The pattern of the King Wen sequence

I made the above diagram of the King Wen sequence inspired by Shao Yong's Xiantian diagram. White is yang, black is yin. The start of the sequence, hexagram 1, is the first vertical all-white column on the left. Hexagram 2 is the all-black column immediately after it, carrying on through the 64 hexagrams, until the checkerboard pattern of hexagram 63 and 64, the two columns ending the sequence on the right. The top row of the diagram corresponds with the top line of the 64 hexagrams.

I created the diagram simply to satisfy my own curiosity, to see whether a meaningful pattern would emerge when looking at the sequence this way. My immediate thought on completing it was that it looked like six bar codes, one on top of the other. By putting the hexagrams in this form they become more like a data track that can be read in different ways.

Personally, I find the pattern tantalisingly elusive. Certainly if you contemplate it long enough you may find that shapes emerge chameleon-like, invisible hints of structure passing quickly like raindrop patterns on the surface of a lake.

For further study, see Yijing hexagram sequences and archive of Chinese diagrams.