In the days before meteorologists, in order to forecast the weather, humans would observe the clouds as well as the direction and intensity of wind. They would know if there is a fog about to blanket the sky or whether a cold rain is shooting down from the north. The wind never lies or betrays. It can caress your face with a gentile breeze and cool you from a summer heat, or it can penetrate deep to your bones with a frigid gust. Either way it is always straight with you and when the wind cries, you listen.
The Wind Trigram consists of a solid, yang line on top. A solid, yang line in the middle, and a broken, yin line at the bottom. The image represents the cosmic life breath descending to earth. Heaven exhales.
All the lessons of life are represented in nature. Let’s review what we have learned so far. The Heaven Trigram is the initiating force of the universe. Heaven represents pure will power. It is the essence behind all manifestation. The Fire Trigram represents clarity and consciousness. As clarity increases, we broaden our consciousness, and the intelligence becomes keen, active, and abstract. The Water Trigram represents a subtle, stream of consciousness awakening us to seize the moment and truly pay attention. The Earth Trigram reminds us to be humble and cultivate silence in order to increase receptivity to a deeper wisdom.
Since the Wind Trigram is composed of two solid, yang lines above a broken, yin line, you can visualize the gentile influence of the cosmos flowing down and being distributed within the energy body of the earth. The Earth is composed of channels called Ley lines. They are similar to the Acupuncture channels in the body. When the Earth is healthy, these channels flow and nourish gently like a summer breeze. When we don’t have a gentile approach to Mother Earth and disrespect it by over developing land and dumping atmospheric pollutants, the Earth becomes ill. The channels become blocked and this leads to the Earth’s core temperature rising as if it has a fever. In order to compensate, extreme weather like hurricanes and tornadoes become more prevalent. These severe storms are just a physical manifestation of a deeper imbalance working its way out. Of course, as above so below, the Wind Trigram represents our need to cultivate gentleness, otherwise we stir up own inner tornado which can lead to many serious health disorders.
As I walk up Madison Ave., in NYC, I realize that we take our lungs and air for granted.
I observe a sea of bus traffic spurting out noxious fumes. Since I am one of many walking along, I think this is normal and fine. I can’t help thinking how nice it would be if I was walking by the ocean or along a riverbank. The sages of yesteryear understood that Qi (energy) is in the air. They would flee to natural environments to live. They knew that fresh mountain and ocean air is electrically charged and saturated with Qi energy. Not only will this charged air energize, it will calm the nervous system so you sleep like a baby at night. When we take a deep breath, the Qi in the air penetrates to the Acupuncture meridians as well as all the cells to rejuvenate and heal. You feel uplifted and light. The Wind Trigram represents the subtle essence and healing power in the air. As our consciousness expands, we crave exercises like Yoga, Chi Kung, and Tai Chi which are based upon breathing into a posture or movement in order to cultivate a sense of peace and wellness.
In the south of France, houses are built to withstand a very strong wind from the north that they call the “Mistral.” It is joked that the wind is so strong that it can blow the ears off a donkey. It comes without warning straight from the Alps, and acts as a funnel as it heads south down the Rhone River Valley. When the mistral blows, people clear the streets and lively Provence cities become ghost towns. Wind can penetrate deep and will find any nook or cranny to blow through in order to express itself. It is invisible but has very visible results. The sages studied the inner process of wind leading them to assign this trigram to a quality of deep and penetrating. In many ways the Wind Trigram represents the whole study of the I Ching and philosophy in general. All philosophy is very deep and you need to shine your inner flashlight in order to truly comprehend its vast terrain. As humans, it is in our DNA to take on deep subjects in order to learn, expand consciousness, and move forward. The end result is insight, the ability to intuitively apprehend the inner nature of a subject or situation. This virtue is imperative when we are confronted with an obstacle or decision. Insight is a form of wisdom that is developed over time. As life kicks us in the ass, and we make mistakes, we develop insight into how to conduct our life in a balanced manner. We are able to share our deep experiences with others in order to help them build character and tread the rocky path smoothly.
What is the inner lesson behind this Trigram? Why bother studying it, and the I Ching in general? Many I Ching contributors have expressed that one of the main goals of a society is to invoke heaven on earth. We discussed Heaven as an essence, a very powerful subtle quality that you can compare to the sap or root of a tree. It is the backbone. So when the sages are discussing heaven on earth they are commenting on cultivating positive virtues in order to transform into what they describe as the superior man or women. Not superior in a ego sense but superior as being an upstanding citizen with integrity and character. Superior by caring about the needs of your community, country, and the world. A team player. If you meditate on the image and structure of the Wind Trigram you feel the essence of heaven infusing the earth the same as our own soul infuses its quality on our personality. The cosmic life breath communicating its influence of transformation so eventually we become the soul …..heaven on earth.
So, if you have a obstacle, conflict, or decision, and the Wind Trigram appears in your mind’s eye, inhale and exhale deeply the cosmic life breath and be aware of the quality of the air you are breathing into your cells. Live your life as gentile as a willow tree in the breeze. Ponder deeply, and use your developed insight to guide your every move.