屯 Zhūn Inhibition Beginning [hexagram 3]
Month 12 ; Host or Controlling line : 1
屯: 元亨, 利贞, 勿用有攸往, 利建侯. Tún: yuán hēng, lì zhēn, wù yòng yǒu yōu wǎng, lì jiàn hóu.
Zhun (indicates that in the case which it presupposes) there will be great progress and success, and the advantage will come from being correct and firm. (But) any movement in advance should not be (lightly) undertaken. There will be advantage in appointing feudal princes.彖传: 屯, 刚柔始交而难生, 动乎险中, 大亨贞. 雷雨之动满盈, 天造草昧, 宜建侯而不宁. Tuàn zhuàn: Tún, gāng róu shǐ jiāo ér nán shēng, dòng hū xiǎn zhōng, dà hēng zhēn. léi yǔ zhī dòng mǎn yíng, tiān zào cǎo mèi, yí jiàn hóu ér bù níng.
In Zhun we have the strong (Qian) and the weak (Kun) commencing their intercourse, and difficulties arising. Movement in the midst of peril gives rise to ‘great progress and success, (through) firm correctness.’ By the action of the thunder and rain, (which are symbols of Kan and Zhen), all (between heaven and earth) is filled up. But the condition of the time is full of irregularity and obscurity. Feudal princes should be established, but the feeling that rest and peace have been secured should not be indulged (even then).象传: 云, 雷, 屯; 君子以经纶. Xiàng zhuàn: Yún, léi, tún; jūn zǐ yǐ jīng lún.
(The trigram representing) clouds and (that representing) thunder form Zhun. The superior man, in accordance with this, (adjusts his measures of government) as in sorting the threads of the warp and woof.
The first ‘nine’, undivided, shows the difficulty (its subject has) in advancing. It will be advantageous for him to abide correct and firm; advantageous (also) to be made a feudal ruler.象传: 虽磐桓, 志行正也. 以贵下贱, 大得民也. Xiàng zhuàn: Suī pán huán, zhì háng zhēng yě. yǐ guì xià jiàn, dà dé mín yě.
Although ‘there is a difficulty in advancing,’ the mind (of the subject of the line) is set on doing what is correct. While noble, he humbles himself to the mean, and grandly gains the people.
The second ‘six’, divided, shows (its subject) distressed and obliged to return; (even) the horses of her chariot (also) seem to be retreating. (But) not by a spoiler (is she assailed), but by one who seeks her to be his wife. The young lady maintains her firm correctness, and declines a union. After ten years she will be united, and have children.象传: 六二之难, 乘刚也. 十年乃字, 反常也. Xiàng zhuàn: Liù èr zhī nán, chéng gāng yě. shí nián nǎi zì, fǎn cháng yě.
The difficulty (to the subject of) the second ‘six’, (divided), arises from, its place over the undivided line below it. 'The union and children after ten years' shows things resuming their regular course.
The third ‘six’, divided, shows one following the deer without (the guidance of) the forester, and only finding himself in the midst of the forest. The superior man, acquainted with the secret risks, thinks it better to give up the chase. If he went forward, he would regret it.象传: 即鹿无虞, 以纵禽也. 君子舍之, 往吝穷也. Xiàng zhuàn: Jí lù wú yú, yǐ zòng qín yě. Jūn zǐ shè zhī, wǎng lìn qióng yě.
‘One pursues the deer without the (guidance of the) forester:’ - (he does so) in (his eagerness to) follow the game. ‘The superior man gives up the chase, (knowing that) if he go forward he will regret it:’ - he would be reduced to extremity.
The fourth ‘six’, divided, shows (its subject as a lady), the horses of whose chariot appear in retreat. She seeks, however, (the help of) him who seeks her to be his wife. Advance will be fortunate; all will turn out advantageously.象传: 求而往, 明也. Xiàng zhuàn: Qiú ér wǎng, míng yě.
‘Going forward after such a search (for a helper)’ shows intelligence.
The fifth ‘nine’, undivided, shows the difficulties in the way of (its subject's) dispensing the rich favors that might be expected from him. With firmness and correctness there will be good fortune in small things; (even) with them in great things there will be evil.象传: 屯其膏, 施未光也. Xiàng zhuàn: Tún qí gāo, shī wèi guāng yě.
'Difficulty is experienced (by the subject of the fifth line) in bestowing his rich favors:' - the extent to which they reach will not yet be conspicuous.
The topmost ‘six’, divided, shows (its subject) with the horses of his chariot obliged to retreat, and weeping tears of blood in streams.象传: 泣血涟如, 何可长也. Xiàng zhuàn: Qì xuè lián rú, hé kě cháng yě.
'He weeps tears of blood in streams:' - how can the state (thus emblemed) continue long?
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.