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Book of Changes 易經

姤 Gou

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Gou shows a female who is bold and strong. It will not be good to marry (such) a female.

Gou has the significance of unexpectedly coming on. (We see in it) the weak (line) coming unexpectedly on the strong ones. 'It will not be good to marry (such) a female:' - one (so symbolised) should not be long associated with. Heaven and earth meeting together (as here represented), all the variety of natural things become fully displayed. When a strong (line) finds itself in the central and correct position, (good government) will greatly prevail all under the sky. Great indeed is the significance of what has to be done at the time indicated by Gou!

(The trigram representing) wind and that for the sky above it form Gou. The sovereign, in accordance with this, delivers his charges, and promulgates his announcements throughout the four quarters (of the kingdom).

The first SIX, divided, shows how its subject should be kept (like a carriage) tied and fastened to a metal drag, in which case with firm correctness there will be good fortune. (But) if he move in any direction, evil will appear. He will be (like) a lean pig, which is sure to keep jumping about.

'Tied and fastened to a metal drag:' - (this describes the arrest of) the weak (line) in its advancing course.

The second NINE, undivided, shows its subject with a wallet of fish. There will be no error. But it will not be well to let (the subject of the first line) go forward to the guests.

'He has a wallet of fish:' - it is right for him not to allow (the subject of the first line) to get to the guests.

The third NINE, undivided, shows one from whose buttocks the skin has been stripped so that he walks with difficulty. The position is perilous, but there will be no great error.

'He walks with difficulty:' - but his steps have not yet been drawn (into the course of the first line).

The fourth NINE, undivided, shows its subject with his wallet, but no fish in it. This will give rise to evil.

'The evil' indicated by there being 'no fish in the wallet' is owing to (the subject of the line) keeping himself aloof from the people.

The fifth NINE, undivided, (shows its subject as) a medlar tree overspreading the gourd (beneath it). If he keep his brilliant qualities concealed, (a good issue) will descend (as) from Heaven.

'The subject of the fifth NINE, (undivided), keeps his brilliant qualities concealed:' - as is indicated by his central and correct position. '(The good issue) descends (as) from Heaven: - 'his aim does not neglect the ordinances (of Heaven).

The sixth NINE, undivided, shows its subject receiving others on his horns. There will be occasion for regret, but there will be no error.

'He receives others on his horns:' - he is exhausted at his greatest height, and there will be cause for regret.

English translation: Legge 1882

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