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易經
the Hexagrams, Index

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

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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:








小畜

9. Xiao Xu

the Taming Power of the Small



<
上九:既雨既处,尚德载,妇贞厉。月几望,君子征凶。

Nine at the top means:

The rain comes, there is rest.
This is due to the lasting effect of character.
Perseverance brings the woman into danger.
The moon is nearly full.
If the superior man persists,
Misfortune comes.



Success is at hand. The wind has driven up the rain. A fixed standpoint has been reach. This has come about through the cumulation of small effects produced by reverence for a superior character. But a success thus secured bit by bit calls for great caution. It would be a dangerous illusion for anyone to think he could presume upon it. The female principle, the weak element that has won the victory, should never persist in vaunting it--that would lead to danger. The dark power in the moon is strongest when the moon is almost full. When it is full and directly opposite the sun, its waning is inevitable. Under such circumstances one must be content with what has been achieved. To advance any further, before the appropriate time has come, would lead to misfortune.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:有孚挛如,富以其邻。

Nine in the fifth place means:

If you are sincere and loyally attached,
You are rich in your neighbor.



Loyalty leads to firm ties because it means that each partner complements the other. In the weaker person loyalty consists in devotion, in the stronger it consists in trustworthiness. This relation of mutual reinforcement leads to a true wealth that is all the more apparent because it is not selfishly hoarded but is shared with friends. Pleasure shared is pleasure doubled.
the yellow square is indicating this line as the constituting ruler of the hexagram
六四:有孚,血去惕出,无咎。

Six in the fourth place means:

If you are sincere, blood vanishes and fear gives way.
No blame.



If one is in the difficult and responsible position of counselor to a powerful man, on should restrain him in such a way that the threat of actual bloodshed may arise. Nonetheless, the power of disinterested truth is greater than all theses obstacles. It carries such weight that the end is achieved, and all danger of bloodshed and all fear disappear.
九三:舆说辐,夫妻反目。

Nine in the third place means:

The spokes burst out of the wagon wheels.
Man and wife roll their eyes.



Here an attempt is made to press forward forcibly, in the consciousness that the obstructing power is slight. But since, under the circumstances, power actually lies with the weak, this sudden offensive is doomed to failure. External conditions hinder the advance, just as loss of the wheel spokes stops the progress of a wagon. We do not yet heed this hint form fate, hence there are annoying arguments like those of a married couple. Naturally this is not a favorable state of thing, for though the situation may enable the weaker side to hold its ground, the difficulties are too numerous to permit of a happy result. In consequence even the strong man cannot so use his power as to exert the right influence on those around him. He experiences a rebuff where he expected an easy victory, and he thus compromises his dignity.
九二:牵复,吉。

Nine in the second place means:

He allows himself to be drawn into returning.
Good fortune.



One would like to press forward, but before going farther one sees from the example of others like oneself that this way is blocked. In such a case, if the effort to push forward is not in harmony with the time, a reasonable and resolute man will not expose himself to a personal rebuff, but will retreat with others of like mind. This brings good fortune, because he does not needlessly jeopardize himself.
初九:复自道,何其咎,吉。

Nine at the beginning means:

Return to the way.
How could there be blame in this?
Good fortune.



It lies in the nature of a strong man to press forward. In so doing he encounters obstructions. Therefore he returns to the way suited to his situation, where he is free to advance or to retreat. In the nature of things this will bring good fortune, for it is wise and reasonable not to try to obtain anything by force.
the Sign of hexagram the Taming Power of the Small eis:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind
   below Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Li , the Clinging, the fire
   below Trigram Dui , Trigram Dui, the Joyous, the lake

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven
   below Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven

This hexagram means the force of the small - the power of the shadowy - that restrains, tames, impedes. A weak line in the fourth place, that of the minister, holds the five strong lines in check. In the Image it is the wind blowing across the sky. The wind restrains the clouds, the rising breath of the Creative, and makes them grow dense, but as yet is not strong enough to turn them to rain. The hexagram presents a configuration of circumstances in which a strong element is temporarily held in leash by a weak element. It is only through gentleness that this can have a successful outcome.

The sequence:
Through holding together, restraint is certain to come about. Hence there follows the Taming Power of the Small.

Miscellaneous notes:
The Taming Power of the Small is slight.

This refers to the fact that “the small” here occupies the place of the official. Compare the hexagram Da Yoe, Possession in Great Measure (14), in which the small and yielding element is in the ruler’s place.
the Judgement for hexagram the Taming Power of the Small eis:

小畜:亨。密云不雨,自我西郊。

The Taming Power of the Small
Has success.
Dense clouds, no rain from our western region.



This image refers to the state of affairs in China at the time when King Wen, who came originally from the west, was in the east at the court of the reigning tyrant Chou Hsin. The moment for action on a large scale had not yet arrived. King Wen could only keep the tyrant somewhat in check by friendly persuasion. Hence the image of many clouds, promising moisture and blessing to the land, although as yet no rain falls. The situation is not unfavorable; there is a prospect of ultimate success, but there are still obstacles in the way, and we can merely take preparatory measures. Only through the small means of friendly persuasion can we exert any influence. The time has not yet come for sweeping measures. However, we may be able, to a limited extent, to act as a restraining and subduing influence. To carry out our purpose we need firm determination within and gentleness and adaptability in external relations.

Commentary on the Decision:

小畜,柔得位,而上下应之,曰小畜。健而巽,刚中而志行,乃亨。密云不雨,尚往也。自我西郊,施未行也。

The Taming Power of the Small. The yielding obtains the decisive place, and those above and those below correspond with it: this is called the Taming Power of the Small.
Strong and gentle: the strong is central and its will is done, therefore “success.”
“Dense clouds, no rain”: the movement goes still further.“From our western region”: the influence has not yet set in.



The small, yielding line in the place of the minister holds the decisive place. The firm lines above and below all correspond with it. This structure explains the name of the hexagram. Success is due to the character of the two trigrams, inner strength coupled with outer gentleness. This is the way to achievement. Moreover, the ruler is central and his will is done. The upper trigram Xun, wind, has enough strength to condense the mists rising up from the lower trigram Qian, and so to form clouds, but its strength does not suffice to cause rain. “Western region” is suggested by the original position of Xun, in the west (in the arrangement of the trigrams called the Sequence of Earlier Heaven; in the Sequence of Later Heaven, Dui, the lake, has the position in the west). When Dui stands over Qian, we have the hexagram of Breakthrough (43); in the latter case the water vapor is already condensed and will descend easily. In the present hexagram Dui appears over Qian only as a nuclear trigram, not yet separated from it. In China, the rain clouds always come from the east, from the direction of the sea, not from the west.
the Image going with hexagram the Taming Power of the Small eis:

风行天上,小畜;君子以懿文德。

The wind drives across heaven:
The image of the Taming Power of the Small.
Thus the superior man refines the outward aspect of his nature.



The wind can indeed drive the clouds together in the sky; yet, being nothing but air, without solid body, it does not produce great or lasting effects. So also an individual, in times when he can produce no great effect in the outer world, can do nothing except refine the expression of his nature in small ways.




the nuclear hexagram:

38. Kui
Opposition

o
the Sign:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind
   below Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Li , the Clinging, the fire
   below Trigram Dui , Trigram Dui, the Joyous, the lake

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven
   below Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven

This hexagram means the force of the small - the power of the shadowy - that restrains, tames, impedes. A weak line in the fourth place, that of the minister, holds the five strong lines in check. In the Image it is the wind blowing across the sky. The wind restrains the clouds, the rising breath of the Creative, and makes them grow dense, but as yet is not strong enough to turn them to rain. The hexagram presents a configuration of circumstances in which a strong element is temporarily held in leash by a weak element. It is only through gentleness that this can have a successful outcome.

The sequence:
Through holding together, restraint is certain to come about. Hence there follows the Taming Power of the Small.

Miscellaneous notes:
The Taming Power of the Small is slight.

This refers to the fact that “the small” here occupies the place of the official. Compare the hexagram Da Yoe, Possession in Great Measure (14), in which the small and yielding element is in the ruler’s place.


the Judgement:

小畜:亨。密云不雨,自我西郊。

The Taming Power of the Small
Has success.
Dense clouds, no rain from our western region.



This image refers to the state of affairs in China at the time when King Wen, who came originally from the west, was in the east at the court of the reigning tyrant Chou Hsin. The moment for action on a large scale had not yet arrived. King Wen could only keep the tyrant somewhat in check by friendly persuasion. Hence the image of many clouds, promising moisture and blessing to the land, although as yet no rain falls. The situation is not unfavorable; there is a prospect of ultimate success, but there are still obstacles in the way, and we can merely take preparatory measures. Only through the small means of friendly persuasion can we exert any influence. The time has not yet come for sweeping measures. However, we may be able, to a limited extent, to act as a restraining and subduing influence. To carry out our purpose we need firm determination within and gentleness and adaptability in external relations.

Commentary on the Decision:

小畜,柔得位,而上下应之,曰小畜。健而巽,刚中而志行,乃亨。密云不雨,尚往也。自我西郊,施未行也。

The Taming Power of the Small. The yielding obtains the decisive place, and those above and those below correspond with it: this is called the Taming Power of the Small.
Strong and gentle: the strong is central and its will is done, therefore “success.”
“Dense clouds, no rain”: the movement goes still further.“From our western region”: the influence has not yet set in.
 


The small, yielding line in the place of the minister holds the decisive place. The firm lines above and below all correspond with it. This structure explains the name of the hexagram. Success is due to the character of the two trigrams, inner strength coupled with outer gentleness. This is the way to achievement. Moreover, the ruler is central and his will is done. The upper trigram Xun, wind, has enough strength to condense the mists rising up from the lower trigram Qian, and so to form clouds, but its strength does not suffice to cause rain. “Western region” is suggested by the original position of Xun, in the west (in the arrangement of the trigrams called the Sequence of Earlier Heaven; in the Sequence of Later Heaven, Dui, the lake, has the position in the west). When Dui stands over Qian, we have the hexagram of Breakthrough (43); in the latter case the water vapor is already condensed and will descend easily. In the present hexagram Dui appears over Qian only as a nuclear trigram, not yet separated from it. In China, the rain clouds always come from the east, from the direction of the sea, not from the west.


the Image:

风行天上,小畜;君子以懿文德。

The wind drives across heaven:
The image of the Taming Power of the Small.
Thus the superior man refines the outward aspect of his nature.



The wind can indeed drive the clouds together in the sky; yet, being nothing but air, without solid body, it does not produce great or lasting effects. So also an individual, in times when he can produce no great effect in the outer world, can do nothing except refine the expression of his nature in small ways.


the Lines:


上九:既雨既处,尚德载,妇贞厉。月几望,君子征凶。

Nine at the top means:

The rain comes, there is rest.
This is due to the lasting effect of character.
Perseverance brings the woman into danger.
The moon is nearly full.
If the superior man persists,
Misfortune comes.



Success is at hand. The wind has driven up the rain. A fixed standpoint has been reach. This has come about through the cumulation of small effects produced by reverence for a superior character. But a success thus secured bit by bit calls for great caution. It would be a dangerous illusion for anyone to think he could presume upon it. The female principle, the weak element that has won the victory, should never persist in vaunting it--that would lead to danger. The dark power in the moon is strongest when the moon is almost full. When it is full and directly opposite the sun, its waning is inevitable. Under such circumstances one must be content with what has been achieved. To advance any further, before the appropriate time has come, would lead to misfortune.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:有孚挛如,富以其邻。

Nine in the fifth place means:

If you are sincere and loyally attached,
You are rich in your neighbor.



Loyalty leads to firm ties because it means that each partner complements the other. In the weaker person loyalty consists in devotion, in the stronger it consists in trustworthiness. This relation of mutual reinforcement leads to a true wealth that is all the more apparent because it is not selfishly hoarded but is shared with friends. Pleasure shared is pleasure doubled.


the yellow square is indicating this line as the constituting ruler of the hexagram
六四:有孚,血去惕出,无咎。

Six in the fourth place means:

If you are sincere, blood vanishes and fear gives way.
No blame.



If one is in the difficult and responsible position of counselor to a powerful man, on should restrain him in such a way that the threat of actual bloodshed may arise. Nonetheless, the power of disinterested truth is greater than all theses obstacles. It carries such weight that the end is achieved, and all danger of bloodshed and all fear disappear.


九三:舆说辐,夫妻反目。

Nine in the third place means:

The spokes burst out of the wagon wheels.
Man and wife roll their eyes.



Here an attempt is made to press forward forcibly, in the consciousness that the obstructing power is slight. But since, under the circumstances, power actually lies with the weak, this sudden offensive is doomed to failure. External conditions hinder the advance, just as loss of the wheel spokes stops the progress of a wagon. We do not yet heed this hint form fate, hence there are annoying arguments like those of a married couple. Naturally this is not a favorable state of thing, for though the situation may enable the weaker side to hold its ground, the difficulties are too numerous to permit of a happy result. In consequence even the strong man cannot so use his power as to exert the right influence on those around him. He experiences a rebuff where he expected an easy victory, and he thus compromises his dignity.


九二:牵复,吉。

Nine in the second place means:

He allows himself to be drawn into returning.
Good fortune.



One would like to press forward, but before going farther one sees from the example of others like oneself that this way is blocked. In such a case, if the effort to push forward is not in harmony with the time, a reasonable and resolute man will not expose himself to a personal rebuff, but will retreat with others of like mind. This brings good fortune, because he does not needlessly jeopardize himself.


初九:复自道,何其咎,吉。

Nine at the beginning means:

Return to the way.
How could there be blame in this?
Good fortune.



It lies in the nature of a strong man to press forward. In so doing he encounters obstructions. Therefore he returns to the way suited to his situation, where he is free to advance or to retreat. In the nature of things this will bring good fortune, for it is wise and reasonable not to try to obtain anything by force.