䷀ Qian
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Qian-Heaven
Qian-Heaven

Qian I Ching Gua Meaning

乾 Qian ䷀ hexagram meanings:

Initiating, Heaven, The Creative, The Creative Principle

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Yang dominates the first hexagram (or gua), Qian, with its creative and driving power. The word Qian shares the same sound as the Chinese word for health and brings forth the connotation of vitality. The first gua represents the function and nature of Heaven to contrast the second gua, Kun, which represents that of Earth. These two gua are considered to be the origin of creation. Qian is also one of the twelve tidal guas and stands as the fourth month of the Chinese lunar calendar—May when working with the solar calendar.

For the ancient Chinese, an emperor was considered the Son of Heaven. His purpose was to guide his people to the Tao of Heaven. As the symbol for Heaven’s nature, Qian reflects this view of authority. Endowed with the four attributes of Heaven—yuan (sublime and initiative), heng (prosperous and smooth), li (favorable and beneficial), and zhen (Steadfast and upright)—Qian is the symbol of leadership. For instance, a strong leader can think for the people, unite them, bring harmony and justice to the land, and carry out achievements for society. Additionally, these four Chinese characters refer to the cycle of the four seasons. The meaning of the characters corresponds with ideas of sprouts, growth, blossoming, and fruit-bearing. Qian’s nature is one of change and transformation, persistence and vitality, much like the four seasons persist forward, transforming the Earth each year by the authority of Heaven.

As the most sublime of the hexagrams, Qian holds steady, promotes harmony, prosperity, and initiation. It is constant and endless forward motion, as the driving force of time. Qian encourages us to understand the nature of transformation and change, and so we must learn how to adjust to change, when to act, and when to withdraw. When it is time to act, one must not be driven by pride or act rashly. When it is time to withdraw, it is a time to gather strength and hold steady for the right time to act. Qian warns that against acting without properly thinking the scenario through will yield the opposite results one is aiming for.

Heaven is in constant motion, the planets orbit with no divergence from their course. It is perpetual in movement but sustains its equilibrium. Qian teaches us that one must follow the way of Heaven and maintain our balance in times of change. Action should be done at the proper time when the circumstances are right. When the time or circumstances are not ideal, Qian reminds us that it is time for patience. There will be a time to act, but this is a time to prepare for that moment.

䷀ Qian hexagram

Qian ䷀ Qian hexagram Illustration

䷀ Qian hexagram meaning

Strength and good fortune flow down from the sky;
Look heavenward – the future is there.

Bottom Line

Qian Bottom Line Illustration

Bottom Line meaning


Lurking, the dragon waits his chance
To flaunt his fiery strength.

Line Two

Qian Line Two Illustration

Line Two meaning


When you glimpse a distant dragon
Shimmering in the heat rising off your fields,
It is time to seek out a great man.

Line Three

Qian Line Three Illustration

Line Three meaning


The dragon who is diligent by day 
And anxious by night will come to no harm.

Line Four

Qian Line Four Illustration

Line Four meaning


When the dragon plays with the dragonflies,
Splashing in the pond,
Our times are tranquil and serene.

Line Five

Qian Line Five Illustration

Line Five meaning


When the dragon soars in the endless sky,
Just then a great man appears.

Top Line

Qian Top Line Illustration

Top Line meaning


Even high-flying and willful dragons
Repent of hot quarrels among them.

Qian  Illustration

meaning


When no dragon fights to dominate
Or grasps for the leader’s staff,
Skies are cloudless and fortunes good.

Comments: I Ching Illustrated Book of Changes

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