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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:









17. Sui

Following



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上六:拘系之,乃从维之。王用亨于西山。

Six at the top means:

He meets with firm allegiance
And is still further bound.
The king introduces him
To the Western Mountain.



This refers to a man, an exalted sage, who has already put the turmoil of the world behind him. But a follower appears who understands him and is not to be put off. So the sage comes back into the world and aids the other in his work. Thus there develops an eternal tie between the two. The allegory is chosen from the annals of the Zhou dynasty. The rulers of this dynasty honored men who had served them well by awarding them a place in the royal family's temple of ancestors on the Western Mountain. In this way they were regarded as sharing in the destiny of the ruling family.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:孚于嘉,吉。

Nine in the fifth place means:

Sincere in the good. Good fortune.



Every man must have something he follows - something that serves him as a lodestar. He who follows with conviction the beautiful and the good may feel himself strengthened by this saying.
九四:随有获,贞凶。有孚在道,以明,何咎。

Nine in the fourth place means:

Following creates success.
Perseverance brings misfortune.
To go one's way with sincerity brings clarity.
How could there be blame in this?



It often happens, when a man exerts a certain amount of influence, that he obtains a following by condescension toward inferiors. But the people who attach themselves to him are not honest in their intentions. They seek personal advantage and try to make themselves indispensable through flattery and subservience. If one becomes accustomed to such satellites and cannot do without them, it brings misfortune. Only when a man is completely free from his ego, and intent, by conviction, upon what is right and essential, does he acquire the clarity that enables him to see through such people, and become free of blame.
六三:系丈夫,失小子。随有求得,利居贞。

Six in the third place means:

If one clings to the strong man,
One loses the little boy.
Through following one finds what one seeks.
It furthers one to remain persevering.



When the right connection with distinguished people has been found, a certain loss naturally ensues. A man must part company with the inferior and superficial. But in his heart he will feel satisfied, because he seeks and needs for the development of his personality. The important thing is to remain firm. He must know what he wants and not be led astray by momentary inclinations.
六二:系小子,失丈夫。

Six in the second place means:

If one clings to the little boy,
One loses the strong man.



In friendships and close relationships an individual must make a careful choice. He surrounds himself either with good or with bad company; he cannot have both at once. If he throws himself away on unworthy friends he loses connection with people of intellectual power who could further him in the good.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
初九:官有渝,贞吉。出门交有功。

Nine at the beginning means:

The standard is changing.
Perseverance brings good fortune.
To go out of the door in company
Produces deeds.



There are exceptional conditions in which the relation between leader and followers changes. It is implicit in the idea of following and adaptation that if one wants to lead others, one must remain accessible and responsive to the views of those under him. At the same time, however, he must have firm principles, so that he does not vacillate where there is only a question of current opinion. Once we are ready to listen to the opinions of others, we must not associate exclusively with people who share our views or with members of our own party; instead, we must go out and mingle freely with all sorts of people, friends or foes. That is the only way to achieve something.
the Sign of hexagram Following Jis:

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

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind
   below Trigram Gen , Keeping Still, the mountain

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

The trigram Dui, the Joyous, whose attribute is gladness, is above; Zhen, the Arousing, which has the attribute of movement, is below. Joy in movement induces following. The Joyous is the youngest daughter, while the Arousing is the eldest son. An older man defers to a young girl and shows her consideration. By this he moves her to follow him.

The sequence:
Where there is enthusiasm, there is certain to be following. Hence there follows the hexagram of Following.

Miscellaneous notes:
Following tolerates no old prejudices.

Appended judgments:
The heroes of old tamed the ox and yoked the horse. Thus heavy loads could be transported and distant regions reached, for the benefit of the world. They probably took this from the hexagram of Following.
This hexagram consists of movement below and joyousness above: it shows the Arousing (Zhen) under the Joyous (Dui), suggesting rest, the more so since the nuclear trigrams Xun, the Gentle, and Gen, Keeping Still, likewise point to this idea. Thus the domestication of the ox and the horse is to be explained as a means to labor saving. Success derives from the inner structure of the hexagram. Transportation of heavy loads is suggested by the lower nuclear trigram Gen, mountain; the ox that carries these loads is analogous to the earth (the mountain belongs to the earth). Reaching distant regions is suggested by the upper nuclear trigram Xun, wind, which reaches everywhere. The traveling cart is drawn by the horse, which, like heaven, is characterized by movement (the wind belongs to heaven).
Dui is the youngest daughter, Zhen the eldest son. In the hexagram as a whole, as well as in the case of the two rulers, the strong element places itself under the weak in order to obtain a following. In their movement the two trigrams have the same upward trend.
the Judgement for hexagram Following Jis:

随:元亨利贞,无咎。

Following has supreme success.
Perseverance furthers. No blame.



In order to obtain a following one must first know how to adapt oneself. If a man would rule he must first learn to serve, for only in this way does he secure from those below him the joyous assent that is necessary if they are to follow him. If he has to obtain a following by force or cunning, by conspiracy or by creating faction, he invariably arouses resistance, which obstructs willing adherence. But even joyous movement can lead to evil consequences, hence the added stipulation, "Perseverance furthers" --that is, consistency in doing right-- together with "No blame." Just as we should not ask others to follow us unless this condition is fulfilled, so it is only under this condition that we can in turn follow others without coming to harm.
The thought of obtaining a following through adaptation to the demands of the time is a great and significant idea; this is why the appended judgment is so favorable.

Commentary on the Decision:

随,刚来而下柔,动而说,随。大亨贞,无咎,而天下随时,随时之义大矣哉!

Following. The firm comes and places itself under the yielding.
Movement and joyousness: Following.
Great success and perseverance without blame: thus one is followed by the whole world.
Great indeed is the meaning of the time of Following.



First, the name of the hexagram is explained on the basis of its structure and attributes. The firm element that comes - that is, moves from above downward and places itself under the yielding - consists on the one hand of Zhen, which places itself under Dui, and on the other of the two rulers of the hexagram, in the first and the fifth place, both of which place themselves under yielding lines.
Zhen has movement as its attribute, Dui has joyousness. Followers readily join a movement that is associated with joyousness. The explanation of the words of the text also gives expression to the fundamental principle that one must first of all follow in the right way, if one would be followed.
the Image going with hexagram Following Jis:

泽中有雷,随;君子以向晦入宴息。

Thunder in the middle of the lake:
The image of Following.
Thus the superior man at nightfall
Goes indoors for rest and recuperation.



In the autumn electricity withdraws into the earth again and rests. Here it is the thunder in the middle of the lake that serves as the image - thunder in its winter rest, not thunder in motion. The idea of following in the sense of adaptation to the demands of the time grows out of this image. Thunder in the middle of the lake indicates times of darkness and rest. Similarly, a superior man, after being tirelessly active all day, allows himself rest and recuperation at night. No situation can become favorable until one is able to adapt to it and does not wear himself out with mistaken resistance.




the nuclear hexagram:

53. Jian
Development (Gradual Progress)

D
the Sign:

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

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind
   below Trigram Gen , Keeping Still, the mountain

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

The trigram Dui, the Joyous, whose attribute is gladness, is above; Zhen, the Arousing, which has the attribute of movement, is below. Joy in movement induces following. The Joyous is the youngest daughter, while the Arousing is the eldest son. An older man defers to a young girl and shows her consideration. By this he moves her to follow him.

The sequence:
Where there is enthusiasm, there is certain to be following. Hence there follows the hexagram of Following.

Miscellaneous notes:
Following tolerates no old prejudices.

Appended judgments:
The heroes of old tamed the ox and yoked the horse. Thus heavy loads could be transported and distant regions reached, for the benefit of the world. They probably took this from the hexagram of Following.
This hexagram consists of movement below and joyousness above: it shows the Arousing (Zhen) under the Joyous (Dui), suggesting rest, the more so since the nuclear trigrams Xun, the Gentle, and Gen, Keeping Still, likewise point to this idea. Thus the domestication of the ox and the horse is to be explained as a means to labor saving. Success derives from the inner structure of the hexagram. Transportation of heavy loads is suggested by the lower nuclear trigram Gen, mountain; the ox that carries these loads is analogous to the earth (the mountain belongs to the earth). Reaching distant regions is suggested by the upper nuclear trigram Xun, wind, which reaches everywhere. The traveling cart is drawn by the horse, which, like heaven, is characterized by movement (the wind belongs to heaven).
Dui is the youngest daughter, Zhen the eldest son. In the hexagram as a whole, as well as in the case of the two rulers, the strong element places itself under the weak in order to obtain a following. In their movement the two trigrams have the same upward trend.


the Judgement:

随:元亨利贞,无咎。

Following has supreme success.
Perseverance furthers. No blame.



In order to obtain a following one must first know how to adapt oneself. If a man would rule he must first learn to serve, for only in this way does he secure from those below him the joyous assent that is necessary if they are to follow him. If he has to obtain a following by force or cunning, by conspiracy or by creating faction, he invariably arouses resistance, which obstructs willing adherence. But even joyous movement can lead to evil consequences, hence the added stipulation, "Perseverance furthers" --that is, consistency in doing right-- together with "No blame." Just as we should not ask others to follow us unless this condition is fulfilled, so it is only under this condition that we can in turn follow others without coming to harm.
The thought of obtaining a following through adaptation to the demands of the time is a great and significant idea; this is why the appended judgment is so favorable.

Commentary on the Decision:

随,刚来而下柔,动而说,随。大亨贞,无咎,而天下随时,随时之义大矣哉!

Following. The firm comes and places itself under the yielding.
Movement and joyousness: Following.
Great success and perseverance without blame: thus one is followed by the whole world.
Great indeed is the meaning of the time of Following.
 


First, the name of the hexagram is explained on the basis of its structure and attributes. The firm element that comes - that is, moves from above downward and places itself under the yielding - consists on the one hand of Zhen, which places itself under Dui, and on the other of the two rulers of the hexagram, in the first and the fifth place, both of which place themselves under yielding lines.
Zhen has movement as its attribute, Dui has joyousness. Followers readily join a movement that is associated with joyousness. The explanation of the words of the text also gives expression to the fundamental principle that one must first of all follow in the right way, if one would be followed.


the Image:

泽中有雷,随;君子以向晦入宴息。

Thunder in the middle of the lake:
The image of Following.
Thus the superior man at nightfall
Goes indoors for rest and recuperation.



In the autumn electricity withdraws into the earth again and rests. Here it is the thunder in the middle of the lake that serves as the image - thunder in its winter rest, not thunder in motion. The idea of following in the sense of adaptation to the demands of the time grows out of this image. Thunder in the middle of the lake indicates times of darkness and rest. Similarly, a superior man, after being tirelessly active all day, allows himself rest and recuperation at night. No situation can become favorable until one is able to adapt to it and does not wear himself out with mistaken resistance.


the Lines:


上六:拘系之,乃从维之。王用亨于西山。

Six at the top means:

He meets with firm allegiance
And is still further bound.
The king introduces him
To the Western Mountain.



This refers to a man, an exalted sage, who has already put the turmoil of the world behind him. But a follower appears who understands him and is not to be put off. So the sage comes back into the world and aids the other in his work. Thus there develops an eternal tie between the two. The allegory is chosen from the annals of the Zhou dynasty. The rulers of this dynasty honored men who had served them well by awarding them a place in the royal family's temple of ancestors on the Western Mountain. In this way they were regarded as sharing in the destiny of the ruling family.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:孚于嘉,吉。

Nine in the fifth place means:

Sincere in the good. Good fortune.



Every man must have something he follows - something that serves him as a lodestar. He who follows with conviction the beautiful and the good may feel himself strengthened by this saying.


九四:随有获,贞凶。有孚在道,以明,何咎。

Nine in the fourth place means:

Following creates success.
Perseverance brings misfortune.
To go one's way with sincerity brings clarity.
How could there be blame in this?



It often happens, when a man exerts a certain amount of influence, that he obtains a following by condescension toward inferiors. But the people who attach themselves to him are not honest in their intentions. They seek personal advantage and try to make themselves indispensable through flattery and subservience. If one becomes accustomed to such satellites and cannot do without them, it brings misfortune. Only when a man is completely free from his ego, and intent, by conviction, upon what is right and essential, does he acquire the clarity that enables him to see through such people, and become free of blame.


六三:系丈夫,失小子。随有求得,利居贞。

Six in the third place means:

If one clings to the strong man,
One loses the little boy.
Through following one finds what one seeks.
It furthers one to remain persevering.



When the right connection with distinguished people has been found, a certain loss naturally ensues. A man must part company with the inferior and superficial. But in his heart he will feel satisfied, because he seeks and needs for the development of his personality. The important thing is to remain firm. He must know what he wants and not be led astray by momentary inclinations.


六二:系小子,失丈夫。

Six in the second place means:

If one clings to the little boy,
One loses the strong man.



In friendships and close relationships an individual must make a careful choice. He surrounds himself either with good or with bad company; he cannot have both at once. If he throws himself away on unworthy friends he loses connection with people of intellectual power who could further him in the good.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
初九:官有渝,贞吉。出门交有功。

Nine at the beginning means:

The standard is changing.
Perseverance brings good fortune.
To go out of the door in company
Produces deeds.



There are exceptional conditions in which the relation between leader and followers changes. It is implicit in the idea of following and adaptation that if one wants to lead others, one must remain accessible and responsive to the views of those under him. At the same time, however, he must have firm principles, so that he does not vacillate where there is only a question of current opinion. Once we are ready to listen to the opinions of others, we must not associate exclusively with people who share our views or with members of our own party; instead, we must go out and mingle freely with all sorts of people, friends or foes. That is the only way to achieve something.