Cycle of Opposing Dualities

BaguaReading Guy Palm’s ideas and theories (see previous post) reminded me of a very similar process I’ve read about to do with the I Ching. This system assumes the duality of nature, Yin-Yang, and that with forces in opposition there arises a continual cycle of growth and decline. Think of it as the changing of seasons, Summer to Winter, or Day to Night, Light to Dark etc

Such a system can be viewed as a wheel with the opposing forces at the top and bottom:


Around the circumference of this wheel there are eight positions where the forces are momentarily in a state of balance: Pure Yin, Growth=Yin, Pure Growth, Growth=Yang, Pure Yang, Decline=Yang, Pure Decline and Decline=Yin

The octants between these can be equated to the  eight Trigrams of the Bagua:


  • Earth (K’un) “The Receptive” Yin dominant but starting to grow/ascend – nourishing, sheltering womb of rebirth; the Mother;
  • Thunder (Chen) “The Arousing” The process of growth/ascension comes into dominance – creative force stirring, awakening, decisive movement; the Eldest Son;
  • Fire (Li) “The Clinging” Following the growing/ascending process equilibrium between Yin and Yang is passed and movement rapidly continues towards Yang – warmth and light; the Sun; a time of rapid growth; the Middle Son;
  • Lake (Tui) “The Joyous” The ascent slows as it approaches Yang – joy and pleasure for the high Yang state has nearly been reached; Youngest Son;
  • Heaven (Ch’ien) “The Creative” Having reached Yang the decline/descent begins – strong, governing and creative; Father
  • Wind (Sun) “The Gentle” As the descent continues the decline accelerates towards the descending equilibrium – penetration and dispersion, an active process that brings about the rapid dissolution of Yang; Eldest Daughter
  • Water (K’an) “The Abysmal” Descent passes through the descending equilibrium and continues rapidly on towards Yin – flows rapidly, sometimes straight and at others turning dangerously, ever seeking to descend to the depths; Middle Daughter
  • Mountain (Ken) “Keeping Still” The descent slows as it approaches Yin – slow to a halt, pause and rest before starting a new cycle/ascent

I need to do some more research on this to see whether I can use it in any way. For the time being it’s merely an interesting aside.


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