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易經
the Hexagrams, Index

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

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het Hexagrammenboek

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






Table 1,

Select a hexagram by combining the trigrams:


Trigrammemindeling
Trigrammemindeling


Table 2,

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








小过

62. Xiao Guo

Preponderance of the Small



<
上六:弗遇过之,飞鸟离之,凶,是谓灾眚。

Six at the top means:

He passes him by, not meeting him.
The flying bird leaves him.
Misfortune.
This means bad luck and injury.



If one overshoots the goal, one cannot hit it. If a bird will not come to its nest but flies higher and higher, it eventually falls into the hunter's net. He who in times of extraordinary salience of small things does not know how to call a halt, but restlessly seeks to press on and on, draws upon himself misfortune at the hands of gods and men, because he deviates from the order of nature.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六五:密云不雨,自我西郊,公弋取彼在穴。

Six in the fifth place means:

Dense clouds,

No rain from our western territory.

The prince shoots and hits him who is in the cave.



As a high place is pictured here, the image of a flying bird has become that of flying clouds. But dense as the clouds are, they race across the sky and give no rain. Similarly, in exceptional times there may be a born ruler who is qualified to set the world in order, but who cannot achieve anything or confer blessing on the people because he stands alone and has no helpers.
Is such times a man must seek out helpers with whose aid he can carry out the task. But these helpers must be modestly sought out in the retirement to which they have withdrawn. It is not in the fame nor their great names but their genuine achievements that are important.
Through such modesty the right man is found, and the exceptional task is carried out in spite of all difficulties.
九四:无咎,弗过遇之。往厉必戒,勿用永贞。

Nine in the fourth place means:

No blame. He meets him without passing by.
Going brings danger. One must be on guard.
Do not act. Be constantly persevering.



Hardness of character is tempered by yielding position so that no mistakes are made. The situation here calls for extreme caution; one must make no attempt of one's own initiative to reach the desired end. And if one were to go on, endeavoring one must be on guard and not act but continue inwardly to persevere.
九三:弗过防之,从或戕之,凶。

Nine in the third place means:

If one is not extremely careful,
Somebody may come up from behind and strike him.
Misfortune.



At certain times extraordinary caution is absolutely necessary. But it is just in such life situations that we find upright and strong personalities who, conscious of being in the right, disdain to hold themselves on guard, because they consider it petty. Instead, they go their way proud and unconcerned. But this self-confidence deludes them. There are dangers lurking for which they are unprepared.
Yet such danger is not unavoidable; one can escape it if he understands that the time demands that he pay especial attention to small and insignificant thing.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六二:过其祖,遇其妣;不及其君,遇其臣;无咎。

Six in the second place means:
She passes by her ancestor
And meets her ancestress.
He does not reach his prince
And meets the official.
No blame.



Two exceptional situations are instanced here. In the temple of ancestors, where alternation of generations prevails, the grandson stands on the same side as the grandfather. Hence his closest relations are with the grandfather. The present line designates the grandson's wife, who during the sacrifice passes by the ancestor and goes toward the ancestress. This unusual behavior is, however, an expression of her modesty. She ventures rather to approach the ancestress, for she feels related to her by their common sex. Hence here deviation from the rule is not a mistake.
Another image is that of the official who, in compliance with regulation, first seeks an audience with his prince. If he is not successful in this, he does not try to force anything but goes about conscientious fulfillment of his duty, taking his place among the other officials. This extraordinary restraint is likewise not a mistake in exceptional times. (The rule is that every official should first have an audience with the prince by whom he is appointed. Here the appointment is made by the minister.)
初六:飞鸟以凶。

Six at the beginning means:

The bird meets with misfortune through flying.



A bird ought to remain in the nest until it is fledged. If it tries to fly before this, it invites misfortune. Extraordinary measures should be resorted to only when all else fails. At first we ought to put up with traditional ways as long as possible; otherwise we exhaust ourselves and our energy and still achieve nothing.
the Sign of hexagram Preponderance of the Small 1is:

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

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Dui , Trigram Dui, the Joyous, the lake
   below Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind

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

While in the hexagram Da Guo, Preponderance of the Great (28), the strong lines preponderate and are within, inclosed between weak lines at the top and bottom, the present hexagram has weak lines preponderating, though here again they are on the outside, the strong lines being within. This indeed is the basis of the exceptional situation indicated by the hexagram. When strong lines are outside, we have the hexagram Yi, Providing Nourishment (hexagram 27), or Zhong Fu, Inner Truth (hexagram 61); neither represents and exceptional state. When strong elements within preponderate, they necessarily enforce their will. This creates struggle and exceptional conditions in general. But in the present hexagram it is the weak element that perforce must mediate with the outside world. If a man occupies a position of authority for which he is by nature really inadequate, extraordinary prudence is necessary.

The sequence:
When one has the trust of creatures, one sets them in motion; hence there follows the hexagram of Preponderance of the Small.

Miscellaneous notes:
Preponderance of the Small signifies a transition.

Appended judgments:
The rulers split wood and made a pestle of it. They made a hollow in the ground for a mortar. The use of the mortar and pestle was of benefit to all mankind. They probably took this from the hexagram of Preponderance of the Small.

The Chinese word guo cannot be translated in such a way as to render all its secondary meanings. It means to pass by, and then comes the idea of excessiveness, preponderance; in fact, it means everything that results from exceeding the mean. The hexagram deals with transitional states, extraordinary conditions. It is so constructed that the yielding elements are on the outside. When, given such a structure, strong lines predominate, the hexagram Da Guo, Preponderance of the Great (28) results; but when the weak lines are in the majority, we have Preponderance of the Small. The nuclear trigrams of the present hexagram produce the same structure as the primary trigrams of hexagram 28. This hexagram is the opposite of the preceding one.
the Judgement for hexagram Preponderance of the Small 1is:

小过:亨,利贞,可小事,不可大事。飞鸟遗之音,不宜上,宜下,大吉。

Preponderance of the Small. Success.
Perseverance furthers.
Small things may be done; great things should not be done.
The flying bird brings the message:
It is not well to strive upward,
It is well to remain below.
Great good fortune.



Exceptional modesty and conscientiousness are sure to be rewarded with success; however, if a man is not to throw himself away, it is important that they should not become empty form and subservience but be combined always with a correct dignity in personal behavior. We must understand the demands of the time in order to find the necessary offset for its deficiencies and damages. In any event we must not count on great success, since the requisite strength is lacking. In this lies the importance of the message that one should not strive after lofty things but hold to lowly things.
The structure of the hexagram gives rise to the idea that this message is brought by a bird. In hexagram Da Guo, Preponderance of the Great (28), the four strong, heavy lines within, supported only by two weak lines without, give the image of a sagging ridgepole. Here the supporting weak lines are both outside and preponderant; this gives the image of a soaring bird. But a bird should not try to surpass itself and fly into the sun; it should descend to the earth, where its nest is. In this way it gives the message conveyed by the hexagram.

Commentary on the Decision:

小过,小者过而亨也。过以利贞,与时行也。柔得中,是以小事吉也。刚失位而不中,是以不可大事也。有飞鸟之象焉,有飞鸟遗之音,不宜上宜下,大吉;上逆而下顺也。

Preponderance of the Small. The small preponderate and have success. To be furthered in transition by perseverance: this means going with the time.
The yielding attains the middle, hence good fortune in small things.
The hard has lost its place and is not in the middle: hence one should not do great things.
The hexagram has the form of a flying bird.
“The flying bird brings the message: It is not well to strive upward, it is well to remain below. Great good fortune.” Striving upward is rebellion, striving downward is devotion.



In exceptional times exceptional measures are necessary for reestablishing the norm. The point here is that the time demands a restraint that would appear to be excessive. It is a time like that of King Wen and the tyrant Zhou Xin, and this restraint, which might appear exaggerated, is exactly what the time calls for. Preponderance of the small is indicated by the fact that yielding, i.e., small lines hold the middle places and thus are rulers of the hexagram, while the strong lines have been forced out of key positions outside into places inside, without being central.
Preponderance of the Great is like a beam; its danger lies in excessive weight, therefore it must be supported in the middle from below. Preponderance of the Small is like a bird; the danger for it lies in mounting too high and losing the ground under its feet.
the Image going with hexagram Preponderance of the Small 1is:

山上有雷,小过;君子以行过乎恭,丧过乎哀,用过乎俭。

Thunder on the mountain:
The image of Preponderance of the Small.
Thus in his conduct the superior man gives preponderance to reverence.
In bereavement he gives preponderance to grief.
In his expenditures he gives preponderance to thrift.



Thunder on the mountain is different from thunder on the plain. In the mountains, thunder seems much nearer; outside the mountains, it is less audible than the thunder of an ordinary storm. Thus the superior man derives an imperative from this image: he must always fix his eyes more closely and more directly on duty than does the ordinary man, even though this might make his behavior seem petty to the outside world. He is exceptionally conscientious in his actions. In bereavement emotion means more to him than ceremoniousness. In all his personal expenditures he is extremely simple and unpretentious. In comparison with the man of the masses, all this makes him stand out as exceptional. But the essential significance of his attitude lies in the fact that in external matters he is on the side of the lowly.




the nuclear hexagram:
大过
28. Da Guo
Preponderance of the Great

v
the Sign:

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

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Dui , Trigram Dui, the Joyous, the lake
   below Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind

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

While in the hexagram Da Guo, Preponderance of the Great (28), the strong lines preponderate and are within, inclosed between weak lines at the top and bottom, the present hexagram has weak lines preponderating, though here again they are on the outside, the strong lines being within. This indeed is the basis of the exceptional situation indicated by the hexagram. When strong lines are outside, we have the hexagram Yi, Providing Nourishment (hexagram 27), or Zhong Fu, Inner Truth (hexagram 61); neither represents and exceptional state. When strong elements within preponderate, they necessarily enforce their will. This creates struggle and exceptional conditions in general. But in the present hexagram it is the weak element that perforce must mediate with the outside world. If a man occupies a position of authority for which he is by nature really inadequate, extraordinary prudence is necessary.

The sequence:
When one has the trust of creatures, one sets them in motion; hence there follows the hexagram of Preponderance of the Small.

Miscellaneous notes:
Preponderance of the Small signifies a transition.

Appended judgments:
The rulers split wood and made a pestle of it. They made a hollow in the ground for a mortar. The use of the mortar and pestle was of benefit to all mankind. They probably took this from the hexagram of Preponderance of the Small.

The Chinese word guo cannot be translated in such a way as to render all its secondary meanings. It means to pass by, and then comes the idea of excessiveness, preponderance; in fact, it means everything that results from exceeding the mean. The hexagram deals with transitional states, extraordinary conditions. It is so constructed that the yielding elements are on the outside. When, given such a structure, strong lines predominate, the hexagram Da Guo, Preponderance of the Great (28) results; but when the weak lines are in the majority, we have Preponderance of the Small. The nuclear trigrams of the present hexagram produce the same structure as the primary trigrams of hexagram 28. This hexagram is the opposite of the preceding one.


the Judgement:

小过:亨,利贞,可小事,不可大事。飞鸟遗之音,不宜上,宜下,大吉。

Preponderance of the Small. Success.
Perseverance furthers.
Small things may be done; great things should not be done.
The flying bird brings the message:
It is not well to strive upward,
It is well to remain below.
Great good fortune.



Exceptional modesty and conscientiousness are sure to be rewarded with success; however, if a man is not to throw himself away, it is important that they should not become empty form and subservience but be combined always with a correct dignity in personal behavior. We must understand the demands of the time in order to find the necessary offset for its deficiencies and damages. In any event we must not count on great success, since the requisite strength is lacking. In this lies the importance of the message that one should not strive after lofty things but hold to lowly things.
The structure of the hexagram gives rise to the idea that this message is brought by a bird. In hexagram Da Guo, Preponderance of the Great (28), the four strong, heavy lines within, supported only by two weak lines without, give the image of a sagging ridgepole. Here the supporting weak lines are both outside and preponderant; this gives the image of a soaring bird. But a bird should not try to surpass itself and fly into the sun; it should descend to the earth, where its nest is. In this way it gives the message conveyed by the hexagram.

Commentary on the Decision:

小过,小者过而亨也。过以利贞,与时行也。柔得中,是以小事吉也。刚失位而不中,是以不可大事也。有飞鸟之象焉,有飞鸟遗之音,不宜上宜下,大吉;上逆而下顺也。

Preponderance of the Small. The small preponderate and have success. To be furthered in transition by perseverance: this means going with the time.
The yielding attains the middle, hence good fortune in small things.
The hard has lost its place and is not in the middle: hence one should not do great things.
The hexagram has the form of a flying bird.
“The flying bird brings the message: It is not well to strive upward, it is well to remain below. Great good fortune.” Striving upward is rebellion, striving downward is devotion.
 


In exceptional times exceptional measures are necessary for reestablishing the norm. The point here is that the time demands a restraint that would appear to be excessive. It is a time like that of King Wen and the tyrant Zhou Xin, and this restraint, which might appear exaggerated, is exactly what the time calls for. Preponderance of the small is indicated by the fact that yielding, i.e., small lines hold the middle places and thus are rulers of the hexagram, while the strong lines have been forced out of key positions outside into places inside, without being central.
Preponderance of the Great is like a beam; its danger lies in excessive weight, therefore it must be supported in the middle from below. Preponderance of the Small is like a bird; the danger for it lies in mounting too high and losing the ground under its feet.


the Image:

山上有雷,小过;君子以行过乎恭,丧过乎哀,用过乎俭。

Thunder on the mountain:
The image of Preponderance of the Small.
Thus in his conduct the superior man gives preponderance to reverence.
In bereavement he gives preponderance to grief.
In his expenditures he gives preponderance to thrift.



Thunder on the mountain is different from thunder on the plain. In the mountains, thunder seems much nearer; outside the mountains, it is less audible than the thunder of an ordinary storm. Thus the superior man derives an imperative from this image: he must always fix his eyes more closely and more directly on duty than does the ordinary man, even though this might make his behavior seem petty to the outside world. He is exceptionally conscientious in his actions. In bereavement emotion means more to him than ceremoniousness. In all his personal expenditures he is extremely simple and unpretentious. In comparison with the man of the masses, all this makes him stand out as exceptional. But the essential significance of his attitude lies in the fact that in external matters he is on the side of the lowly.


the Lines:


上六:弗遇过之,飞鸟离之,凶,是谓灾眚。

Six at the top means:

He passes him by, not meeting him.
The flying bird leaves him.
Misfortune.
This means bad luck and injury.



If one overshoots the goal, one cannot hit it. If a bird will not come to its nest but flies higher and higher, it eventually falls into the hunter's net. He who in times of extraordinary salience of small things does not know how to call a halt, but restlessly seeks to press on and on, draws upon himself misfortune at the hands of gods and men, because he deviates from the order of nature.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六五:密云不雨,自我西郊,公弋取彼在穴。

Six in the fifth place means:

Dense clouds,

No rain from our western territory.

The prince shoots and hits him who is in the cave.



As a high place is pictured here, the image of a flying bird has become that of flying clouds. But dense as the clouds are, they race across the sky and give no rain. Similarly, in exceptional times there may be a born ruler who is qualified to set the world in order, but who cannot achieve anything or confer blessing on the people because he stands alone and has no helpers.
Is such times a man must seek out helpers with whose aid he can carry out the task. But these helpers must be modestly sought out in the retirement to which they have withdrawn. It is not in the fame nor their great names but their genuine achievements that are important.
Through such modesty the right man is found, and the exceptional task is carried out in spite of all difficulties.


九四:无咎,弗过遇之。往厉必戒,勿用永贞。

Nine in the fourth place means:

No blame. He meets him without passing by.
Going brings danger. One must be on guard.
Do not act. Be constantly persevering.



Hardness of character is tempered by yielding position so that no mistakes are made. The situation here calls for extreme caution; one must make no attempt of one's own initiative to reach the desired end. And if one were to go on, endeavoring one must be on guard and not act but continue inwardly to persevere.


九三:弗过防之,从或戕之,凶。

Nine in the third place means:

If one is not extremely careful,
Somebody may come up from behind and strike him.
Misfortune.



At certain times extraordinary caution is absolutely necessary. But it is just in such life situations that we find upright and strong personalities who, conscious of being in the right, disdain to hold themselves on guard, because they consider it petty. Instead, they go their way proud and unconcerned. But this self-confidence deludes them. There are dangers lurking for which they are unprepared.
Yet such danger is not unavoidable; one can escape it if he understands that the time demands that he pay especial attention to small and insignificant thing.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六二:过其祖,遇其妣;不及其君,遇其臣;无咎。

Six in the second place means:
She passes by her ancestor
And meets her ancestress.
He does not reach his prince
And meets the official.
No blame.



Two exceptional situations are instanced here. In the temple of ancestors, where alternation of generations prevails, the grandson stands on the same side as the grandfather. Hence his closest relations are with the grandfather. The present line designates the grandson's wife, who during the sacrifice passes by the ancestor and goes toward the ancestress. This unusual behavior is, however, an expression of her modesty. She ventures rather to approach the ancestress, for she feels related to her by their common sex. Hence here deviation from the rule is not a mistake.
Another image is that of the official who, in compliance with regulation, first seeks an audience with his prince. If he is not successful in this, he does not try to force anything but goes about conscientious fulfillment of his duty, taking his place among the other officials. This extraordinary restraint is likewise not a mistake in exceptional times. (The rule is that every official should first have an audience with the prince by whom he is appointed. Here the appointment is made by the minister.)


初六:飞鸟以凶。

Six at the beginning means:

The bird meets with misfortune through flying.



A bird ought to remain in the nest until it is fledged. If it tries to fly before this, it invites misfortune. Extraordinary measures should be resorted to only when all else fails. At first we ought to put up with traditional ways as long as possible; otherwise we exhaust ourselves and our energy and still achieve nothing.