above K'UN THE RECEPTIVE, EARTH
below SUN THE GENTLE, WIND, WOOD
The lower trigram, Sun, represents wood, and the upper, K’un, means the earth. Linked with this is the idea that wood in the earth grows upward. In contrast to the meaning of Chin, PROGRESS (35), this pushing upward is associated with effort, just as a plant needs energy for pushing upward through the earth. That is why this hexagram, although it is connected with success, is associated with effort of the will. In PROGRESS the emphasis is on expansion; PUSHING UPWARD indicates rather a vertical ascent — direct rise from obscurity and lowliness to power and influence.
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.