The 'Oops!' moment of interpreting multiple lines

Published: Saturday, 12 November 2016
Updated: Sunday, 13 November 2016

As many I Ching students will tell you, interpreting multiple lines is one of the most difficult things to do. It is so difficult that some only consider the two hexagrams without reading the line comments.

After making comments that matched the classical ones, under the guidance of the oracle, I was wondering if it was possible to make comments on the situation. But there are 4096 (64x64) situations in the I Ching, and since only 7 comments per hexagram had been made, there was still 3648 (57x64) comments to go! And since it has taken me about 5 years to make the first comments, I was expecting to spend between 10 and 40 years for the rest.

So I have consulted the I Ching about that, and received 31.5: One does not want to lose their comfort, and let the others do. I thought then that it was a hint that I should ask others to help me in the making of these hexagrams. I then contacted Mrs. Hilary Barrett who owns the forum at, who has declined politely my offer and told me that 31.5 might have been talking about the power of clear intention and resolve.

That's because Taoscopy's comments are not considered seriously. Most people simply don't believe that I've made them by consulting the oracle, or if I did, that I didn't understand what was said to me.

Anyway, I know myself that I have made these comments under the oracle's guidance and I have validated them. So, I carried on preparing  then I  began making the first comments on the situation: 1.1.2, 1.1.3, 1.1.4, 1.1.5, 1.1.6 and

I have also validated them, for example by checking threads at onlineclarity. Then I was baffled. It was not so much that the comments had a meaning, because I'm used to that now, since I make comments like that since 2010. I was baffled because the multiple lines didn't make any sense, except the first.

Let's take a simple example: 1.1.6 > 28

1 - Evolution28 - Abandonment

1 - Evolution

Changing to obtain quality work.

1 - One is still too weak to act.

6 - One is getting into bothers.

It should mean that someone is getting into troubles because they are too weak, or maybe that they are too weak to be caught into troubles. I was expecting the oracle to clear the situation, but instead I got:

1 > 28 - Abandoning their disputes

One asks their opponents to seek an agreement.

How can we make any sense of the changing lines in this situation? Apparently, we can't. At this point it looked to me that any hexagram with changing lines was impossible to decipher, unless I succeed at making a comment, which is quite difficult by itself.

As I was pondering about this, I remembered that when I was visiting onlineclarity, one of the users was using a bizarre method called the transitional method that he had found page 44 of a book available at

Like others have not taken my comments seriously, I've never taken this method seriously. I was not impressed at all by the interpretations posted by the user who employed this method, who in turn was ignoring the comments that I had made.

So, for the heck of it, (what did I have to lose?), I have tried to compare the transitional method with those comments on multiple lines that I had made.

The transitional method is about interpreting the lines one by one from the bottom, and then consider the changing hexagram for the next comment. So, for 1.1.6 we consider 1.1 that transforms into 44 then 44.6 that transforms into 28.


1 - Evolution44 - Invitation


1 > 44 - Inexperience

One is still too weak to act.

44 - Invitation28 - Abandonment


One asks their relatives to wait because they are not ready.

So the comment on the situation for 1.1.6, according to the transitional method, would be along the lines of One is too weak to tell others to wait. If we use classical comments (Wilhelm/Baynes):

Hidden dragon. Do not act.

He comes to meet with his horns.

Humiliation. No blame.

We can think of Do not reject others.

1 > 28 - Abandoning their disputes

One asks their opponents to seek an agreement.

And then it makes much sense. And then comes the embarrassment. The oracle commented on this 36.3!


36 - Adversity24 - To return


One had retreated but while looking for supplies they find the issue.


Darkening of the light during the hunt in the south.

Their great leader is captured.

The project of hunt in the south was about making the comments on the situation. Naturally, this is very embarrassing for everyone:

In this thread at onlineclarity, I am being praised for my interpetation, but if it sounded right, it's only an effect of chance. Here 7.5.6 must be interpreted by reading 7.5 (7 > 29) then 29.6 (29 > 59). The fact that the classical comment for 29.6 is difficult to understand makes the reading unclear. Using Taoscopy's comments we get now:

7.5: Something useful can be obtained, the most experienced will be able to succeed, another would damage it.

29.6: When it is too tiring, one can stop and resume later.

Which, in my opinion, either means that the most experienced (Hillary Clinton) would not be elected, or that Donald Trump was the most experienced to stop her (even jail her if we consider the classical comments). At the time of interpretation I had been influenced by a change of staff and interpreted lazily along that line.

Anything that we have interpreted in the past with more than 1 changing line was incorrect. In a way I am not surprised. I've read  about Philip K. Dick complaining in an interview about the I Ching.

No, I don't use the I Ching anymore. I'll tell ya, the I Ching told me more lies than anybody else I've ever known. The I Ching has a personality and it's very devious and very treacherous.

I have followed a similar path. After studying the I Ching for 10 years and marveled at its wonders, I could not take it anymore and stopped throwing the coins. Then I have pondered about it for another 10 years and came to the conclusion that the classical comments were incorrect. But fixing them was not enough, and I still did not understand the I Ching most of the time.

Now, if you ask me, how can I be such a poor interpreter and still succeed at making comments? I'll answer that I validate a lot, and verify a lot, I don't write a line of comments without asking the oracle if it's correct, sometimes two or three times. And these comments still have flaws, I may be able to fix some of them with this transitional method.

And then, 31.5, what does it mean? One does not want to lose their comfort so they let the others do. It means let the other hexagrams in, use the transitional method.

What can be said of readings with 3 changing lines or more? Actually, I have only made one comment for 3 changing lines with the oracle, I can't say anything definitive about its connection with the changing lines so far. It will be interesting to study its relation with 1.1.2 and 44.2.3. For now, my opinion is that the correct way to interpret it should be 1.1.(44.2.3), because (1.1.2 > 33).3 does not seem to fit, but I'll need to study 44.2.3 with the oracle before confirming this.







Please login to reply