坤 Kun ䷁ hexagram meanings:
Responding, Earth, The Receptive, The Passive Principle
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Qian and Kun act to introduce the rest of the 64 hexagrams. Additionally, Qian is the guiding principle of the first thirty gua of the Upper Canon while Kun is the guiding principle of the following thirty-two gua in the Lower Cannon. While Qian represents the realm of Heaven, the second gua, Kun, represents the vast realm of Earth. This gua expresses submission and receptivity in complement to Qian’s creative and leading energy. It promotes resting in firmness, following the lead, and yet stands as a support to others. Their relationship is comparable to the relationship between yin and yang. Kun is another of the twelve tidal gua and is associated with the tenth month in the Chinese lunar calendar—November when working with the solar calendar.
Unlike Qian, Kun cannot create or develop, it has potential but cannot accomplish anything on its own. It needs the pure yang energy of Qian to create myriad beings between heaven and earth. Kun’s submissive potential is only successful when it works with the driving force of Qian. Together, Qian and Kun work like yin and yang in perfect complement to each other. Too much yin and not enough yang lacks spirit and may become stagnant. Too much yang and not enough yin is inflexible and may crack under pressure. The two must cooperate to support one another.
Kun is vast and soft but firm like the Earth it represents. It is submissive but not subservient to Qian. The Tao of Heaven is meant to be followed by Earth, but the Tao of Earth is meant to be followed by humans. Kun expresses that the ideal man is someone who supports others in his virtue. Without him, the project would not see fruition, but he does not take the credit for this. He is a supporter and not a leader, Qian is the leader whom Kun supports. Alone they could not create the myriad of beings that they do when they are together. Confucius believed that the Tao of earth meant to bring everything to completion without taking any of the credit. Taking it further, Taoists believed that the Tao of the earth related to being cautious in times of disorder, ensuring personal survival.
The first two gua introduce us to the important interplay between yin and yang that is present in all 64 gua. Even in Qian, there is a balance of yin and yang (Knowing when to wait and when to act) despite its yang attributes. Likewise, in Kun, there is a similar balance (Being soft yet steady and firm) despite its expression of yin. Just as Qian warns against acting without thinking or at the wrong time, Kun warns us of being too withdrawing or not acting when we should. When studying the I Ching, it is important to remember to maintain this balance of yin and yang. These opposing energies should be harmonious and productive and the first two gua, Qian and Kun, teach us this.
䷁ Kun hexagram
䷁ Kun hexagram meaning
A misgiving nudged you to ride the mare, But the miles flow by like a stream. Though he may lose his way sometimes, A gentleman travels on, Trusting himself to solve the puzzle. This journey takes you to southwest treasure - Be content without the northeast riches. A favorable wind supports your fortune When you think for yourself and stay calm.
Bottom Line meaning
When you step on frost, freezing days are coming.
Line Two meaning
The thrill of a gallop in vast, new fields, Discovering unimagined lands Gives your spirit wings.
Line Three meaning
Virtuous prophets and hangers-on Do very well on the coattails of a king, Though they achieve nothing themselves.
Line Four meaning
To draw your cowl over your face And make it fast with knots, May wrap you safe from trouble, But trap you in that darkness.
Line Five meaning
Don the yellow robe, Hood flung back, sun in your face, Wearing your badge of moderation, Your promise of neutrality.
Top Line meaning
Dragons clash from sky to ground, Sending rivers of blood rushing From blue sky to yellow earth.
A mountain vista is a peaceful setting, A place to imagine the future.
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Comments: I Ching Illustrated Book of Changes