above K'AN THE ABYSMAL, WATER
below SUN THE GENTLE, WIND, WOOD
Wood is below, water above. The wood goes down into the earth to bring up water. The image derives from the pole-and-bucket well of ancient China. The wood represents not the buckets, which in ancient times were made of clay, but rather the wooden poles by which the water is hauled up from the well. The image also refers to the world of plants, which lift water out of the earth by means of their fibers. The well from which water is drawn conveys the further idea of an inexhaustible dispensing of nourishment.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.