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(8 pages total)

Page 7 - The Eight Trigrams of the I-Ching (Yijing)


The King Wen Arrangement

Wen Wang, who was given the title of King posthumously, is credited with constructing the hexagrams of the I-Ching through contemplation of the trigrams while he was in jail (around 1143 B.C.). Additionally, Wen is credited with devising the "Later Heaven" arrangement of the eight trigrams. Lo Scroll

My guess is that this trigram arrangement was probably devised from the Lo Shu (Lo Writings or Lo Scroll), which is said to have been derived from the markings on the shell of a "spiritual turtle" that crawled out of the Lo river when the Emperor Yu was draining off the floods. From this scroll the Chiu Kung (Nine Halls or Nine Palaces), which have an important place in Chinese numerology, were also derived. It is possible that the Later Heaven arrangement of the trigrams was derived from either the Lo Scroll or the the Nine Palaces since the numerological arrangements of the three diagrams coincide.

When looking at the Later Heaven (King Wen) arrangement, we read the progressive pattern along the periphery in a clockwise rotation. Reading the trigrams in a circular arrangement symbolizes the elements of infinity and continuity. The movement in this arrangement flows from the superficial qualities to deep qualities, from new life to maturation of life, and from the physical existence to the spiritual existence. King Wen Arrangement

Whereas the Early Heaven (Fu Hsi) arrangement is based on a balance of opposing forces representing a primordial order based in stillness and beyond space and time parameters, the Later Heaven arrangement depicts the development of life in the time-spaced conditioned world.

We see the Later Heaven arrangement as representing cyclical recurrent change, but there is also an element of non-recurrent change in the form of progress. As we finish one cycle, the evolutionary nature of man and the universal process would lead to the next cycle being traveled at a higher level of consciousness, knowledge, or growth. If we step back and take a look from a three dimensional perspective, we see that an upward spiraling pattern of change is created.

We read the Later Heaven sequence starting with Chen trigram (Thunder--the arousing). The Chen trigram is representative of Spring, the 6th hour, and the East, and thus expresses the dynamic appearance of life force. It is all that stirs up latent energies and stimulates them into movement and growth. It is the beginning, the seed, the inspiration that leads to development. The Chen trigram stimulates a firm base for all growing things, it is the striving of new growth towards the light.

The arousing movement is carried in the direction of growth, development and maturation by the energy of the Sun trigram (Wind--the gentle). It is in the Sun trigram that the latent energies stimulated by the arousing Chen are shaped. The gentle wind nurtures and guides.

The new consciousness that received the spark of Thunder and is directed by the Wind reaches maturation in the Li trigram (Fire--the clinging).

The Li trigram is representative of Summer, the 12th hour, and the South and thus expresses the attainment of full maturity. The clinging nature of this trigram is representative of attachment to the new energy that took form under the Sun trigram. You are exploring the possibilities of the new creation and thus have an intense inquisitive kind of interest. You are, in a sense, like a child clinging to a new toy.


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