Earth Earth

Shī [7]

Yin line Yin line Yin line Yin line Yang - controlling line Yin line

Mass action

army, teacher

Tóng Rén [13] Aggregation; Fellowship
[8] Coherence; Union
[24] Return; Turning back

month Month 4 ; Host or Controlling line : 2
师: , 丈, . Shī: zhēn, zhàng rén, jí wú jiù.

Shi indicates how, in the case which it supposes, with firmness and correctness, and (a leader of) age and experience, there will be good fortune and no error.

: 师, , , , 矣. 应, , , , 矣. Tuàn zhuàn: Shī, zhòng yě, zhēn zhēng yě, néng yǐ zhòng zhēng, kě yǐ wáng yǐ. gāng zhōng ér yìng, háng xiǎn ér shùn, yǐ cǐ dú tiān xià, ér mín cóng zhī, jí yòu hé jiù yǐ.

(The name) Shi describes the multitude (of the host). The ‘firmness and correctness’ (which the hexagram indicates) refer to (moral) correctness (of aim). When (the mover) is able to use the multitude with such correctness, he may attain to the royal sway. There is (the symbol of) strength in the center (of the trigram below), and it is responded to (by its proper correlate above). The action gives rise to perils, but is in accordance (with the best sentiments of men). (Its mover) may by such action distress all the country, but the people will follow him; - there will be good fortune, and what error should there be?

: , 师; . Xiàng zhuàn: De zhōng yǒu shuǐ, shī; jūn zǐ yǐ róng mín chù zhòng.

(The trigram representing) the earth and in the midst of it that representing water, form Shi. The superior man, in accordance with this, nourishes and educates the people, and collects (from among them) the multitudes (of the hosts).

young yin young yin young yin young yin young yang changing yin
I Ching transform
Lín [19] Convergence; Approach
: 师律, 否臧凶. Chū liù: shī chū yǐ lù:, fǒu zāng xiōng.

The first ‘six’, divided, shows the host going forth according to the rules (for such a movement). If these be not good, there will be evil.

: 师律, 律凶. Xiàng zhuàn: Shī chū yǐ lù:, shī lù: xiōng yě.

'The host goes forth according to the rules (for) such a movement:' - if those rules be not observed, there will be evil.

young yin young yin young yin young yin changing yang young yin
I Ching transform
Kūn [2] Receptor; Responding
: , , . Jiǔ èr: zài shī zhōng jí, wú jiù, wáng sān xī mìng.

The second ‘nine’, undivided, shows (the leader) in the midst of the host. There will be good fortune and no error. The king has thrice conveyed to him the orders (of his favor).

: , 承. , 怀. Xiàng zhuàn: Zài shī zhōng jí, chéng tiān chǒng yě. wáng sān xī mìng, huái wàn bāng yě.

‘He is in the midst of the host, and there will be good fortune:’ - he has received the favor of Heaven. ‘The king has thrice conveyed to him the orders (of) his favor:’ - (the king) cherishes the myriad regions in his heart.

young yin young yin young yin changing yin young yang young yin
I Ching transform
Shēng [46] Ascent; Growing up
: 师, 凶. Liù sān: shī huò yú shī, xiōng.

The third ‘six’, divided, shows how the host may, possibly, have many inefficient leaders. There will be evil.

: 师, . Xiàng zhuàn: Shī huò yú shī, dà wú gōng yě.

‘The host with the possibility of its having many idle leaders:’ - great will be its want of success.

young yin young yin changing yin young yin young yang young yin
I Ching transform
Xiè [40] Disentangle; Relief
: 师次, . Liù sì: shī zuǒ cì, wú jiù.

The fourth ‘six’, divided, shows the host in retreat. There is no error.

: , . Xiàng zhuàn: Zuǒ cì wú jiù, wèi shī cháng yě.

‘The host is in retreat; but there is no error:’ - there has been no failure in the regular course.

young yin changing yin young yin young yin young yang young yin
I Ching transform
Kǎn [29] Flow; Darkness
: 禽, , . 帅师, , 凶. Liù wǔ: tián yǒu qín, lì zhí yán, wú jiù. Zhǎng zǐ shuài shī, dì zǐ yú shī, zhēn xiōng.

The fifth ‘six’, divided, shows birds in the fields, which it will be advantageous to seize (and destroy). In that case there will be no error. If the oldest son leads the host, and younger men (idly occupy offices assigned to them), however firm and correct he may be, there will be evil.

: 帅师, . , 使. Xiàng zhuàn: Zhǎng zǐ shuài shī, yǐ zhōng háng yě. Dì zǐ yú shī, shǐ bù dàng yě.

‘The oldest son leads the host:’ - its movements are directed by him in accordance with his position in the center. ‘Younger men idly occupy their positions:’ - the employment of such men is improper.

changing yin young yin young yin young yin young yang young yin
I Ching transform
Méng [4] Initiation; Immaturity
: , , . Shǎng liù: dà jūn yǒu mìng, kāi guó chéng jiā, xiǎo rén wù yòng.

The topmost ‘six’, divided, shows the great ruler delivering his charges, (appointing some) to be rulers of states, and others to undertake the headship of clans; but small men should not be employed (in such positions).

: , . , 必乱邦. Xiàng zhuàn: Dà jūn yǒu mìng, yǐ zhēng gōng yě. xiǎo rén wù yòng, bì luàn bāng yě.

‘The great ruler delivers his charges:’ - thereby he rightly apportions merit. ‘Small men should not be employed:’ - they are sure to throw the states into confusion.

Chinese proverb


Shī bài shì chéng gōng zhī mǔ [shi bai shi cheng gong zhi mu]
failure is achieve merit's mother
Failure is the mother of success
Learning from mistakes
Cut your coat to suit your cloth
This translation of the YiJing classic text uses the original Chinese including the 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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