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

  Yi Jing, Oracle of the Moon

(click on trigrams or see below for their meaning as upper and lower trigram)

Trigrams above and below general

Heaven Qian, TIME.

  The laws of time and order. The structure of all things and events that we experience as patterns and structure. Harmen: it has a focus, it leads, it inspires and is able to set goals.
  All quotes from Harmen are very short excerpts from the excellent video's below.

Heaven above
Heaven below

Earth Kun, FIELD.

  Space of the earth. Receptivity, nurturing power. The reality that we experience as solidity, power and health in all things and events.
  Harmen: it does not take initative, instead it works with that which comes towards her which it nourishes and feeds without judgment or preferences.

Earth above
Earth below

Thunder Zhen, SHAKE.

Quake. Thunderclap or earthquake, to shock, terrify, or to be shocked or terrified. The wake-up call.
  Harmen: thunder acts on impulse, with one big sweep, not minding the consequences.

Thunder above
Thunder below

Wind Xun, CHOOSE.

To elect, to choose. Yield, mild, submissive, insinuating. Image: Seals for officials who were elected, chosen.
  Harmen: Wind is slow and thoughtful, deliberating every single step, it never gives up and is not bothered by hindrances.

Wind above
Wind below

Water Kan, HOLE.

Depression, pit, hole, snare, danger, crisis. Water moves according to the space it finds. Adapts and yet cannot be restrained. That makes it invincible and dangerous. Unfathomable.
  Harmen: you can't rationalize water, it acts according to the flow of its feelings. It goes with the flow, not knowing to where it leads.

Water above
Water below


Brightness, separate, 'catching' something. Insight, the moment of 'now'. Order.
  Harmen: Fire will cling to its source. It will connect and not let go, otherwise it would die out. Fire gives light, it will show everything as it truly is. It protects and shelters what is weak.

Fire above
Fire below

Mountain Gen, RESIST.

Hard to chew, straightforward, blunt, forthright tough. Mountain, solidity, dignity.
  Harmen: Mountain eschews anything that is new, progressive or otherwise a sign of change. It conserves what has to stay reliable and trustworthy. It excels at evaluating what has been, learning from the past and building a solid foundation from it from which future generations can benefit.

Mountain above
Mountain below

Lake Dui, OPEN.

Everything which happens between creatures or matter. Exchange, convert.
  Harmen: Lake doesn't care about responsibilities, instead she focuses on what gives her a sense of fulfillment and joy. She represents witches and wizards and does not refrain from unconventional methods if they are needed to make the situation easier, more pleasant and less gloomy. Her optimism motivates you to see opportunities that worrywarts would never see. It has a sense of creative but also religious inspiration that enjoys and excites, but it risks the chance of losing touch with reality.

Lake above
Lake below

Examples in hexagrams:

  Hexagram 1, Qian: Heaven moves: firmness. 
A noble one owing to his own strength never ceases. 

  A mind strong and clear like heaven together with actions strong and clear like heaven has a huge power. Qian, the name of both hexagram and trigram, means drought, it is the scorching heat of the sun, but also the fertilizing rain which bring the earth back to life.

  Hexagram 2, Kun: The basic disposition of earth is female.  The noble man carries everything with great generosity.
  Kun, name of both hexagram and trigram, means passive force of realisation, receptivity, compliance, obedience, female. It is composed of earth with stretch-out or lightning. The space of the earth, and its mysterious nurturing power to make things grow.

  Hexagram 3: The great image says: Water and thunder: sprouting.  The noble man unravels the warp.
  The strength of water is not to fight but to yield. For unraveling one has to yield or it will become an inextricable knot. Together with the power of swift action all knots of life can be disentangled.

  Hexagram 4: At the foot of the mountain a spring wells up: Ignorance. A noble man nurtures virtue by reliable conduct.
  Obviously water has to do with virtue, bot here and in 29 it is mentioned. Here 'inside', the contents of the package. It reaches others through his 'being like a mountain'. But also the other way, through his conduct he shapes his own virtue.

  Hexagram 5: Clouds rise up to heaven: Waiting for the rain to stop. The noble man drinks and eats and reposes relaxed.
  His inner life cannot be disturbed by anything, he is what he is, like heaven is what it is. Outside he adapts to how the time happens to be, without losing his character, like water can take any form but is always water.

  Hexagram 6: Heaven associating with water is incompatible movement: contention. The noble one, when he sets up affairs, plans ahead.
  Water is not the one which acts on a spur. Feelings, apprehension, depth, they can follow a way, like water follows the grooves of the terrain. So the noble one explores the terrain and finds the openings, and then makes his affairs fit into the space and time.

  Hexagram 11: Heaven and Earth unite: Eminence. The ruler fashions and completes the Tao of Heaven and Earth. He supports mutually with Heaven and Earth their order. He stands by the commoners.
  When inner heaven expresses itself through the nurturing earth, then law and life are in perfect balance. Heaven brings the inner laws, Earth turns it into living reality. It is the way to create.

  Hexagram 12: Heaven and Earth do not interact: obstruction. The noble one holds back his virtue and avoids disaster. He does not allow honor by an official salary.
  When the core of things 'exists' but the rules are not part of this inner core, they don't have a good strong structure. When things are like this, one will need a very strong will to make the right decisions and to steer things towards a good outcome.

  I don't know what came first, the trigrams or the hexagrams. To me, trigrams first makes the most sense, but it does not really matter. They are both from the same fabric, so one was discovered first, but they both existed long before.

  To find out about first or last - or about their common origin - read the "TOE-series" by Katya Walter

  The text in the DaXiang about the JunZi, the noble one, is from someone with a lot of insight. He looked at the trigram images and then tells us what this combination means. Not everyone is able to see this or even less to act according to it, but a really noble person could. This is the JunZi in the text of the Zhou Yi, not someone specific, but anyone who has a noble mind.

  Jun, 'noble' is originally a sovereign or ruler or a gentleman. Someone of higher rank. He is supposed to act according to 'rules of rank', as a ruler to serve the people, not his own wishes. The character is composed of 尹 ‘government official’ over 口 ‘mouth’ (command).
  In hexagram 44 the 'woman' is 姤, composed of jun + woman: a woman of high rank. But in her case, the 'mouth' was a picture of a new-born baby, a woman giving birth.

  'Zi' is the seed, the son. For a Chinese man it was extremely important to live on after his physical death. A son continues the lineage from the ancestors into the future. The JunZi is the heir who is a credit to his ancestors. In extension the mind which is a credit to humanity. Zi is a term of respect, it is added to the names of men of the past who did great things: LaoZi, ZhuangZi, MengZi, KongFuZi (Confucius).

  To be a noble one is not especially a quality one has, it is a choice, every day anew, or rather every moment. A small man can suddenly do something which makes him a JunZi in that moment.
  Sometimes the choice is not very hard. When it is very clear what your ethic says you should do, you can do that without much doubt. But other times it can be extremely hard. Making a choice which goes against a big fear, against your survival instinct, against your hopes for your future. Then you are not only a JunZi but a hero as well. All the other figures, the king, the big man, the small man, the child, the prince, the wife, they are much more defined by fixed qualities or position, not by a choice they make in the moment.

  You cannot switch from small man to king just like that. The other way might be possible though. But any king or beggar, big or small woman or man can be JunZi. Or not. Or one moment and not the next.

  For the JunZi in the ZhouYi is older than the idea about it in the DaXiang (Wings). In the beginning it was the son of a noble, a person. The one who, thanks to a noble background, knows what to do in certain circumstances, clever, experienced. He is the good hunter, the good advisor, the good teacher, leader.
  Anyone who does something which needs skill or authority, has to refer to his JunZi. Unlike the businessman who ruins his marriage when he is still businessman in bed, a JunZi (in and out of bed) is the ideal of any woman. And a woman who is a JunZi the ideal of any man.

last update: 22.09.2022


© LiSe April 2000