升 Shēng Ascent Growing up [hexagram 46]
Month 12 ; Host or Controlling line : 1
升: 元亨, 用见大人, 勿恤, 南征吉. Shēng: yuán hēng, yòng xiàn dà ren, wù xù, nán zhēng jí.
Sheng indicates that (under its conditions) there will be great progress and success. Seeking by (the qualities implied in it) to meet with the great man, its subject need have no anxiety. Advance to the south will be fortunate.彖传: 柔以时升, 巽而顺, 刚中而应, 是以大亨. 用见大人, 勿恤; 有庆也. 南征吉, 志行也. Tuàn zhuàn: Róu yǐ shí shēng, xùn ér shùn, gāng zhōng ér yīng, shì yǐ dà hēng. yòng jiàn dà ren, wù xù; yǒu qìng yě. nán zhēng jí, zhì xíng yě.
(We find) the weak (line), as it finds the opportunity, ascending upwards. We have (the attribute) of flexibility and that of obedience; we have the strong line (below) and its proper correlate above: - these things indicate that there will be ‘great progress and success.’ ‘Seeking (by the qualities implied in Sheng) to meet with the great man, its subject need have no anxiety:’ - there will be ground for congratulation. ‘Advance to the south will be fortunate:’ - his aim will be carried out.象传: 地中生木, 升; 君子以顺德, 积小以高大. Xiàng zhuàn: Dì zhōng shēng mù, shēng; jūn zǐ yǐ shùn dé, jī xiǎo yǐ gāo dà.
(The trigram representing) wood and that for the earth with the wood growing in the midst of it form Sheng. The superior man, in accordance with this, pays careful attention to his virtue, and accumulates the small developments of it till it is high and great.
The first ‘six’, divided, shows its subject advancing upwards with the welcome (of those above him). There will be great good fortune.象传: 允升大吉, 上合志也. Xiàng zhuàn: Yǔn shēng dà jí, shàng hé zhì yě.
‘He is welcomed in his advance upwards, and there will be great good fortune:’ - (the subjects of) the upper (trigram) are of the same mind with him.
The second ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject with that sincerity which will make even the (small) offerings of the vernal sacrifice acceptable. There will be no error.象传: 九二之孚, 有喜也. Xiàng zhuàn: Jiǔ èr zhī fú, yǒu xǐ yě.
‘The sincerity of the subject of the second ‘nine’, undivided,’ affords occasion for joy.
The third ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject ascending upwards (as into) an empty city.象传: 升虚邑, 无所疑也. Xiàng zhuàn: Shēng xū yì, wú suǒ yí yě.
‘He advances upwards (as into) an empty city:’ - he has no doubt or hesitation.
The fourth ‘six’, divided, shows its subject employed by the king to present his offerings on Mount Qi. There will be good fortune; there will be no mistake.象传: 王用亨于岐山, 顺事也. Xiàng zhuàn: Wáng yòng hēng yú qí shān, shùn shì yě.
‘The king employs him to prevent his offerings on Mount Qi:’ - such a service (of spiritual Beings) is according to (their mind).
The fifth ‘six’, divided, shows its subject firmly correct, and therefore enjoying good fortune. He ascends the stairs (with all due ceremony).象传: 贞吉升阶, 大得志也. Xiàng zhuàn: Zhēn jí shēng jiē, dà dé zhì yě.
‘He is firmly correct, and will therefore enjoy good fortune. He ascends the stairs (with all due ceremony):’ - he grandly succeeds in his aim.
The sixth ‘six’, divided, shows its subject advancing upwards blindly. Advantage will be found in a ceaseless maintenance of firm correctness.象传: 冥升在上, 消不富也. Xiàng zhuàn: Míng shēng zài shàng, xiāo bù fù yě.
‘He blindly advances upwards,’ and is in the highest place: - but there is decay in store for him, and he will not (preserve) his riches.
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.