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I Ching 201.1: Chien, the first hexagram

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The First Hexagram, Named “The Creative” (“Chien”) is composed of the Trigram Chien duplicated. Chien also represents the Fourth Month on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, around May.

This writer’s rendering of the Text is in bold print, and his comments are in Italics. Instructions on how to throw a Hexagram have been discussed earlier.

THE JUDGMENT (King Wen’s comments):

Heaven works magnificent success, advancing through perseverance. Chien represents what is great and originating, penetrating, advantageous, correct and firm.

Chien is usually the most uplifting Hexagram. This of course depends on the changing lines, and what Chien might be changing into.

THE IMAGE (Kung Fu Tse’s comments)

The movement of the Creative is full of power. Thus the Sage strengthens and does not tire.

Confucius is saying that “Creative over Creative” Means “The Creative is in motion”.

THE LINES (the Duke of Chou’s comments)

In Divination, only the Judgment, Image, and individual changing lines are read. Then the changing lines become their opposite, generating a Second Hexagram. One would then read the Judgement, Image, and lines corresponding to the changing lines in the new Hexagram. Since all the lines in this Archetype are Yang, all lines are called “Nines”.

Nine in the First Place, at the bottom, means: the Dragon is hidden. Take no action.

Keep in Mind, that Dragons were considered good Omens. In this case, the hidden Dragon indicates an ill Omen.

Nine in the Second place means: the Dragon appears in the field. It is Time to consult with the Sage.

The Good Omen has manifested, but is still distant. Use your resources and do not be afraid to ask advice. “The Sage” could be a Doctor, Priest, Shaman or Rabbi, or simply a good friend who can look more objectively at your situation.

Nine in the Third place means: All day long the Sage is active and vigilant. By nightfall the Sage’s Mind becomes careful and apprehensive. Although there is danger, error has been avoided.

You have met the Sage, who has already been helpful. Destiny has been a mixture of Good and Bad Fortune, and, although you may not perceive it as such Now, you will succeed.

Nine in the Fourth place means: The Dragon begins to rise from the Depths. Error has been avoided.

This is the Sign the Sage has been waiting for. Success is imminent.

Nine in the Fifth place means: The Dragon flies across Heaven. It is Time to consult with the Sage.

This is a very positive Sign, however; prepare to ask the Sage’s advice, as in line #2. For various reasons, the Fifth line is considered the Ruler of the Hexagram. If this line shows up as a changing line, it is supposed to be very auspicious.

Nine at the top means: The Dragon arrogantly exceeds its own limits, and must repent.

In this situation, you have gone too far. It is Time to pray for Forgiveness.

When all the lines are Nines, it means: flying flock of headless Dragons appears. Expect good fortune.

In this situation, Chien is changing to its opposite, Kun (“The Receptive”). The Dragons have humbled themselves, perhaps barely in Time! This special interpretation only occurs here, and in the Second Hexagram, Kun.

James Legge’s comments are very apt:

“Force would have given place to submission, and haughtiness to humility; and the result would be good fortune. Such at least is the interpretation of the paragraph given in a narrative of the Žo-Kwan under B. C. 513.”

The Wilhelm/Baynes translation explains:

“When all the lines are nines, it means that the whole hexagram is in motion and changes into the hexagram K'un, THE RECEPTIVE, whose character is devotion. The strength of the Creative and the mildness of the Receptive unite. Strength is indicated by the flight of dragons, mildness by the fact that their heads are hidden. This means that mildness in action joined to strength. This means that mildness in action joined to strength of decision brings good fortune.”

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