大壮 Dà Zhuàng Powerful Great strength [hexagram 34]
Month 2 ; Host or Controlling line : 4
大壮: 利贞. Dà zhuàng: lì zhēn.
Da Zhuang indicates that (under the conditions which it symbolizes) it will be advantageous to be firm and correct.彖传: 大壮, 大者壮也. 刚以动, 故壮. 大壮利贞; 大者正也. 正大而天地之情可见矣! Tuàn zhuàn: Dà zhuàng, dà zhě zhuàng yě. gāng yǐ dòng, gù zhuàng. dà zhuàng lì zhēn; dà zhě zhèng yě. zhèngdà ér tiān dì zhī qíng kě jiàn yǐ!
In Da Zhuang we see that which is great becoming strong. We have the (trigram) denoting strength directing that which denotes movement, and hence (the whole) is expressive of vigor. ‘Da Zhuang indicates that it will be advantageous to be firm and correct:’ - that which is great (should be) correct. Given correctness and greatness (in their highest degree), and the character and tendencies of heaven and earth can be seen.象传: 雷在天上, 大壮; 君子以非礼勿履. Xiàng zhuàn: Léi zài tiān shàng, dà zhuàng; jūn zǐ yǐ fēi lǐ wù lǚ.
(The trigram representing) heaven and above it that for thunder form Da Zhuang. The superior man, in accordance with this, does not take a step which is not according to propriety.
The first ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject manifesting his strength in his toes. But advance will lead to evil,--most certainly.象传: 壮于趾, 其孚穷也. Xiàng zhuàn: Zhuàng yú zhǐ, qí fú qióng yě.
‘He manifests his vigor in his toes:’ - this will certainly lead to exhaustion.
The second ‘nine’, undivided, shows that with firm correctness there will be good fortune.象传: 九二贞吉, 以中也. Xiàng zhuàn: Jiǔ èr zhēn jí, yǐ zhōng yě.
‘The second ‘nine’, (undivided), shows that with firm correctness there will be good fortune:’ - this is due to its being in the center, (and its subject exemplifying the due mean).
The third ‘nine’, undivided, shows, in the case of a small man, one using all his strength; and in the case of a superior man, one whose rule is not to do so. Even with firm correctness the position would be perilous. (The exercise of strength in it might be compared to the case of) a ram butting against a fence, and getting his horns entangled.象传: 小人用壮, 君子罔也. Xiàng zhuàn: Xiǎo rén yòng zhuàng, jūn zǐ wǎng yě.
‘The small man uses all his strength; in the case of the superior man it is his rule not to do so.’
The fourth ‘nine’, undivided, shows (a case in which) firm correctness leads to good fortune, and occasion for repentance disappears. (We see) the fence opened without the horns being entangled. The strength is like that in the wheel-spokes of a large wagon.象传: 藩决不羸, 尚往也. Xiàng zhuàn: Fān jué bù léi, shàng wǎng yě.
‘The fence is opened and the horns are not entangled:’ - (the subject of the line) still advances.
The fifth ‘six’, divided, shows one who loses his ram(-like strength) in the ease of his position. (But) there will be no occasion for repentance.象传: 丧羊于易, 位不当也. Xiàng zhuàn: Sàng yáng yú yì, wèi bù dàng yě.
‘He loses his ram and hardly perceives it:’ - he is not in his appropriate place.
The sixth ‘six’, divided, shows (one who may be compared to) the ram butting against the fence, and unable either to retreat, or to advance as he would fain do. There will not be advantage in any respect; but if he realize the difficulty (of his position), there will be good fortune.象传: 不能退, 不能遂, 不祥也. 艰则吉, 咎不长也. Xiàng zhuàn: Bù néng tuì, bù néng suì, bù xiáng yě. jiān zé jí, jiù bù cháng yě.
‘He is unable either to retreat or to advance:’ - this is owing to his want of care. ‘If he realize the difficulty (of his position), there will be good fortune:’ - his error will not be prolonged.
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.