What is bagwa? 八卦 (bagwa) means 8 “gwa” and “gwa” is a symbol. The 8 symbol. Okay, that sounds like something to you? LOL! What does bagwa actually means and how it comes to 8 and not 9 or 10? Well, let me explain everything to you!
First, thee is a person in history called FuXi 伏義 (Fuk Hey in Cantonese) who created the system of bagwa, in Taoism we call him Bagwa Jo Si – the founder of bagwa. The history of him dates back to the stone age of China history, and he is also famous for his foundings on Chinese medics as well. This person Fuk Hey is one of the 3 king in the history of China, I am not talking about all the king, I am talking about in the earlier history of China when the period have only 3 kings..三皇五帝. He is one of the them. He have invented lots of tools, taught his people to fish with nets, invented spears and skills for hunting, and not to forget the acupuncture system and herbal medicine as well! He started the era of hunting and telling his people to go out and hunt for food instead of sitting at home all day long! During their period, he also invented clothing with animal furs to fight against the crazy cold climate as well. You can see this person is way smarter than anybody back then and so people all love him and love him as a king! He also observe the weather and environment all the time to learn how nature works and so he invented the system of yin yang and also advance it to become the system of bagwa! This theory is then used for Chinese medic and also many other things such as Taoism, magic and so on. Not to forget, he already have “magic” in his time… and it is recorded that he can communicate with deities as well in Chinese history. Oh, one more thing to mention, the acupuncture part — he not only invented the needles, he also invented the famous 9 types of surgery and medical tools. There are dull rounded ones, bladed ones, pin like ones, etc,.. all for different purposes and people now use these for surgery and medic too! How amazing! You see, this guy is way cool back in the old days!
Okay, enough history of this founder of bagwa… and so you know, this guy is way way way back in history, way older than the founder of i-ching, who is King Chow. Chow Man Wong. People now seldom know who found bagwa but they only know i-ching. That’s like you know about the grandson but not the father! You need to know who started bagwa first in order to learn i-ching~ I-ching is just using bagwa as a foundation to extend it to further details! It’s like you need to learn plus, minus, multiply and divide.. then you can learn what is exponent, calculus and so on.. if you forget the foundation of math, you can’t study the other things well!
In the picture at the top here.. that shows you how bagwa is formed. From nothing, to yin yang, which is only yin and yang, splited in half (negative and positive), then it forms the 4 “gwa” which we call “sei jeung” 四象. Which is the tai yin, siu yin, tai yang, siu yang. Then the four turns out to be bagwa. It’s just like binary codes! See this picture and see if you get some feelings about how it is formed:
Now do you see this chart here? From the bottom up, you have “taichi” and it forms the yin and yang, splited in half.. then in yin you have another yin and yang split.. and so on. That forms the system of bagwa, 8 symbol. You see how it works? I-Ching is just 64 gwa, so if you do the math and chart……….
Okay, can you see how it is now? That is the 64 combos symbol!!! Just like the binary system! Now I am making it seems very easy for you!
This is the pre-heaven bagwa invented by Fuk Hey. He is using the bagwa here to illustrate how the energy flow and patterns of things works in universe, outer space and it is because he observed how the universe works from the ground and so that is what he came up with. So everything here tells you about how things works in space.
This is the post-heaven bagwa, which King Chow Man Wong invented! In China history, there was once a bad king with his famous fox demon wife daji.. this king want to dominate the world and so he started to knock down people around him and he prisoned one of the king and that is Chow Man Wong.. for 9 years in a place called Yau-Li. In the prison, King Chow used his time to study the ancient knowledge of bagwa and yin yang.. observed the space and stuff.. turns out he found the pattern of things and invented the post-heaven bagwa! This illustrates how the things in spaces affects earth and how things in spaces will mirror and turn around when it reflects to the ground on earth! This pattern here tells you things on earth, patterns on earth and so you can tell how things in space interacts with earth and human beings and other things here on the planet as well!
This is the 64 gwa, i-ching, by King Chow! Yes, he used the 2 bagwa as foundation and invented the complete system of 64 gwa! The 64 symbols illustrates the pattern or cycle of nature, how things go from zero to the end and back to zero. This cycle of nature illustrates a universal pattern of things and how things works. That is why he can use this to predict what is going to happen next and when he will be able to get out of the prison successfully with minimal harm and so he don’t even care to escape! He just wait and utilize his time there to study more and when time comes, he can then do what he have to do to win the war! It is not about waiting for fate to come, it is about using the best time to do what you need to do! During this period of time when he is in the prison, he found out it is his best time to study and get more knowledge, so he use the time to do it! Smart! Who want to sleep and get rest when there are all kind of noises out there? Use the best time to sleep~ best time to eat, best time to work! You don’t work during your sleepy hours right? Logic~
Now this is the 8 gwa chart that tells you the BASIC meaning of each symbol.. both pre and post heaven bagwa use the same symbol and meaning but they are just different arrangement and so you can refer to this now for the meaning of each symbol…
from the top…
Kin – meaning sky, health, good, up, and father..
Dui – meaning a living place, people gathering place, happiness, harmonizing, and the younger daughter..
Lei – meaning fire, beautiful, and middle daughter..
Jun – meaning thunder, move, vibrates, changes, and elder son..
Sun – meaning wind, drilling in, coming in, fast, elder daughter…
Hum – meaning water, flowing, dent, curve in, and middle son..
Gun – meaning mountain, stable, solid, not moving, stop, younger son..
Kwan – meaning ground, land, freedom, free, and flowing with no obstacles, mother…
You can categorize ANYTHING in the world into the 8 categories! But then, you will find that 8 is too broad, you can’t explains things that much.. and so there is 64! Now you know why I say you cannot learn I-ching right away, you need to learn the bagwa first! Without knowing what and how bagwa works, i-ching cannot be learned or mastered! It’s the foundation of i-ching! you must learn bagwa first!
In Taoism, we use the pre and post heaven bagwa to cultivate magical power from space and transform them into earthy energy and use them as magical power. In medic, we use the theory to know how weather and climate affects the human body and health.. in fengshui, we use it to understand how the environment and astronomy affects our luck.. etc,.. bagwa is deep! It is way way way cool!