Excerpt from page 13 of the Introduction:

The next step is to connect with your reading. Be patient: allow time for the words and images to sink in, and for recognition to emerge. You don’t have to make sense of it all at once.

Read the names of the hexagrams and the words of the text as an answer to your question. They almost always will be; very occasionally, the reading may be telling you something more urgent, but it’s best to start by assuming that Yi has answered your question directly.

Navigating the text
As you read your hexagrams and lines, you’ll find some parts are in italic text and quotation marks. These are the words of the Yijing itself; everything else is only my commentary. What I have written about each hexagram and line is the heart of what I’ve found it to mean, but it is not the limit of what Yi can say to you in its own words.

Key questions: some things the oracle might be asking you with this response

Oracle: the voice of the hexagram as a whole.

Image, Pair and Sequence contain excerpts from the Ten Wings that are especially helpful in divination. The Image shows the hexagram as a landscape and relationship of trigrams, and is a good source of overall advice. The Pair and Sequence suggest how your answer is part of a larger process.

Lines: if your reading has changing lines, their associated texts show exactly where you stand (or might choose to stand) in relation to the hexagram as a whole.
How the parts of your reading work together

The key to understanding a reading is to know your way round its main components, how they fit together, and the different roles they play. If your reading includes changing lines, then you will need to understand primary hexagram, relating hexagram and changing lines together.

The two hexagrams, in conversation with one another, map out your whole answer. The primary hexagram shows you quite directly what your answer involves. The relating hexagram generally describes what the answer is about for you. It sets the primary hexagram in a broader context – an influence, a direction of travel, an underlying issue – that has to do with you and your relationship to it all.

If the two hexagrams map out a landscape for you, then the changing lines stick a pin in that map to say ‘You are here!’ – or at least, ‘Here are some places you may find yourself.’ They are the immediate answer to your question: as the most specific, focused part of a reading, their message always takes precedence over all other elements. (For example, the primary hexagram might describe a reassuringly secure situation, but a changing line could warn how insecure your position is within it.)

More information and resources on ‘connecting’ to come…