姤 Gòu Reaction Encountering [hexagram 44]
Month 5 ; Host or Controlling line : 5
姤: 女壮, 勿用取女. Gòu: nǚ zhuàng, wù yòng qǔ nǚ.
Gou shows a female who is bold and strong. It will not be good to marry (such) a female.彖传: 姤, 遇也, 柔遇刚也. 勿用取女, 不可与长也. 天地相遇, 品物咸章也. 刚遇中正, 天下大行也. 姤之时义大矣哉! Tuàn zhuàn: Gòu, yù yě, róu yù gāng yě. wù yòng qǔ nǚ, bù kě yǔ cháng yě. tiān dì xiāng yù, pǐn wù xián zhāng yě. gāng yù zhōng zhèng, tiān xià dà xíng yě. gòu zhī shí yì dà yǐ zāi!
Gou has the significance of unexpectedly coming on. (We see in it) the weak (line) coming unexpectedly on the strong ones. ‘It will not be good to marry (such) a female:’ - one (so symbolized) should not be long associated with. Heaven and earth meeting together (as here represented), all the variety of natural things become fully displayed. When a strong (line) finds itself in the central and correct position, (good government) will greatly prevail all under the sky. Great indeed is the significance of what has to be done at the time indicated by Gou!象传: 天下有风, 姤; 后以施命诰四方. Xiàng zhuàn: Tiān xià yǒu fēng, gòu; hòu yǐ shī mìng gào sì fāng.
(The trigram representing) wind and that for the sky above it form Gou. The sovereign, in accordance with this, delivers his charges, and promulgates his announcements throughout the four quarters (of the kingdom).
The first ‘six’, divided, shows how its subject should be kept (like a carriage) tied and fastened to a metal drag, in which case with firm correctness there will be good fortune. (But) if he move in any direction, evil will appear. He will be (like) a lean pig, which is sure to keep jumping about.象传: 系于金柅, 柔道牵也. Xiàng zhuàn: Xì yú jīn nǐ, róu dào qiān yě.
‘Tied and fastened to a metal drag:’ - (this describes the arrest of) the weak (line) in its advancing course.
The second ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject with a wallet of fish. There will be no error. But it will not be well to let (the subject of the first line) go forward to the guests.象传: 包有鱼, 义不及宾也. Xiàng zhuàn: Bāo yǒu yú, yì bù jí bīn yě.
‘He has a wallet of fish:’ - it is right for him not to allow (the subject of the first line) to get to the guests.
The third ‘nine’, undivided, shows one from whose buttocks the skin has been stripped so that he walks with difficulty. The position is perilous, but there will be no great error.象传: 其行次且, 行未牵也. Xiàng zhuàn: Qí xíng cì qiě, xíng wèi qiān yě.
‘He walks with difficulty:’ - but his steps have not yet been drawn (into the course of the first line).
The fourth ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject with his wallet, but no fish in it. This will give rise to evil.象传: 无鱼之凶, 远民也. Xiàng zhuàn: Wú yú zhī xiōng, yuàn mín yě.
‘The evil’ indicated by there being ‘no fish in the wallet’ is owing to (the subject of the line) keeping himself aloof from the people.
The fifth ‘nine’, undivided, (shows its subject as) a medlar tree overspreading the gourd (beneath it). If he keep his brilliant qualities concealed, (a good issue) will descend (as) from Heaven.象传: 九五含章, 中正也. 有陨自天, 志不舍命也. Xiàng zhuàn: Jiǔ wǔ hán zhāng, zhōng zhèng yě. Yǒu yǔn zì tiān, zhì bù shè mìng yě.
‘The subject of the fifth ‘nine’, (undivided), keeps his brilliant qualities concealed:’ - as is indicated by his central and correct position. ‘(The good issue) descends (as) from Heaven: - ’his aim does not neglect the ordinances (of Heaven).
The sixth ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject receiving others on his horns. There will be occasion for regret, but there will be no error.象传: 姤其角, 上穷吝也. Xiàng zhuàn: Gòu qí jiǎo, shàng qióng lìn yě.
‘He receives others on his horns:’ - he is exhausted at his greatest height, and there will be cause for regret.
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.