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27th June 2009

 

Hexagram Families

Method of Determining Family Grouping

         
 

Anybody who studies the Yijing and dabbles with XKDG or King Wen Divination (aka Liuyao 六爻) systems will know that there are eight families of the hexagrams. These family hexagrams are represented by the eight basic trigrams of the early heaven bagua palaces – Qian, Dui, Li, Zhen, Xun, Kan, Gen and Kun, stacking one above another to form a palace hexagram 宮卦. These palace hexagrams have identical upper trigram and lower trigram and they share the same name as the trigrams. The palace hexagram is also known as “pure hexagram” 純卦 due to the fact that the upper trigram is identical to the lower trigram. The upper trigram is can be called the outer trigram 外卦 while the lower trigram can be called the inner trigram 内卦. The Qian hexagram below is used as an example to illustrate the names of upper (outer) and lower (inner) trigrams.

Qian Hexagram
___
___ Upper Trigram
___ (Outer Trigram)

___
___ Lower Trigram
___ (Inner Trigram)

For each of these palace hexagrams, through the changing lines of the hexagram, it can form another 7 different generations of hexagrams. Together with the palace hexagram, these eight hexagrams form a family of eight. Therefore for each of the eight palace hexagram, we can have eight families of hexagrams, forming a total of 64 hexagrams.

To illustrate the creation of the 7 generations of hexagrams from the palace hexagrams, we will again use the Qian palace hexagram as an example below.

 

1st
Hexagram

 

 

2nd
Hexagram

 

 

3rd
Hexagram

 

 

4th
Hexagram

 

 

5th
Hexagram

 

 

6th
Hexagram

 

 

7th
Hexagram

 

 

8th
Hexagram

 

 

Palace
Hexagram

 

 

1st
Generation
Hexagram

 

 

2nd
Generation
Hexagram

 

 

3rd
Generation
Hexagram

 

 

4th
Generation
Hexagram

 

 

5th
Generation
Hexagram

 

 

Roaming
Soul
Hexagram

 

 

Returning
Soul
Hexagram

 

宮卦

一世卦

二世卦

三世卦

四世卦

五世卦

游魂卦

歸魂卦

 

___
___
___
___
___
___


 

___
___
___
___
___
_ _


 

___
___
___
___
_ _
_ _


 

___
___
___
_ _
_ _
_ _


 

___
___
_ _
_ _
_ _
_ _


 

___
_ _
_ _
_ _
_ _
_ _


 

___
_ _
___
_ _
_ _
_ _


 

___
_ _
___
___
___
___


Qian

Gou

Dun

Fou

Guan

Bao

Jin

Da You

大有

 

Original
Hexagram

 

 

1st
line
changed

 

 

2nd
line
changed

 

 

3rd
line
changed

 

 

4th
line
changed

 

 

5th
line
changed

 

 

4th
line
changed

 

 

1st, 2nd and 3rd line
changed

 

The creation of the next hexagram in the sequence is by changing the line (aka yao) of the previous hexagram. It is akin to creating the next generation of hexagram from the previous hexagram through a mother-child birth process. The Chinese names of these generations of hexagrams, 一世卦, 二世卦, 三世卦, etc basically show the position of the subject line 世爻 within the hexagram, which makes it easier to remember for anyone who reads Chinese. The object line 應爻 is always 4 lines away from the subject line and it corresponds to the same line position of the upper and lower trigram. For example, if the subject line is at 1st line, the object line will be at 4th line; if the subject line is at 2nd line, the object line will be at 5th line; and if the subject line is at the 3rd line, the object line will be at the 6th line and vice versa.

The 7th and 8th hexagram of the family have special names - Roaming Spirit Hexagram and Returning Spirit Hexagram respectively.

Roaming Soul Hexagram 游魂卦: This hexagram represents inner thoughts changing into action, which in turn affects external environment. Now this external environment oppresses one’s inner thoughts which results in subsequent changes. This is how a roaming soul comes back as shown by the changed lines of the hexagram. Noticed that the first 3 lines of the inner trigram (inner thoughts) are changed (action) and the 5th line of the upper trigram (external environment) is also changed.

Returning Soul Hexagram 歸魂卦: This hexagram represents thoughts that return to its original state after changes. Noticed that the first 3 lines (inner thoughts) are the same (returned) as the first 3 lines of the original hexagram (1st hexagram).

Now, given any hexagram which is not one of the eight palace hexagram (pure hexagram), how can you determine which palace this hexagram belongs to? In some application like King Wen Divination, determining the palace hexagram from the “cast hexagram” is important in order that the 6 kinship 六親 relationship can be assigned correctly to each line.

If you always have this problem of forgetting the palace hexagram and needs to refer to hexagram family charts, then the following procedure below will help you to quickly determine the palace hexagram from any given hexagram. Firstly, there are only 2 rounds of checking required. If the answer is found after checking the first round, you can stop further checks because Round One basically checks for 8th and 7th hexagrams. If the hexagram is not the 7th or 8th hexagram, then you need to proceed to Round Two check.

The procedure is documented below:

Round One Check

 

Checking for 8th Hexagram 歸魂卦

1. Change the 5th line of the hexagram.

2. If the upper trigram and lower trigram are the same, then the hexagram is the 8th hexagram 歸魂卦 of the family.

3. The palace trigram is the upper trigram.

4. The subject line 世爻 is at the 3rd line .

5. The object line 應爻 is at the 6th line 上爻.

 

Checking for 7th Hexagram 游魂卦

1. Change the 5th line of the hexagram.

2. If the upper trigram and lower trigram are the opposite, then the hexagram is the 7th hexagram 游魂卦 of the family.

3. The palace trigram is the upper trigram.

4. The subject line 世爻 is at the 4th line 四爻.

5. The object line 應爻 is at the 1st line 初爻.

 

Reminder:

If after changing the 5th line of the hexagram and the upper and lower trigram are the same or opposite, then there is no need to proceed to Round Two checking.

If after changing the 5th line of the hexagram and the upper and lower trigram are not the same or not opposite, then proceed to Round Two Check below to continue checking.

 

Round Two Check

 

Checking for 2nd Hexagram 一世卦

1. Change the 1st line of the hexagram.

2. If the upper trigram and lower trigram are the same, then the hexagram is the 2nd hexagram 一世卦 of the family.

3. The palace trigram is the upper trigram.

4. The subject line 世爻 is at 1st line 初爻.

5. The object line 應爻 is at the 4th line 四爻.

 

Checking for 3rd Hexagram 二世卦

1. Change the 1st and 2nd line of the hexagram.

2. If the upper trigram and lower trigram are the same, then the hexagram is the 3rd hexagram 二世卦 of the family.

3. The family trigram is the upper trigram.

4. The subject line 世爻 is at 2nd line .

5. The object line 應爻 is at the 5th line 五爻.

 

Checking for 4th Hexagram 三世卦

1. Change the 1st, 2nd and 3rd line of the hexagram.

2. If the upper trigram and lower trigram are the same, then the hexagram is the 4th hexagram 三世卦 of the family.

3. The palace trigram is the upper trigram.

4. The subject line 世爻 is at 3rd line .

5. The object line 應爻 is at the 6th line 上爻.

 

Checking for 5th Hexagram 四世卦

1. Change the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th line of the hexagram.

2. If the upper trigram and lower trigram are the same, then the hexagram is the 5th hexagram 四世卦 of the family.

3. The palace trigram is the upper trigram with the 4th line of the hexagram changed.

4. The subject line 世爻 is at 4th line 四爻.

5. The object line 應爻 is at the 1st line 初爻.

 

Checking for 6th Hexagram 五世卦

1. Change the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th line of the hexagram.

2. If the upper trigram and lower trigram are the same, then the hexagram is the 6th hexagram 五世卦 of the family.

3. The palace trigram is the upper trigram with the 4th and 5th line of the hexagram changed.

4. The subject line 世爻is at 5th line 五爻.

5. The object line 應爻 is at the 2nd line .

 

As a final note, do not be confused between these families of hexagram with the XKDG changing line sequence for the 384 yao lines of the luopan. The XKDG changing lines sequence for the 384 yaos lines is also known as “Chou Yao Huan Xiang” 抽爻換象 in Chinese, meaning “changing the yao to change the hexagram image”. The method of Chou Yao Huan Xiang always refers to the original base hexagram for line change instead of using the preceding hexagram as the reference. This is the key difference between the two methods. By the way, “Chou Yao Huan Xiang” 抽爻換象 method in XKDG is sometimes known as Xie Zi Fa 些子法 by some people, which is supposedly a closely guarded "secret" XKDG fengshui technique.

By Cyril Quah

"The Feng Shui Connoisseur"

June 27, 2009

         
Copyright 2006 Feng Shui Connoisseur. All rights reserved.