- A biblical reading that captures the sense of the archetype.
- The Image: a discussion of how the reading relates to the archetype.
- The Hexagram: a discussion of how the hexagram pictorially represents the archetype.
- The Message: a discussion of what message this archetype is meant to deliver.
- The Lines: Six sections, one for each line. Each of these sections has a discussion of the message that line is meant to convey.