Trigrams – The Ancient Chinese View of the World and Mankind

Simon Brown

Simon Brown

Simon G Brown has studied macrobiotics since 1980 and authored many books, including Modern Day Macrobiotics, Macrobiotics for Life and Practical Wabi Sabi.

In past issues of the magazine Simon has introduced us to Macrobiotics, Wabi Sabi, Meditation and more.

In this series of articles Simon tells us all about using Feng Shui to make sure the colours in your office are having a positive impact in the workplace…and in your home.

The Chinese trigrams provide a fascinating insight into the ancient view of mankind and our relationship to the world we inhabit. A trigram is made up of three horizontal lines. The lower line represents the earth our planet, the upper line the heavens or more specifically the sun, moon and stars. The middle line represents humans. The implication being that we are a manifestation of the earth and heaven. Literally we feed on the earth and receive energy from the sun.

When we eat vegetables we eat the soil in which they have grown, and if we eat animals we eat the plants that fed them. The mineral content of our teeth and bones reflect the type of soil our food grows in. Similarly the sun has nourished the plants we eat and we ourselves have been warmed by the sun and used sunlight to create vitamin D.

Traditional thinking assumes that energy from the earth moves up our legs into our torso, whilst energy from the sun enters through the crown in our head and down into our torso. Once inside this energy mixes with our own natural energy. We then use this mix of energies to create, express, be active, move, think, communicate and so on.

How we take in energy from the earth and heavens then may have an influence on the energy inside us. For example standing on the top of a mountain may feel very different to sitting under a willow tree by a river, and this difference may result in us feeling slightly different. We may find we want to explore different ideas in our minds and experience different emotions in our hearts.

Greater exposure to energy from the heavens, helps stimulate our minds, whereas energy from the earth stimulates our lower torso helping us feel nourished, supported, secure and functional. Our heart is in the middle and engages with both.

In a home the flooring, walls and structure primarily influence the earth energies, whereas the sun’s energy is more defined by the windows, doors and roof. An apartment at the top of a building with lots of skylights could benefit from more energy from the sun, whilst a home on the ground more energy from the earth.

High ceilings, vaulted ceilings and lots of windows encourages more of the heaven’s energy into a room. Walking barefoot on stone or wood floors connects us with the ground and allows us to experience more of the energy from the earth.

One of the worlds oldest books is the I Ching. This is a book of divination where the reader engages in a meditative process to create his or her personal hexagram (two pairs of trigrams) and uses this to create a person yin and yang chart which can then be looked up in the I Ching for that charts reading where the reader may discover words of wisdom.

The trigrams and hexagrams are made up of either solid or broken lines. A solid line represents yang and a broken line yin. A trigram consists of three horizontal lines and a hexagram six horizontal lines. There are eight possible trigrams and sixty-four variations of hexagrams. Trigrams are fundamental to feng shui as each of the eight compass directions uses a trigram to help describe the energy of that direction.

So the trigram for each part of your home is;
north – water
north-east – the mountain
east – thunder
south-east – wind
south – fire
south-west – earth
west – a lake
north-west – heaven
These give clues as to the kind of atmosphere we might find in each part of our home.

So next time you are out feel the earth beneath your feet and look up to the sky and think about the possibility that humans are partly a mixing of energy between the heavens and earth.

For more information read Simon’s book:
The Feng Shui Life Coach published by Godsfield Press.

Simon G. Brown
+44 (0) 20 7431 9897

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