What does Sun stand for?
Sun, the Wind / Tree, stands for a lively, pushing growth from within. Like the landscape’s greening in the spring: self confident, powerful, without hesitation. Strategical, relentless, unstoppable. Like the wind: passing through every opening, into every corner.
In the classics of Traditional Chinese Medicine we find the following descriptions for the functional circuit liver (see King Wen’s Later Heaven: the liver is associated with Sun):
And then comes the mild air, renewing the world of plants and clothing the earth in green. All this corresponds to the character of [the trigram] Sun, the gentle intruder. The nature of Sun is represented by two images: the wind which dissolves winter’s rigid ice, and wood that develops organically. The effect of Sun is that things are flowing into their forms, that they develop and grow into the mold prefigured in the bud.
The liver is the official, who is like a general of the united armed forces. Strategic assessment and planning come from it.
Since environmental influences… are not always even and only very rarely obey his will, man is forced to react flexible and supple. His ability to adapt to changing environmental conditions is man’s key to true power over all other life forms… to react flexible “like a bamboo” to any possible adversity: strong and hard when maintaining the direction of growth, fast when aspiring towards the light, flexibly bending to the winds, then again growing into his chosen direction.
The liver ensures that a uniform momentum is maintained not only in outside growth, but also within man’s energetic system…
Just like a commander is reflecting beyond a specific campaign, beyond his own forces, a strong, harmonious liver should be a “great strategist”. As in chess, the opponent’s next maneuver should be considered.
Phase Element Wood
Where does Sun emerge from?
Within a hexagram Sun develops either from Li or Gen (exception: the hexagram begins with Sun / Sun is the lower trigram). The red arrows indicate that a (solid) yang line is added to each previous trigram. Yang symbolizes energy, activity. A forward thrusting movement is active, yang.
Sun emerges from Li, the Fire
Li, the fire, is our decision-making instance which separates the beneficial from detrimental. Once we have clarity about what exactly we want to achieve or where our destination lies, we can embark on our journey (Sun, the tree / wind) to reach our goal – against any resistance.
Examples for hexagrams where Sun emerges from Li → here.
Sun emerges from Gen, the Mountain
Gen, the mountain, represents our ability to disengage and thus to free ourselves from unnecessary baggage. With Gen we concentrate our energies and draw the bow. Until our arrow, Sun, is vigorously shot off: unstoppable, unrelenting, heading for our goal.
Examples for hexagrams where Sun emerges from Gen → here.
What does Sun develop into?
Within a hexagram Sun develops either into Qian or Dui (exception: the hexagram ends with Sun / Sun is the upper trigram.
Sun develops into Dui, the Lake
Dui develops when a (broken) yin line is added (dark arrow; yin symbolizes receptivity). Sun‘s powerful, uniform growth of our inner being encounters the outer world in Dui. That which has developed hidden deeply within ourselves, crosses the border of our self and becomes visible. It touches the environment and generates… reverberation.
Examples for hexagrams where Sun develops into Dui → here.
Sun develops into Qian, the Heaven
Qian develops when a (solid) yang line is added (red arrow; yang symbolizes energy, activity). Sun represents a powerful forward thrusting from within ourselves: self-assured, unstoppable, unrelenting, following an invisible, very own, perfect path. This growth reaches its peak in Qian: our clear and coherent self, our true nature.
Examples for hexagrams where Sun develops into Qian → here.
Phase Element: Wood
Functional Circuit: Liver (LIV)
Thinking, planning, acting; mental skills, insight
Gentle and penetrating: well-rooted and extending upwards; only seemingly gentle but: inexorable; balancing the inside and the outside, (re)connecting heaven and earth
Interpretation: Organic growth in line with the rhythms of nature: the wind / tree penetrates slowly but steadily and reaches in its softness anywhere; harmonic orientation towards the external; if inner trigram possible tendency of too much depth
- I Ching Study Guide – Introduction
- THEORY: History, Terms, Objectives
- PRACTICE: Using the I Ching for Divination
- Structure of a Hexagram
- Trigrams and their Meaning
- Frequently Asked Questions and Application Tips