When we talk about “Times” , according to the I Ching we refer to a number of factors: subject; object; motion; cause; effect; situation and temporal status. But an hexagram also includes a “calendar time” when the goal is to determine the start and end of the “time” and, more important, it helps direct the correct action at the appropriate moment. Let’s read what’s written under “Later Heaven Sequence” or “Inner World Arrangement” in the chapter about “Discussion of the Trigrams,” there it says:
All living things come forth in the sign of the Arousing. The Arousing stands in the East.
They come to completion in the sign of the Gentle.
The Gentle stands in the Southeast. Completion means that all creatures become pure and perfect.
The Clinging is the brightness in which all creatures perceive one another. It is the trigram of the South. That the holy sages turned their faces to the South while they gave ear to the meaning of the universe means that in ruling they turned toward what is light. This they evidently took from this trigram.
The Receptive means the earth. It takes care that all creatures are nourished. Therefore it is said: “He causes them to serve one another in the sign of the Receptive.”
The Joyous is mid-autumn, which rejoices all creatures. Therefore it is said: “he gives them joy in the sign of the Joyous.”
He battles in the sign of the Creative. “The Creative is the trigram of the Northwest. It means that here the dark and the light arouse each other.
The Abysmal means water. It is the trigram of due North, the trigram of toil, to which all creatures are subject. Therefore it is said: “He toils in the sign of the Abysmal.”
Keeping Still is the trigram of the Northeast, where beginning and end of all creatures are completed. Therefore it is said: “He brings them to perfection in the sign of Keeping Still.”
The commentary of Master Wilhelm adds: “here the course of the year and the course of the day are harmonized. What is pictured in the foregoing passage as the unfolding of the divine is here shown as it appears in nature. The trigrams are allotted to the seasons and to the cardinal points without schematization, by cursory allusions that result in the diagram shown above. Spring begins to stir and in nature there is germination and sprouting. This correspond to the morning of the day.”
Here is the cycle of a year and the completion of a day. In its ascendant circular movement, the time commences in Chen, at the Orient (East). This isn’t a synoptic map, therefore it should not be confused with a cartography exclusively Chinese and applicable only to that region of the world. This is a cosmic order that has no possible alteration, remaining immutable before any climatic changes or geographical coincidences. The incomprehension of this order and the lack of a mystic experience, something necessary to comprehend the “why” and the “for what” of the inalterability of this order, have caused subjective interpretations, such as the change or alteration of the original figure according to geographical hemispheres. We’ll say that Spring is a state of cyclical energetic renovation that occurs at an extra-terrestrial level and is directly related to the evolution of the planet. Summer is established in the astronomical South, the one that is placed above in the Microcosmic order, and correspond with the period when the solar dilatation surround the planet, determining its high and low energetic processes. Autumn is in direct relation with the Spring, as a polarity, and is placed due West, both in the Earlier and Latter Heaven sequences, and is related to the transfer of solar energies to telluric energies. Winter is found in polarity with the sun, due North and below, and acts by oppositional momentum, attracting and concentrating the primordial energies in the heart of the planet; is when the telluric energies are activated and the vitality that comes from below makes its effects felt. In this order, the signs Ken, Sun, Ch’ien, and K’un accomplish fundamental transition roles; without them, the polarities would eliminate all vestiges of life. For this the Mother and the Father act as central spirits just as the action of the sun ceases and the telluric energies predominate. Once more, let’s clarify: the Micro order is observed from the Macro and builds upon the degree of influence of the sun, putting the South at the point where the solar energy is at its climax; the North, where it is declining. Ken and Sun have responsibilities which less drastic but always very balancing.
It is in this light that we must understand the circle: if in the designation of the rotation a year we find that it coincides with the cosmic spring and the weather season indicate the same month, this should not lead us to confusion. Obviously it is easier to explain to a South American that summer is in January than to a European that in that month is planning for snow. The same happens to places where the seasons are two and not very different among themselves, or even worse when it applies to a country with different climates in different regions due to its large size.
The above example uses H14.The Lower Trigram is also called the “Beginning Trigram”
The Upper Trigram
is also called the “Coordination Trigram”
Once the time has been established we proceed to measure it. The rotation of the circle has a duration of 24 hours, so that from Chen, the dawn, we’ll assign each Trigram 3 hours, being the initial sign the hours of 5 to 7 hours; Sun from 8 to 10 and so on.
This is one of the basic movements of the Microcosmic Rose. The Macrocosmic Order (t.n.: this refers to the Xian Tian Bagua or Earlier Heaven order.)has different movements. Another movement of the Later Heaven Order works with the polarity of the semi-signs, which has been called “retrograde motion.” The principle states that every manifested element has an root cause; moving back to the root we can then understand the effects up to their most plausible conclusion. The other aspect that should be taken into consideration is that a Hexagram, in fact, does not remain static, and which in practice is moving. The movement never ceases. Change is life. The objective movements of each sign are marked by the role of the Regents; each subjective or particular line signal the movements of the same name. However, the 64 signs spin in circles, this spin is objective, that is, symbols do not move according to our cosmos but on the contrary, our cosmos moves by the great cosmos of the signs. This is why the sages teach the Book of Changes, because these writings contain the formula to harmonize our existence with circular movements of the 10,000 things contained in the 64 figures. It is very important to keep this in mind: it can change the outlook on life and the world of a sensitive and attentive student.
The upper trigram of a Hexagram tend to go away, to leave, is the oldest, is where time is closed. If, following the previous example, taking the Upper Trigram Li, we obtain the oldest source, which comes from below and disappear before our eyes. Said Trigram contains the information of the objective future, the natural tendency of the sign. Locate it in the Post Order (Huo Tian Bagua/Later Heaven Order) and extend a line to its polar complementary Kan, immediately jump to the next sign–that is, Ken–, and join Ken to its polar complementary, K’un. Of these two Trigrams, the oldest is Ken, because it comes from the retrograde motion of Li to Kan, that is, it is the Kan seed of the polar sign that is now manifest. K’un, as a consequence, is the newest trend and stays below as the lower Trigram. Thus the hexagram K’un-Ken (H23) is the objective future trend in the circle of 64 signs.