woensdag 6 juni 2018

Hexagram names: 1 and 2

The names (or tags) of hexagrams 

The names can be confusing. Chinese is extremely difficult to translate, because every character has a wide landscape of meanings. Many meanings are not easy to clarify as a picture. Like eg wind. Wind is only visible in its workings, so the character for wind is a tree with all its branches blown to one side. A picture-with-meaning is called an ideogram.

There are several ways to clarify hexagram-meanings. I start with the contrasting hexagrams with their pictures (ideograms).

1. Comparing contrasting hexagrams

1-2 The contrasting hexagrams 1 and 2.

Hex.1 Heaven, creating the patterns of days and seasons with its laws of time and timing. Its animal is the dragon, which brings the rain according to the seasons and makes the seeds sprout.

The character is a picture of the sun at dawn and banners - the brilliant light reflected on dancing banners. Light, leader, center.

Hex.2 is Earth, with its energies of birth, growth and decay. Of survival and eating each other, but also of connection and supporting each other. Its animal is the mare, with her physical and creative powers.
The ideogram of Kun is a clod of earth, or maybe an earth altar, and a picture of either lightning or stretch-out. Both make sense: stretch-out as a description of the vast wide of earth, lightning as a description of the energies which inhabit the earth. Not only the power which makes everything grow, but also the spirits of the ancestors.

Hexagrams 1 and 2 are contrasts. Every line in hex.1 is yang, every line in hex.2 is yin.
Hex.1 is about the laws of heaven, with its rotating constellations showing the passing of the day and of the seasons, the time and timing which this means, sun, rain and wind which influence the earth, thunder through which heaven impregnates the earth.
Hex.2 is female, dark and nurturing, growing all creatures and vegetation from the seeds she receives. Heaven and earth need each other. Neither can create without the other.