The Bagua trigrams represent the Taoist philosophy of reality having eight components. The universe is in a constant state of change through the creative interaction of yin and yang. The unceasing changes in patterns is reflected by the 8 trigrams and their 64 possible combinations. After the use of the trigrams in Bagua diagrams, these 64 combinations of two trigrams were called hexagrams and used in I Ching.
Each trigram is made up of three lines. The line can be broken or unbroken. Broken lines are yin and unbroken lines are yang. These eight trigrams reflect the gradual movement from absolute yin to absolute yang and back to absolute yin in a never-ending cycle.
- ☵ Kan represents career, business, success, and our journey through life. It is associated with winter, its element is water and direction is North. Its number is 1.
- ☷ Kun represents union, relationships, domesticity and maternal instincts, good spouse, partnership, peace and happiness. It is associated with summer, its element is earth and direction is southwest. Its number is 2.
- ☳ Chen represents health, vitality, elders, growth, ancestors, family, wisdom and experience. It is associated with early spring and new beginnings. Its element is wood and direction is East. Its number is 3.
- ☱ Sun represents wealth, blessings, growth, gentleness, assimilation and fortune. It is associated with wind and early fall. Its element is wood and direction is Southeast. Its number is 4.
- ☯ The yin-yang symbol represents unity and a balance of positive and negative chi. Its number is 5.
- ☰ Chien represents leadership, achievement, helpful friends, mentors, teachers, travel, improvement and new beginnings. It is associated with summer, its element is strong metal and direction is Northwest. Its number is 6.
- ☴ Tui represents creativity, joy, children and projects. It is associated with autumn, its element is little metal and direction is West. Its number is 7.
- ☶ Ken represents knowledge, wisdom, intuition, contemplation and motivation. It is associated with early winter, its element is earth and direction is Northeast. Its number is 8.
- ☲ Li represents illumination of self, reputation visibility, fame, fortune and prosperity. It is associated with summer, its element is fire and direction is South. Its number is 9.
In the Bagua “Later Heaven” pattern below, which is used for indoor protection, the eight trigrams can be seen around the outside as wedge-shaped trigrams.