Sunday, December 13, 2015

Trigram Notes: "Kan" The Moon/Primordial Water

Kan has been traditionally translated as “water”, but in the same way that Li represents primordial fire, Kan represents primordial water, thus another traditional attribution is a more appropriate one for western correspondence: “The Moon”. It is also referred to sometimes as the cloud, or the pit.  It can represent “danger”, because of its hidden power (a strong line surrounded by weak lines).  It is associated with winter (when the sun is at its weakest), the characteristic of enveloping; and because of the strong line in the middle it is called the “middle son”. Its quality is depth.  Its key spiritual concept is “Abysmal” (i.e., “Deep”).

The Kan trigram, in conjunction with other trigrams to form hexagrams, tends to be the most inauspicious of all the elements.  Most of the most troubling hexagrams include the Moon trigram, and it is rare to find good news in the forces represented by it.  This reaches a pinnacle in the Pit hexagram (#29, moon and moon), which represents great danger, a trap, imprisonment; and in an esoteric sense represents the forces of dispersion found in the depths of the abyss, those fundamental qualities that divide a person from oneness.  

However, even here the I Ching offers an optimistic note: as Change is a constant force, from this hexagram marking the lowest point, things can only go up.

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