Eight Palaces Circular Arrangement

Page down for regular sections and analysis. This will move to an inside page in the relatively near-term future.

I haven't had much time to work on i-Ching matters recently, but I made some time and roughed out the following diagram, which I think is pretty interesting. The numbering is King Wen, the ordering is Jing Fang, or the "Eight Palaces" arrangement, presented as a circular diagram. I will pretty it up later, but it's functional enough as is. The blue and red lines connect hexagram pairs (as defined in King Wen).

You'll see two separate matrices, each perfectly symmetrical. Returning visitors will recall that a previous analysis on this site found an imperfect symmetry in the arrangement of King Wen pairs in the Eight Palaces. As it turns out, the symmetry improves when you blow it up into a circular diagram.

There are two different matrices here -- the red lines are the columnar pairs from the earlier analysis. The blue lines are the X-crossing pairs from the center of the diagram. Both matrices are yin-yang symmetrical (i.e., each symmetrical line is matched on the opposite side by its yin-yang opposite). This will be easier to see once I work out some better charts, but if you look at this with a book by your side, you can probably figure it out. As soon as I can carve out more time, I will share some thoughts about the usefulness of this chart in i-Ching analysis. I have come to view the Eight Palaces as the most versatile and intuitive arrangement of the hexagrams.

The red matrix is actually three different matricies of four pairs each, highlighted (below left) with different colors. Each of these is interesting in its own right. The most obvious -- and telling -- of the three is highlighted in green (below right).

Note that this does not correspond to either of the most prominent ba guas -- Earlier Heaven and Later Heaven. It's a different arrangement based on simple yin-yang dynamics. Follow the arrow and you see yin sinks, and yang rises. When you reach the ultimate trigram for culmination, all the lines switch to their complement -- just as it does in the 8 x 8 Jing Fang sequence.

Finally, here's an animation of the King Wen sequence in order as it fills in the circular diagram. No help here on the quest to decipher Wen, but maybe someone out there will see something I missed.

As a final aside, the mandala below was made using the Shao Yong circular arrangement and connecting the King Wen pairs. This is also a symmetrical diagram, but somewhat less interesting (at first glance, at least). It reminds me of the sort of pure matrix from earlier analyses of the primal sequence. More on this later, as well.

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All text, images and Web design (C) 2006, J.M. Berger, all rights reserved. for permissions.