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易經
the Hexagrams, Index

In case you like to read a specific hexagram, then use this idex page.

Ancient Chinese coins

易經
het Hexagrammenboek

In case you prefer to ask a question or if you like to read a specific hexagram, then use this idex.






Table 1,

Select a hexagram by combining the trigrams:


Trigrammemindeling
Trigrammemindeling


Table 2,

Select a hexagram from the drop-down list.
The hexagrams are ordered by number:









11. Tai

Peace



<
上六:城复于隍,勿用师。自邑告命,贞吝。

Six at the top means:

The wall falls back into the moat.
Use no army now.Make your commands known within your own town.
Perseverance brings humiliation.



The change alluded to in the middle of the hexagram has begun to take place. The wall of the town sinks back into the moat from which it was dug. The hour of doom is at hand. When matters have come to this pass, we should submit to fate and not try to stave it off by violent resistance. The one recourse left us is to hold our own within our intimate circle. Should we persevere in trying to resist the evil in the usual way, our collapse would only be more complete, and humiliation would be the result.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六五:帝乙归妹,以祉元吉。

Six in the fifth place means:

The sovereign I
Gives his daughter in marriage.
This brings blessingAnd supreme good fortune.



The sovereign I is Tang the Completer. By his decree the imperial princesses, although higher in rank than their husbands, had to obey them like all other wives. Here too we are shown a truly modest union of high and low that brings happiness and blessings
六四:翩翩,不富,以其邻,不戒以孚。

Six in the fourth place means:

He flutters down, not boasting of his wealth,
Together with his neighbor,
Guileless and sincere.



In times of mutual confidence, people of high rank come in close contact with the lowly quite simply and without boasting of their wealth. This is not due to the force of circumstances but corresponds with their inmost sentiment. The approach is made quite spontaneously, because it is based on inner conviction.
九三:无平不陂,无往不复,艰贞无咎。勿恤其孚,于食有福。

Nine in the third place means:

No plain not followed by a slope.
No going not followed by a return.
He who remains persevering in dangerIs without blame.
Do not complain about this truth;
Enjoy the good fortune you still possess.



Everything on earth is subject to change. Prosperity is followed by decline: this is the eternal law on earth. Evil can indeed be held in check but not permanently abolished. It always returns. This conviction might induce melancholy, but it should not; it ought only to keep us from falling into illusion when good fortune comes to us. If we continue mindful of the danger, we remain persevering and make no mistakes. As long as a man’s inner nature remains stronger and richer than anything offered by external fortune, as long as he remains inwardly superior to fate, fortune will not desert him.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九二:包荒,用冯河,不遐遗,朋亡,得尚于中行。

Nine in the second place means:

Bearing with the uncultured in gentleness,
Fording the river with resolution,
Not neglecting what is distant,
Not regarding one’s companions:
Thus one may manage to walk in the middle.



In times of prosperity it is important above all to possess enough greatness of soul to bear with imperfect people. For in the hands of a great master no material is unproductive; he can find use for everything. But this generosity is by no means laxity or weakness. It is during times of prosperity especially that we must always be ready to risk even dangerous undertakings, such as the crossing of a river, if they are necessary. So too we must not neglect what is distant but must attend scrupulously to everything. Factionalism and the dominance of cliques are especially to be avoided. Even if people of like mind come forward together, they ought not to form a faction by holding together for mutual advantage; instead, each man should do his duty. These are four ways in which one can overcome the hidden danger of a gradual slackening that always lurks in any time of peace. And that is how one finds the middle way for action.
初九:拔茅茹,以其汇,征吉。

Nine at the beginning means:

When ribbon grass is pulled up, the sod comes with it.
Each according to his kind.
Undertakings bring good fortune.



In times of prosperity every able man called to fill an office draws like-minded people along with him, just as in pulling up ribbon grass one always pulls up a bunch of it, because the stalks are connected by their roots. In such times, when it is possible to extend influence widely, the mind of an able man is set upon going out into life and accomplishing something.
the Sign of hexagram Peace zis:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder
   below Trigram Dui , Trigram Dui, the Joyous, the lake

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder
   below Trigram Dui , Trigram Dui, the Joyous, the lake

The Receptive, which moves downward, stands above; the Creative, which moves upward, is below. Hence their influences meet and are in harmony, so that all living things bloom and prosper. This hexagram belongs to the first month (February–March), at which time the forces of nature prepare the new spring.

The sequence:
Good conduct, then contentment; thus calm prevails. Hence there follows the hexagram of Peace. Peace means union, interrelation.

The Chinese word tai is not easy to translate. It means contentment, rest, peace, in the positive sense of unobstructed, complete union, bringing about a time of flowering and greatness. The movement of the lower trigram Qian tends upward, that of the upper trigram Kun tends downward, and thus they approach each other. This hexagram is correlated with the first month (February–March).

Miscellaneous notes:
The hexagrams of Standstill and Peace stand in natural opposition to each other.
the Judgement for hexagram Peace zis:

泰:小往大来,吉亨。

Peace. The small departs,
The great approaches.
Good fortune. Success.



This hexagram denotes a time in nature when heaven seems to be on earth. Heaven has placed itself beneath the earth, and so their powers unite in deep harmony. Then peace and blessing descend upon all living things.In the world of man it is a time of social harmony; those in high places show favor to the lowly, and the lowly and inferior in their turn are well disposed toward the highly placed. There is an end to all feuds.
Inside, at the center, in the key position, is the light principle; the dark principle is outside. Thus the light has a powerful influence, while the dark is submissive. In this way each receives its due. When the good elements of society occupy a central position and are in control, the evil elements come under their influence and change for the better. When the spirit of heaven rules in man, his animal nature also comes under its influence and takes its appropriate place.
The individual lines enter the hexagram from below and leave it again at the top. Here the small, weak, and evil elements are about to take their departure, while the great, strong, and good elements are moving up. This brings good fortune and success.

Commentary on the Decision:

泰,小往大来,吉亨。则是天地交,而万物通也;上下交,而其志同也。内阳而外阴,内健而外顺,内君子而外小人,君子道长,小人道消也。

Peace. “The small departs, the great approaches. Good fortune. Success.”
In this way heaven and earth unite, and all beings come into union.Upper and lower unite, and they are of one will.
The light principle is within, the shadowy without; strength is within and devotion without; the superior man is within, the inferior without.
The way of the superior man is waxing; the way of the inferior man is waning.



Taken as a whole and as one of the “calendar” hexagrams, this hexagram is interpreted with the idea that the strong lines entering from below are mounting, while the weak lines above are withdrawing from the hexagram. Therefore, “The small departs, the great approaches.”
The movement of the two trigrams toward each other gives rise to another interpretation. The lower, ascending trigram is Qian, heaven. The upper, sinking trigram is Kun, the earth. Thus the two primary powers unite, and all things enter upon union and development. This corresponds with the state of things at the beginning of the year.
In terms of the human world, with special reference to two lines - the six in the fifth place representing the prince, and the nine in the second place representing the officials - the result is unity between high and low, their wills being directed to a common goal. The positions of the two trigrams - within (below) and without (above) - lead to still another reflection. The yang power is within, the yin power without. This points to a difference in rank between the ruling yang power at the center and the dependent yin power at the periphery; this is further emphasized by the respective attributes of the trigrams, strength and devotion. These relative positions are likewise favorable for both elements.
In relation to the political field, another consideration arises from the difference in value between the superior persons symbolized by the light lines and the inferior persons symbolized by the dark lines. Good men are at the center of power and influence; inferior people are on the outside, subject to the influence of the good. This likewise works for the good of the whole.
The movement of the hexagram as a whole produces finally a victorious ascendancy of the principles of the good man and a withdrawal and defeat of the principles of inferior men.
None of this occurs arbitrarily; it is born of the time. It is the season of spring, both in the year and in history, that is represented by this hexagram.
the Image going with hexagram Peace zis:

天地交泰,后以财成天地之道,辅相天地之宜,以左右民。

Heaven and earth unite: the image of Peace.
Thus the ruler
Divides and completes the course of heaven and earth;
He furthers and regulates the gifts of heaven and earth,
And so aids the people.



Heaven and earth are in contact and combine their influences, producing a time of universal flowering and prosperity. This stream of energy must be regulated by the ruler of men. It is done by a process of division. Thus men divide the uniform flow of time into the seasons, according to the succession of natural phenomena, and mark off infinite space by the points of the compass. In this way nature in its overwhelming profusion of phenomena is bounded and controlled. On the other hand, nature must be furthered in her productiveness. This is done by adjusting the products to the right time and the right place, which increases the natural yield. This controlling and furthering activity of man in his relation to nature is the work on nature that rewards him.




the nuclear hexagram:
归妹
54. Gui Mei
the Marrying Maiden

C
the Sign:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder
   below Trigram Dui , Trigram Dui, the Joyous, the lake

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder
   below Trigram Dui , Trigram Dui, the Joyous, the lake

The Receptive, which moves downward, stands above; the Creative, which moves upward, is below. Hence their influences meet and are in harmony, so that all living things bloom and prosper. This hexagram belongs to the first month (February–March), at which time the forces of nature prepare the new spring.

The sequence:
Good conduct, then contentment; thus calm prevails. Hence there follows the hexagram of Peace. Peace means union, interrelation.

The Chinese word tai is not easy to translate. It means contentment, rest, peace, in the positive sense of unobstructed, complete union, bringing about a time of flowering and greatness. The movement of the lower trigram Qian tends upward, that of the upper trigram Kun tends downward, and thus they approach each other. This hexagram is correlated with the first month (February–March).

Miscellaneous notes:
The hexagrams of Standstill and Peace stand in natural opposition to each other.


the Judgement:

泰:小往大来,吉亨。

Peace. The small departs,
The great approaches.
Good fortune. Success.



This hexagram denotes a time in nature when heaven seems to be on earth. Heaven has placed itself beneath the earth, and so their powers unite in deep harmony. Then peace and blessing descend upon all living things.In the world of man it is a time of social harmony; those in high places show favor to the lowly, and the lowly and inferior in their turn are well disposed toward the highly placed. There is an end to all feuds.
Inside, at the center, in the key position, is the light principle; the dark principle is outside. Thus the light has a powerful influence, while the dark is submissive. In this way each receives its due. When the good elements of society occupy a central position and are in control, the evil elements come under their influence and change for the better. When the spirit of heaven rules in man, his animal nature also comes under its influence and takes its appropriate place.
The individual lines enter the hexagram from below and leave it again at the top. Here the small, weak, and evil elements are about to take their departure, while the great, strong, and good elements are moving up. This brings good fortune and success.

Commentary on the Decision:

泰,小往大来,吉亨。则是天地交,而万物通也;上下交,而其志同也。内阳而外阴,内健而外顺,内君子而外小人,君子道长,小人道消也。

Peace. “The small departs, the great approaches. Good fortune. Success.”
In this way heaven and earth unite, and all beings come into union.Upper and lower unite, and they are of one will.
The light principle is within, the shadowy without; strength is within and devotion without; the superior man is within, the inferior without.
The way of the superior man is waxing; the way of the inferior man is waning.
 


Taken as a whole and as one of the “calendar” hexagrams, this hexagram is interpreted with the idea that the strong lines entering from below are mounting, while the weak lines above are withdrawing from the hexagram. Therefore, “The small departs, the great approaches.”
The movement of the two trigrams toward each other gives rise to another interpretation. The lower, ascending trigram is Qian, heaven. The upper, sinking trigram is Kun, the earth. Thus the two primary powers unite, and all things enter upon union and development. This corresponds with the state of things at the beginning of the year.
In terms of the human world, with special reference to two lines - the six in the fifth place representing the prince, and the nine in the second place representing the officials - the result is unity between high and low, their wills being directed to a common goal. The positions of the two trigrams - within (below) and without (above) - lead to still another reflection. The yang power is within, the yin power without. This points to a difference in rank between the ruling yang power at the center and the dependent yin power at the periphery; this is further emphasized by the respective attributes of the trigrams, strength and devotion. These relative positions are likewise favorable for both elements.
In relation to the political field, another consideration arises from the difference in value between the superior persons symbolized by the light lines and the inferior persons symbolized by the dark lines. Good men are at the center of power and influence; inferior people are on the outside, subject to the influence of the good. This likewise works for the good of the whole.
The movement of the hexagram as a whole produces finally a victorious ascendancy of the principles of the good man and a withdrawal and defeat of the principles of inferior men.
None of this occurs arbitrarily; it is born of the time. It is the season of spring, both in the year and in history, that is represented by this hexagram.


the Image:

天地交泰,后以财成天地之道,辅相天地之宜,以左右民。

Heaven and earth unite: the image of Peace.
Thus the ruler
Divides and completes the course of heaven and earth;
He furthers and regulates the gifts of heaven and earth,
And so aids the people.



Heaven and earth are in contact and combine their influences, producing a time of universal flowering and prosperity. This stream of energy must be regulated by the ruler of men. It is done by a process of division. Thus men divide the uniform flow of time into the seasons, according to the succession of natural phenomena, and mark off infinite space by the points of the compass. In this way nature in its overwhelming profusion of phenomena is bounded and controlled. On the other hand, nature must be furthered in her productiveness. This is done by adjusting the products to the right time and the right place, which increases the natural yield. This controlling and furthering activity of man in his relation to nature is the work on nature that rewards him.


the Lines:


上六:城复于隍,勿用师。自邑告命,贞吝。

Six at the top means:

The wall falls back into the moat.
Use no army now.Make your commands known within your own town.
Perseverance brings humiliation.



The change alluded to in the middle of the hexagram has begun to take place. The wall of the town sinks back into the moat from which it was dug. The hour of doom is at hand. When matters have come to this pass, we should submit to fate and not try to stave it off by violent resistance. The one recourse left us is to hold our own within our intimate circle. Should we persevere in trying to resist the evil in the usual way, our collapse would only be more complete, and humiliation would be the result.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六五:帝乙归妹,以祉元吉。

Six in the fifth place means:

The sovereign I
Gives his daughter in marriage.
This brings blessingAnd supreme good fortune.



The sovereign I is Tang the Completer. By his decree the imperial princesses, although higher in rank than their husbands, had to obey them like all other wives. Here too we are shown a truly modest union of high and low that brings happiness and blessings


六四:翩翩,不富,以其邻,不戒以孚。

Six in the fourth place means:

He flutters down, not boasting of his wealth,
Together with his neighbor,
Guileless and sincere.



In times of mutual confidence, people of high rank come in close contact with the lowly quite simply and without boasting of their wealth. This is not due to the force of circumstances but corresponds with their inmost sentiment. The approach is made quite spontaneously, because it is based on inner conviction.


九三:无平不陂,无往不复,艰贞无咎。勿恤其孚,于食有福。

Nine in the third place means:

No plain not followed by a slope.
No going not followed by a return.
He who remains persevering in dangerIs without blame.
Do not complain about this truth;
Enjoy the good fortune you still possess.



Everything on earth is subject to change. Prosperity is followed by decline: this is the eternal law on earth. Evil can indeed be held in check but not permanently abolished. It always returns. This conviction might induce melancholy, but it should not; it ought only to keep us from falling into illusion when good fortune comes to us. If we continue mindful of the danger, we remain persevering and make no mistakes. As long as a man’s inner nature remains stronger and richer than anything offered by external fortune, as long as he remains inwardly superior to fate, fortune will not desert him.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九二:包荒,用冯河,不遐遗,朋亡,得尚于中行。

Nine in the second place means:

Bearing with the uncultured in gentleness,
Fording the river with resolution,
Not neglecting what is distant,
Not regarding one’s companions:
Thus one may manage to walk in the middle.



In times of prosperity it is important above all to possess enough greatness of soul to bear with imperfect people. For in the hands of a great master no material is unproductive; he can find use for everything. But this generosity is by no means laxity or weakness. It is during times of prosperity especially that we must always be ready to risk even dangerous undertakings, such as the crossing of a river, if they are necessary. So too we must not neglect what is distant but must attend scrupulously to everything. Factionalism and the dominance of cliques are especially to be avoided. Even if people of like mind come forward together, they ought not to form a faction by holding together for mutual advantage; instead, each man should do his duty. These are four ways in which one can overcome the hidden danger of a gradual slackening that always lurks in any time of peace. And that is how one finds the middle way for action.


初九:拔茅茹,以其汇,征吉。

Nine at the beginning means:

When ribbon grass is pulled up, the sod comes with it.
Each according to his kind.
Undertakings bring good fortune.



In times of prosperity every able man called to fill an office draws like-minded people along with him, just as in pulling up ribbon grass one always pulls up a bunch of it, because the stalks are connected by their roots. In such times, when it is possible to extend influence widely, the mind of an able man is set upon going out into life and accomplishing something.