yí (移)

to move across, to shift, transmit or convey, to influence, to change or transform; according to Shuōwén, the original image represented transplanting sprouts of grain, which comes from hé (禾) meaning ‘grain,’ and duō (多) meaning ‘many or much;’ in Sùwèn 13, yí (移) refers to the changes or transformations of the individual’s jīng (精); I’ve chosen most often to render yí (移) as ‘transmute’ to suggest its fundamental alchemical nature, and to distinguish it from both biàn (變) and huà (化), which are the ‘transformations’ of post-natal qì (氣).

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