You do not become one year old, until your first birthday, and thus the Cycle of years begins with #0, The Receptive Winter, and works it way up through the binary, Natural Order, until you complete the 63rd year, The Creative Summer. Then you start over again, picking up what you missed the first time around. In this way each year that you live, will provide you with a lesson, and an opportunity in Change.
Your Birthday and the Cycle of Years
You can throw the I Ching on your birthday, and see in six two-month intervals what you can expect to be dealing with for the whole year. Using the Key Hexagram principle, you can compare the the Hexagram for your year, with what you throw, and end up with five hexagrams for study with interconnected advice to guide you throughout the year.
The Hexagram for the year should be on the left with space for the Hexagram in changes into beside it. The Hexagram you throw should be in the middle, with room for the Hexagram it changes into beside it, too. Finally, the Key Hexagram goes over on the far right. This makes for a spread of five Hexagrams that will read like a structured sentence. The bottom lines of them will apply to the first two months of the year from your birthday, and the top lines of the five Hexagrams, will apply to the last two months of your year.
Now this part is a bit complicated, but it reveals the most pivotal issues. You can apply the Key Hexagram principle to this spread of five Hexagrams to derive an Inner Key for the year. Compare the Hexagram of your year with the Hexagram that you threw. in the light of the Key Hexagram. The Inner Key combination will have changing lines at the places where the Key Hexagram has Yang Lines, and the Inner Key will have unchanging lines, where the Key Hexagram has Yin lines.
Now in places where the Hexagram for the year, and the Hexagram you threw both have a Yang line, or both have a Yin line, there the Inner Key will have a Yin line. In places where the Hexagram of the year has a different kind of line from the Hexagram you threw, then the Inner Key will have a Yang line. Where the Key Hexagram shows the first derivative of Change between two Hexagrams, the Inner Key will show the second derivative of Change for the whole group. The Inner Key Hexagram combination show the underlying pivotal issues that you will be dealing with, and will show you how to go about adapting to, or initiating the Changes that come up.
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