䷩ Yi
🌬
Xun-Wind
Zhen-Thunder

Yi I Ching Gua Meaning

益 Yi ䷩ hexagram meanings:

Increasing, Advantage, Increase, Gain

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The forty-second gua, Yi, translates to Increase, gain, benefit, or profit. It is the inverse of Sun and is associated with the first month of the lunar year, or February in the solar calendar. From the names alone, one can identify Sun and Yi as opposites. This being said, in order for something to increase, something else must decrease, they are complementary energies and cannot exist without each other. This gua explores how to increase the “higher” by decreasing the “lower.” What Yi means by this is those who have much should give to those who have little. By doing so, the disparity between them is lessened and more people experience prosperity. At the same time, one must do something of substance before they may receive. This reinforces the reciprocal relationship between increase and decrease we learned in the forty-first gua.

The ideograph representing Yi depicts a household container. Above this container is the symbol for water, suggesting that it pours into the container. The ideograph is simple in form. It shows the act of increasing by pouring water into a container. In Sun, the decreasing substance is sacrificial liquor—the increasing substance in Yi is water. The significance of water in this ideograph suggests an increase in basic needs. Water is one of the most fundamental necessities of life, so an increase in water suggests that the needs of the people are being met.

Yi is Wind above Thunder. Wind and Thunder support each other, doubling their strength. When Earth gains a yang element, it becomes Thunder, and when Heaven loses a yang element it transforms into Wind. This is what is meant by increasing the “higher” and decreasing the “lower.” Wind in this structure suggests the image of a wooden boat pushed across the river by the wind. Thunder is action, announces that this is an advantageous time to cross a river. In this gua, Thunder implies an inner resolution while Wind implies driving outward motion. Wind chases good fortune, always taking the shortest route possible. In a storm, the wind blows fiercely past any obstacle in its path. Thunder is firm, it teaches us to correct our faults unflinchingly. Having faults is natural, but one must also address them as soon as one can. This gua indicates a situation where pursuing prosperity is encouraged as long as one corrects their mistakes firmly and quickly.

Once King Wen got his subjects to participate in the economy and pay taxes, the government started to generate wealth. He wanted to use this wealth to provide welfare for the people. He believed this was the best way to bring good fortune to his new kingdom. When natural disasters struck the administration was there to help. King Wen believed that providing support to his people meant they would support the Zhou dynasty in return. He chased prosperity for his kingdom by bringing prosperity to his people. And like Thunder, he quickly solved problems across the land. The nature of Increase, Yi, is demonstrated by this arc of King Wen’s story.

䷩ Yi hexagram

Yi ䷩ Yi hexagram Illustration

䷩ Yi hexagram meaning

When you find your business doing well,
It’s a good time to take the next step:
Cross the big river.

Bottom Line

Yi Bottom Line Illustration

Bottom Line meaning


Give your talents free rein
And they will take you far
With no mistake and no regret. 

Line Two

Yi Line Two Illustration

Line Two meaning


A wise turtle worth ten gold chains
Was brought to you as a gift.
You must accept this offering
As an omen of good fortune.
It is auspicious for the king
To offer it in sacrifice to god.

Line Three

Yi Line Three Illustration

Line Three meaning


Your new income can help solve your problems.
You’ve captured some enemy soldiers,
So stay to the middle path
And report to your lord,
Jade tablet in hand.

Line Four

Yi Line Four Illustration

Line Four meaning


Stay on the middle path
And report back to your lord.
Be hopeful that he will take your advice
To move the kingdom’s capital.

Line Five

Yi Line Five Illustration

Line Five meaning


Comfort the prisoners
And do not abuse them.
Captivity is punishment enough.
This reflects well on you.
They will repay your kindness
With kindness of their own.

Top Line

Yi Top Line Illustration

Top Line meaning


You have not had any luck – 
What’s more, you’ve suffered blows.
This hard luck blows you
Off the path
Of all your great ambitions.
This is an ominous sign.

Comments: I Ching Illustrated Book of Changes

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