Hexagram 49 and 50: adapting to seasons and creating situations.


49 GE, skinning


  Ban Xiang          
Hu Gua           
Qian Gua         
Jiao Gua          
Pang Tong Gua
Trigrams fire lake
Nuclear 44
Inverse 50
Reverse 38
Opposite 4


Picture at top: GÉ, the ancient character and its parts.

GE: The character represents probably an animal skin, mounted on a frame of tied-together branches. Part of it (1) might be rams horns.
GÉ: leather, hide, skin, plumage, wing of bird; to flay, take off; deprive of, expel, dismiss, revolution, vary, change, modify, eliminate, exclude, dethrone, admonish, warn, acquire different forms, unstable, cuirass (by ext. soldier), protection, leather wine-sack (used by people of QÍ), resonance of leather (one of the 8 sounds, sound of drum).
Exchangeable with LEÍ: bridle decorated with bronze ornaments, tie or strap tightly.
JÍ: exchangeable with JÍ urgently, seriously, intense, violent.
Shuo Wen: ”Skin of an animal with the hairs removed. It means 'change'. The old graph is composed with sà, which means 30. Thirty years is one generation, during which the way, daò, transforms itself, the law of nature evolves”. (The Shuo Wen dictionary is from a later time than the oracle bone characters, and often has an explanation of a character, which is based on how it looked later)

The characters at left: words or compounds with GE2
1 (skin-cling) target
2 (skin-strength) tie or strap tightly
3 (embrace-skin) consolidate
4 (skin-at ease) saddle
5 (skin-holdwithbothhands) child, young, bring up, to nourish, to inform, ball, child, to bend in submission.
6 (skin-holdwithbothhands-words) interrogate, make a judicial investigation
7 (heart-skin) changeable, inconstant, instable
8 (skin mandate) revolt, revolution
9 (along skin) course of change and development, evolution

10 (change skin) transform; change

Ge is both skin and skinning. The features of hide, like strength and tying, and of skinning, like changing.


The great image says: In the middle of the lake is fire: skinning. A noble one, by regulating the times, makes the seasons clear. 

When you go with the flow of the time, your life will not only be calmer, but also more successful. It is the art of answering to the seeds of what comes on your path. When the first sign of the end of summer appears, animals already begin to prepare for winter. In the course of autumn they will have shed their summer coat and grown a warm thick pelt for winter. The squirrel gathers nuts, the bear finds a shelter, the shepherds bring the herd down from the mountain. Hex. 49, the change, grows into 50, the safe shelter, the village, the state, with its fixed rules and customs.


50 DING, the ritual cauldron



Ban Xiang        
Hu Gua           
Qian Gua         
Jiao Gua          
Pang Tong Gua

Trigrams earth earth 
Nuclear 43
Inverse 49
Reverse 37
Opposite 3



Picture at top: DING3, the ancient character and its parts.
DING: The character represents an ancient cooking pot, but not one for daily use in the house, but to cook food in for a sacrifice to the gods or spirits. 
DING3: ritual cauldron, prepare food (especially meat) in a Ding, sacrifice with a Ding, sacrifice victims.
Exchangeable with zhen1 (the zhen which Wilhelm translates as perseverance): proclaim the divinatory incantation (probably during a ritual Ding-sacrifice); submit to the oracle. Symbol of royal authority, triple equilibrium, at the moment that, triple, all three, grand, precious, noble, respectable, most, exactly right, high administrative function.
Exchangeable With DING3 (resist, oppose, top), and with DING4 (to rivet, follow closely).
Shuo Wen: “Precious recipient with three legs and two handles, serving to harmonize the five tastes (by cooking). Formerly Yu3 collected the metals of the nine provinces, cast the tripod vases at the foot of mount Jing and penetrated into the forests, the valleys and the swamps. Of all the demons which prowl around woods and mountains, not one could resist him. He united all the provinces and received the favors of heaven".

The characters at left: words or compounds with DING3

1 (ding ding) grand
2 (ding boil) noisy and confused; tumultuous, rumbling of revolt.
3 (ding revolution) change dynasty
4 (ding establish): tripartite balance of forces
5 (sophora ding) (hist.) the three sophora's or locust trees: three top officials of state
6 (ding dragon) turn out well, at that moment.
7 (ding-at) at (this place, time), during, round ding with small opening.
8 (ding-cover) to be in peace, establish (reign), cover of sacrificial vase.
9 (one speak nine ding) solemn pledge

The character ding kept during 3000 years the same meaning: the big cauldron, symbolizing the state. As hexagram also referring to your personal 'state', the condition of your life.


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