Hexagrams to Character Formation

Relation of Certain Hexagrams to Character Formation

1. The Changes came into use in the period of middle antiquity. Those who composed the Changes had great care and sorrow.

The Changes came into use in the period of middle antiquity.

This refers to the use of divination to access the changes, or more specifically the beginning of the Sequence of Later Heaven, and the beginning of mathematical deduction or abstraction within the changes.

This occurred around 1200 BC in the time of King Wan and the Duke of Chou.

Mathematical or magical squares were used to give a new validity to the changes.

These magical squares also have great significance in the Kabbalah and Hebrew mysticism.

It is likely that this was a time (1200 BC) when travelers from the west came to influence the original teachings of the changes.

It points to the possibility of early exchanges and influences between western and eastern mysticism, between Kabbalah and the changes.

The Kabbalah is based on numerology and specifically the number ten,
which is the same number that the Yellow River Mao and the Lo River Map were based on.

It is these maps that brought in the use of the five elements as abstract concepts within the changes.

Originally in the Sequence of Earlier Heaven the five elements were actually the five planets that one could see.

Their movements along with the sun and moon represented the moving lights of the gods in the heavens.

These moving lights moved through the changes or hexagrams in a natural sequence based on the waxing and waning of light in the zodiac or seasons.

This was the original logic and insight of the Sequence of Earlier Heaven.

The numerological logic came in with the rearranged mathematical Sequence of Later Heaven.

Thus an era of numerological deduction came to replace the original natural or astrological assessments.

From this point on, the original insights became obscured or marginalized.

Thus the logic of numbers and the belief in the randomness of change came into the changes.

Those who composed the Changes had great care and sorrow.

Care and sorrow are qualities or virtues of the receptive.

The receptive implies true understanding, or a comprehension of the yin, dark or feminine side of the cycle.

This refers to the fall and winter when the light dies or comes to its minimum, and then is born again out of darkness.

Light increases and returns after the winter solstice.

To understand this is to truly know the seeds, and the great secret that the changes were essentially astrologically or naturally based.

The sorrow here refers to the loss of the old astrological Sequence of Earlier Heaven, as it was replaced or marginalized by the numerological Sequence of Later Heaven, with its five elements and ten numbers.

Sorrow, because something was lost in the process.

Living experiential wisdom was diminished and replaced by mathematical abstract considerations and the subsequent logic.

Those who composed the changes implies that more than one person was involved.

It suggests that the credibility for composing the changes goes to King Wan and the Duke of Chou, rather than to Fu Hsi.

This was a subtle justification of the new, without actually saying the old is not valid.

It was through such innuendos and insinuations that the Sequence of Earlier Heaven was undermined and replaced by the Sequence of Later Heaven.


A new interpretation replaced the old.

“Spirit is bound to no one place,

nor the changes to any one form.”

This is an expression that was used

to justify the new mathematical sequence and form.

The mathematical approach brought with it many new fascinating insights, but lost perspective when it went away from the natural sequence of nature.

From this seed of mathematical deduction developed the age of rational thinking, out of which developed modern science and technology with all of its incredible inventions.

Unfortunately the deviation from nature, lay in the seeds of science and we are now overwhelmed with pollution and the apparent destruction of nature.

Is the yang scientific knowledge strong enough to destroy the yin natural wisdom?

Such is the dilemma of the changes in the twenty-first century.

From this perspective one sadly observes the decline of an era.

The era of receptivity has waned.

Oh, when will it return?

The rest of this chapter represents the type of deduction used in the application of the Sequence of Later Heaven, or lesser logic, where the hexagrams were grouped in pairs of opposites and not in their natural sequence.

What follows is nine hexagrams grouped together as representing the development of character.

This is a product of isolated abstracted thinking rather than sequential perception and natural inference.

There are in fact sixty-four hexagrams representing the development of character, or any cycle of development.

Here only nine hexagrams are used to embellish a random understanding and to create a narrow sense of the functioning of character.

The basis of this interpretation is that the lower trigram refers to inner development and the upper trigram refers to outer circumstances.

This is in fact valid for all sixty-four hexagrams and each hexagram gains context by its sequential position in the cycle.

Here there is no sequential association, simply a grouping of hexagrams, isolated from the others to present a certain perspective and loosely elaborate the concept of character development.

Meaning is given to the words more than the hexagram.

The hexagram is being used to validate the words, rather than using the hexagram as the source of valid ideas and words.

2. Thus the hexagram of TREADING shows the basis of character. MODESTY shows the handle of character; RETURN, the stem of character. DURATION brings about firmness of character; DECREASE, the cultivation of character; INCREASE, fullness of character; OPPRESSION, the test of character; THE WELL, the field of character; THE GENTLE, the exercise of character.

Thus the hexagram of TREADING shows the basis of character.

Here we have the trigram of joy and pleasure within

and the trigram of the creative father, or superior man without.

Usually the third daughter, the joyous lake, is given the negative association of being promiscuous and debauched.

However, because the superior man is firmly in control without, or above, she is kept in control and is not allowed to deviate from proper associations.

Treading in the footsteps of the superior man is presented as the basis of character.

In Astrology:

This hexagram is in Taurus and is ruled by Venus which represents the pleasures, passions and beauty of spring.

It is a time when fertility is rampant.

Daylight is increasing and it is also greater than darkness.

Individual freedoms increase.

Everyone is happy and appreciative of this strong abundant joyous time.

The light has gained its victory.

Abundant growth and enjoyment is everywhere.

MODESTY shows the handle of character;

Here the third son keeps still like a mountain beneath the earth

when the mother is in a prominent position.

The handle of character was presented as not responding or acting on weaker or lesser guidance.

One listens to one’s wife but keeps one’s energy to oneself.

It is held back until it can be directed towards developing the superior man or a superior character.

In Astrology:

This hexagram is in Scorpio and ruled by Mars and representing the death or end of the year.

Nothing grows when darkness is increasing and darkness is also greater than light.

Here one rests on the efforts already made.

The harvest is in.

There is no blatant individual freedom here.

The dark and the cold have come and will increase.

One must rest content with what is available.

If there is scarcity, an animal will be slaughtered for food.

Efforts must be directed to caring for the vulnerable or minimizing vulnerabilities.

RETURN, the stem of character.

Here we have the arousing force below

moving into and affecting the weakness without.

This is the beginning of strength and its influence on others.

The first son marks the beginning of the superior man.

This was presented as the stem of character.

In Astrology and the sequence of nature:

This is the first hexagram after the greatest darkness at the winter solstice.

It is a Capricorn hexagram and marks the return or birth of the light.

Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the planet of cold, discipline, hard work and restraint.

The return of the light implies the return of life, spring and individual freedoms.

It will take some time before it comes, but the tide has changed.

Once again light is increasing.

The days of heaven on earth will come.

Faith is restored but patience is required.

DURATION brings about firmness of character;

Here the gentleness * is within

and the arousing force or shock is without.

This signifies one who moves outwardly and takes the initiative strongly, but maintains his inner gentleness in the process.

One is shocked by the force of gentleness and one’s words will penetrate like sound of thunder.

Thunder and wind reinforce each other.

Here there is strength and firmness amidst vulnerability.

One will not lose composure.

This is firmness in character.

In Astrology and the sequence of nature:

This hexagram is in the light half of summer.

Darkness begins to increase but there is more light than darkness.

The way of yin or receptivity has begun.

The way of the superior man has passed its peak and is beginning to decline.

This is the zodiac sign of Cancer.

With this being the beginning of darkness increasing,

Cancer has been considered the sign or gate through which the soul comes into life.

The soul here is the reflecting yin quality of life.

The soul represents one’s sensitivity to and oneness with others.

It marks the beginning of responsibility to others but because it is still bright summer, it manifests in very independent ways.

One develops gentleness toward others while still firm in one’s own way.

This is the test of character in Cancer.

There is strength in security.

When one’s confidence is based on gentleness and sensitivity to others, one’s actions will endure.

This signifies duration.

DECREASE, the cultivation of character;

Here we have the lake

at the foot of the mountain *.

Its water will form rivers and run off to irrigate the earth below it.

This is decrease for the lake, but increase for the people.

Joy and pleasure are within but they are kept from ascending by keeping still above.

Hence pleasure and indulgence is restrained by keeping still.

The third son restrains the third daughter.

This shows the manifestation of what was considered correct and therefore represents the cultivation of character.

In Astrology and the sequence of nature:

This is the dark half of spring time.

Light is increasing and days are longer than the night.

Water is collecting at the foot of the mountain.

Flooding is imminent.

This is the zodiac sign of Aries and it represents the pleasures and the passions of spring, the mating season.

There is happiness and joy within and yet because it is early spring there remains a chance of flooding and there is a need for some restraint.

The deer and pheasant return, but so do the wolves and hawks.

One should not get lost in reckless abandon and lust.

Some restraint is useful.

There is still some value in listening.

Even in passion, some restraint improves one’s choices.

The lake will flow away from the mountain.

Pleasure will move away from restraint.

The light of spring increases and moves away from the darkness of winter.

Old rules and restraints are being left behind.

There will be an increase of joyous action.

INCREASE, fullness of character;

Here we have the arousing force within

and gentleness without.

Such movement, gentle arousal and sensitive initiative was presented to imply fullness of character.

In Astrology and the sequence of nature:

This hexagram is in the dark half of winter.

Daylight is just beginning to increase, but the nights are still longer than the days.

It is dark and cold.

This is in the zodiac sign of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn.

Life is difficult.

Movement must be made with care and caution.

One must move gently and quietly.

Even in sudden shocking circumstances one must be sensitive to the vulnerabilities of winter before taking action.

A little preparation and awareness will go a long way.

Dress warmly before you go out in the cold.

It will increase your ability to meet with unexpected circumstances or shocks.

A little reflection and preparation will prove invaluable.

OPPRESSION, the test of character;

On the outside, in the upper trigram there is joy and pleasure

but there is danger within in the lower trigram.

This suggests that the superior man can be undermined and lose integrity through too much pleasure.

It also suggests that when people are partying or enjoying themselves, they will not listen.

Thus their own indulgences bring about oppression and will allow them to ignore any words of advice or warning.

It is a test of character because a superior man will smile in the face of adversity and not lose composure.

One will hold to one’s inner light and prevent doubt and negativity from arising.

Thus one will not be oppressed by outer or trivial, temporary circumstances.

In Astrology and the sequence of nature:

This is the dark half of summer.

Darkness is increasing but the length of day is still longer than the night.

However, in the next phase or season darkness will become dominant.

One should not lose oneself in despair over the coming darkness.

One should remain positive and work at improving things.

This is the beginning of harvest time and there is much work that must be done.

A superior person will make the most of the situation.

Whether the crop is poor or over abundant, one will cheerfully make a great effort, thus ensuring the best result.

This hexagram is in the zodiac sign of Leo, the sign of the child who wants to play more than work, one who can be too proud to get his hands dirty while working, and one who will be easily oppressed by hard work.

A greater person will overcome this attitude within himself, and will maintain a positive outlook even when there is a difficult task at hand.

One will whistle while he works.

This is the latter part of Leo and one needs to prepare for the Virgo work ahead.

In the midst of pleasure and joy

one must exercise discrimination  

and also a positive manner, or one will become oppressed.

THE WELL, the field of character;

Gentleness is within

and difficulty or danger  without.

If one can sensitively penetrate to the inner implications or source of any outer difficulty, one will have a consistent, continuous, and reliable means of resolving them.

This is considered a field of character because life, like a well, continuously presents problems and at the same time it has a solution, or water, within it.

In the well it is the wooden pole which allows the clay bucket to reach the water which is necessary to nurture life.

All societies are formed around the well and getting water.

In a similar way inner gentleness will penetrate and allow one to reach the spiritual depths in all situations in life, and find nourishment or a solution to difficulties and dangers.

Hence it represent a field of character.

In Astrology and the natural sequence:

This hexagram falls in the light half of summer.

Darkness is increasing but the days are still longer than the nights.

This hexagram is in the zodiac sign of Leo, ruled by the Sun, when the heat of summer stimulates the water in the roots allowing the crops to grow and mature.

One must be sensitive to the water that the plants or crops need,

and if one makes a valid effort to be helpful in the process, the best results and harvest are ensured.

If there is no rain, one will have to water the crops from the well.

This is the difficulty in the situation.

It also refers to the danger of diminishing the harvest.

If one is sensitive to the roots of the situation one will make the necessary effort.

This is indeed the field of character.

Darkness is increasing and one must work to support others and do what is appropriately needed.

THE GENTLE, the exercise of character.

Within

and without one is gentle.

Not many are capable of this.

The bottom line of the trigram of gentleness is broken but it supports two strong solid lines above.

This is repeated above in the outer world and below in the inner world.

Both within and without, abundant strength rests on gentleness.

One is firm within but gentle with himself.

One is firm without but gentle with others.

This is considered the exercise of character.

In Astrology and the natural sequence:

This hexagram is in the light half of summer.

Darkness is increasing but there is still abundant light as the days are longer than the nights.

This is in the zodiac sign of Cancer, ruled by the moon.

It is the sign of gentleness and sensitivity.

One is strong but concerned about one’s security both at home and out in the world.

The crops have been planted, they are growing and need water to grow.

The field is sensitive to weeds.

Weeds will take the water and threaten the crops.

One is sensitive to the weeds and will pull them out.

One is sensitive to the demands on one’s time, but will do what is required of oneself, especially if it will improve one’s security.

3. The hexagram of TREADING is harmonious and attains its goal. MODESTY gives honor and shines forth. RETURN is small, yet different from external things. DURATION shows manifold experiences without satiety. DECREASE shows first what is difficult and then what is easy. INCREASE shows the growth of fullness without artifices. OPPRESSION leads to perplexity and thereby to success. THE WELL abides in its place, yet has influence on other things. Through THE GENTLE one is able to weigh things and remain hidden.

The hexagram of TREADING is harmonious and attains its goal.  

Powerful expressions

of joy and pleasure will achieve what they desire.

One must be cautious about what one asks for or desires.

This caution, the broken line in the third or odd place represents the harmonious expression of character.

Even though it is inappropriately placed and surrounded by strong active impulses or solid lines,

it does represent a small remnant of restraint and passivity.

This passive factor can bring some moral guidance to the other strong lines, because if they are strong and superior they will not hurt or disregard the weaker element.

Also when this broken line changes to a solid line, the new hexagram becomes the hexagram of the superior man, the creative , heaven with its six solid lines.

Hence it is the last vestige of character before the attainment of the superior man.

In Astrology and the natural sequence:

This is the brightest and last hexagram in the dark half of spring.

After this hexagram the lower trigram of the creative, three solid lines, begins, and the way of the superior man comes into being.

The way of the superior man represents the light half of spring.

The heavenly creative father manifests as completely as is possible.

Thus it is suggested that any goodness or happiness in a person will also grow and shine forth more right up to the longest day.

One moves firmly but maintains good cheer and a positive attitude.

This is the zodiac sign of Taurus, ruled by Venus.

The hexagram is just before the middle of Taurus where the change to the trigram of creative strength and maximum light occurs.

This implies that when Taurus wants something they will move strongly towards what they desire and will attain their desire …. to their heart’s content!

In this is a caution that too strong an expression of desire without restraint, will be insensitive to others and will diminish one’s character.

MODESTY gives honor and shines forth.

Here there is one light line surrounded by dark or weaker lines.

It refers to the strength of character of the superior man when surrounded by lesser people.

A solid line in the third or solid place suggests appropriate action that others will admire and follow.

In Astrology or the natural sequence of Fu Hsi:

This is the last hexagram in the light half of fall, just before the trigram of the way of darkness prevails.

It represents the last independent actions before the cold and darkness set in.

The harvest has come and gone, but if one is wise one will go out and turn over the field (take care of the earth-five broken lines) before the snow comes.

This will make planting in the spring much easier and it will kill many of the weeds that would otherwise threaten the crop of the following year.

Not everyone bothers to do this, but one who is sensitive to the needs of the earth and the vulnerabilities of others, will.

He will give his last bit of energy, his dying energy to the earth.

This hexagram comes in the middle of Scorpio.

It is the last hexagram of keeping still just before the way of greatest darkness prevails, when the strength and light of man is humbled by the cold and darkness leading up to the longest night of the year, the winter solstice on Dec. 22.

One becomes receptive and vulnerable to the darkness and its elements.

RETURN is small, yet different from external things.

Here the movement is within and very difficult because of the darkness without.

A solid line in the first or odd place implies appropriate action.

It is small because it is the seed or beginning of action.

Action and light is beginning to return.

It is in the first line and does not yet concern the five weak lines above it.

Hence it represents the inner power within to act even when there is no support or encouragement.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the dark half of winter.

Daylight begins to increase but the nights are much longer than the days.

This is the return of light.

The birth of the child of light.


Just after the greatest darkness when winter becomes severe there is in nature a sign that this too will change.

There is a sign of hope that light will return and spring will come.

That light begins again to increase is the hope and affirmation of the year to come.

It will carry us through the cold and darkness and help us to do what is necessary.

This is the zodiac sign of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn.

It represents a time of difficulty and hardship when discipline and great restraint is required.

Here one listens and watches carefully.

One will do what is necessary to survive but most actions will be defensive ones.

Necessity rules.

DURATION shows manifold experiences without satiety.

There is movement without

and gentle penetration within.

One is sensitive to the rumbles of change.

This sensitivity will allow for an adjustment to the demands of change.

One will hear the thunder in the wind and will act accordingly.

The manifold experiences are suggested by the three solid lines acting together within the darkness of the other lines.

Without satiety is seen by the two strong solid lines in the third and fourth places running into the broken line in the fifth place.

This forms the trigram of joy and pleasure.

The ruler in an odd place is weak, broken in the fifth place, and will not stand firm.

The prince in the second place is strong and acts firmly with the others (third and fourth lines).

Hence there will be no stopping this joyous movement and there no satiety or limit to the movement.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the light half of summer.

Darkness is increasing (broken in the first place) but there is abundant light.

There is more daylight than darkness (solid in the second place – and in the third and fourth places as well).

While the direction is towards more yielding and darkness there is enough light to do whatever one wants.

It would be wise to maintain some concern for the needs of others and for the crops, but this is the most self centred and independent phase of increasing darkness.

This is the zodiac sign of Cancer, ruled by the Moon.

One will act according to one’s feelings.

It is sensitive to one’s own needs and not as concerned about the needs of others.

One will try to do as much as one feels inclined to do before the darkness increases further.

One is sensitive to the thunder, rumbles of upcoming fall and winter, and will make the most of the daylight available.

DECREASE shows first what is difficult and then what is easy.

The first outer impression is one of stillness, immobility and weakness.

This is the outer or upper trigram of the mountain which keeps still.

Action looks more difficult because the ruler is weak, broken in the fifth and accompanied by other weak lines in the third and fourth.

However the joyous lake below with its two up and coming strong lines in the first and second places reveals a strong prince who is moving into the scenario.

Because the prince is strong and he brings happiness with him, he will show how easy it is to overcome inertia.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the dark half of spring.

Daylight is increasing (solid in the first place) and the days are also longer than the nights (solid in the second place).

Spring has arrived.

The earth is still wet and muddy.

It appears difficult and it will be difficult to move on it.

But the daylight is increasing rapidly and one does not have the patience to wait any longer.

One will go out and act on impulse.

This is the zodiac sign of Aries, ruled by Mars.

It represents the passions and impulses of spring.

It is mating season and one will easily overcome any outward difficulties and restraints.

Any delays will only make it easier to find a mate and succeed in action as others will be slowed down too.

INCREASE shows the growth of fullness without artifices.

There is gentleness without

and movement within.

One will move while being sensitive to what is out there.

One will move at the seed moment (solid in the first place) and will act at the first appropriate opportunity.

One’s action will gently penetrate the outer situation because there are three broken lines grouped together within this hexagram.

This hexagram suggests a big stomach that will be filled.

The stomach is rumbling like thunder.

One will go out to find what is available to eat.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the dark half of winter.

Daylight is increasing (solid in the first place) but the nights are still longer than the days (broken in the second place).

This is the cold and darkness of winter.

One begins to eat the preserves and stored food.

This is the gentle movement in the time of darkness.

Increase is suggested by the food reserves which will make this time of cold and difficulty, a little easier.

This is the zodiac sign of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn. It rules the hardships and difficulties of winter which can be improved by preparation and planning in advance.

Effort is only made when necessary.

This is a time of conservation.

Restrained actions will increase the time that one has relative comforts.

One will tend to the little things when the bigger ways are blocked.

In a time of great darkness, little initiatives will prove rewarding.

OPPRESSION leads to perplexity and thereby to success.

Here there is pleasure and joy without,

but there is danger and difficulty within.

People are happy and actively enjoying themselves.

One does not get carried away in the pleasure of the moment.

One is critical and discriminating .

On the one hand we have a spontaneous lack of restraint without, and on the other hand a strong sense of boundaries and trouble within.

One could lose one’s integrity and respect if one indulges recklessly in the moment.

Thus one feels oppressed by common indulgences.

One senses the problem within and at first is oppressed because one does not belong.

But one discriminates and does not drink or gamble one’s money and time away.

One holds to duty and the work at hand.

Because one maintains one’s true character within, and maintains one’s duties, the sense of isolation and oppression passes and fades away and leads to improvement and success.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the dark half of summer.

Harvest is approaching and there is much work to do.

This is the zodiac sign of Leo, ruled by the sun.

The weather is warm and pleasant.

It seems like the perfect time to take a holiday and enjoy the sun.

However, because it is the approach of harvest and the fall, one would be wiser to pay close attention to the crops and remove whatever weeds have taken root.

Some hard work will ensure a happier and more successful harvest in the weeks ahead, and a much improved ability to enjoy and survive the coming winter.

Even though it is still Leo, one should start to accept the Virgo phase of discrimination and begin making improvements.

THE WELL abides in its place, yet has influence on other things.

The deep, dangerous or hard to reach water is above

and penetrated by the wood below.

This is the pole that carries the jug down to the water.

A second association would be the root of a plant drawing nourishment from below.

Thus everything is influenced by the well.

It is still and stays where it is.

Everyone will come to it.

Like someone with good character, they are humble and don’t have to prove anything, but they have a profound effect on others.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the light half of summer.

Darkness is increasing but the days are longer than the nights.

This is the beginning of the zodiac sign of Leo, ruled by the sun which radiates outward, affecting everyone and everything.

It is a hot time.

If there is little or no rain,

with a little effort one will be able to reach down and get water from the well and help water the crops, thus improving the harvest and benefiting everyone.

Through THE GENTLE one is able to weigh things and remain hidden.

This is the wind * blowing through the trees and it is repeated, without and within is gentle penetration.

The ability to weigh things comes from the broken lines at the bottom of each trigram.

The receptive, the yielding is below.

This shows strength in the two lines above.

The broken line below is the measured or cautious footstep.

Because the hexagram is repeated we have silent footsteps.

One clearly sees the two bright solid lines but does not see the feet yielding or adjusting.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the light half of summer and the days are longer than the nights.

It is the zodiac sign of Cancer and it is ruled by the moon.

Cancer is the sign of personal reflections and reactions.

Feelings have an effect on actions.

Cancer is the sign of the collector.

It is known for making shrewd deals.

The bottom line is the increasing darkness.

It reveals an increasing awareness of others.

One is sensitive to the needs of the moment and the shifting, increasing darkness even though it is just the beginning of summer.

One will perceive the vulnerabilities and make adjustments according to what is needed.

One will surely profit from this seemingly hidden insight into the increasing darkness.

One will take advantage of the opportunities and demands of the time, and will secure one’s position.

4. TREADING brings about harmonious conduct. MODESTY serves to regulate the mores. RETURN leads to self-knowledge. DURATION brings about unity of character. DECREASE keeps harm away. INCREASE furthers what is useful. Through OPPRESSION one learns to lesson one’s rancor. THE WELL brings about discrimination as to what is right. Through THE GENTLE one is able to take special circumstances into account.

TREADING brings about harmonious conduct.

Strength and creativity without

and pleasure and joy within.

This implies strong active pleasure.

The strength of happiness will bring about harmonious conduct.

No one will complain.

Happiness is firm and will prevail.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the last hexagram in the dark half of spring.

From here, the light half of spring will follow.

Everything will get brighter and warmer now.

This is the zodiac sign of Taurus, ruled by Venus.

It is the most beautiful time of year.

Flowers are blossoming.

Delightful fragrance fills the air.

Everyone feels alive and relieved.

The joy of spring brings about harmonious conduct, more than any other time.

It is ruled by Venus.

This implies a strong and active pursuit of love and beauty and what one values.

Good taste and charm are abundant.

What need is there for force?

Harmony will prevail.

In Chi Kung, this is the smiling face meditation, where you smile at the various parts of your body and send happiness to all the parts.

MODESTY serves to regulate the mores.

Here one is receptive to the needs and vulnerabilities of others.

One keeps still and does not elevate oneself over others.

By maintaining a quiet and low profile one will not draw attention to oneself, but in one’s calm and quiet approach all around will feel supported.

The trigram of keeping still

is the opposite of the joyous lake and pleasure. 

Hence there is the further idea of self restraint and of keeping the passions and desires controlled or united.

Hence the regulation of the mores.

This is further suggested by the one strong line in the third place, surrounded by weaker lines and weaker elements.

One will not diminish one’s character and virtue because of the weakness of others.

One will set the standard and lead by non-action.

One will keep still.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the last hexagram in the light half of fall.

Darkness is increasing and nights are longer than the days.

From here the phase of the greatest darkness will follow.

There is not much that one can do freely.

One is required to be sensitive to the needs of the time and of others,

One will not force oneself on others.

One will wait to be helpful.

If vulnerabilities surface one will remain firm and do what one can to help.

This is the zodiac sign of Scorpio, ruled by Mars.

Here power and force is directed to helping others more than oneself.

Selfish and immoral actions will be judged harshly.

They would reveal bad or weak character and attract bad or weak company.

One will keep quiet and will not set bad or immoral energies in motion.

Thus a good example will be set by retraining desires, regulating the mores, and through non-action.

RETURN leads to self-knowledge.

Arousing within

and receptivity without.

One’s initiative will lead to greater things.

This is the return of light and activity.

Individual initiatives will increase one’s knowledge.

One speaks and is heard thunder.

Others will listen.

Here the one solid line is in the first place and it is appropriate.

It represents a positive movement.

It moves into the sensitivity and weakness of others, thus one learns what one is capable of.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the first hexagram after the greatest darkness.

It marks the return or beginning of increasing light.

This represents the dark half of winter.

Daylight is increasing but the nights are still very long.

This is the zodiac sign of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn.

This is a time of darkness and cold, filled with many difficulties.

Because this is the seed moment or beginning of movement, it marks the beginning of personal experience and independence.

“It was dark and cold, and I had to go out in it.”

It will culminate in the strength and power of the creative heaven on the longest day, June 21, which represents the self or individual knowledge of Gemini.

The increase of daylight leads to personal knowledge and individual expression.

The increase of darkness leads to understanding and wisdom.

It is in the time of greatest darkness when one listens the most and is most sensitive.

Inner contentment will come through surrender and yielding.

DURATION brings about unity of character.

Movement  without

and gentleness * within.

One expresses oneself gently so as not to unduly disturb others.

One will be heard.

Gentleness will penetrate.

One’s sensitive action will be acknowledged as unity of character.

One holds oneself together in sensitiveness and is not disturbed by the winds of change.

In fact one’s words and actions will align with the changing times.

The three solid lines all together inside this hexagram also reveal firmness in character and show that even in gentleness one will firmly endure and accomplish what one says one will do.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the light half of summer.

Darkness is increasing but the days are still much longer than the nights.

Individual action will predominate but it will be sensitive to the needs of the harvest and the oncoming fall.

This is the zodiac sign of Cancer, ruled by the moon and it implies gentle actions ruled by the moon.

Nurturing initiatives will be embarked upon.

Nurturing actions are gentle and considerate actions.

They will reveal personal integrity and unity with the needs of others.

DECREASE keeps harm away.

Restraint is without

and desire is within .

If one does not restrain passion and desires one’s virtue and character will be harmed.

Hence decrease is considered to be positive here because it will keep harm and degenerative characters away.

The pleasures are decreased for individual virtue.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the dark half of spring.

Daylight is rapidly increasing and the days are longer than the nights.

Spring is here.

This is the zodiac sign of Aries, ruled by Mars.

The desire for individual action and impulse is strong.

If there is restraint it is because all is melting and the lakes are flooding.

Only the mountain stands still above it all.

There is a strong impulse to act freely, but the ground is still muddy and wet.

This decreases how much one can do and how efficient one can be.

One will have to wait for the light and heat to increase and the fields to dry before one can plant the seeds of this years crop.

There is a limit on what one can do and on how much one can enjoy the times.

This is not the time to climb a mountain!

INCREASE furthers what is useful.  

Inner movement

that brings outer security *.

One’s initiatives will help others.

One’s actions are gratefully received.

One works for the benefit of others.

The solid line in the first place, takes appropriate action.

The two solid lines in the fifth and sixth places suggest that one’s efforts will have an effect that is doubled.

Every action gets a doubled reaction.

This is undeniable increase.

The circumstances of the weak will be improved.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the dark half of winter.

Daylight is increasing but nights are much longer than the days.

This is the zodiac sign of Capricorn, ruled by Saturn.

Life is difficult and it requires extra effort.

Here one moves suddenly and in a penetrating manner.

One just gets up and does what is needed.

This overcomes inertia, takes the pressure off others, and sets a standard for others in the community.

One acts without waiting for others.

One’s actions ensure that others are not inconvenienced.

One will increase one’s respect in the process.

Movement when others are keeping still.

One moves to solve problems before they occur.

This will make the winter’s wait more secure.

The security of everyone will be increased.

Through OPPRESSION one learns to lessen one’s rancor.

There is happiness without

but difficulties within.

Others are happy, but one feels negative and oppressed.

Humour comes among the group at the expense of the individual.

One’s personal concerns meet with ridicule.

One feels oppressed by the others around him.

This is seen by the solid line in the second place implying inappropriate action.

If one is to succeed or even improve one’s circumstances one will have to make a serious effort.

To appear positive, one will have to smile in the face of danger.

By so doing, one will lessen one’s doubts, fears, one’s sense of contempt and one’s bitterness.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the dark half of the summer.

Darkness is increasing and the days are still longer than the nights, but not for much longer.

Fall is approaching.

This is just before harvest time.

One must be prepared to lessen enjoyments

and work hard .

One must work to improve the conditions in the fields.

It will only make it more difficult if one has a negative attitude.

A positive smile and good cheer will make the work easier.

What seems oppressive is diminished.

Weeds and obstacles are removed.

The crop will be easier to harvest next month.

This is the zodiac sign of Leo ruled by the Sun.

Rather than feel that one’s playfulness is oppressed, one must champion the spirit of work and make the very best effort possible.

In this way one will gain acclaim.

Worry about the increasing darkness and winter to come will be diminished.

THE WELL brings about discrimination as to what is right.

Here there is gentleness within

and discrimination or criticism without.

One will be sensitive to the problems and disturbances in the world.

Through gentleness one will perceive the difficulties and penetrate to appropriate action.

The first line is broken in an odd place

This suggests inappropriate action, however, the two solid lines above it add the necessary force and power.

The solid line in the second place acts when it should be still, but this line holds together with the broken line in the first place and compensates for any inappropriateness.

This is made even better by the appropriate actions of the solid line in the third place.

This is the approach taken to deal with outer problems.

A gentle approach will penetrate to the essence of the situation, and will do what is right and what is needed.

The solid line in the middle of the abyss above in the fifth place implies appropriate action in the midst of difficulties.

Thus the situation as a whole is met with gently and improved.

Discrimination in what is right prevails, and all are benefited by this.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the light half of summer.

Darkness is increasing but the days are still much longer than the nights.

This is the sign of Leo, ruled by the Sun.

One wants to shine and have fun, but it is raining out.

One must take the time to fix the leaks in the roof above, before one can relax.

One is too proud to fail or be blamed.

One will do what is needed.

One will work the fields, whether the weather is good or bad.

What is needed will be done.

Improvements will be made.

One remains sensitive to the demands made of one.

The gentle is the trigram of the light half or beginning of summer.

The abyss is the trigram of the dark half or the end of summer.

Thus the efforts of the gentle will affect and improve the problems of the abyss.

Thus develops the discrimination of what is right.

Through THE GENTLE one is able to take special circumstances into account

Gentleness within

and gentleness without.

Penetration within and without.

Two solid broken lines rest on a gentle broken line.

It is the gentleness that determines what must be done.

Both within and without, action will be taken to improve vulnerabilities.

Weakness in one’s character and in society will motivate and determine the resulting actions.

The two strong lines must take the weakness of the broken line  they rest on into account.

Thus gentleness is doubled.

In Astrology and the natural Sequence of Earlier Heaven:

This is the light half of summer.

Darkness is increasing but the days are still much longer than the nights.

This is seen in the two solid lines and the one broken line below.

This is the zodiac sign of Cancer, ruled by the moon, with all of its sensitive feelings and need for nourishment and security.

Even thought it is the bright half of summer one will be sensitive to worries and will walk carefully and gently.

Every movement is leading to greater darkness.

There is valid cause to be concerned.

The dark half of summer is approaching with its difficulties and time demands.

The next trigram in the sequence is the abysmal danger, of the dark half of summer.

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