Symbols - What does heaven look like


The gua hexagram as it is in the I Ching


The Chinese Element to which it corresponds


The name of the upper Trigram


The name of the lower Trigram


The description of the symbol as it is given in the I-Ching

Fire in the midst of the Lake

An image of abolishing the old

In correspondence with this

The superior person watches the changes of the planets

And sets the calendar in order

Making the time of the seasons clear


The ideograph for this gua is that of the hide of an animal and is a tanned skin.  It is thus an alternative meaning within the I Ching symbol system of Leather.


It means change, innovation and revolution, the abolishing of the old to make way for the new.  It is thus a symbol of both creation and destruction and evolution, although the evolution here is major and more correctly may be thought of as a major increment of change.  It also has, as a result, associations with the ouroboros.

This is looked upon as a potentially favourable gua.  The ‘decision’ says

Proper day

Upon it obtain confidence from people

Supremely prosperous and smooth

Favourable to be steadfast and upright

Regret vanishes.