Jian suggests to us the marriage of a young lady, and the good fortune (attending it). There will be advantage in being firm and correct.彖传: 渐之进也, 女归吉也. 进得位, 往有功也. 进以正, 可以正邦也. 其位刚, 得中也. 止而巽, 动不穷也. Tuàn zhuàn: Jiàn zhī jìn yě, nǚ guī jí yě. jìn dé wèi, wǎng yǒu gōng yě. jìn yǐ zhèng, kě yǐ zhèng bāng yě. qí wèi gāng, dé zhòng yě. zhǐ ér xùn, dòng bù qióng yě.
The advance indicated by Jian is (like) the marrying of a young lady which is attended by good fortune. (The lines) as they advance get into their correct places: - this indicates the achievements of a successful progress. The advance is made according to correctness: - (the subject of the hexagram) might rectify his country. Among the places (of the hexagram) we see the strong undivided line in the center. In (the attributes of) restfulness and flexible penetration we have (the assurance of) an (onward) movement that is inexhaustible.象传: 山上有木, 渐; 君子以居贤德, 善俗. Xiàng zhuàn: Shān shàng yǒu mù, jiàn; jūn zǐ yǐ jū xián dé, shàn sú.
(The trigram representing) a mountain and above it that for a tree form Jian. The superior man, in accordance with this, attains to and maintains his extraordinary virtue, and makes the manners of the people good.
The first ‘six’, divided, shows the wild geese gradually approaching the shore. A young officer (in similar circumstances) will be in a position of danger, and be spoken against; but there will be no error.象传: 小子之厉, 义无咎也. Xiàng zhuàn: Xiǎo zǐ zhī lì, yì wú jiù yě.
‘The danger of a small officer (as represented in the first line)’ is owing to no fault of his in the matter of what is right.
The second ‘six’, divided, shows the geese gradually approaching the large rocks, where they eat and drink joyfully and at ease. There will be good fortune.象传: 饮食衎衎, 吉, 不素饱也. Xiàng zhuàn: Yǐn shí kàn kàn, jí, bù sù bǎo yě.
‘They eat and drink joyfully and at ease:’ - but not without having earned their food.
The third ‘nine’, undivided, shows them gradually advanced to the dry plains. (It suggests also the idea of) a husband who goes on an expedition from which he does not return, and of a wife who is pregnant, but will not nourish her child. There will be evil. (The case symbolized) might be advantageous in resisting plunderers.象传: 夫征不复, 离群丑也. 妇孕不育, 失其道也. 利用御寇, 顺相保也. Xiàng zhuàn: Fū zhēng bù fù, lí qún chǒu yě. fù yùn bù yù, shī qí dào yě. lì yòng yù kòu, shùn xiāng bǎo yě.
‘A husband goes and does not return:’ - he separates himself from his comrades. ‘A wife is pregnant, but will not nourish her child:’ - she has failed in her (proper) course. ‘It might be advantageous in resisting plunderers:’ - by acting as here indicated men would preserve one another.
The fourth ‘six’, divided, shows the geese gradually advanced to the trees. They may light on the flat branches. There will be no error.象传: 或得其桷, 顺以巽也. Xiàng zhuàn: Huò dé qí jué, shùn yǐ xùn yě.
‘They may light on the flat branches:’ - there is docility (in the line) going on to flexible penetration.
The fifth ‘nine’, undivided, shows the geese gradually advanced to the high mound. (It suggests the idea of) a wife who for three years does not become pregnant; but in the end the natural issue cannot be prevented. There will be good fortune.象传: 终莫之胜, 吉; 得所也. Xiàng zhuàn: Zhōng mò zhī shèng, jí; dé suǒ yě.
‘In the end the natural issue cannot be prevented. There will be good fortune:’ - (the subject of the line) will get what he desires.
The sixth ‘nine’, undivided, shows the geese gradually advanced to the large heights (beyond). Their feathers can be used as ornaments. There will be good fortune.象传: 其羽可用为仪, 吉; 不可乱也. Xiàng zhuàn: Qí yǔ kě yòng wéi yí, jí; bù kě luàn yě.
‘Their feathers can be used as ornaments. There will be good fortune:’ - (the object and character of the subject of the line) cannot be disturbed.
This translation of the YiJing classic text uses the original Chinese including the 象传 Xiàng zhuàn commentary converted to modern simplified characters and pinyin.
The English translation is based on William Legge (1899) ➚ which is now out of copyright. We have changed some wording and converted to American spelling.
We hope to replace this with a more modern translation.
In the first few paragraphs each gua is described. The name of the gua (hexagram) is followed by the two trigrams that make it up (lake, mountain, fire, water, earth, heaven, thunder and wind). Each gua has a controlling element (earth, fire, water, metal and wood). After this information there are three related guas. The Opposite gua is the one where all yang is changed to yin and yin to yang - it is usually opposite in meaning. The Inverse gua is the gua with the order inverted so first is last and vice versa. The mutual gua is a more complex combination and re-ordering of the internal trigrams making up the gua. Then the association of the gua to the annual cycle is shown - this is the Chinese lunar month number (not Western month). The controlling or host yao is considered the most important line in the gua and is highlighted in the hexagram.
The main description for the hexagram is then followed by a section for each of the six possible changing lines which indicate the transformation into another, related gua. The text uses ‘nine’ to refer to a yang line and ‘six’ for a yin line. The pure yin and yang hexagrams have, however, a different text structure as they are so important.
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