Hexagram 01, line 5 & 6, surplus text

Fifth line


Daren 大人 (see also line 2) can refer to a person in a high position, like the nobility. In the Shijing 詩經 it is used as the title for a diviner, probably the chief diviner, divining dreams:

吉夢維何、維熊維羆、 維虺維蛇。
On the rush-mat below, and that of fine bamboos above it,
Here may he repose in slumber!
May he sleep and awake,
[Saying] ‘ Divine for me my dreams.
What dreams are lucky?
They have been of bears and grisly bears;
They have been of cobras and [other] serpents. ‘
The chief diviner will divine them.
The bears and grisly bears,
Are the auspicious intimations of sons.
The cobras and [other] serpents,
Are the auspicious intimations of daughters.

Your herdsmen shall dream, –
Of multitudes and then of fishes;
Of the tortoise-and-serpent; and then of the falcon banners.
The chief diviner will divine the dreams,
How the multitudes dissolving into fishes,
Betoken plentiful years;
How the tortoise-and-serpent dissolving into the falcon banners,
Betoken the increasing population of the kingdom.

In the Yi the daren might refer to the chief diviner who would perform the bone oracle ritual after the offering has been accepted by the ancestors.

Flying dragon in the sky.
Advantageous to see the chief diviner.

Sixth line


About ‘overconfident’ as a meaning of kang 亢, and hui 悔 as ‘misfortune’ see hereHui also means ‘regret’ and ‘repent’ because of misfortune caused by your own actions.

An overconfident dragon will have misfortune.

Extra text, ‘Ongoing nines’ (用九)

See a flock of dragons without head.


The banner of ‘qian’

There are a lot of things you have to keep in mind when you investigate the character qian 乾 from hexagram 1. First, there is the problem of finding the right components which form the character. Your first impression would probably be that the character consists of the component on the left side, and 乞 on the right side. This idea would probably be strengthened by the fact that there are more characters with as a component, like 朝 or . Continue reading

The Chinese Icarus

At 1-6 it says “亢龍有悔”. Kang 亢 is often translated as ‘pride, arrogance’, but this is just one of the many meanings. If we look at some other meanings of this character we can adjust our translation a bit:

– 高 – high
– 舉- rise, go up
– 極,太過 – too (much)
– 強硬; 剛強 – strong, inflexible
– 遮蔽; 庇護- out of sight, hide

If we combine this with our dragon from 1-6 we get the picture of a dragon who without stopping goes up and up, and disappears out of sight (it is nice how sometimes all these meanings can be combined) . This is not an arrogant dragon,but a reckless dragon: a Chinese Icarus who overestimates his own powers and thereby will have hui 悔. Hui 悔 can mean

– 悔恨; 后悔 – regret, repentance
– 悔過; 改過 – correct your mistakes out of repentance
– 災咎; 災禍 – unavoidable misfortune
– 《易》卦有六爻,其上體即上三爻稱 “悔”,又稱外卦 – upper/outside trigram of a hexagram

If we stick to the image of Icarus, then I think the third meaning fits best. If you do not know your limits, or do not accept them, you will have unavoidable misfortune. Not from arrogance, but from recklessness. It are often the kind people, and not the arrogant people, who have to learn their lessons like this.