30 Blazing Clarity > 51 Spontaneous Movement < 28 Expansive Qi
The left half of this ideograph is an ancient animal named li; the right half is an ancient bird with bright yellow feathers called zhui. A Chinese character, in most cases, is made up of two parts: one part provides the sound, the other part provides the meaning. In this ideograph, the left side gives the sound of the character Li, while the right provides the meaning. The ancients picked the bright color of the bird to signify the character Li; thus, Li symbolizes rightness,
though that is not its literal meaning. It is associated with Fire, the sun, and the most yang energy. On this basis, I use Brightness for the name of this gua. Complications such as this, and the need to know the history and changing meanings of each word and character, is why it can be so difficult to properly translate the I Ching.
It is of great significance that King Wen placed this gua, Li, together with the previous gua, Kan, as the last two chapters of the Upper Canon. The I Ching expounds the truth of yin and yang; they oppose each other and yet also complement each other. The Upper Canon demonstrates the yin-yang principle in natural phenomena, starting with Qian and Kun and ending with Kan and Li. These four gua have special significance in the I Ching. King Wen regarded Qian and Kun as the symbols of Heaven and earth and Kan and Li as the symbols of
the sun and the moon. Heaven and Earth represent the pure yang and the pure yin. The sun and moon tell us that within the yang there is yin, and within the yin there is yang. According to Fu Xi’s arrangement of the eight primary gua, Qian, Kun, Kan, and Li were designated as the four cardinal directions of the universe. King Wen placed Qian and Kun at the head of the Upper Canon and Kan and Li at the end. These four gua were the most distinguished symbols of the natural phenomena. The purpose of the Upper Canon is to trace the Tao of Heaven and apply it to human life. The ancients believed that the truth expounded in the Upper Canon wasas perpetual as Heaven and Earth, as correct as the four cardinal directions, and as bright as the sun and moon. Actually the Chinese put the ideographs of the sun and the moon together to form a new character, ming, which means brightness.
I was about to go to a local Taiji – Qigong class in a nearby town having not done such things in several years and wondered what the Yi might have to say about the teacher. This is not so much because I needed to know as to test the Yi to see how accurate a result it would get, considering I have never laid eyes on the person in question. Perhaps silly, but…
Last year I saw a poster showing a tall, willowy lady teacher, probably Chinese but hard to tell, in some sort of garden – the image was artistically blurred. So I did the Cast about this Teacher but on going there this morning found a completely different teacher leading the class and have retrospectively re-labelled the Cast asking the Yi to expound on what an ideal Qigong teacher is (though perhaps I should have made it even more simple: how would the Yi describe taiji-qigong). In any case, the hexagrams returned are striking. Indeed, have increasing confidence in the hexagrams received in queries – though not nearly as much in my ability to read them well!
In any case, these three hexagrams are extraordinarily balanced and/or symmetrical and rather than use the Zhou Yi text (though I did paste in some excerpts into the document), I just looked at the configuration of the lines and trigrams and applied a little logic along with basic impressions in order to fashion the Reading.