鼎 Dǐng Containment Creation [hexagram 50]
Month 6 ; Host or Controlling line : 5
鼎: 元吉, 亨. Dǐng: yuán jí, hēng.
Ding gives the intimation of great progress and success.彖传: 鼎, 象也. 以木巽火, 亨饪也. 圣人亨以享上帝, 而大亨以养圣贤. 巽而耳目聪明, 柔进而上行, 得中而应乎刚, 是以元亨. Tuàn zhuàn: Dǐng, xiàng yě. yǐ mù xùn huǒ, hēng rèn yě. shèng rén hēng yǐ xiǎng shàng dì, ér dà hēng yǐ yǎng shèng xián. xùn ér ěr mù cōng ming, róu jìn ér shàng xíng, dé zhòng ér yìng hū gāng, shì yǐ yuán hēng.
In Ding we have (symbolically) the figure of a caldron. (We see) the (symbol of) wood entering into that of fire, which suggests the idea of cooking. The sages cooked their offerings in order to present them to God, and made great feasts to nourish their wise and able (ministers). We have the symbol of) flexible obedience, and that (which denotes) ears quick of hearing and eyes clear-sighted. (We have also) the weak (line) advanced and acting above, in the central place, and responded to by the strong (line below). All these things give the idea of 'great progress and success.'象传: 木上有火, 鼎; 君子以正位凝命. Xiàng zhuàn: Mù shǎng yǒu huǒ, dǐng; jūn zǐ yǐ zhèng wèi níng mìng.
(The trigram representing) wood and above it that for fire form Ding. The superior man, in accordance with this, keeps his every position correct, and maintains secure the appointment (of Heaven).
The first ‘six’, divided, shows the caldron overthrown and its feet turned up. (But) there will be advantage in its getting rid of what was bad in it. (Or it shows us) the concubine (whose position is improved) by means of her son. There will be no error.象传: 鼎颠趾, 未悖也. 利出否, 以从贵也. Xiàng zhuàn: Dǐng diān zhǐ, wèi bèi yě. lì chū pǐ, yǐ cóng guì yě.
‘The caldron is overturned, and its feet turned upwards:’ - but this is not (all) contrary (to what is right). ‘There will be advantage in getting rid of what was bad:’ - thereby (the subject of the line) will follow the more noble (subject of the fourth line).
The second ‘nine’, undivided, shows the caldron with the things (to be cooked) in it. (If its subject can say), 'My enemy dislikes me, but he cannot approach me,' there will be good fortune.象传: 鼎有实, 慎所之也. 我仇有疾, 终无尤也. Xiàng zhuàn: Dǐng yǒu shí, shèn suǒ zhī yě. wǒ chóu yǒu jí, zhōng wú yóu yě.
‘There is the caldron with the things (to be cooked) in it:’ - let (the subject of the line) be careful where he goes. ‘My enemy dislikes me:’ - but there will in the end be no fault (to which he can point).
The third ‘nine’, undivided, shows the caldron with (the places of) its ears changed. The progress (of its subject) is (thus) stopped. The fat flesh of the pheasant (which is in the caldron) will not be eaten. But the (genial) rain will come, and the grounds for repentance will disappear. There will be good fortune in the end.象传: 鼎耳革, 失其义也. Xiàng zhuàn: Dǐng ěr gé, shī qí yì yě.
‘There is the caldron with (the places for) its ears changed:’ - (its subject) has failed in what was required of him (in his situation).
The fourth ‘nine’, undivided, shows the caldron with its feet broken; and its contents, designed for the ruler's use, overturned and spilt. Its Subject will be made to blush for shame. There will be evil.象传: 覆公餗, 信如何也. Xiàng zhuàn: Fù gōng sù, xìn rú hé yě.
‘The contents designed for the ruler’s use are overturned and spilled: ‘ - how can (the subject of the line) be trusted?
The fifth ‘six’, divided, shows the caldron with yellow ears and rings of metal in them. There will be advantage through being firm and correct.象传: 鼎黄耳, 中以为实也. Xiàng zhuàn: Dǐng huáng ěr, zhōng yǐ wéi shí yě.
‘The caldron has yellow ears:’ - the central position (of the line) is taken as (a proof of) the solid (virtue of its subject).
The sixth ‘nine’, undivided, shows the caldron with rings of jade. There will be great good fortune, and all action taken will be in every way advantageous.象传: 玉铉在上, 刚柔节也. Xiàng zhuàn: Yù xuàn zài shàng, gāng róu jié yě.
‘The rings of jade’ are at the very top: - the strong and the weak meet in their due proportions.
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.