In Chinese, the number nine is Jiu ff . In Yijing science, nine is the highest Yang number and is a symbol of change. Recall that the primary Five Element odd numbers one, three, and five are all Yang. Adding these three numbers together produces the highest Yang number, nine. According to Yijing principles, extreme Yang will transform to Yin, rendering the number nine a symbol of transformation. As the highest Yang number, nine represents transformation and change. Nine, then, becomes a symbol for deep understanding gained through that transformation. Yang is bright and moving, and it changes rapidly as opposed to Yin, which is contracted and therefore slower to change or trans form. Much of our Qigong practice incorporates the number nine, as movements within the Qigong forms are often repeated nine times. This repetition centers on the highest Yang number and is quite effective for changing and refining the pattern of Qf.
Also of great significance are the nine palaces, or Jiugong, that illustrate the magic square. The magic square represents the eight directions of the Bagua (Eight Trigrams) with the addition of a ninth direction, that of center. The nine numbers are arranged in nine squares or palaces and placed so that addition of the numbers in any row or column adds up to fifteen. Fifteen is significant because it is produced by multiplying three (creation) and five (Five Elements). Each palace holding a number represents universal change. In ancient times, this magic square was used for divination.
In oracle bone writing, nine is illustrated with the shape of an arc or a half circle. It is similar to a stream winding along its course, as opposed to something traveling in a straight line. As water travels, it will "split" or change to accommodate a path and find the way, regardless of obstacles. This is the nature of nine as the highest Yang number reverting to Yin. The arc of the oracle bone is related to the symbol of the Uruborus, a snake/dragon biting itself in the tail. This symbol illustrates the infinite spiral of change and the concept of return—returning to our origin in the Dao. Our transformation and deep understanding of the number nine and the inevitability of its continual transformation and return is an illustration of infinity—the infinite and constant cycle of universal energy. The concept of infinity is further iterated in the pronunciation of Jiu, which is the same tone and pronunciation for infinity in spoken Chinese. Thus, nine represents an immortal life. Nine is the partner of the number four and is related to the Metal organs of the Lung and Large Intestine in the body.
The nine palaces, or Jiugong, that illustrate the magic square.
According to Yijing numerology, the number nine is the highest number of the fundamental number system. After nine, the numbering system returns to number one, the universal life force. Therefore, we can end our discussion of the number system here. However, there are two more important universal numbers that are related to daily life and spiritual cultivation. I want to expand our discussion to include these numbers: twelve and twenty-four.
Was this article helpful?