賁 Bi ䷕ hexagram meanings:
Adorning, Adornment, Grace, Elegance
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The twenty-second gua, Bi, is the inverse of Shi He. It is associated with the eighth month of the lunar year, or September in the solar calendar. Bi translates to Adorning, grace, or elegance. Once evil is eradicated, people can become united. However, people usually cannot unite immediately after justice is served. To bring people together, goodness must now be adorned. Adornment used to also refers to adorning one’s social behavior. They believed that educating people on etiquette and other social values are effective methods of keeping order. This avoided encouraging punishment when it was unnecessary or cruel. When Shi He and Bi work together they help each other unite people and maintain social order, and this is why they are perfect complements.
The ideograph representing Bi contains three sprouts of grass over an image of a cowrie shell. Cowrie shells were once used as money or valuable ornaments so they carry the connotation of value. Both objects have historic use as ornamental objects. In its entirety, the ideograph shows the grass and the cowries used as objects for adornment. Bi is not merely about external adornment but uses this image to signify adorning one’s social etiquette. Bi is Mountain above Fire, fire burning at the base of the mountain. The flames reach upward adorning the mountain with a beautiful brightness. This is why Bi is called Adornment.
Because Bi does not concern itself as much with external decoration, it emphasizes natural inner beauty. This gua teaches us that we need to cultivate our inner beauty and not be as concerned with external adornment. It expresses the need for us to adorn our social etiquette to maintain peace among each other rather than adorn ornate jewelry. Even those in power are encouraged to embrace their natural self over their external appearance. It is the substance within that matters more than one’s external looks. Bi tells us how we can cultivate peace and harmony amongst each other after eradicating a divisive and cruel tyrant just as King Wu did.
After King Wu overthrew the tyrant, he distributed the treasures he recovered to all those who helped him. Additionally, he taught them proper social behavior and etiquette so that they could all live among each other peacefully. King Wen had instructed King Wu to do all this, as both of these would bring success progress for the new rule. Most people were happy to fulfill their role in society and acted in accordance with the newly established social code. They believed that by educating people they could cultivate their inner sincerity and not rely so heavily on punishment. People of all social positions should treasure their true nature, including the king. Bi teaches that one’s inner sincerity reveals one’s true nature to others, and this is something to treasure.
䷕ Bi hexagram
䷕ Bi hexagram meaning
Make yourself attractive, The make-up adorns you well. Go ahead, but with a light touch.
Bottom Line meaning
Your tattooed feet are sturdy. You can walk beside the cart. Remain grounded.
Line Two meaning
Decorate his beard, So distinguished as he strokes it, Thinking of what to say.
Line Three meaning
The glistening design of the decorations Suggests eternal providence, But what may be hidden?
Line Four meaning
The white horse gallops with head held high, Well-groomed horse and rider, Not bandits then, but suitors, Trustworthy.
Line Five meaning
Into the beautiful gardens, The weather still comes. No matter if a few of the Rolls of silk are mouse-eaten, They are enough as they are, Auspicious.
Top Line meaning
Plain white tunic and pants, Clean and ready For the future’s arrival.
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Comments: I Ching Illustrated Book of Changes