Ji Ji intimates progress and success in small matters. There will be advantage in being firm and correct. There has been good fortune in the beginning; there may be disorder in the end.彖传: 既济, 亨, 小者亨也. 利贞, 刚柔正而位当也. 初吉, 柔得中也. 终止则乱, 其道穷也. Tuàn zhuàn: Jì jì, hēng, xiǎo zhě hēng yě. Lì zhēn, gāng róu zhēng ér wèi dāng yě. Chū jí, róu dé zhòng yě. Zhōng zhǐ zé luàn, qí dào qióng yě.
‘Ji Ji intimates progress and success:’ - in small matters, that is, there will be that progress and success. ‘There will be advantage in being firm and correct:’ - the strong and weak (lines) are correctly arranged, each in its appropriate place. ‘There has been good fortune in the beginning: - the weak (second line) is in the center. ’In the end‘ there is a cessation (of effort), and ’disorder arises:‘ - the course (that led to rule and order) is (now) exhausted.象传: 水在火上, 既济; 君子以思患而预防之. Xiàng zhuàn: Shuǐ zài huǒ shǎng, jì jì; jūn zǐ yǐ sī huàn ér yù fáng zhī.
(The trigram representing) fire and that for water above it form Ji Ji. The superior man, in accordance with this, thinks of evil (that may come), and beforehand guards against it.
The first ‘nine’, undivided, (shows its subject as a driver) who drags back his wheel, (or as a fox) which has wet his tail. There will be no error.象传: 曳其轮, 义无咎也. Xiàng zhuàn: Yè qí lún, yì wú jiù yě.
‘He drags back his wheel:’ - as we may rightly judge, there will be no mistake.
The second ‘six’, divided, (shows its subject as) a wife who has lost her (carriage-)screen. There is no occasion to go in pursuit of it. In seven days she will find it.象传: 七日得, 以中道也. Xiàng zhuàn: Qī rì dé, yǐ zhōng dào yě.
‘In seven days she will find it:’ - for the course pursued is that indicated by the central position (of the line).
The third ‘nine’, undivided, (suggests the case of) Gao Zong, who attacked the Demon region, but was three years in subduing it. Small men should not be employed (in such enterprises).象传: 三年克之, 惫也. Xiàng zhuàn: Sān nián kè zhī, bèi yě.
‘He was three years in subduing it:’ - enough to make him weary.
The fourth ‘six’, divided, shows its subject with rags provided against any leak (in his boat), and on his guard all day long.象传: 终日戒, 有所疑也. Xiàng zhuàn: Zhōng rì jiè, yǒu suǒ yí yě.
‘He is on his guard all the day:’ - he is in doubt about something.
The fifth ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject (as) the neighbor in the east who slaughters an ox (for his sacrifice); but this is not equal to the (small) spring sacrifice of the neighbor in the west, whose sincerity receives the blessing.象传: 东邻杀牛, 不如西邻之时也; 实受其福, 吉大来也. Xiàng zhuàn: Dōng lín shā niú, bù rú xī lín zhī shí yě; shí shòu qí fú, jí dà lái yě.
‘The slaughtering of an ox by the neighbor in the east is not equal to (the small sacrifice of) the neighbor in the west:’ - because the time (in the latter case is more important and fit). ‘His sincerity receives the blessing:’ - good fortune comes on a great scale.
The topmost ‘six’, divided, shows its subject with (even) his head immersed. The position is perilous.象传: 濡其首厉, 何可久也. Xiàng zhuàn: Rú qí shǒu lì, hé kě jiǔ yě.
‘His head is immersed; the position is perilous:’ - how could such a state continue long?
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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