蛊 Gǔ Corruption Decay [hexagram 18]
Month 3 ; Host or Controlling line : 5
蛊: 元亨, 利涉大川. 先甲三日, 后甲三日. Gǔ: yuán hēng, lì shè dà chuān. xiān jiǎ sān rì, hòu jiǎ sān rì.
Gu indicates great progress and success (to him who deals properly with the condition represented by it). There will be advantage in (efforts like that of) crossing the great stream. (He should weigh well, however, the events of) three days before the turning point, and those (to be done) three days after it.彖传: 蛊, 刚上而柔下, 巽而止, 蛊. 蛊, 元亨, 而天下治也. 利涉大川, 往有事也. 先甲三日, 后甲三日, 终则有始, 天行也. Tuàn zhuàn: Gǔ, gāng shàng ér róu xià, xùn ér zhǐ, gǔ. Gǔ, yuán hēng, ér tiān xià zhì yě. Lì shè dà chuān, wǎng yǒu shì yě. Xiān jiǎ sān rì, hòu jiǎ sān rì, zhōng zé yǒu shǐ, tiān háng yě.
In Gu we have the strong (trigram) above, and the weak one below; we have (below) pliancy, and (above) stopping: - these give the idea of Gu (a Troubling Condition of affairs verging to ruin). ‘Gu indicates great progress and success:’ - (through the course shown in it), all under heaven, there will be good order. ‘There will be advantage in crossing the great stream:’ - he who advances will encounter the business to be done. ‘(He should weigh well, however, the events of) three days before (the turning-point), and those (to be done) three days after it:’ - the end (of confusion) is the beginning (of order); such is the procedure of Heaven.象传: 山下有风, 蛊; 君子以振民育德. Xiàng zhuàn: Shān xià yǒu fēng, gǔ; jūn zǐ yǐ zhèn mín yù dé.
(The trigram for) a mountain, and below it that for wind, form Gu. The superior man, in accordance with this, (addresses himself to) help the people and nourish his own virtue.
The first ‘six’, divided, shows (a son) dealing with the troubles caused by his father. If he be an (able) son, the father will escape the blame of having erred. The position is perilous, but there will be good fortune in the end.象传: 干父之蛊, 意承考也. Xiàng zhuàn: Gàn fù zhī gǔ, yì chéng kǎo yě.
'He deals with the troubles caused by his father:' - he feels that he has entered into the work of his father.
The second ‘nine’, undivided, shows (a son) dealing with the troubles caused by his mother. He should not (carry) his firm correctness (to the utmost).象传: 干母之蛊, 得中道也. Xiàng zhuàn: Gàn mǔ zhī gǔ, dé zhòng dào yě.
'He deals with the troubles caused by his mother:' - he holds to the course of the due mean.
The third ‘nine’, undivided, shows (a son) dealing with the troubles caused by his father. There may be some small occasion for repentance, but there will not be any great error.象传: 干父之蛊, 终无咎也. Xiàng zhuàn: Gàn fù zhī gǔ, zhōng wú jiù yě.
'He deals with the troubles caused by his father:' - in the end there will be no error.
The fourth ‘six’, divided, shows (a son) viewing indulgently the troubles caused by his father. If he go forward, he will find cause to regret it.象传: 裕父之蛊, 往未得也. Xiàng zhuàn: Yù fù zhī gǔ, wǎng wèi dé yě.
'He views indulgently the troubles caused by his father:' - if he go forward, he will not succeed.
The fifth ‘six’, divided, shows (a son) dealing with the troubles caused by his father. He obtains the praise of using (the fit instrument for his work).象传: 干父之蛊; 承以德也. Xiàng zhuàn: Gān fù zhī gǔ; chéng yǐ dé yě.
'He deals with the troubles caused by his father, and obtains praise:' - he is responded to (by the subject of line two) with all his virtue.
The sixth ‘nine’, undivided, shows us one who does not serve either king or feudal lord, but in a lofty spirit prefers (to attend to) his own affairs.象传: 不事王侯, 志可则也. Xiàng zhuàn: Bù shì wáng hóu, zhì kě zé yě.
'He does not serve either king or feudal lord:' - but his aim may be a model (to others).
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.