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Kun (“The Receptive”) is the Second Hexagram in the I Ching, is composed of the Trigram Kun, duplicated, thus, “Kun over Kun”. Kun is aligned to the Tenth Lunar Month, around November. This writer’s rendering of the Text is in bold print, as before, and his comments are in Italics. Instructions on how to throw a Hexagram have been discussed earlier.


Heaven and Earth were created, then the Ten Thousand Things were produced.


The Receptive brings about magnificent success, advancing through the perseverance of a mare. If the Sage undertakes something and tries to lead, the Sage goes astray; but if the Sage follows, the Sage finds guidance. It is favorable to find friends in the SouthWest and, to forego friends in the and NorthEast. Quiet persistence brings good fortune.

Please note, that the beginning of the Judgment here is almost the same as that for Chien, adding the “Mare”, which is a usual Symbol for the Physical World. Fu Hsi’s Arrangement of the Ba Gua had Kun in the SouthWest. This means, ”In the Time of Kun, be the Servant, not the Master, and seek others like you”.

Legge comments about this Passage, “That it is not the sex of the animal which the writer has chiefly in mind is plain from the immediate mention of the superior man, and his lord.”


The Earth's condition is receptive devotion. Thus the Sage who has breadth of character

can carry the outer world.

The Physical World is equal to the Spiritual World, but devoted to it. Kun indicates, thus, that it is Time to be supportive.


Six in the First place, at the bottom, means: when you are treading on hoarfrost, do not dismay; solid ice is not far off.

In this situation, Times appear indefinite, but Winter is indeed truly about to arrive, and solidify the Yin Principle. Be patient.

Six in the Second place means: Be straight and square, in order to achieve Greatness. Without apparent purpose or repeated efforts, there will still be advantage.

This line is viewed as the Ruler of this Hexagram. The Earth was thought to be square, so this is telling you to emulate the Earth. We have this same belief in the West, an example of which can be found in First Samuel, 2:8 “For the pillars of the earth belong to YHVH, Who placed the world upon them.” We know Today, that the Earth is a Sphere, but the Symbolism remains valid here; be humble, be like the World”.

Six in the Third place means: keep your excellence under restraint, but firmly maintain it. You are more than capable of remaining persistent. If by chance you are in the service of a Monarch, seek not new works, but bring what is in place to completion.

The Meaning of this line is clear: Do not initiate any new action; only complete.

Six in the fourth place means: Be like a tied-up sack. Accept neither blame nor praise.

In this situation, take no action at all.

Six in the fifth place means: A yellow lower garment brings supreme good fortune.

This is a Symbol of being careful and discrete.

Six at the top means: Dragons fight in the meadow. Their blood is purple and yellow.

This is an omen of an unresolved conflict. Purple is of course assigned to Heaven, and Yellow is assigned to Earth.Neither Dragon wins.

When all the lines are sixes, it means: if you continue to be correct and firm, you will have a lasting advantage.

Notice, that this is a much more positive than that which concludes the Chien Hexagram.

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