55 Feng1 豐
The lower: Li (clinging, fire). The upper: Zhen (to move, the thunder).
Feng: a grand and abundant state; the mission of hexagram Feng is to achieve and maintain it.
That to which everything belongs (Gui) must be large; therefore Feng is granted. Feng signifies large (in amount or scale, i.e. extensiveness). Feng literally means abundance; it is a pictograph which displays a tall glass 豆 that is full 豐. It is annotated as large (in amount or scale) in the sequence and Tuan Zhuan. Therefore hexagram Feng refers to a state that is grand and abundant.
The lower trigram Li is lightning, and the upper trigram Zhen is thunder. The lightning and thunder occur together, one after another. This way their power increases reciprocally, indicating a grand state.
The lower trigram Li is brightness and signifies civilisation as well; the upper trigram Zhen is to move. Brightness provides a direction to move while the upward movement leads civilisation toward a prosperous and abundant state.
Therefore, Feng of hexagram 55 is signified as a grand and abundant state, and the mission of the hexagram is to achieve and maintain it for a long time.
The inner hexagram of Feng is Da Guo (28), large excess, which exhibits the bending ridgepole of a structure. This indicates a crisis of collapse if one becomes arrogant in the grand and abundant state. Its changing hexagram is Huan (59), to disperse, signifying it is evitable that Feng will eventually decline. Conversely, it demonstrates that by reuniting what has been scattered the grand and abundant state can be reinstated.
Text: Feng (a grand and abundant state), (to achieve entails) smooth progress; the king attains it. There is no need to worry, it is appropriate (to maintain it like) the sun at midday.
Commentary on the text: Feng (a grand and abundant state), (signifying) large (in amount or scale, i.e. extensiveness). (Hexagram Feng exhibits its norm in the form of) brightness (of the internal trigram Li) applied to the move (of the external trigram Zhen); hence, Feng. The king attains it, (because) large (in amount and scale, i.e. extensiveness) is what he advocates. Do not worry, it is appropriate (to maintain it like) the sun at midday, (and) it is appropriate to light up the world. The sun will descend after midday (i.e. its peak) (and) the moon will wane after it reaches fullness. Fullness and descent between the heavens and earth vary over time, to say nothing of humans, ghosts and gods.
Feng is annotated as extensiveness and presents a grand and abundant state; to attain it entails smooth progress.
The lower trigram Li denotes brightness, while the upper trigram Zhen is signified as to move; the extensiveness of Feng is expressed as movement accompanied by brightness. The king possesses all resources and his hopes extend everywhere; therefore he can attain the grand and abundant state. To avoid provoking jealously, or troubling the king, ordinary people who hope to attain this state must achieve it with brightness, maintain it through the principle of moderation and sharing with others like the sun remaining at midday and benefiting all people by spreading light and warmth.
The grand and abundant state will decline after it reaches the upper extremity, like the sun going down after midday, and the moon waning after being full. The changes of nature are in accordance with shifting time; humans can't escape this, nor can gods or ghosts. What people can do is to act through the principle of moderation, i.e. to remain frugal when rich, and be humble when occupying a high-ranking position; then the grand and abundant state can be maintained over a long period of time.
Commentary on the image: Thunder and lightning arrive together; Feng. A gentle-man, in accordance with this, must decide lawsuits and apportion punishment with precision.
The brightness of the lower trigram Li clearly illuminates, while the movement of the upper trigram Zhen refers to action taken during this illumination. This way a gentleman clearly judges lawsuits and refers to the right penal code to determine punishment.
It is a state deserved only by the king and maintained by virtue of his power. Therefore it requires smooth progress if ordinary people intend to attain it. Ordinary people who hope to achieve this state must act in an open and honest manner and with the principle of moderation. They shouldn't worry and become overly conservative, nor should they become arrogant. They shouldn't anticipate jealousy, nor act in a menacing way to others, and they should share what they have. A grand and abundant state will decline after it reaches the upper extremity; while it lasts, it is appropriate to maintain it through the principle of moderation, like the sun remaining at midday. Feng can be also seen as a great achievement or merit.
Hexagram Feng possesses only the virtue of smooth progress and excludes those of origination, advantage, and persistence. This signifies that Feng should focus on maintaining its position, rather than creating and preserving additional benefit.
Feng will decline after having reached its peak. The changing hexagram is Huan (59), to disperse; its mission is to bring together what has been scattered.
Feng is created when brightness and movement act together, i.e. the direction is clear when movement is accompanied by brightness. This way brightness (or civilisation) can flower when moving clearly in the right direction.
The grand and abundant state is what people hope to achieve, but it will threaten others, especially those above when Feng advances like the sun rising along its path; therefore it will find itself shaded, like the sun being eclipsed. Feng must be maintained over the long term like the sun at noon, so that it may shine its light again after being darkened by the eclipse.
Positions 3 and 4 are the middle position of hexagram Feng, where the grand and abundant state is at midday; therefore lines 3 and 4 must find a way to secure it over the long tern. Positions 2 and 5 occupy the middle positions of the lower and the upper trigram, respectively, where the grand and abundant state can be maintained over the long term through the principle of moderation, like the sun remaining at midday.
The 1st line
Text: (The subject is) meeting with its chief counterpart (配主); although (they are) equivalent (旬) (in strength), (there will be) no fault (or calamity); to go forward (and) what is advocated lies beyond.
Line 1 arrives at Feng and intends to achieve its grand and abundant state. It encounters a challenge from its chief match. Although they are equivalent in strength, there will be no fault or calamity in their getting along. Conversely, this will facilitate a realisation of what is intended. 配pei4 (match) 主zhu3 (primary), the chief counterpart, is one’s equal who provides helpful resistance. 旬xun2 signifies 徧bian4 (widespread) as well as ten days; it is annotated here as even or equal (均jun1) as in far-reaching.
Lines 1 and 4 are at correlative positions but confront each other. However, they won’t overtake or subdue each other as they are both masculine and equivalent in strength. On the other hand, line 4 is the representative line of trigram Zhen (to move) and the bright masculine line 1 tends to move; therefore line 1 can follow the movement of line 4 to position 2; then the inner lower trigram becomes Qian (perseverance, heaven). The action of going forward enables it to ascend to the sky, signifying that its goal (i.e. to reach the middle of the sky) can be realised gradually, step by step.
Commentary on the image: Although (they are) equivalent (in strength), (there will be) no fault (or calamity); (however) it will be calamitous if one side is excessive.
Should line 4 be a weak feminine, and line 1 go upward to overtake line 4, the hexagram would become Xiao Guo (60), a little excess. There ascent represents adversity for a fledging bird learning to flying. Should line 1 be weak and feminine with line 4 coming down to subdue it, the hexagram would change to Ming Yi, brightness being tarnished (36), with the sun sinking into the earth.
Enlightenment through nine one: to act in accordance with that above (i.e. line 4 in the upper trigram Zhen) to achieve what is intended within one's own domain (like line 1 acting within the lower trigram). One encounters a rival of equal strength. There will be no calamity or fault in their getting along. One can use it as the driving force to undertake what is intended, as competition on an equal basis facilitates achievement of the grand and abundant state. The hexagram that appears while this line is activated is Xiao Guo (62), a little excess. Here it is advised to keep a low profile like a fledging bird flying low.
The 2nd line
Text: Feng (the grand and abundant state) is shaded (by a blind) (豐其蔀); the polestar is seen at midday (日中見斗); going forward incurs a suspicious frame of mind; (the subject ought) to possess sincerity and trust (and) radiate like (trigram Li), (which is of) auspiciousness.
Feng is impeded as its brightness is shaded. In darkness one’s actions create suspicion, but this will still be auspicious if one can exhibit sincerity and trust.
Line 2 represents the sun of the lower trigram Li; however it has no correlation with line 5. Therefore the sun cannot rise and its brightness is shaded, like the sun being eclipsed and the polestar appearing at midday. Line 5, the king in the heavenly domain, is the polestar. Its light in the shaded sky can't distinguish good from bad. If line 2 moves to position 3, the inner upper trigram will become Kan (the abyss, water) denoting an illness of the heart, i.e. suspicion. This signifies that its movement in darkness, with no correlation with line 5, elicits suspicion from line 5. However, if it can maintain sincerity and trust like its representative trigram Li (which is a condensed image of hexagram Zhong Fu (61), sincerity and trust radiating from the heart), it will still be auspicious as the hexagram appears in the form of Heng (32), where the upper and the lower trigrams maintain an enduring relationship, like a married couple.
豐feng (to enlarge) 其qi2 (that) 蔀bu4 (a blind)，日ri4 (the sun) 中zhong (middle) 見ian4 (to see) 斗jdou3 (the polestar) can be also interpreted as line 2 extending the blind so that the sun is shaded and the polestar is visible at midday. This can be further paraphrased as its bright-ness, created while pursuing Feng (a grand and abundant state), tarnished line 5 resulting in the king becoming the polestar during the eclipse. This signifies that it threatens the king and will obstruct its own development.
Commentary on the image: (Line 2 ought) to possess sincerity and trust (and) radiate like (trigram Li), trust enables aspiration to radiate (i.e. to be realized).
In the process of achieving Feng, one’s action is impeded. One must exhibit sincerity and trust like trigram Li, and do everything openly in an aboveboard manner. This is advised as the king at position 5 looks for virtuous and able people and will accommodate (the one of) brightness.
Enlightenment through six two: to exhibit sincerity and trust to avoid suspicion from those above. One's aspirations will be realised once one's sincerity and trust are recognised. Feng is impeded as its brightness is shaded like the sun being eclipsed and the polestar appearing at midday. One’s action in darkness will cause suspicion as one's intent can't be verified. However this can turn to auspiciousness if one exhibits sincerity and trust. If this line changes to masculine, the hexagram will become Da Zhuang (34), largeness and strength, where abusing the power of largeness and strength will plunge one into danger, and here it is advised to act moderately.
The 3rd line
Text: Feng (the grand and abundant state) is veiled (沛) (by banners), (so that) small stars are seen at midday; (the subject suffers) breaking the right arm, (which results in) no calamity (or fault).
沛pei4 signifies abundance; it is equivalent to 旆pei4 (banner) and paraphrased as many banners where shading brightness is concerned. Banners are used during parades of troops and pilgrims; hundreds of thousands of banners in the sky denote a grand and abundant state. The sun is veiled by the banners, signifying that Feng is impaired by its own extreme behaviour. In darkness one breaks one’s right arm; breaking the right arm is not a fatal injury, but can restrict those affected from acting. A person becomes less active when tending toward extremity; therefore he is saved from fault or calamity.
Line 3 is at the brightest position of trigram Li and at the position for marching upward to the upper trigram (i.e. the high society). It is in correlation with line 6 at the extreme moving position of the upper trigram Zhen, and is approaching the extremity of Feng. Should line 3 move to position 6, the hexagram would become Shi He (21), biting through, where terrible strife occurs as the weak (i.e. line 4) is preyed upon by the strong. Therefore Feng is jeopardised by its own extremity; its move is impeded (by line 4) and its brightness is shaded. The situation becomes more serious than it was at position 2, and now even smaller stars (line 4) can be seen.
Trigram Gen (keeping still, the mountain), like the inner lower trigram of hexagram Shi He, resembles a hand and is in the northeast (i.e. the right hand side). The inner upper trigram Dui (joy, the marsh) of hexagram Feng, which incorporates line 3, denotes to bend and break. Therefore it breaks its right arm preventing it from moving up to create the terrible strife of Shi He.
Commentary on the image: Feng (the grand and abundant state) is veiled (by banners), which doesn’t permit (i.e. prevents) any great achievement; (line 3 suffers) breaking the right arm, (signifying the arm) can’t be used until the end.
through nine three: to conceal
one's brightness and bide one's time. Feng
like the sun
being eclipsed causing small stars to appear at midday; it is
jeopardised by its own excessive actions. Its right arm is broken
resulting in reduced action, so there will be no fault or calamity
in the end.
The hexagram that appears while this line changes
to feminine and remains still is Zhen (51), the thunder,
calmly face challenges
will win the award.
The 4th line
Text: Feng (the grand and abundant state) is shaded (by a blind); the polestar is seen at midday; (the subject is destined) to meet with its chief foreign counterpart (夷主); (this is of) auspiciousness.
Feng is shaded and its action is restrained. But it will encounter the chief of its foreign counterpart who can illuminate its path in darkness; this is auspicious. 夷 yi2主zhu3 literally means a chief who possesses equal status and lives near the southern border where the trigram Li is located.
Line 4 represents the move of the upper trigram Zhen, but it is ridden by line 5, the shaded feminine which tends to remain still; therefore it is in darkness and its movement is blocked. Feng is shaded and the polestar (line 5) is visible. Fortunately the line at the correlative position is masculine line 1 (of the lower trigram Li, brightness) which is its counterpart outside the upper trigram; line 4 can therefore rely on it to retrieve brightness.
Commentary on the image: Feng (the grand and abundant state) is shaded (by a blind), (because) the position (where it stays) is inappropriate (to it). The polestar is seen at midday, (line 5 of which is) obscure and unclear. (Line 4 is destined) to meet with its chief foreign counterpart, (with whom) a move is auspicious (or, which leads to an auspicious action).
If line 4 moves forward as it is designated to do, and moves along the timeline illuminated by the lower trigram Li, it will arrive at position 5, i.e. the position occupied by the polestar; this way the inner upper trigram will become Li, the sun. The movement causes the sun to appear in the middle of Feng, which is auspicious. After that, the hexagram becomes Ji Ji (63), i.e. a happy ending (as all lines obtain their right positions). This signifies that a courtier (i.e. line 4 who was so active and made the king feel insecure) takes intelligent and auspicious action (to replace the king); he therefore succeeds in achieving and maintaining his grand and abundant state.
Enlightenment through nine four: acting with outside assistance (i.e. line 1 in the lower trigram Li) to achieve the designated mission. Feng is shaded and its actions are restricted, like movement during a solar eclipse. It obtains foreign assistance which illuminates its path. It is posted at a difficult position but undertakes the designated actions and achieves the grand and abundant state; this is auspicious. Should it change to feminine and remain still, the hexagram would become Ming Yi (36), brightness being tarnished, where the sun sinks into earth.
The 5th line
Text: (The subject ought) to come to brightness; there will be a celebration and a good reputation; (this is of) auspiciousness.
The solar eclipse is over; Feng should appear. However the word, Feng, doesn't appear in the text. Though line 5, the king, is the one who possesses Feng for granted, it must do every-thing it can to maintain Feng; otherwise it won’t last long.
To come signifies moving backward along the timeline. Brightness is line 2, the representative line of the lower trigram Li. This means that line 5 should descend humbly to associate with line 2 (which is righteous and moderate as well as sincere and trustworthy) in order to maintain Feng through joint force. However, line 5 has no correlation with line 2; therefore it must change to masculine becoming righteous and active, and then accommodate line 2. After exchanging the positions, the hexagram will become Da Zhuang (34), largeness and strength, signifying that it is not just Feng but strong as well. This will happen because the inner lower and lower trigrams (i.e. those blow) become Qian (heaven), and this is deserving of a celebra-tion and wins a favourable reputation.
Position 2 is seen as a place of good reputation as the line here is in a position to correlate with line 5, the king; therefore it behaves in such a way to ultimately attain a higher post. Reputation here means accommodating line 2, as well as praise for line 5's achievements.
Commentary on the image: The auspiciousness of line 5, (signifying that) there will be a celebration (among those below).
Celebration is a joyous occasion for all concerned. The masculine line denotes brightness, i.e. no shade or sadness, which is symbolic of happiness. Once the happiness of an individual (masculine) is extended to all others, it becomes a celebration. Qian (heaven) is a convergence of masculine and here represents celebration. Also see line 6 of hexagram 14 for more information of heaven (天tian).
through six five:
to associate with those below (i.e. the lower trigram Li) and win
their support in order to secure
what one possesses. The one
above should accommodate virtuous people below in order to secure
the grand and abundant state through joint force. This deserves a
celebration and will enhance his reputation. The hexagram that
appears after this line redeems itself through the change to
masculine is Ge (49), reform or revolution, where line 4 will be
The 6th line
Text: Feng (to enlarge) its house, (which leads) to a veiling of the household; to peep through its door, (it is found that the house is) quiet with nobody inside; (the subject is doomed) not to be seen for three years; (this is) an ominous omen.
The grand and abundant state will alienate people from one another, like building a large house (to exhibit its greatness) which puts distance between one and one’s neighbours, and creates a screen that isolates one's household from the outside world. Because the house is so large, it is quiet and seemingly unoccupied. A person conceals himself in his large house; he can’t see others, nor can others see him for a long time; this is ominous.
Line 6 arrives at the top of hexagram Feng. On the one hand, it reaches the extreme grand and abundant state; on the other hand, it is still moving in an extreme manner (at the extremity of the upper trigram Zhen) and in correlation with line 3, the extreme brightness (of the lower trigram Li). Therefore it is pursuing Feng in an extreme and indulgent way and conceals itself, like a shaded feminine line in the place of shaded feminine.
When Feng reaches its end, it will reverse; hereupon the upper trigram Zhen is converted to trigram Gen (keeping still, the mountain). Gen looks like a door which here is taken for a house. The house at the top of Feng is large and high. However, now line 6 has no correlation with the eyes of the lower trigram Li and can't be seen from below.
Commentary on the image: Feng (to enlarge) its house, (which is like) flying on the sky. To peep through its door, (it is found that the house is) quiet with nobody inside, (as) one conceals oneself.
Line 6, at the extremity of hexagram Feng, is at the top of the hexagram (i.e. in the domain of heaven), like flying on the sky. Building a large house and flying on the sky both signify keeping a distance from others.
Enlightenment through six six: not to indulge in pursuit of the great and large but rather to maintain its state like the sun remaining at midday and spreading light and warmth to benefit all people. The grand and abundant state will alienate a person from others, especially if he still indulges in pursuing Feng after having reached its peak. He will become arrogant, domineering, and lonely as well. The outcome of not being seen for three years is the same as the first line of hexagram Kun4 (47), to be besieged. If this line can change to masculine, not pursuing more Feng but sharing it with others, the hexagram will become Li (30), brightness shed from the sun at midday.