䷏ Yu
🌎
Zhen-Thunder
Kun-Earth

Yu I Ching Gua Meaning

豫 Yu ䷏ hexagram meanings:

Delight, Preparation, Enthusiasm, Repose

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The sixteenth gua, Yü, first translated to delight and now also encapsulates the meaning of peace, enthusiasm, and happiness. Yü is associated with the third month of the lunar year, or April in the solar calendar. It is the inverse of the fifteenth gua, Qian, showing that humbleness leads to delight. The progression of the gua goes that when one can cultivate humility in times of great harvest they will experience delight. Although the meaning of Yü carries rather positive connotations, it indicates a large possibility of misfortune to come if one is not careful. Yü is also a warning of overindulgence after a great harvest or success.

Yü’s ideograph contains two portions, the first meaning to give something away or to hand something out. This action is expressed through an image of two hands holding a small object. The second portion of the ideograph symbolizes an elephant standing up on its hind legs facing upward. Though elephants no longer exist in the region, elephants were once a part of life in ancient China. In the south, they carried heavy objects for workers. In the north, they were trained to dance with people as a form of entertainment—therefore bringing people delight. These two parts of the ideograph represent giving and receiving delight and enjoying it for oneself. Together, they represent the nature of delight, it can be shared or experienced within.

Yü is Thunder above Earth, where thunder represents action and Earth represents submission. Thunder also represents the range of power that a feudal lord had. Earth is the multitudes. Together, these symbols are a representation of establishing feudal lords, or gaining assistance, and mobilizing the multitude. Thunder activates the beings on Earth with yang energy and they feel delighted and alive. Although the meaning of Yü is delight, it is also a warning against self-satisfaction. Indulging in one’s pleasures and delights is easy and can lead to self-satisfaction. If one does not remember to be humble and sincere, they will experience the consequences of overindulgence. Delight should not be for one’s own sake, but for the sake of everyone.

Through years of hard work and caution, King Wen eventually established the alliance of feudal lords he envisioned all along. Yü represents the delight he experienced from this absolute success. However, at this moment he also saw the potential for great misfortune if they indulged too much in delight. If they spent too much time celebrating their success and not enough time planning for the next step, they would certainly fail as the tyrant had. He warned the feudal lords of this and encouraged them to maintain a balanced mind. It is unwise to remain too long in delightedness when there is still more work to be done. This is the lesson that Yü teaches us in the I Ching.

䷏ Yu hexagram

Yu ䷏ Yu hexagram Illustration

䷏ Yu hexagram meaning

Diligence makes the prince a king,
Fit to found a kingdom and lead his men.

Bottom Line

Yu Bottom Line Illustration

Bottom Line meaning


Boasting of your plans
Does not bring them to fruition,
But awakens the snakes 
In the roadside reeds
And leads you into danger.

Line Two

Yu Line Two Illustration

Line Two meaning


Defend fairness and honor
And your reward will come.
If a breeze can blow you off your path,
You will fail in all you do. 
But holding fast against a gale
Will show your strength of heart.

Line Three

Yu Line Three Illustration

Line Three meaning


The gnawing hunger for action
Will starve you if not fed.
Seize your moment
Before it leaves you,
Broken, in the dust. 

Line Four

Yu Line Four Illustration

Line Four meaning


Your golden and chains and precious jewels
Jingle when you walk.
A man like you seizes every chance.
Every twist and turn,
You make your own.

Line Five

Yu Line Five Illustration

Line Five meaning


The disease of blocked ambition
Will not kill you,
Though it may sap your strength.

Top Line

Yu Top Line Illustration

Top Line meaning


Let change pass over and through you
As you meditate at night.
No one blames the river 
For carrying away old water.

Comments: I Ching Illustrated Book of Changes

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