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Fu Xi Earlier Heaven bagua arrangement
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:









29. Kan

the Abysmal (Water)



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上六:系用徽纆,置于丛棘,三岁不得,凶。

Six at the top means:

Bound with cords and ropes,
Shut in between thorn-hedged prison walls:
For three years one does not find the way.
Misfortune.



A man who in the extremity of danger has lost the right way and is irremediably entangled in his sins has no prospect of escape. He is like a criminal who sits shackled behind thorn hedged prison walls.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:坎不盈,祗既平,无咎。

Nine in the fifth place means:

The abyss is not filled to overflowing,
It is filled only to the rim.
No blame.



Danger comes because one is too ambitious. In order to flow out of a ravine, water does not rise higher than the lowest point of the rim. So likewise a man when in danger has only to proceed along the line of least resistance; thus he reaches the goal. Great labors cannot be accomplished in such times; it is enough to get out of the danger.
六四:樽酒簋贰,用缶,纳约自牖,终无咎。

Six in the fourth place means:

A jug of wine, a bowl of rice with it;
Earthen vessels
Simply handed in through the Window.
There is certainly no blame in this.



In times of danger ceremonious forms are dropped. What matters most is sincerity. Although as a rule it is customary for an official to present certain introductory gifts and recommendations before he is appointed, here everything is simplified to the utmost. The gifts are insignificant, there is no one to sponsor him, he introduces himself; yet all this need not be humiliating if only there is the honest intention of mutual help in danger. Still another idea is suggested. The window is the place through which light enters the room. If in difficult times we want to enlighten someone, we must begin with that which is in itself lucid and proceed quite simply from that point on.
六三:来之坎坎,险且枕,入于坎窞,勿用。

Six in the third place means:

Forward and backward, abyss on abyss.
In danger like this, pause at first and wait,
Otherwise you will fall into a pit in the abyss.
Do not act this way.



Here every step, forward or backward, leads into danger. Escape is out of the question. Therefore we must not be misled into action, as a result of which we should only bog down deeper in the danger; disagreeable as it may be to remain in such a situation, we must wait until a way out shows itself.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九二:坎有险,求小得。

Nine in the second place means:

The abyss is dangerous.
One should strive to attain small things only.



When we are in danger we ought not to attempt to get out of it immediately, regardless of circumstances; at first we must content ourselves with not being overcome by it. We must calmly weigh the conditions of the time and by satisfied with small gains, because for the time being a great success cannot be attained. A spring flows only sparingly at first, and tarries for some time before it makes its way in to the open.
初六:习坎,入于坎窞,凶。

Six at the beginning means:

Repetition of the Abysmal.
In the abyss one falls into a pit.
Misfortune.



By growing used to what is dangerous, a man can easily allow it to become part of him. He is familiar with it and grows used to evil. With this he has lost the right way, and misfortune is the natural result.
the Sign of hexagram the Abysmal (Water) 3is:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Gen , Keeping Still, the mountain
   below Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

This hexagram consists of a doubling of the trigram Kan. It is one of the eight hexagrams in which doubling occurs. The trigram Kan means a plunging in. A yang line has plunged in between two yin lines and is closed in by them like water in a ravine. The trigram Kan is also the middle son. The Receptive has obtained the middle line of the Creative, and thus Kan develops. As an image it represents water, the water that comes from above and is in motion on earth in streams and rivers, giving rise to all life on earth. In man's world Kan represents the heart, the soul locked up within the body, the principle of light inclosed in the dark - that is, reason. The name of the hexagram, because the trigram is doubled, has the additional meaning, "repetition of danger." Thus the hexagram is intended to designate an objective situation to which one must become accustomed, not a subjective attitude. For danger due to a subjective attitude means either foolhardiness or guile. Hence too a ravine is used to symbolize danger; it is a situation in which a man is in the same pass as the water in a ravine, and, like the water, he can escape if he behaves correctly.



The sequence:
Things cannot be permanently in an overweighted state. Hence there follows the hexagram of the Abysmal. The Abysmal means a pit.

Miscellaneous notes:
The Abysmal is directed downward.

Water moves from above downward; it comes from the earth, but here it is in the heavens, hence its tendency to return earthward.
This hexagram is one of the eight formed by doubling of a trigram. The trigram Kan contains the middle line of the Creative (in the Inner-World Arrangement this trigram has shifted to the north, the place occupied by the Receptive in the Primal Arrangement). Therefore this hexagram and the next following one, Li - which bears the same relation to the Receptive that Kan bears to the Creative - stand together at the end of part 1, which begins with the Creative and the Receptive.
the Judgement for hexagram the Abysmal (Water) 3is:

坎:习坎,有孚,维心亨,行有å尚。

The Abysmal repeated.
If you are sincere, you have success in your heart,
And whatever you do succeeds.



Through repetition of danger we grow accustomed to it. Water sets the example for the right conduct under such circumstances. It flows on and on, and merely fills up all the places through which it flows; it does not shrink from any dangerous spot nor from any plunge, and nothing can make it lose its own essential nature. It remains true to itself under all conditions. Thus likewise, if one is sincere when confronted with difficulties, the heart can penetrate the meaning of the situation. And once we have gained inner mastery of a problem, it will come about naturally that the action we take will succeed. In danger all that counts is really carrying out all that has to be done - thoroughness - and going forward, in order not to perish through tarrying in the danger.
Properly used, danger can have an important meaning as a protective measure. Thus heaven has its perilous height protecting it against every attempt at invasion, and earth has its mountains and bodies of water, separating countries by their dangers. Thus also rulers make use of danger to protect themselves against attacks from without and against turmoil within.

Commentary on the Decision:

习坎,重险也。水流而不盈,行险而不失其信。维心亨,乃以刚中也。行有尚,往有功也。天险不可升也,地险山川丘陵也,王公设险以守其国,坎之时用大矣哉!

The Abysmal repeated is twofold danger. Water flows on and nowhere piles up; it goes through dangerous places, never losing its dependability.
“You have success in your heart,” for the firm form the middle.
“Whatever you do succeeds”: advancing brings about achievements.
The danger of heaven lies in the fact that one cannot climb it. The dangers of earth are the mountains and rivers, hills and heights. The kings and princes make use of danger to protect their realms.
The effects of the time of danger are truly great.



This hexagram is explained in two ways. First, man finds himself in danger, like water in the depths of an abyss. The water shows him how to behave: it flows on without piling up anywhere, and even in dangerous places it does not lose its dependable character. In this way the danger is overcome. The trigram Kan further means the heart. In the heart the divine nature is locked within the natural inclinations and tendencies) and is thus in danger of being engulfed by desires and passions. Here likewise the way to overcome danger is to hold firmly to one’s innate disposition to good. This is indicated by the fact that the firm lines form each the middle in one of the trigrams. Hence action results in good. Second, danger serves as a protective measure - for heaven, earth, and the prince. But it is never an end in itself. Therefore it is said: “The effects of the time of danger are great.”
the Image going with hexagram the Abysmal (Water) 3is:

水洊至,习坎;君子以常德行,习教事。

Water flows on uninterruptedly and reaches its foal:
The image of the Abysmal repeated.
Thus the superior man walks in lasting virtue
And carries on the business of teaching.



Water reaches its goal by flowing continually. It fills up every depression before it flows on. The superior man follows its example; he is concerned that goodness should be an established attribute of character rather than an accidental and isolated occurrence. So likewise in teaching others everything depends on consistency, for it is only through repetition that the pupil makes the material his own.




the nuclear hexagram:

27. Yi
the Corners of the Mouth (Providing Nourishment)

R
the Sign:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Gen , Keeping Still, the mountain
   below Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

This hexagram consists of a doubling of the trigram Kan. It is one of the eight hexagrams in which doubling occurs. The trigram Kan means a plunging in. A yang line has plunged in between two yin lines and is closed in by them like water in a ravine. The trigram Kan is also the middle son. The Receptive has obtained the middle line of the Creative, and thus Kan develops. As an image it represents water, the water that comes from above and is in motion on earth in streams and rivers, giving rise to all life on earth. In man's world Kan represents the heart, the soul locked up within the body, the principle of light inclosed in the dark - that is, reason. The name of the hexagram, because the trigram is doubled, has the additional meaning, "repetition of danger." Thus the hexagram is intended to designate an objective situation to which one must become accustomed, not a subjective attitude. For danger due to a subjective attitude means either foolhardiness or guile. Hence too a ravine is used to symbolize danger; it is a situation in which a man is in the same pass as the water in a ravine, and, like the water, he can escape if he behaves correctly.



The sequence:
Things cannot be permanently in an overweighted state. Hence there follows the hexagram of the Abysmal. The Abysmal means a pit.

Miscellaneous notes:
The Abysmal is directed downward.

Water moves from above downward; it comes from the earth, but here it is in the heavens, hence its tendency to return earthward.
This hexagram is one of the eight formed by doubling of a trigram. The trigram Kan contains the middle line of the Creative (in the Inner-World Arrangement this trigram has shifted to the north, the place occupied by the Receptive in the Primal Arrangement). Therefore this hexagram and the next following one, Li - which bears the same relation to the Receptive that Kan bears to the Creative - stand together at the end of part 1, which begins with the Creative and the Receptive.


the Judgement:

坎:习坎,有孚,维心亨,行有å尚。

The Abysmal repeated.
If you are sincere, you have success in your heart,
And whatever you do succeeds.



Through repetition of danger we grow accustomed to it. Water sets the example for the right conduct under such circumstances. It flows on and on, and merely fills up all the places through which it flows; it does not shrink from any dangerous spot nor from any plunge, and nothing can make it lose its own essential nature. It remains true to itself under all conditions. Thus likewise, if one is sincere when confronted with difficulties, the heart can penetrate the meaning of the situation. And once we have gained inner mastery of a problem, it will come about naturally that the action we take will succeed. In danger all that counts is really carrying out all that has to be done - thoroughness - and going forward, in order not to perish through tarrying in the danger.
Properly used, danger can have an important meaning as a protective measure. Thus heaven has its perilous height protecting it against every attempt at invasion, and earth has its mountains and bodies of water, separating countries by their dangers. Thus also rulers make use of danger to protect themselves against attacks from without and against turmoil within.

Commentary on the Decision:

习坎,重险也。水流而不盈,行险而不失其信。维心亨,乃以刚中也。行有尚,往有功也。天险不可升也,地险山川丘陵也,王公设险以守其国,坎之时用大矣哉!

The Abysmal repeated is twofold danger. Water flows on and nowhere piles up; it goes through dangerous places, never losing its dependability.
“You have success in your heart,” for the firm form the middle.
“Whatever you do succeeds”: advancing brings about achievements.
The danger of heaven lies in the fact that one cannot climb it. The dangers of earth are the mountains and rivers, hills and heights. The kings and princes make use of danger to protect their realms.
The effects of the time of danger are truly great.
 


This hexagram is explained in two ways. First, man finds himself in danger, like water in the depths of an abyss. The water shows him how to behave: it flows on without piling up anywhere, and even in dangerous places it does not lose its dependable character. In this way the danger is overcome. The trigram Kan further means the heart. In the heart the divine nature is locked within the natural inclinations and tendencies) and is thus in danger of being engulfed by desires and passions. Here likewise the way to overcome danger is to hold firmly to one’s innate disposition to good. This is indicated by the fact that the firm lines form each the middle in one of the trigrams. Hence action results in good. Second, danger serves as a protective measure - for heaven, earth, and the prince. But it is never an end in itself. Therefore it is said: “The effects of the time of danger are great.”


the Image:

水洊至,习坎;君子以常德行,习教事。

Water flows on uninterruptedly and reaches its foal:
The image of the Abysmal repeated.
Thus the superior man walks in lasting virtue
And carries on the business of teaching.



Water reaches its goal by flowing continually. It fills up every depression before it flows on. The superior man follows its example; he is concerned that goodness should be an established attribute of character rather than an accidental and isolated occurrence. So likewise in teaching others everything depends on consistency, for it is only through repetition that the pupil makes the material his own.


the Lines:


上六:系用徽纆,置于丛棘,三岁不得,凶。

Six at the top means:

Bound with cords and ropes,
Shut in between thorn-hedged prison walls:
For three years one does not find the way.
Misfortune.



A man who in the extremity of danger has lost the right way and is irremediably entangled in his sins has no prospect of escape. He is like a criminal who sits shackled behind thorn hedged prison walls.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:坎不盈,祗既平,无咎。

Nine in the fifth place means:

The abyss is not filled to overflowing,
It is filled only to the rim.
No blame.



Danger comes because one is too ambitious. In order to flow out of a ravine, water does not rise higher than the lowest point of the rim. So likewise a man when in danger has only to proceed along the line of least resistance; thus he reaches the goal. Great labors cannot be accomplished in such times; it is enough to get out of the danger.


六四:樽酒簋贰,用缶,纳约自牖,终无咎。

Six in the fourth place means:

A jug of wine, a bowl of rice with it;
Earthen vessels
Simply handed in through the Window.
There is certainly no blame in this.



In times of danger ceremonious forms are dropped. What matters most is sincerity. Although as a rule it is customary for an official to present certain introductory gifts and recommendations before he is appointed, here everything is simplified to the utmost. The gifts are insignificant, there is no one to sponsor him, he introduces himself; yet all this need not be humiliating if only there is the honest intention of mutual help in danger. Still another idea is suggested. The window is the place through which light enters the room. If in difficult times we want to enlighten someone, we must begin with that which is in itself lucid and proceed quite simply from that point on.


六三:来之坎坎,险且枕,入于坎窞,勿用。

Six in the third place means:

Forward and backward, abyss on abyss.
In danger like this, pause at first and wait,
Otherwise you will fall into a pit in the abyss.
Do not act this way.



Here every step, forward or backward, leads into danger. Escape is out of the question. Therefore we must not be misled into action, as a result of which we should only bog down deeper in the danger; disagreeable as it may be to remain in such a situation, we must wait until a way out shows itself.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九二:坎有险,求小得。

Nine in the second place means:

The abyss is dangerous.
One should strive to attain small things only.



When we are in danger we ought not to attempt to get out of it immediately, regardless of circumstances; at first we must content ourselves with not being overcome by it. We must calmly weigh the conditions of the time and by satisfied with small gains, because for the time being a great success cannot be attained. A spring flows only sparingly at first, and tarries for some time before it makes its way in to the open.


初六:习坎,入于坎窞,凶。

Six at the beginning means:

Repetition of the Abysmal.
In the abyss one falls into a pit.
Misfortune.



By growing used to what is dangerous, a man can easily allow it to become part of him. He is familiar with it and grows used to evil. With this he has lost the right way, and misfortune is the natural result.