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For your outer trigram, again, identify the nature of the trigram and select a moving line and trappings. I didn’t mention this earlier, but if you’ve already got any moving lines in your trigram, you don’t need to add one.

So, now we’re going to talk about the reasons that your character bears these trappings. While the inner trigram describes the nature of your heart, the outer trigram outlines your circumstances. The next step in creating a character is understanding how these flow into his trappings. To illustrate this, let’s draw a hexagram. After casting the yarrow sticks, I get (grey lines are moving):






This character is Li on the outside and Gen inside. So, I’ll pick some Gen trappings. For these and the Li trappings that follow, I’m going to italicise the trappings I’ve altered for changing lines:

  • Gen crushes the things he loves.
  • Gen is unfriendly, but welcomes strangers.
  • Gen guards something of little obvious value.

And Li trappings:

  • Li is educated in the learned arts of reason and debate.
  • Li pushes himself away from a person who nourishes him.
  • Li has a hawk on his shoulder.

Now, we come up with reasons for the trappings. The reasons for the inner trigram’s trappings come from the character’s own needs, preferences, and actions, while the outer trappings come from the caprices of fortune and society.

  • Gen crushes the things he loves because he can’t bear to have them no longer need him.
  • Gen is unfriendly, but welcomes strangers because he distrusts those who are close to him.
  • Gen guards something of little obvious value because it reminds him of happier times.
  • Li is educated in the learned arts of reason and debate because his family’s wealth bought him a good schooling.
  • Li pushes himself away from a person who nourishes him because her family will never approve of that match.
  • Li has a hawk on his shoulder because the local government requires him to know how to hunt.

So, now we kind of have a vision of this character; he’s had some difficult family history, and that’s sort of perturbed his core of inner strength, so that he’s forced to turn to this outward display of strictness and military bearing…

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