䷊ Tai
🌎
🙏
Kun-Earth
Qian-Heaven

Tai I Ching Gua Meaning

泰 Tai ䷊ hexagram meanings:

Advance, Great, Peace, Safety, Progression

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The word Tai originally translated to “more than” or “most” and generally conveys the condition of being more than great. This word also translates to peace, good health, progression, proceeding, advancing, safety, and security. Tai is one of the twelve tidal gua and is associated with the first month of the year, or February in the solar calendar. The eleventh gua represents the union of Heaven and Earth, illustrated by the ideograph showing a person with open arms and legs. This conveys the safe and peaceful connotations carried by Tai. The eleventh gua’s ideograph also depicts running water and thus the idea of progression and advancement is present in the meaning of this gua.

After a duty is properly fulfilled, one is filled with feelings of peace and security. And so after Lü—fulfillment—comes Tai—advance. In life, we consider the sky and the realm of Heaven to exist above the earth. For Tai, it is Heaven that descends to earth, and earth that ascends to Heaven in perfect synchronicity. They form a duality by moving together in harmony. Good health and peace follow wherever there is harmony between people and their surroundings. This gua’s ideograph is inspired by the story of an emperor. This emperor climbed the Mountain named Tai every spring to pray for harmony to spread throughout his kingdom. The earth stretches up to meet the heavens in the form of a mountain and announces the coming of spring. After a long winter of hardships, Tai is the bliss that follows misfortune.

Tai unites Heaven and Earth to remind us how important it is to unite with fellow human beings. When people communicate with truthfulness and sincerity, it builds a harmonious environment that allows people to make achievements easily. The eleventh gua also reminds us that this climax of harmony is not permanent and that after the climax there may be a decline. Do not become complacent after an accomplishment, but acknowledge that work is to be done to maintain it. Heaven and Earth are interconnected just as we should be with each other. To keep this moment of peace, communication must flow from person to person smoothly. Additionally, people must express and maintain love and care for one another. If people carry ill will for their neighbor, there can be no maintenance of the peace.

Following King Wen’s story, Tai represents the point where the tyrant’s fall was soon to come. This was a time of peace and security before his actual fall, but it seems as though all the pieces were set in place. Before the Shang dynasty fell, King Wen recalled the noble origins of the Shang dynasty and how the descendants of these ancestors veered off the central path. Because of this, Tai represents the necessity of coming together with our fellow humans. Without this, there is no peace nor safety. King Wen used the Shang dynasty and the Tyrant of Shang to express what happens when people stray from this lesson. Further, he demonstrated the importance of looking to the past to avoid repeating fatal mistakes.

䷊ Tai hexagram

Tai ䷊ Tai hexagram Illustration

䷊ Tai hexagram meaning

The minnows escaped
The net that caught the shark.
You held to your goal,
And now you’ll have shark fin soup.

Bottom Line

Tai Bottom Line Illustration

Bottom Line meaning


When you pull up the grass,
The weeds come too.
Like and unlike, Roots entwined, 
Their strength together bodes well
For the endeavor. 

Line Two

Tai Line Two Illustration

Line Two meaning


He who would conquer the world
Must walk the middle way,
Keeping to his inner vision,
Showing gentle kindness
In the midst of strife.

Line Three

Tai Line Three Illustration

Line Three meaning


A steep climb will even out,
Stormy waves will still.
If your fortunes go, they will come back.
If your friendships fray
They can be mended.
In darkness, see the light.

Line Four

Tai Line Four Illustration

Line Four meaning


Your neighbor cannot make you rich,
He has his own troubles to solve.

Line Five

Tai Line Five Illustration

Line Five meaning


Di Yi sent his good daughter in marriage
As a message of peace and harmony.
His sacrifice brought good fortune to the land.

Top Line

Tai Top Line Illustration

Top Line meaning


The city wall crumbled into the moat
Nothing left to do but warn the camp.
The city’s time was ended.

Comments: I Ching Illustrated Book of Changes

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