The trigrams are related to taiji philosophy, taijiquan and the wu xing, or "five elements". The relationships between the trigrams are represented in two arrangements, thePrimordial (先天八卦), "Earlier Heaven" or "Fuxi" bagua (伏羲八卦), and the Manifested (後天八卦), "Later Heaven," or "King Wen" bagua. The trigrams have correspondences in astronomy, astrology, geography, geomancy, anatomy, the family, and elsewhere.
The ancient Chinese classic I Ching (Pinyin:Yi Jing) consists of the 64 possible pairs of trigrams (called "hexagrams") and commentary on them.
The Eight Trigrams Edit
|天 Tiān||澤(泽) Zé||火 Huǒ||雷 Léi||風(风) Fēng||水 Shuǐ||山 Shān||地 Dì|
There are two possible sources of bagua. The first is from traditional Yin and Yang philosophy. The interrelationships of this philosophy has been attributed to Fuxi in the following way:
無極生有極、有極是太極、 太極生兩儀、即陰陽; 兩儀生四象: 即少陰、太陰、少陽、太陽、 四象演八卦、八八六十四卦 The Limitless (Wuji) produces the delimited, and this is the Absolute (Taiji)
The Taiji produces two forms, named yin and yang The two forms produce four phenomena, named lesser yin, great yin (taiyin also means the Moon), lesser yang, great yang (taiyang also means the Sun). The four phenomena act on the eight trigrams (bagua), eight eights are sixty-four hexagrams. Another philosophical description of the source is the following, attributed to King Wen of Zhou Dynasty: "When the world began, there was heaven and earth. Heaven mated with the earth and gave birth to everything in the world. Heaven is Qian-gua, and the Earth is Kun-gua. The remaining six gua are their sons and daughters".
The trigrams are related to the five elements of wu xing, used by feng shui practitioners and in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Those five elements are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. The Water (Kan) and Fire (Li) trigrams correspond directly with the Water and Fire elements. The element of Earth corresponds with both the trigrams of Earth (Kun) and Mountain (Gen). The element of Wood corresponds with the trigrams of Wind (Xun) (as a gentle but inexorable force that can erode and penetrate stone) and Thunder (Zhen). The element of Metal corresponds with the trigrams of Heaven (Qian) and Lake (Dui).
There are eight possible trigrams (八卦 bāguà):
|Trigram Figure||Binary Value||Name||Translation: Wilhelm||Image in Nature (pp.l-li)||Direction (p. 269)||Family Relationship (p. 274)||Body Part (p. 274)||Attribute (p. 273)||Stage/ State (pp.l-li)||Animal (p. 273)|
|the Creative, Force|| heaven, sky|
|the Joyous, Open|| lake|
|west||third daughter||mouth||pleasure||tranquil (complete devotion)|| 羊|
|the Clinging, Radiance|| fire|
|south||second daughter||eye||light-giving, dependence||clinging, clarity, adaptable|| 雉|
|the Arousing, Shake|| thunder|
|east||first son||foot||inciting movement||initiative|| 龍|
|the Gentle, Ground|| wind|
|southeast||first daughter||thigh||penetrating||gentle entrance|| 雞|
|the Abysmal, Gorge|| water|
|north||second son||ear||dangerous||in-motion|| 豕|
|Keeping Still, Bound|| mountain|
|northeast||third son||hand||resting, stand-still||completion|| 狗|
|the Receptive, Field|| earth|
|southwest||mother||belly||devoted, yielding||receptive|| 牛|
Martial Equivalents Edit
|Trigram Symbol||Name||Eastern Cosmos||Five Elements||T'ai Chi Ch'uan||Ba Gua Zhang||Xingyi Quan|
Circular Zig-zag Step
(Luo Xuan Zhang)
Circular Zig-zag Step
This Image represents the relation between the Traditional Pre-Heaven Bagua (Inverted) and Taichi : Each Gate and Step corelates to a Trigram, while each Element has an specific correlation with the Trigrams as well.
This Image represents the relation between the Traditional Pre-Heaven Bagua and Baguazhang/Pa kua chang: Each Form corelates to a Trigram.