Hexagram #2

Hexagram 2The second hexagram in the I Ching is the exact opposite of the first.  Instead of 6 strong, yang lines, we have 6 weak, yin lines.  This hexagram usually carries the name “the receptive”, because that is the nature of yin.  Stephen Karcher’s translation of the I Ching actually calls it “field” which I find to be an intriguing choice.  It does make sense, though.  A field is of the earth, which is yin.  A field is that which receives the seeds that will sprout, also a receptive action.  The field nourishes what is growing in it, and also nourishes what lives in it by the food it’s growing.

Like the hexagram before it, this one is said to open a new cycle of time.  On the calendar, it would correspond to the winter solstice, the longest night (and most fully yin) time of the year.  Overall, this is an advantageous hexagram to have.  It counsels that many obstacles might be in the way, but the way to overcome them is by yielding and by quiet persistence.

Everything about this hexagram is yin:  the two trigrams that make it up, the outer and inner trigrams, and the changing lines.  The changing lines chart the movement of the yin up through the hexagram, from establishing a solid base with the first line, through direct action, concealed action, ripe possibilities, acceptance of processes, all the way to yielding as the powers of yin and yang themselves do battle in the sixth line.



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