Some people insist that in divination, there must be a specific question asked. Well, actually, the diviner only needs to be clear about the situation. There is no need of a specified question.
For example, Lu was about to attack Yue. Being a citizen of Lu, Zi Gong was anxious to know the outcome of the war and how it affects his country. This is the situation. He does not need to ask specifically, "Will our country win the war against Yue?"
In fact, some people even say that this question is a "yes" or "no" question and is illegitimate in Yijing Divination. It is also not true. However, the divination may not give you the "yes" or "no" answer. It tells you the whole story.
Now, let us use Plum Blossom Divination technique to see the beauty of the method.
The hexagram was Ding with Line 4 moving to Gu.
The first hexagram is Ding (Li on Xun) that represents the current situation.
The second hexagram is the Core Hexagram that represents the actual happenings.
The third hexagram Gu (Gen on Xun) represents the outcome.
In the first hexagram, the lower trigram has no moving line. It is known as the Body Trigram (Ti Gua 體卦). It will represent the Lu State.
The upper trigram that has a moving line is known as the Application Trigram (Yong Gua 用卦). It represents the war.
Note that we do not use the yong gua to represent the enemy Yue State as most people would. This is because what is in Zi Gong's mind was how the war would affect his mother country. It was not someone who was curious to know who would win the war. In divination, we want to know the fortune or misfortune (Ji Xiong 吉凶) of a situation.
The second hexagram is known as the Mutual Hexagram (Hu Gua 互卦). It is the core of the events. It affects the current situation and brings it to the future outcome. Each trigram of the Hu Gua is considered a Yong Gua. We study its influence on the Ti Gua.
In the third hexagram, the Ti Gua is unchanged. The Yong Gua is changed. It will tell us the outcome of the war.
Stay tuned for the next episode.