Hexagram 07

Shī

Legion, leader

Determination for an army: 
A respectable man (man with a staff) is
auspicious 
Without
fault

The great image says:
Water in the middle of the earth: Legions
The noble one tolerates the common people and watches over the crowds


Earth
Water

day 5 of a yang moon

   Fight for your life, and make good plans. Look at the world and choose the best way to survive. When you are young, you can create the circumstances for a strong individual life. When you are old, you can defend your spiritual life against all attacks.
   Organize always all your abilities, so you can defend your borders. Great talents which have no rules will get wasted. But all the things you can or learned, your talents and abilities and assets – organize them, make clear rules and be a good leader. Have the guts to act worthy of yourself. Then you can defend your territory and make a place where you and your people are safe, happy and prospering. 

 

Shi1: The left part (1) is rolling, waving, but the meaning is not certain. In (3) there is another form of it, this time not at left, but on top. The part at right (2), is probably a banner, but it can also mean a skirt or turn around an axis. The whole character shi is written on oracle bones as DUI1 (4): testes or buttocks, meaning 'military'. Probably close to the meaning 'having guts' (Karlgren 543). Another possibility: a kind of ceremonial object (!). 
Army, multitude, division in Chinese army, smaller than the LU of hex.56, and usually there are three SHI, one at right, one in the middle, and one at left. The king often divines which one he should join. Military camp, big hall. Model, example, master, teacher, tutor, to imitate; a specialist (med., music, paint or divining), local administration chief, high functionary, superior in rank. Shi lu, names of hexagrams 7 and 56 combined: a body of 2500 troops.

 

6 at 3: Should the legion cart the corpse. Pitfall
Take extraordinary measures if necessary, but stop with them as soon as they are not longer needed. Only a matter of huge importance can be their ground. Without this ground they are only detrimental.
(Changes to hex.46)

Above 6: The great prince has the mandate to found a state and inherit the house. Small people should not be employed.
T
he things you accomplish have the same value you have yourself. If you are great, you can accomplish great things, if you are small, you achieve only small things.
(Changes to hex.4)

 

9 at 2: To live in the center of the legion. Auspicious. Without fault. The king confers three commands.
Live
in the center of what you do or make. Being 'one' with whatever you do is the best way of making it great. It is not possible to organize without being part of it. In order to make it into an organic whole, it has to be part of one's own organism. One cannot 'think' of all the details that have to be done, they have to come natural. 
(Changes to hex.2)

 

6 at 5: There is game in the fields. Harvest: catching it. Words. Without fault. The eldest son leads the legion, the younger brother carts the corpse. Determination pitfall.
Do not act rigid, take chances when they appear, do not depend too much on rules, stay versatile. Learn to delegate, do what you're good at.
(Changes to hex.29)

Initial 6 : The legion marches out according to rules. Not very good augury: pitfall.
For organizing, every action has to fit in. One deviating action can mess up all. One shot fired at the wrong moment, one false note in a concert, one wrong decision of a surgeon. All the details have to be right, and then the whole is an organic whole and a structure with power.
(Changes to hex.19)

 

6 at 4: The legion encamps to the left. Without fault.
An (or your) army needs relaxation too. Discipline cannot endure without pause, make a balance.
(Changes to hex.40)
The Sabian Symbols for the hexagram-lines
6 at 3 corresponds to b 5: Rock formations at the edge of a precipice
Impressive, except if they tumble down
Above 6 corresponds to h 5: A council of ancestors
They are your link with universal wisdom
9 at 2 corresponds to ` 5A radical magazine
'Average' seldom accomplishes much, it is the extreme and complete devotion that does.
6 at 5 corresponds to f 5: An old owl up in a tree
An old wise owl can suddenly be very swift when a mouse appears. 
Initial 6 corresponds to ^ 5: A triangle with wings
Harmony makes everything run smooth.

6 at 4 corresponds to d 5: A man teaching the true inner knowledge
Knowing when to stop is bigger knowledge than knowing things.

 


Line 1.
'Rules' or discipline, or the pitchpipes. 'Denying slaves' or 'no virtue'. The character is a picture of a blinded slave, who had probably no other choice than being virtuous, so the character later became 'virtue'. 
Line 2. 'Confer 3 commands' or: bestows a triple decoration.  
Line 3. or: The legion may be carting corpses. In lines 3 and 5 in the MaWangDui-Yi there is in the place of 'corpse' an obsolete character, composed of corpse + altar. Corpse is a picture of the person who impersonates the deceased at the funeral. 
Line 4. 'Encamps to the left' or 'is deficient at the left side'.
Line 5. Wu: 'profit by catching them is the word'. It is not clear if 'words' (or speak) belongs to the previous or to the following part of the sentence. The sentence can also be: The hunt yields wildfowl. Harvest: holding on to words. The corpse: dead King Wen was carried into the battle to make allies trust and enemies fear.
Line 6.  A traditional translation is: 'Issues commands, founds states, supports the clans'. But Marshall gives the above translation, which makes more sense in my eyes. He adds: the term dajun, 'great prince', bears a close written resemblance to xianjun, 'my deceased father' (Mathews' dictionary entry 1715-40) So this might also refer to Wen's mandate. Still another possibility: has the command - carries on family(-lineage).

Hex.7 is not only an army but also 'organizing', especially talents and assets. The character Shi means army, teacher, to teach, master, tutor, a model or example, to pattern or model after another, and a specialist (especially music, painting, divining or medicine). For becoming a specialist, one has to organize knowledge and specialize like the divisions of an army, one has to be a good leader of one's own legion, which consists of knowledge, intelligence, talent and so on.