䷨ Sun
🌀
🗻
Dui-Lake
Gen-Mountain

Sun I Ching Gua Meaning

損 Sun ䷨ hexagram meanings:

Decreasing, Decrease, The sort of Decrease, Loss, Reduction

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The forty-first gua is Sun, which translates to Decreasing, damaging, reduction, or losing. It is associated with the seventh month of the lunar year, or August in the solar calendar. In the act of releasing, something must be lost. After a period of relief comes a period of decrease. What is excessive ought to be let go to maintain balance. Rather than embracing a life of self-satisfaction, one should rid themselves of extravagance. Room for growth and prosperity opens up once one eliminates their excess. This gua also symbolizes sacrifice and sincerity. Sometimes, one must lose something along the journey before one can experience prosperity.

The ideograph representing Sun shows an image of a hand holding something in its hand. To the bottom right of the hand is an ancient vessel used to hold sacrificial liquors. The liquors represent the excess that is decreasing in this gua. Above the vessel is an open mouth. As the hand pours the liquor from the vessel, the amount inside the container diminishes until there is no more left. The ideograph in its entirety shows the hand pouring liquid from the sacrificial vessel until it is empty. Sun’s ideograph expresses the process of loss or a decrease in excess.

Sun is Mountain above Lake, demonstrating the decrease in elevation from the mountain peak to the bottom of the lake. This relationship works in both directions too, as Lake decreases, Mountain increases. To make the mountain taller, the lake must reach further into the ground. This refers to the cyclical nature this gua has to its inverse which corresponds to an increase. In order to generate an increase in something, another thing must be decreased. To increase the number of supplies one has to build homes with, the resources needed to build an entire house must first be decreased. To do this, one must build homes without wasting any excess material. The material that was once waste can now build more homes and shows the relationship between decrease and increase. It is a give and take just like yin and yang.

Once King Wen brought relief to those fleeing the Shang dynasty, he needed to bring prosperity to the people. The first way he thought to do this was to practice restraint in the resources one uses each day. He used himself as an example and performed a grand ceremony with only two trays instead of eight. He showed how one minor alteration in a ceremony could waste fewer resources. By wasting fewer materials, the Zhou dynasty could use them to bring more wealth to the entire kingdom. To save money and materials one must waste less. Thus, Sun, or decrease, is the way to generate wealth and prosperity. Thus, King Wen used the wisdom of Sun to show how decreasing one’s excess brings good fortune.

䷨ Sun hexagram

Sun ䷨ Sun hexagram Illustration

䷨ Sun hexagram meaning

It was auspicious from the start:
You made no mistakes and captured enemies.
It was easy to predict that it would be beneficial.
Now, what shall we offer in thanks?
Two vessels of food for the sacred.

Bottom Line

Sun Bottom Line Illustration

Bottom Line meaning


Though you must be frugal,
Conduct the ritual with respect - 
A solemn sacrificial offering.
This will keep you on the path,
You haven’t strayed so far.

Line Two

Sun Line Two Illustration

Line Two meaning


Great danger is forecast
For your expedition.
But do not abandon it for that,
Thinking to save the expense.
Instead, make your spending
As bold as your adventure. 

Line Three

Sun Line Three Illustration

Line Three meaning


Then three people set out together,
One of them will leave partway.
When one person ventures out alone,
He will acquire a companion. 

Line Four

Sun Line Four Illustration

Line Four meaning


As soon as you fall ill, seek help.
With treatment, you’ll recover.
Make no mistakes in this.

Line Five

Sun Line Five Illustration

Line Five meaning


A wise turtle worth ten gold chains
Was brought to you as a gift.
You must accept this offering
As an open door to possibilities.

Top Line

Sun Top Line Illustration

Top Line meaning


Your good luck will increase with your savings.
It is a good habit to have.
Get an honest, hard-working chancellor 
To manage all this wealth.

Comments: I Ching Illustrated Book of Changes

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