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I Ching 101.1: Introduction to the Chien Trigram "the creative"

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As this writer has stated before, it is important to understand the Eight Trigrams (“Pa Gua”) before studying the Hexagrams of the I Ching. Let’s look at Chien (“Creative”). The usual Meaning of Chien is "Heaven". Chien is composed of Three solid lines. It is thus the utmost expression of the Yang Principle.

Fu Hsi placed Chien in the South. Please note, that Chinese maps always face South, so this would be at the top of the “Earlier Heaven” Arrangement. This Arrangement also follows the Seasons, so Chien would correlate with the Summer Solstice, at the height of Summer.

Emperor Yu placed Chien, in the Later Heaven Arrangement, at the NorthWest. In this arrangement, Chien is said to correlate to an aspect of the Metal Element. The Pa Gua are also said to represent a family, a father, mother, and six children. As such, Chien is the father. Many Western writers have associated this family with Noah, his three sons and their wives. Hence, they equate Chien with Noah. There is, however, no real justification with such a fascinating correlation.

Modern Kabbalists would associate Chien with Da'at and the Planet Saturn.

The following associations are from Appendix Five of the I Ching.

It is said that God struggles in Chien. Chien is strength Chien is heaven, and hence has the appellation of father. Chien suggests the idea of heaven; of a circle; of a ruler; of a father; of jade; of metal; of cold; of ice; the head, of deep red; of a good horse; of an old horse; of a thin horse; of a piebald horse; and of the fruit of trees.

These correspondences may or may not follow Western logic, but they show up in the Text of the Hexagrams, and the Image. More will be discussed soon.

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