> Innate Trigram and Xuan Kong Five Elements

He Tu and Luo Shu

Before one can do an in-depth study of the innate and formed trigram, he must be thorough in the understanding of the He Tu and Luo Shu. Readers familiar with the jargon will immediately know that He Tu refers to the body-patterns on the mythical dragon-horse, and Luo Shu refers to the shell-patterns on the mythical giant-turtle.

Ancient sages and philosophers have spent their entire lives in demystifying the intricacies of the I-Ching (Book of Changes), also unraveling the He Tu and Luo Shu. If expounded in detail, it will not be enough to be contained in just one volume. Therefore the author will only proceed to explain the sections usually left out by most other books.

Theory of the He Tu

So says the Classics: "The innate (former heaven trigram) basis of the reckon-chart is the He Tu." The markings on the Lo Pan (geomancial compass) is derived from the Map; that is such being the control, orchestrates the four sectors."

1 & 6 shared genus residing at North
2 & 7 of same ways residing at South
3 & 8 being friends residing at East
4 & 9 being associates residing at West
5 & 10 resides at Centre

These are also the duality-complementary numbers of the Map. The Ten Heavenly Stems are also derives from the Map, hence the nature of duality follows its corresponding numerical type (note: Yang is odd, Yin is even).

Demystifying the He Tu

The He Tu basically follows the principle of heaven-earth being in position, but it also includes attribute energy kinetics.

Mu-jiang teacher has said: Kan -Li meets Zhen -Xun, Gen -Dui joins Qian -Kun." This subtly points out the rule of '1,6,4,9' and '2,7,3,8' is in accord; '1,6,3,8' and '2,7,4,9' is in discord. Trigram-energy in accord means the arousing of the golden & vigorous dragon, while discord means myriad misfortunes. Herein lies the secret that the left-originating clockwise turn along the Map is in growth accordance, hence all matters prosper; else if discordance, all matters fade away into disintegration.

Ancient Yellow-River Map shows special relation to the environment in China :-

  • East has abundant forest, hence the elemental category of wood
  • South is near the equator, hence the elemental category of fire
  • West is mountainous with white snowy caps, the color category of metal
  • North being less shone by the sun is dark, black being the color category of water
  • Central to all is the ground, yellow is color, all pervasive

Theory of the Luo Shu

So says the Classics: " The usage basis of the reckon-chart is the Luo Shu" . The usage of the Lo Pan (compass) is derived from the Guide; that is :

Head is 9 tail is1, 3 at left & 7 at the right
2 & 4 as shoulders, 6 & 8 as the feet.

It has the odd numerals at the four cardinal-sectors and even numerals supporting at four other diagonal sectors, hence the following complementary Luo Shu Guide :-

The Luo-River Guide basically follows the principle of energy flow. Divided into a two-era cycle, 1-2-3-4 being the early era and 6-7-8-9 being the latter era.

1-3-7-9 belongs to Yang category, where left-originating clockwise flow also means Yang. 2-4-6-8 belongs to Yin category, where right-originating counter-clockwise flow also means Yin. Since time immemorial, this has been the behavior of Mystic Cosmic central commanding stars being of in-flow or counter-flow sequence. The other eight periphery sectors are of ten-complements, thus indicating the complementary-opposite relationships. Thus, the Guide expounds on the nature of universal energy, which changes according to the relevant eras. Arising and decay lies within the nine-chamber microcosmic plane.

The numerical sequence of the Luo-River Guide has its mathematical property in the so-called Magic Square or Matrix. There is an equal sum of 15 in all three numerals along the same line. Herein also is seen another subtlety :

'Left-originating clockwise turn is Yang in nature, derived from the unit-place of the multiple of 3 (odd) of its own predecessor, whereas right-originating counter-clockwise turn is Yin in nature, derived from the unit-place of the multiplies of 2 (even) of its own predecessor."

3x3 ----> 9 9x3=27, then take 7
left-originating flow   left-originating flow
3   7
1x3 1 7x3=21, then take 1
4 2x2 2

right-originating flow

  right-originating flow
4x2   6x2=12, then take 2
8 8x2=16,
then take 6

This is what Lao-Zi meant when he said: " The Tao begets One, One begets Two, Two begets Three, and Three begets all things in the Mystic Relation !".

The Luo Shu Guide also mirrors its relation with the Earth. " Qian being the heavenly gate, Xun being the earthly mansion" , if we were to follow the principle of Qian being the lead and rearrange the Luo Shu numbers, the resulting arrangement would be as follows :-

Earthly Mansion               Heavenly Gate
9 2   2 7 6    
5 7 -> 9 5 1   Earth
1 6   4 3 8    
Heavenly Gate     Earthly Mansion         Equator

From a new perspective , one could see that this is the very Earth we had been residing. The Earth has its axis of rotation tilted at 23.5 degrees, a cycle after which would give the following arrangement :-

                Heavenly Gate
  8 1 6        
  3 5 7        
  4 9 2        
  Earthly Mansion             Equator

The Earth's rotation causes diurnal distinction, and its tilted axis causes seasonal distinction; all things therefore bloom and wane. This is the order of "2 -8 changing places leading to all things flourishing."

Innate (early heaven) Eight Trigram

Also named Fu-xi Trigram, <the Book of Changes - Explanation of Complexities>noted : " The ancient Fu-xi being the Lord under heaven, looking up to see the heavenly signs, looking down to see the earthly laws, observing the relations between animals and its environment, also in observing the vicinity and periphery, thus did he creates the Eight Trigram, with respect to intelligent virtues and all life-forms". The preceding statement shows how Fu-xi used his own vision to observe the natural laws and formulate the Eight Trigram, differentiating all forms and their nature.

" Changes inherit the nature of Absolute, giving rise to Duality, which begets the Four Signs, in turn make the arising of the Eight Trigram."

The author has always asked his students: " Why is there only Eight Trigram, and never Seven or Nine Trigram?". There is a mathematical reason for this: Because the Absolute gives rise to Duality, that is Yang and Yin, representing the binary states of Logic. Since there is two possible changes, and each Trigram is made of three components, the combined possible changes for each Trigram will be 2 to the power of 3, which is equal to 8. Hence the Eight Trigram are the possible number of combinations derived from these changes.

Modern computer technology has progressed fast and far. Its computation speed is faster than the speed of sound. Yet its basic language is based upon the binary states of electronic logic circuits. This 'zero or one' system is the same as the Duality concepts as propounded by the Study of Changes, that is " Self" or "Non-Self".

<The Book of Changes- Trigram Theorizing> says : " Heaven and Earth being in place, Mountain and Marsh in unobstructed flow, Thunder and Wind interacting, Water and Fire not in confused turmoil; Eight Trigram in balance tension, following leads to its flow, facing leads to its source. As such, changes could be reckoned".

Close observation will bring its apparent relation with the geography of China :-

  • Human resides between Heaven and Earth
  • Sun and Moon rises from East and sets in West
  • North-West is mountainous
  • South-East is near the sea
  • Gentle Wind comes mainly from the South-West
  • Thunderous storms arrive mainly from the North-East

Shao Kang-jie once mentioned : " Such is that 1 divides into 2, 2 into 4, 4 into 8, 8 into 16, 16 into 32, 32 into 64; of thousand roots which again branches into thousands of amassing and getting finer, the finer the denser details. Gathered into one, delved into thousands." This is the principle of the interacting Eight Trigram that creates the sixty-four Trigram, which includes all phenomena without limits.

Zhu-xi of Song Dynasty, who authored 'Foundations on the Study of Changes' implied:

"Before the Void, there exists Yin with intrinsic Yang; after the Formed, there exists Yang with intrinsic Yin. Yin is the mother of Yang, while Yang is the father of Yin. Thus, the mother begets the son as Fu, the father begets the daughter as Gou: in furtherance the Yang arises from Fu and the Yin arises from Gou." (Note: Fu Trigram has its form as with Yang starting from its foremost significant place, Gou Attribute has its form as with Yin starting from its foremost significant place.) This illustrates the Eight Trigram principle of Yang has Yin within, and Yin has Yang within."

Innate (former heaven) Eight Trigram derives from Absolute which begets Duality, begets Four Signs, begets Eight Attributes and containing the Great Nature within:

Yang first appear in the East (Li Kua) and felt in the South (Qian Kua), Yin first appear in the West (Kan Kua) and felt in the North (Kun Kua). This is also what the Classics have said : " Dragons apart in opposing banks makes Yin and Yang."

Explained above is the theory of : " Innate (former heaven) being the principle".

Five Elements of Xuan Kong

Segregation of the five elements

  1. Five elements by Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches

    Heavenly Stems:
    Jia, Yi wood, Bing Ding Fire
    Mao, Ji earth Gen, Xin metal
    Ren, Kui water

    Earthly Branches
    Yin, Mao wood, Si, Wu fire,
    Shen, You metal, Hai, Zi waer
    Chen, Xu, Chou, Wei earth.

  2. Five elements by the Trigram

    In accordance to later heaven trigram, Qian, Tui metal,
    Zhen, Xun wood, Kun, Gen earth, Li is fire and Kan is water.

  3. Five elements by He Tu

    16 as water, 27 as fire, 38 as wood, 49 as metal, 5,10 as earth.

  4. Five elements by Luo Shu

    1 is water; 2, 5, 8 are earth, 3,4 are wood, 6,7 are metal,
    9 is fire.

  5. Colour

    Metal: Golden, silver, white
    Wood: Green, original wood colour
    Water: Black, Blue and translucent without colour
    Fire: Red, orange and purple.
    Earth: Brown, yellow, shades of earth, coffee in colour.

  6. Five elements by shape

    Shapes by the five elements was first observed in Zang Jin Yi a classic book - Chi accumulates to become form of which are five shapes. Fire is chiseled; Water waved; wood is erect; metal spherical whilst earth is squarish. Chi is utmost when all five elements are present.

    Qing Lang Hai Jiao Jin further explained: metal is round, still and not moving. Immobile balanced, circular shapes are therefore good. Mobile, slanted, bloated and forthright. Thus elegant, moist and upright are good. Askew, arrayed crushed and distended are bad.

    Water is moving and naturally downward smooth flowing. Waves upon waves, curving and brisk are good. Diffused, angled, permeating and languid are bad.

    Fire is pointed, upward moving and active. Jagged, flaming, ablaze and brilliant are good. Dispersed, ruptured and menacing are bad.

    Earth is squarish and sedate. It is composed and staid. Ample, stately, well founded and decorous are good. Warped, concave, turgid and hollowed are bad.

  7. Five elements by He Tu periodic twelve yearly cycle

    i.e. Five elements as controlled by the Sexagenary Characters

    Water Age: 1984- 1995
    Fire Age: 1996-2007
    Earth Age: 2008-2019
    Metal Age: 2020-2019
    Earth Age: 2032-2043

  8. Five elements by storeys

    i.e. five elements of different levels in a high rise building.
    Water: 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26th storey etc.
    Fire: 2, 7, 12, 17, 22, 27th storey etc.
    Wood: 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, 28th storey etc.
    Metal: 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, 29th storey etc.
    Earth: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30th storey etc.

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