I Ching, Yijing or Zhou Yi
"Oracle of the moon": © 2000 LiSe

  Yi Jing, Oracle of the Moon

"Raise your staff"
Hexagram 43

Oct. 7, 2019


  The judgment of 43 in Wilhelm's translation:
  Break through. One must resolutely make the matter known at the court of the king.
  A more literal translation: Breakthrough raise at king's court. This sounds as if Guai is an object. Another pronunciation of this character is jué.

HILARY: Hexagram 43 is called 夬, guai, which is generally understood to mean‘decision’ or ‘resoluteness’ or ‘breakthrough’. The oldest forms of the character show a hand holding up an object, a token of authority, perhaps, or an archer’s thumb ring. In some early versions of the character, it’s quite clearly a drawing of a hand with a thumb ring: Guai character on silk

Nowadays, the word for an archer’s ring is jue, 玦, formed by combining guai with the ‘jade’ radical.

The Wings (TuanzhuanZagua and Xugua) agree, though, that 夬 means  jue 决: a word that combines guai with the ‘water’ radical and means decide, breakthrough, breach (of a dike), certainty, execution. This, they say, is what the solid lines of the hexagram are doing to the one broken line at the top: ‘taking decisive action’ against it (Lynn).

penannular jade ring 玦 jué
决 jué as in 决定 juédìng ‘decide’ is a cognate word
夬 guài 'Split decision', is just a slight variation of jué

  The oracle-bone character seems to show two hands holding a large U shape. Such an almost circular jade ring was called a 玦 jué.

In ancient times the jué symbolized authority, or cutting off a relationship. An archer’s thumbring was also called a 玦 jué.
Meanings: the finger which loosens the bow: cutting loose or cutting off, resolute, decisive. Karlgren: “the bursting loose of the bow string”.

  This token of authority, of the right to decide, was "raised at the King's court". This character, 'court', is the one at left.

From 廴 ‘journey’ and 壬, which represents a 人 person standing on the 土 ground.

  At the court is the assembly where people with authority can speak up, where the king speaks and listens and where decisions are made.
  'Breakthrough' is both the decision (the river breaking through a dam, the bowstring being released), and also the authority to do so.

"A person standing on the ground"

  Standing your ground can be the moment of making yourself heard or of making the decision. It can also be of a more durable kind: living your life the way you decide to, making your own decisions, being who you are despite influences.
  It is often not easy to find the right way. Many situations are difficult to evaluate. There are no rules about when to be resolute and when to withdraw for the time being.

Trigram Heaven below or inside means, you know the rules of Heaven, they can guide you.
Trigam Lake or Marsh above means it is a matter of social rules or surroundings. Your decisions define your place in them.

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last update: 22.09.2022


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