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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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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:










2. Kun

the Receptive



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上六:龙战于野,其血玄黄。

Six at the top means:

Dragons fight in the meadow.
Their blood is black and yellow.



In the top place the dark element should yield to the light. If it attempts to maintain a position to which it is not entitled and to rule instead of serving, it draws down upon itself the anger of the strong. A struggle ensues in which it is overthrown, with injury, however, to both sides.
The dragon, symbol of heaven, comes to fight the false dragon that symbolized the inflation of the earth principle. Midnight blue is the color of heaven; yellow is the color of earth. Therefore, when black and yellow blood flow, it is a sign that in this unnatural contest both primal powers suffer injury.



用六:利永贞。

When all the lines are sixes, it means:

Lasting perseverance furthers.



When nothing but sixes appears, the hexagram of the Receptive changes into the hexagram of the Creative. By holding fast to what is right, it gains the power of enduring. There is indeed no advance, but neither is there retrogression.
六五:黄裳,元吉。

Six in the fifth place means:

A yellow lower garment brings supreme good fortune.



Yellow is the color of the earth and of the middle; it is the symbol of that which is reliable and genuine. The lower garment is inconspicuously decorated - the symbol of aristocratic reserve. When anyone is called upon to work in a prominent but not independent position, true success depends on the utmost discretion. A man's genuineness and refinement should not reveal themselves directly; they should express themselves only indirectly as an effect from within.
六四:括囊;无咎,无誉。

Six in the fourth place means:

A tied-up sack. No blame, no praise.



The dark element opens when it moves and closes when at rest. The strictest reticence is indicated here. The time is dangerous , because any degree of prominence leads either to the enmity of irresistible antagonists if one challenges them or to misconceived recognition if one is complaisant. Therefore a man ought to maintain reserve, be it in solitude or in the turmoil of the world, for there too he can hide himself so well that no one knows him.
六三:含章可贞。或从王事,无成有终。

Six in the third place means:

Hidden lines.
One is able to remain persevering.
If by chance you are in the service of a king,
Seek not works, but bring to completion.



If a man is free of vanity he is able to conceal his abilities and keep them from attracting attention too soon; thus he can mature undisturbed. If conditions demand it, he can also enter public life, but that too he does with restraint. The wise man gladly leaves fame to others. He does not seek to have credited to himself things that stand accomplished, but hopes to release active forces; that is, he completes his works in such a manner that they may bear fruit for the future.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六二:直,方,大,不习无不利。

Six in the second place means:

Straight, square, great.
Without purpose,
Yet nothing remains unfurthered.



The symbol of heaven is the circle, and that of earth is the square. Thus squareness is a primary quality of the earth. On the other hand, movement in a straight line, as well as magnitude, is a primary quality of the Creative. But all square things have their origin in a straight line and into turn form solid bodies. In mathematics, when we discriminate between lines, planes and solids, we find that rectangular planes result from straight lines, and cubic magnitudes from rectangular planes. The Receptive accommodates itself to the qualities of the Creative and makes them its own. Thus a square develops out of a straight line and a cube out of a square. This is compliance with the laws of the Creative; nothing is taken away, nothing added. Therefore the Receptive has no need of a special purpose of its own, nor of any effort' yet everything turns out as it should. Nature creates all beings without erring: this is its foursquareness. It tolerates all creatures equally: this is its greatness. Therefore it attains what is right for all without artifice or special intentions. Man achieves the height of wisdom when all that he does is as self-evident as what nature does.
初六:履霜,坚冰至。

Six at the beginning means:

When there is hoarfrost underfoot,
Solid ice is not far off.



Just as the light-giving power represents life, so the dark power, the shadowy, represents death. When the first hoarfrost comes in the autumn, the power of darkness and cold is just at its beginning. After these first warnings, signs of death will gradually multiply, until, in obedience to immutable laws, stark winter with its ice is here.
In life it is the same. After certain scarcely noticeable signs of decay have appeared, they go on increasing until final dissolution comes. But in life precautions can be taken by heeding the first signs of decay and checking them in time.
the Sign of hexagram the Receptive @is:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

This hexagram is made up of broken lines only. The broken lines represents the dark, yielding, receptive primal power of yin. The attribute of the hexagram is devotion; its image is the earth. It is the perfect complement of the Creative - the complement, not the opposite, for the Receptive does not combat the Creative but completes it. It represents nature in contrast to spirit, earth in contrast to heaven, space as against time, the female-maternal as against the male-paternal. However, as applied to human affairs, the principle of this complementary relationship is found not only in the relation between man and woman, but also in that between prince and minister and between father and son. Indeed, even in the individual this duality appears in the coexistence of the spiritual world and the world of the senses.
But strictly speaking there is no real dualism here, because there is a clearly defined hierarchic relationship between the two principles. In itself of course the Receptive is just as important as the Creative, but the attribute of devotion defines the place occupied by this primal power in relation to the Creative. For the Receptive must be activated and led by the Creative; then it is productive of good. Only when it abandons this position and tries to stand as an equal side by side with the Creative, does it become evil. The result then is opposition to and struggle against the Creative, which is productive of evil to both.

Miscellaneous notes:
The Receptive is yielding.
the Judgement for hexagram the Receptive @is:

坤:元亨,利牝马之贞。君子有攸往,先迷后得主,利西南得朋,东北丧朋。安贞,吉。

The Receptive brings about sublime success,
Furthering through the perseverance of a mare.
If the superior man undertakes something and tries to lead,
He goes astray;
But if he follows, he finds guidance.
It is favorable to find friends in the west and south,
To forego friends in the east and north.
Quiet perseverance brings good fortune.



The four fundamental aspects of the Creative - "sublime success, furthering through perseverance" - are also attributed to the Receptive. Here, however, the perseverance is more closely defined: it is that of a mare. The Receptive connotes spatial reality in contrast to the spiritual potentiality of the Creative. The potential becomes real and the spiritual becomes spatial through a specifically qualifying definition. Thus the qualification, "of a mare," is here added to the idea of perseverance.
The horse belongs to earth just as the dragon belongs to heaven. Its tireless roaming over the plains is taken as a symbol of the vast expanse of the earth. This is the symbol chosen because the mare combines the strength and swiftness of the horse with the gentleness and devotion of the cow.
Only because nature in its myriad forms corresponds with the myriad impulses of the Creative can it make these impulses real. Nature's richness lies in its power to nourish all living things; its greatness lies in its power to give then beauty and splendor. Thus it prospers all that lives. It is the Creative that begets things, but they are brought to birth by the Receptive. Applied to human affairs, therefore, what the hexagram indicated is action in conformity with the situation. The person in questions not in an independent position, but is acting as an assistant. This means that he must achieve something. It is not his task to try to lead--that would only make him lose the way-but to let himself be led. If he knows how to meet fate with an attitude of acceptance, he is sure to find the right guidance. The superior man lets himself be guided; he does not go ahead blindly, but learns from the situation what is demanded of him and then follows this intimation from fate. Since there is something to be accomplished, we need friends and helpers in the hour of toil and effort, once the ideas to be realized are firmly set. The time of toil and effort is indicated by the west and south, for west and south symbolize the place where the Receptive works for the Creative, as nature does in summer and autumn. If in that situation one does not mobilize all one's powers, the work to be accomplished will not be done. Hence to find friends there means to find guidance. But in addition to the time of toil and effort, there is also a time of planning, and for this we need this solitude. The east symbolized the place where a man receives orders from his master, and the north the place where he reports on what he has done. At that time he must be alone and objective. In this sacred hour he must do without companions. So that the purity of the moment may not be spoiled by fictional hates and favoritism.

Commentary on the Decision:

至哉坤元,万物资生,乃顺承天。坤厚载物,德合无疆。含弘光大,品物咸亨。牝马地类,行地无疆,柔顺利贞。君子攸行,先迷失道,后顺得常。西南得朋,乃与类行;东北丧朋,乃终有庆。安贞之吉,应地无疆。

Perfect indeed is the sublimity of the Receptive. All beings owe their birth to it, because it receives the heavenly with devotion.
The Receptive in its riches carries all things. Its nature is in harmony with the boundless. It embraces everything in its breadth and illumines everything in its greatness. Through it, all individual beings attain success.
A mare belongs to the creatures of the earth; she roams the earth without bound. Yielding, devoted, furthering through perseverance: thus the superior man has a direction for his way of life.
Taking the lead brings confusion because one loses his way. Following with devotion—thus does one attain his permanent place.
In the west and south one finds friends, so that he proceeds with people of his own kind. In the east and north one must do without friends, so that he finally attains good fortune.
The good fortune of rest and perseverance depends on our being in accord with the boundless nature of the earth.



This is the explanation of the word “sublime” in the Judgment. The greatness of the Receptive is characterized as perfect. That which attains the ideal is perfect. This means that the Receptive is dependent on the Creative. While the Creative is the generating principle, to which all beings owe their beginning, because the soul comes from it, the Receptive is that which brings to birth, that which takes the seed of the heavenly into itself and gives to beings their bodily form.

This is the explanation of the word “success” in the Judgment. Here also there is the contrasting complement to the Creative. While the Creative shields things - that is, covers them from above - the Receptive carries them, like a foundation that endures forever. Infinite accord with the Creative is its essence. This produces its success. The movement of the Creative is a direct forward movement, and its resting state is standstill; the movement of the Receptive is an opening out, and in its resting state it is closed. In the resting, closed state, it embraces all things as though in a vast womb. In the state of movement, of opening, it allows the divine light to enter, and by means of this light illuminates everything. This is the source of its success, which shows itself in the success of living beings. While the success of the Creative lies in the fact that individual beings receive their specific forms, the success of the Receptive causes them to thrive and unfold.

While the Creative is symbolized by the dragon flying in the heavens, the Receptive is symbolized by the mare (combining strength and devotion) coursing over the earth. Being yielding and devoted must not exclude strength, for strength is necessary to the Receptive if it is to be the helper of the Creative. This strength is expressed in the words, “furthering through perseverance,” appearing in the commentary as the model for the way of life of the superior man. (The punctuation of the commentary deviates from that of the Judgment. Because of the rhyme, the commentary requires the literal translation, “Furthering through perseverance. Thus the superior man has somewhere to go.” In the Judgment, on the other hand, most interpreters make the last words a dependent clause linked with what follows, and the sentence reads: “If the superior man undertakes something … he goes astray.”

If the Receptive were to push ahead on its own initiative, it would deviate from its natural character and miss the way. By submitting to and following the Creative, it attains its appropriate permanent place.

The west and south, according to King Wen’s arrangement, are the region in which the feminine trigrams are placed. Here Kun is in the midst of the daughters. But the masculine trigrams (Qian and the sons) are in the east and north, so that the Receptive in this region is alone. But the very fact that it is alone with the Creative is to its advantage. Thus the earth must be alone with heaven, the official must serve only the ruler, the wife must cleave only to the husband.

The earth is still. It does not act of itself but is constantly receptive to the influences of heaven. Thus its life becomes inexhaustible and eternal. Man likewise attains eternity if he does not strive vaingloriously to achieve everything of his own strength but quietly keeps himself receptive to the impulses flowing to him from the creative forces.
the Image going with hexagram the Receptive @is:

地势坤,君子以厚德载物。

The earth's condition is receptive devotion.
Thus the superior man who has breadth of character
Carries the outer world.



Just as there is only one heaven, so too there is only one earth. In the hexagram of heaven the doubling of the trigram implies duration in time, but in the hexagram of earth the doubling connotes the solidity and extension in space by virtue of which the earth is able to carry and preserve all things that live and move upon it. The earth in its devotion carries all things, good and evil,, without exception. In the same way the superior man gives to his character breadth, purity, and sustaining power, so that he is able both to support and to bear with people and things.




the nuclear hexagram:

2. Kun
the Receptive

@
The primary trigrams
A hexagram contains a lot of information. The most visible information is found when we divide a hexagram into two pieces of three lines each; we then see the two so-called 'trigrams' that make up the hexagram. There is an upper trigram and a lower trigram: the upper primary trigram tells something about your environment in relation to your situation; this is often about everything outside of you.



The lower primary trigram presents you, the questioner, and tells you something about yourself and about your own attitude. If the question is about something or someone else, then the lower trigram is that other and the upper trigram everything outside that other entity, for example an intended business partner or a goal that wants to be reached. The two primary trigrams are also related to each other as cause and effect - the lower trigram is then the cause, the upper is the result.


The value of the eight trigrams can hardly be underestimated. They are the foundation of the Yijing, and in the current layout of the book the sequence of the hexagrams seems to be mysteriously determined by the trigrams from which the hexagrams are constructed. Together with the teachings of the Five Phases, the eight trigrams are the most important core of Chinese thought. They are applied to Feng Shui (the ancient doctrine for the placement of house and grave), in various forms of Chinese astrology, traditional Chinese medicine, and there is even a form of defensive art, Baguazhang, which is entirely geared to the eight trigrams. Anyone who delves into Chinese philosophy will always encounter the eight trigrams and their associations. They are linked to the eight directions, to body parts, numbers, country characteristics, smell, color and taste, in short, they are an important source for the systematization of many things.

Fu Xi 'Earlier Heaven' bagua arrangement
You can read much more about the trigrams and their meaning in the eighth Wing of the Ten Wings, a part of the Yijing. You can find this text here.


The nuclear trigrams
The nuclear trigrams are the kernel or root of the hexagram; these are hidden as such in the interior of the hexagram:


The lower nuclear trigram is formed by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th line, the upper nuclear trigram is formed by the 3rd, 4th and 5th line (always counted from bottom up). They overlap.

The meaning of the nuclear trigrams:
The properties and symbolism of the trigrams are no different here than those discussed with the primary trigrams. However, they now indicate what took place before the current situation. Nuclear trigrams indicate which seed has led to the present state. They also indicate what plays out on unconscious levels: wishes, desires, fears that are not expressed. The upper nuclear trigram indicates what lives unconsciously and wants to come out, the lower nuclear trigram indicates what lives deeply unconsciously and does not want to come out. Especially the latter is important, it forms in many cases the engine behind our actions.
Enveloping trigrams
In many descriptions there are trigrams of which the qualities are 'not completed', or 'limited' or 'obstructed': another factor influences the trigram so that this can not show its properties properly. We can see what the trigram influences by looking at the lines that surround the nuclear trigram. These lines create a different trigram that encloses the nuclear trigram and so prevents the nuclear trigram from expressing itself.

This 'enveloping trigram' is called in Chinese the baoti, the enveloping structure, and its application probably comes from Lin Li (1120-1190). Lin himself says about the baoti: 'To envelop this' means that it is able to give life, to be born; "Enveloping" and "giving life" is actually one meaning. "(The character bao 'envelop' originally represented a fetus in the womb, hence the connection between 'enveloping' and 'giving life'.) The two baoti-trigrams protect the nuclear trigrams and at the same time ensure that they can not express themselves, can not show themselves in adulthood, because they are not yet fully grown.

There are two baoti-trigrams in every hexagram: a lower envelope trigram and an upper envelope trigram. They can be found in a hexagram as follows:

This hexagram has the lower nuclear trigram Wind . The lines around this core trigram form the trigram Water . Water thus envelops the trigram Wind. In other words: Water ensures that the qualities of Wind remain hidden or can not manifest themselves. Communicating, achieving long-term results, not giving up but continuing consistently, daring to be curious and so on are hampered by insecurity, fears, not getting a grip on the situation, the feeling of having to flow along in an unclear course that does not have a well-defined goal.


The upper nuclear trigram is enveloped in the same way by another trigram. In the same hexagram as above, the upper nuclear trigram is Heaven . This is enveloped, hidden or obstructed by the trigram Earth . This creates the image of innovation, creativity and creative power, leadership and a focused focus that are impeded by passivity, a wait-and-see attitude, and in the worst case by endurance. A strong-willed leader who can not carry out his plans because the people oppose him.

In the above example we see a total of six different trigrams: We have the primary trigrams Mountain and Lake , the nuclear trigram Wind and Heaven , and the baoti, the enveloping trigrams Water and Earth . However, it can also happen that a trigram occurs more frequently in the hexagram, and that has interesting consequences.


In this hexagram we see the lower nuclear trigram Thunder . Around it is as baoti the trigram Wind . Thunder is then locked up in Wind: innovation, a new start and fast progress (Thunder) are obstructed, stopped or protected by an attitude of 'slowly but surely', small steps and focus on details; a lot of communication but little concrete result (Wind). In this way, Wind ensures that spontaneity and self-renewal do not stand a chance. But this enveloping trigram Wind can also be seen as the upper primary trigram - the trigram that often symbolizes the counterparty or the environment. The upper primary trigram is here also the obstructing trigram, in other words: it is the counterparty, the environment that in this case holds back the renewal and a concrete breakthrough.


That with the baoti profound insights can be obtained we see with hexagram 37. This hexagram has the lower nuclear trigram Fire . It also has Fire as the upper nuclear trigram. This nuclear trigram is itself packed by the trigram Fire. If we see the lower trigram as the questioner, which is therefore Fire, then the thought arises of someone who has a clear vision, has a good idea of the developments, but can not express this. He is obstructed in this, but the limiting factor is he himself: he attaches so much to his own view that he can no longer objectively assess its value. He wants his vision to remain pure and unaffected by penetrating external influences (the upper basic trigram Wind ). That is why he chooses to protect his vision by keeping it for himself.
The Heaven as the upper primary trigram:
• What it asks: take the lead in your situation. Give guidance to others, deliberately dedicate yourself to your chosen goal. Focus on external factors that need guidance. Make your intention and ideas clear. Act forcefully and strong.
• What it shows: male dominance outside of you, a strong-willed person or environment, a ratio-driven external factor that wants to steer. A father figure.
• How to express it: Heaven as the upper trigram can mean that you want to carry out plans; you have ideas and want to set up something that gives recognition in your environment, and perhaps in society. You want to convey spiritual values ​​in the world. You want to mean something. In the worst case it can mean that you are stupid and stubborn.

The Heaven as the lower primary trigram:
• What it asks: find your inner motive. Focus on your intent, your motivation and your goal. Focus on your inner strength that sets everything in motion, the invisible energy that causes things to run according to your plan. Use your head, your intellect. Be strong inside.
• What it shows: inner strength, rationality and focus on aspects within yourself. Take charge of yourself, the spirituality behind your actions.
• How to express it: an inner force that makes you confident and decisive. You have energy in you, but do not immediately feel the need to do something with it. It is your driving force, your motivation. You are your own leader and independent of others. In the worst case it can mean that you are selfish, and an introvert to the extreme.

The Heaven as the upper nuclear trigram:
there is an urge to act as a leader or to show your own creativity. You have ideas that you want to achieve, but they remain in the concept phase.

The Heaven as the lower trigram trigram:
there is a strong father bond, or bonding with the fatherly. The inspiration that you feel inside can not be used. You have a direction but no goal.

The Heaven as the enveloping trigram:
There is a strong, masculine influence that imposes his will. The ratio has the upper hand. There is more thought in abstract theories where daily practice is not seen as leading. Ideas without concretization are an impeding factor.

The Earth as the upper primary trigram:
• What it asks: open up, be receptive to the needs in your surroundings and take care of them. Maintain a mental servility without having any expectations nor judgments about the work at hand. Make sure the work is done.
• What it shows: growth through the right nutrition. Wei wu wei - do without doing: an environment or a situation that by itself and by its own open attitude will develop to its destination.
• How to express it: Earth as the upper trigram can mean you open yourself to external influences. You want to experience the outside world, experience it without directing it yourself. You want to be helpful, supporting others. In the extreme case, it can mean that you are passive, and allow yourself to be guided too much by your environment and even used by others.

The Earth as the lower primary trigram:
• What it asks: be open to your inner growth. Give your own ideas and intentions the space to become concrete. Take care of yourself, be open to your own needs and focus on the possibilities you have to implement ideas and intentions. Answer inner questions without question or judgment.
• What it shows: the nurturing space within yourself, the inner mother, your strength to care for and to shape, to serve though not forbearing.
• How to express it: as the lower trigram, Earth can mean you open up to everything that lives within yourself, without boundaries or conditions. You accept your own character, emotions and actions without judgment. You have a calm attitude and you do not need to do anything, you prefer to come to yourself. In the extreme case it can mean that you are a slave of your own emotions, and you allow yourself to be guided too much by your passive side.

The Earth as the upper nuclear trigram:
you want to be open to your environment, but you do not know how to express it. Caring qualities are not used, the realization of earlier plans is not realized. The space that is available for growth is not used.

The Earth as the lower nuclear trigram:
there is a strong mother bond, or bonding with the maternal. You feel a void inside, a cavity that wants to fill up. You experience passivity and aimlessness and see no possibilities to solve this.

The Earth as the envelope trigram:
There is a passive attitude and the tendency to let things take their course. There is a lack of guidance; one is shielded by the female or motherly, the Yin. There is a dominant focus on the material, tangible and demonstrable result. You can easily be influenced.

The Lake as the upper primary trigram:
• What it demands: positive commitment and also find the same positivity outside yourself. Be stubborn, but without hurting. Be an example that others can mirror.
• What it shows: the opening in the wall, the poetry of the universal rhythm, carefree naivety in dealing with your surroundings. Open-mindedness that can not be precipitated.
• How to express it: as an upper trigram, the Lake can mean that you have a positive view of the world and your situation. You do not really worry, and you want to share your carefree with others. You are frank, you do not turn your heart into a murder pit. You are a mirror for your environment. In the worst case it can mean that you are childish naive, you do not care about your surroundings, and you do not dare to face real problems.

The Lake as the lower primary trigram:
• What it asks: inner satisfaction. Be your own source of inspiration and carefree. Dare to look outside your built-in structures. Focus on unexpected possibilities that you would not normally use quickly.
• What it shows: your inner source, the inexhaustible positive power of your deepest being. The mirror of your soul, your unique personality as a carrier of your qualities.
• How to express it: as a lower trigram, the Lake can mean that you have a rich inner life. You are aware of your feelings and what they mean to you. You have a lot of confidence and do not worry about the future. Your feelings are your inspiration, but you can not buy them here. In the worst case, you drown in your own emotional world and depression and denial of your weaker side can be the result.

The Lake as upper nuclear trigram:
there is a positive-naive side that wants to go out. The child wants to be seen in yourself. You have the need not to conform to the expectations of others.

The Lake as the lower nuclear trigram:
the positive side of your character is tucked away. You become uncertain of your own optimism and you may wonder if it is justified. Your source is not fed - your inner Lake is being blocked.

The Lake as enveloping trigram:
A naive view of the cases where responsibilities are ignored or denied keeps progress in its grip. An adult attitude is lacking; the ball is always reflected back. Unconventional means or decisions that fall outside the set framework are an impeding factor.



The Fire as the upper primary trigram:
• What it asks: show your own truth. Be involved, dare to attach to that what transformations can bring about. Trust your own insights.
• What it shows: your dependence on your environment, something outside yourself that can feed you so that you can give back heat.
• How to express it: as an upper trigram, Fire can mean that you value the opinion of others. You find it important to fight injustice and to tell your own vision about it to others. You feel at home in groups, and like to work together. In the extreme case it can mean that you are pushy, and possessive.

The Fire as the lower primary trigram:
• What it asks: face your own truth: connect with that which defines you as a unique person and let this be your motivation. Be aware of your inner fire, your passion.
• What it shows: the power source that burns your fire. Your defense mechanism to protect your soft sides. Your heart.
• How to express it: Fire as the bottom trigram can mean that you are looking for the truth in yourself, instead of in your environment. Your own norms and values ​​are more important to you than those of society. You adhere to principles, and you have a rational impact. In the extreme case it may mean that you see your own principles as the only and correct truth, and are not open to the truth of others, or that you are too attached to your own conscience.

The Fire as the upper nuclear trigram:
your own insights do not come outwards. You have vision, but see no opportunities to share it. The truth is inside, but does not want to stay there. You are afraid to attach yourself, to connect to that outside of yourself what you can feed.

The Fire as the bottom nuclear trigram:
you cherish your own truth and insights as a precious treasure. Its value for the world has not yet penetrated you. Your inner Fire can not grow.

The Fire as the enveloping trigram:
One is dependent on, is too attached to one's own vision and personal imagery. People are proud of relationships with others without these connections being nourishing in the current situation. The external form goes beyond the substantive function.

The Wind as the upper primary trigram:
• What it asks: concentrate on small steps and on details. Work in the long term. Provide a roadmap that you can accurately follow to the letter. Communicate; practice your influence in an unobtrusive way and ensure balance in your environment. Show willpower. Put the dots on the i.
• What it shows: seemingly insignificant influences from outside that ultimately have a lasting and irreversible effect. Ceaseless meekness without ulterior motives. Erosion that can make the highest mountains wear.
• How to express it: the Wind as the upper trigram can mean that you are curious, and would like to stay informed about what is happening in your area. You need exchange and are looking for balance. You have more need for details than the main lines. In the extreme case it can mean that you are fussy and only look at knowledge itself than at its value.

The Wind as the lower primary trigram:
• What it asks: subject yourself to an accurate self-examination. Be curious about your own motivations; create an inner dialogue. Be patient and steadfast. Do not give up. Ask yourself how you can give your own character permanence without doing the violence.
• What it shows: the power to keep going and not be discouraged by setbacks. Meekness towards your own abilities and limitations. The continuous search for balance in yourself.
• How to express it: as the bottom trigram, Wind can mean that you subject yourself to a thorough self-examination. You are looking for the causes that have made you what you are now. The 'why' is now important to you. You continue until you have the answers that you desire. In the extreme case it can mean that you look more closely at the separate parts of your being and your situation than at the whole. It can also indicate indecision.

The Wind as the upper nuclear trigram:
you feel the need to communicate, but you do not yet know how to express yourself well. You want to take small steps and produce a consistent result in the long term, but other factors hamper this.

The Wind as the lower nuclear trigram:
you miss an inner dialogue, and are unable to balance pros and cons in a balanced way. Indecision is the result.

The Wind as envelope trigram:
There is radiation and buttons are not cut. The focus is on communication and exchange back and forth without achieving anything. One is busy with details and loses the big lines in the eye. What is far away is more important than what is close.

The Mountain as the upper primary trigram:
• What it asks: set limits. Be unwavering, do not be fooled. Hold on to what you have and protect it, make sure it is not affected. Be reliable and clear. Around it.
• What it shows: an unyielding power that you can not ignore. Reliability that can not be influenced by grilling or the delusion of the day. A certainty you can build on. A closed and conservative moloch.
• How to express it: the Mountain as the upper trigram can mean that your environment is your grip. You are practical, more a doer than a thinker, and focused on results. You have one goal in mind and focus entirely on that, something more important is not there. You are steadfast and resolute. Also to your surroundings you make clear what you want to achieve. In the extreme case it can mean that you are stubborn, and more focused on the goal than on its consequences.

The Mountain as the lower primary trigram:
• What it asks: go inside, shut yourself off from outside influences. Put a point behind ongoing and lingering processes within yourself, around this in a way that gives you rest.
• What it shows: inner peace. The certainty of a stable mind. The boundaries within which your mind can function with confidence.
• How to express it: as a bottom trigram, Berg can mean that you need peace, meditation and contemplation. You are focused on your own processes and not on those of your environment. You seek guidance in your own values ​​and try to discover your own certainties. You want to do this yourself without the help of others. You do not need to interfere with your environment in yourself. In the extreme case it can mean that you completely isolate yourself, and no longer have an eye for the interaction between you and your environment.

The Mountain as upper nuclear trigram:
you seek a quiet point in yourself that helps you to deal with your daily activities. You have a strong meditative tendency, but are prevented from doing so. Your steadfastness and reliable attitude are not seen.

The Mountain ls lower nuclear trigram:
you feel like you have a big secret in you that needs to be protected. This is your foothold, but you feel the threat of other factors that affect your inner security.

The Mountain as the enveloping trigram:
Stubbornness, an aversion to change or renewal hinders. There is a distant attitude, unwillingness to cooperate; one retreats into his own world. Obstacles are created that aim to maintain the status quo.

The Water as the upper primary trigram:
• What it asks: do not resist the limits and restrictions that are imposed on you. Follow your own path within boundaries without worrying about a final destination. Accept that the erratic and uncertain circumstances can not be logically reasoned. The path you follow now appeals to your ability to release securities.
• What it shows: unreliable elements outside yourself where you want to have no control over. A situation that changes unpredictably. Patterns that only become visible when developments have followed their course.
• How to express it: as the upper trigram it can indicate that there is something in your environment, at least outside of you, that makes you insecure. You are influenced by events that affect you emotionally, your involvement is great. You are confronted with situations in which you are expected to make choices, while the choices may not always be clear to you. In the extreme case it can mean that external influences affect your decision-making skills, and you experience the environment as threatening.

The Water as the lower primary trigram:
• What it asks: do you face fears, doubts and uncertainties. Make sure your emotions can flow freely. Find the inner journey that has neither goal nor end, but is an essential part of your being.
• What it shows: the unconscious and unnameable part of your soul. The formless that adapts to the limits of it formed character.
• How to express it: can indicate the Water as the bottom trigram that you have doubts about the way you want to go and about the goal you want to achieve. You are influenced by feelings of which you do not know the origin and are uncertain about your own motivations. In the worst case it can mean that you are depressed, and see no possibilities to achieve what you want.

The Water as the upper nuclear trigram:
you have fears or doubts that occasionally come to the surface. However, your environment does not always see it. You have a free spirit that wants to be unbound and wants to take risks, but you are being stopped in this.

The Water as the bottom nuclear trigram:
your subconscious is mainly occupied at night; during the day there is no chance to come to the surface. Dreams are often the outlet valve. Emotions are stirring, but their relevance and meaning are completely unclear to you.

The Water as the enveloping trigram:
The fear and emotion are governing. An uncontrolled, insecure attitude without a concrete chosen goal determines the progress. Inferior elements with secret or even bad intentions are an inhibiting factor. There is a lack of certainty, there is no clear vision or policy.

The Thunder as the upper primary trigram:
• What it asks: take immediate action. Make your raw plans known. Let yourself be heard. The fist on the table. Make a new start, do not look back. Be inspired by your environment. Be resolute, do not be guided by possible consequences. Act according to your intuition.
• What it shows: unexpected and shocking changes. An environment that rebels, that overthrows the established order.
• How to express it: as an upper trigram, Thunder can mean that large and rapid changes take place in your environment. You see revolutions and revolutions taking place, or would like to bring about this yourself. What is happening now you would like to radically change. There are no calmer steps now. In the extreme case it can mean that you are like a bull in a china shop, and the long term consequences of your actions no longer sees.

The Thunder as the lower primary trigram:
• What it asks: put old insights aside. Renew yourself, let go of the past. Look ahead, make a new beginning and make this decision without the expectation that action must be taken immediately. Cut that Gordian knot.
• What it shows: the awakening insight. The sunlight of the dawn. Satori.
• How to express it: Thunder as the bottom trigram can mean that there are big revolutions in you. You are a whirlwind of energy that recounts everything you assure for sure. You stand for a new period in your life, and want to break with old habits. In the extreme case it can mean that you are blowing yourself up and are busy with self-destruction. You want to change too quickly.

The Thunder as the upper nuclear trigram:
you feel a strong urge to action, to performance and renewal, a new start, but is hampered in this. Your strong intuition finds no reception in your surroundings.

The Thunder as the bottom nuclear trigram:
you are driven by a primary force: spontaneity is your motive, but it is hindered. You want to renew yourself but do not know how.

The Thunder as the enveloping trigram:
One wants a (too) fast progress; the desire or demand for radical renewal without taking into account the consequences determines the situation. There are aggressive and rigorous forces at work that would rather see a revolution than that the current condition is maintained.

the Sign:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

This hexagram is made up of broken lines only. The broken lines represents the dark, yielding, receptive primal power of yin. The attribute of the hexagram is devotion; its image is the earth. It is the perfect complement of the Creative - the complement, not the opposite, for the Receptive does not combat the Creative but completes it. It represents nature in contrast to spirit, earth in contrast to heaven, space as against time, the female-maternal as against the male-paternal. However, as applied to human affairs, the principle of this complementary relationship is found not only in the relation between man and woman, but also in that between prince and minister and between father and son. Indeed, even in the individual this duality appears in the coexistence of the spiritual world and the world of the senses.
But strictly speaking there is no real dualism here, because there is a clearly defined hierarchic relationship between the two principles. In itself of course the Receptive is just as important as the Creative, but the attribute of devotion defines the place occupied by this primal power in relation to the Creative. For the Receptive must be activated and led by the Creative; then it is productive of good. Only when it abandons this position and tries to stand as an equal side by side with the Creative, does it become evil. The result then is opposition to and struggle against the Creative, which is productive of evil to both.

Miscellaneous notes:
The Receptive is yielding.


the Judgement:

坤:元亨,利牝马之贞。君子有攸往,先迷后得主,利西南得朋,东北丧朋。安贞,吉。

The Receptive brings about sublime success,
Furthering through the perseverance of a mare.
If the superior man undertakes something and tries to lead,
He goes astray;
But if he follows, he finds guidance.
It is favorable to find friends in the west and south,
To forego friends in the east and north.
Quiet perseverance brings good fortune.



The four fundamental aspects of the Creative - "sublime success, furthering through perseverance" - are also attributed to the Receptive. Here, however, the perseverance is more closely defined: it is that of a mare. The Receptive connotes spatial reality in contrast to the spiritual potentiality of the Creative. The potential becomes real and the spiritual becomes spatial through a specifically qualifying definition. Thus the qualification, "of a mare," is here added to the idea of perseverance.
The horse belongs to earth just as the dragon belongs to heaven. Its tireless roaming over the plains is taken as a symbol of the vast expanse of the earth. This is the symbol chosen because the mare combines the strength and swiftness of the horse with the gentleness and devotion of the cow.
Only because nature in its myriad forms corresponds with the myriad impulses of the Creative can it make these impulses real. Nature's richness lies in its power to nourish all living things; its greatness lies in its power to give then beauty and splendor. Thus it prospers all that lives. IT is the Creative that begets things, but they are brought to birth by the Receptive. Applied to human affairs, therefore, what the hexagram indicated is action in conformity with the situation. The person in questions not in an independent position, but is acting as an assistant. This means that he must achieve something. It is not his task to try to lead--that would only make him lose the way-but to let himself be led. If he knows how to meet fate with an attitude of acceptance, he is sure to find the right guidance. The superior man lets himself be guided; he does not go ahead blindly, but learns from the situation what is demanded of him and then follows this intimation from fate. Since there is something to be accomplished, we need friends and helpers in the hour of toil and effort, once the ideas to be realized are firmly set. The time of toil and effort is indicated by the west and south, for west and south symbolize the place where the Receptive works for the Creative, as nature does in summer and autumn. If in that situation one does not mobilize all one's powers, the work to be accomplished will not be done. Hence to find friends there means to find guidance. But in addition to the time of toil and effort, there is also a time of planning, and for this we need this solitude. The east symbolized the place where a man receives orders from his master, and the north the place where he reports on what he has done. At that time he must be alone and objective. In this sacred hour he must do without companions. So that the purity of the moment may not be spoiled by fictional hates and favoritism.

Commentary on the Decision:

至哉坤元,万物资生,乃顺承天。坤厚载物,德合无疆。含弘光大,品物咸亨。牝马地类,行地无疆,柔顺利贞。君子攸行,先迷失道,后顺得常。西南得朋,乃与类行;东北丧朋,乃终有庆。安贞之吉,应地无疆。

Perfect indeed is the sublimity of the Receptive. All beings owe their birth to it, because it receives the heavenly with devotion.
The Receptive in its riches carries all things. Its nature is in harmony with the boundless. It embraces everything in its breadth and illumines everything in its greatness. Through it, all individual beings attain success.
A mare belongs to the creatures of the earth; she roams the earth without bound. Yielding, devoted, furthering through perseverance: thus the superior man has a direction for his way of life.
Taking the lead brings confusion because one loses his way. Following with devotion—thus does one attain his permanent place.
In the west and south one finds friends, so that he proceeds with people of his own kind. In the east and north one must do without friends, so that he finally attains good fortune.
The good fortune of rest and perseverance depends on our being in accord with the boundless nature of the earth.



This is the explanation of the word “sublime” in the Judgment. The greatness of the Receptive is characterized as perfect. That which attains the ideal is perfect. This means that the Receptive is dependent on the Creative. While the Creative is the generating principle, to which all beings owe their beginning, because the soul comes from it, the Receptive is that which brings to birth, that which takes the seed of the heavenly into itself and gives to beings their bodily form.

This is the explanation of the word “success” in the Judgment. Here also there is the contrasting complement to the Creative. While the Creative shields things - that is, covers them from above - the Receptive carries them, like a foundation that endures forever. Infinite accord with the Creative is its essence. This produces its success. The movement of the Creative is a direct forward movement, and its resting state is standstill; the movement of the Receptive is an opening out, and in its resting state it is closed. In the resting, closed state, it embraces all things as though in a vast womb. In the state of movement, of opening, it allows the divine light to enter, and by means of this light illuminates everything. This is the source of its success, which shows itself in the success of living beings. While the success of the Creative lies in the fact that individual beings receive their specific forms, the success of the Receptive causes them to thrive and unfold.

While the Creative is symbolized by the dragon flying in the heavens, the Receptive is symbolized by the mare (combining strength and devotion) coursing over the earth. Being yielding and devoted must not exclude strength, for strength is necessary to the Receptive if it is to be the helper of the Creative. This strength is expressed in the words, “furthering through perseverance,” appearing in the commentary as the model for the way of life of the superior man. (The punctuation of the commentary deviates from that of the Judgment. Because of the rhyme, the commentary requires the literal translation, “Furthering through perseverance. Thus the superior man has somewhere to go.” In the Judgment, on the other hand, most interpreters make the last words a dependent clause linked with what follows, and the sentence reads: “If the superior man undertakes something … he goes astray.”

If the Receptive were to push ahead on its own initiative, it would deviate from its natural character and miss the way. By submitting to and following the Creative, it attains its appropriate permanent place.

The west and south, according to King Wen’s arrangement, are the region in which the feminine trigrams are placed. Here Kun is in the midst of the daughters. But the masculine trigrams (Qian and the sons) are in the east and north, so that the Receptive in this region is alone. But the very fact that it is alone with the Creative is to its advantage. Thus the earth must be alone with heaven, the official must serve only the ruler, the wife must cleave only to the husband.

The earth is still. It does not act of itself but is constantly receptive to the influences of heaven. Thus its life becomes inexhaustible and eternal. Man likewise attains eternity if he does not strive vaingloriously to achieve everything of his own strength but quietly keeps himself receptive to the impulses flowing to him from the creative forces.


the Image:

地势坤,君子以厚德载物。

The earth's condition is receptive devotion.
Thus the superior man who has breadth of character
Carries the outer world.



Just as there is only one heaven, so too there is only one earth. In the hexagram of heaven the doubling of the trigram implies duration in time, but in the hexagram of earth the doubling connotes the solidity and extension in space by virtue of which the earth is able to carry and preserve all things that live and move upon it. The earth in its devotion carries all things, good and evil,, without exception. In the same way the superior man gives to his character breadth, purity, and sustaining power, so that he is able both to support and to bear with people and things.


the Lines:


上六:龙战于野,其血玄黄。

Six at the top means:

Dragons fight in the meadow.
Their blood is black and yellow.



In the top place the dark element should yield to the light. If it attempts to maintain a position to which it is not entitled and to rule instead of serving, it draws down upon itself the anger of the strong. A struggle ensues in which it is overthrown, with injury, however, to both sides.
The dragon, symbol of heaven, comes to fight the false dragon that symbolized the inflation of the earth principle. Midnight blue is the color of heaven; yellow is the color of earth. Therefore, when black and yellow blood flow, it is a sign that in this unnatural contest both primal powers suffer injury.



用六:利永贞。

When all the lines are sixes, it means:

Lasting perseverance furthers.



When nothing but sixes appears, the hexagram of the Receptive changes into the hexagram of the Creative. By holding fast to what is right, it gains the power of enduring. There is indeed no advance, but neither is there retrogression.


六五:黄裳,元吉。

Six in the fifth place means:

A yellow lower garment brings supreme good fortune.



Yellow is the color of the earth and of the middle; it is the symbol of that which is reliable and genuine. The lower garment is inconspicuously decorated - the symbol of aristocratic reserve. When anyone is called upon to work in a prominent but not independent position, true success depends on the utmost discretion. A man's genuineness and refinement should not reveal themselves directly; they should express themselves only indirectly as an effect from within.


六四:括囊;无咎,无誉。

Six in the fourth place means:

A tied-up sack. No blame, no praise.



The dark element opens when it moves and closes when at rest. The strictest reticence is indicated here. The time is dangerous , because any degree of prominence leads either to the enmity of irresistible antagonists if one challenges them or to misconceived recognition if one is complaisant. Therefore a man ought to maintain reserve, be it in solitude or in the turmoil of the world, for there too he can hide himself so well that no one knows him.


六三:含章可贞。或从王事,无成有终。

Six in the third place means:

Hidden lines.
One is able to remain persevering.
If by chance you are in the service of a king,
Seek not works, but bring to completion.



If a man is free of vanity he is able to conceal his abilities and keep them from attracting attention too soon; thus he can mature undisturbed. If conditions demand it, he can also enter public life, but that too he does with restraint. The wise man gladly leaves fame to others. He does not seek to have credited to himself things that stand accomplished, but hopes to release active forces; that is, he completes his works in such a manner that they may bear fruit for the future.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六二:直,方,大,不习无不利。

Six in the second place means:

Straight, square, great.
Without purpose,
Yet nothing remains unfurthered.



The symbol of heaven is the circle, and that of earth is the square. Thus squareness is a primary quality of the earth. On the other hand, movement in a straight line, as well as magnitude, is a primary quality of the Creative. But all square things have their origin in a straight line and into turn form solid bodies. In mathematics, when we discriminate between lines, planes and solids, we find that rectangular planes result from straight lines, and cubic magnitudes from rectangular planes. The Receptive accommodates itself to the qualities of the Creative and makes them its own. Thus a square develops out of a straight line and a cube out of a square. This is compliance with the laws of the Creative; nothing is taken away, nothing added. Therefore the Receptive has no need of a special purpose of its own, nor of any effort' yet everything turns out as it should. Nature creates all beings without erring: this is its foursquareness. It tolerates all creatures equally: this is its greatness. Therefore it attains what is right for all without artifice or special intentions. Man achieves the height of wisdom when all that he does is as self-evident as what nature does.


初六:履霜,坚冰至。

Six at the beginning means:

When there is hoarfrost underfoot,
Solid ice is not far off.



Just as the light-giving power represents life, so the dark power, the shadowy, represents death. When the first hoarfrost comes in the autumn, the power of darkness and cold is just at its beginning. After these first warnings, signs of death will gradually multiply, until, in obedience to immutable laws, stark winter with its ice is here.
In life it is the same. After certain scarcely noticeable signs of decay have appeared, they go on increasing until final dissolution comes. But in life precautions can be taken by heeding the first signs of decay and checking them in time.