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Fu Xi Earlier Heaven bagua arrangement
易經
the Hexagrams, Index

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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:










53. Jian

Development (Gradual Progress)



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上九:鸿渐于陆,其羽可用为仪,吉。

Nine at the top means:

The wild goose gradually draws near the clouds heights.
Its feathers can be used for the sacred dance.
Good fortune.




Here life comes to its end. A man's work stands completed. The path rises high toward heaven, like the flight of wild geese when they have left the earth far behind. There they fly, keeping to the order of their flight in strict formation. And if their feathers fall, they can serve as ornaments in the sacred dance pantomimes performed in the temples. Thus the life of a man who has perfected himself is a bright light for the people of earth, who look up to him as an example.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:鸿渐于陵,妇三岁不孕,终莫之胜,吉。

Nine in the fifth place means:

The wild goose gradually draws near the summit.
For three years the woman has no child.
In the end nothing can hinder her.
Good fortune.




The summit is a high place. In a high position one easily becomes isolated. One is misjudged by the very person on whom one is dependent-the woman by her husband, the official by his superior. This is the work of deceitful persons who have wormed their way in. The result is that relationships remain sterile, and nothing is accomplished. But in the course of further development, such misunderstandings are cleared away, and reconciliation is achieved after all.
六四:鸿渐于木,或得其桷,无咎。

Six in the fourth place means:

The wild goose goes gradually draws near the tree.
Perhaps it will find a flat branch. No blame.




A tree is not a suitable place for a wild goose. But if it is clever, it will find a flat branch on which it can get a footing. A man's life too, in the course of its development, often brings him into inappropriate situations, in which he finds it difficult to hold his own without danger. Then it is important to be sensible and yielding. This enables him to discover a safe place in which life can go on, although he may be surrounded by danger.
九三:鸿渐于陆,夫征不复,妇孕不育,凶;利御寇。

Nine in the third place means:

The wild goose gradually draws near the plateau.
The man goes forth and does not return.
The woman carries a child but does not bring it forth.
Misfortune.
It furthers one to fight off robbers.




The high plateau is dry and unsuitable for the wild goose. If it goes there, it has lost its way and gone too far. This is contrary to the law of development.
It is the same in human life. If we do not let things develop quietly but plunge of our own choice too rashly into a struggle, misfortune results. A man jeopardizes his own life, and his family perishes thereby. However, this is not all necessary; it is only the result of transgressing the law of natural development. If one does not willfully provoke a conflict, but confines himself to vigorously maintaining his own position and to warding off unjustified attacks, all goes well.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六二:鸿渐于磐,饮食衎衎,吉。

Six in the second place means:

The wild goose gradually draws near the cliff.
Eating and drinking in peace and concord.
Good fortune.




The cliff is a safe place on shore. The development has gone a step further. The initial insecurity has been overcome, and a safe position in life has been found, giving one enough to live on. This first success, opening up a path to activity, brings a certain joyousness of mood, and one goes to meet the future reassured.
It is said of the wild goose that it calls to its comrades whenever it finds food; this is the symbol of peace and concord in good fortune. A man does not want to keep his good luck for himself only, but is ready to share it with others.
初六:鸿渐于干,小子厉,有言,无咎。

Six at the beginning means:

The wild goose gradually draws near the shore.
The young son is in danger.
There is talk. No blame.




All the individual lines in this hexagram symbolize the gradual flight of the wild goose. The wild goose is the symbol of conjugal fidelity, because it is believed that this bird never takes another mate after the death of the first.
The initial line suggests the first resting place in the flight of water birds from the water to the heights. The shore is reached. The situation is that of a lonely young man who is just starting out to make his way in life. Since no one comes to help him, his first steps are slow and hesitant, and he is surrounded by danger. Naturally he is subjected to much criticism. But these very difficulties keep him from being too hasty, and his progress is successful.
the Sign of hexagram Development (Gradual Progress) Dis:

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

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Li , the Clinging, the fire
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

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

This hexagram is made up of Xun (wood, penetration) above, i.e., without, and Gen (mountain, stillness) below, i.e., within. A tree on a mountain develops slowly according to the law of its being and consequently stands firmly rooted. This gives the idea of a development that proceeds gradually, step by step. The attributes of the trigrams also point to this: within is tranquillity, which guards against precipitate actions, and without is penetration, which makes development and progress possible.

The sequence:
Things cannot stop forever; hence there follows the hexagram of Development. Development means to progress.

Miscellaneous notes:

Development shows how the maiden is given in marriage and in this must await the actions of the man.

Like the hexagrams Jin, Progress (35), and Sheng, Pushing Upward (46), this hexagram pictures progress. But while Progress is like the rising sun spreading light over the earth, and Sheng shows a tree pushing up through the earth, what is meant here is slow growth such as that of a tree on a mountainside. In another aspect the hexagram is one of those dealing with the relation of man and woman, and therefore most closely related to the hexagram Xian, Influence (31). In the latter the youngest daughter is being influenced by the youngest son. The effect is quick and mutual, expressing the natural attraction between the sexes. In the present hexagram, the mature elder daughter is being influenced by the youngest son; hence in this instance the emphasis is rather on the mores with their restraining effect. Thus we are reminded here of the gradual development in the case of marriage, which in the course of time came to require the carrying out of six different rites (cf. the next hexagram).
the Judgement for hexagram Development (Gradual Progress) Dis:

渐:女归吉,利贞。

Development. The maiden
Is given in marriage.
Good fortune.
Perseverance furthers.




The development of events that leads to a girl's following a man to his home proceeds slowly. The various formalities must be disposed of before the marriage takes place. This principle of gradual development can be applied to other situations as well; it is always applicable where it is a matter of correct relationships of co-operation, as for instance in the appointment of an official. The development must be allowed to take its proper course. Hasty action would not be wise. This is also true, finally, of any effort to exert influence on others, for here too the essential factor is a correct way of development through cultivation of one's own personality. No influence such as that exerted by agitators has a lasting effect. Within the personality too, development must follow the same course if lasting results are to be achieved.
Gentleness that is adaptable, but at the same time penetrating, is the outer form that should proceed from inner calm.
The very gradualness of the development makes it necessary to have perseverance, for perseverance alone prevents slow progress from dwindling to nothing.

Commentary on the Decision:

渐之进也,女归吉也。进得位,往有功也。进以正,可以正邦也。其位刚,得中也。止而巽,动不穷也。

The progress of Development means the good fortune of the maiden’s marriage.
Progressing and thereby attaining the right place: going brings success.
Progressing in what is right - thus one may set the country in order.
His place is firm, and he has attained the middle. Keeping still and penetrating: this makes the movement inexhaustible.




The meaning of the name of the hexagram is explained in terms of the first part of the Judgment, the rest of which is elucidated on the basis of the structure of the hexagram. The two rulers of the hexagram, the second and the fifth line, show a progressing and therefore attain their correct and natural places. Attainment of a proper place bespeaks a correct attitude of mind; there by undertakings meet with success, and the state can be set in order. The emphasis here is on the combination of personal moral effort and such strength as is required to set the state in order. The ruler of the hexagram, standing in the fifth place - that of command - combining strength and central correctness, is especially well qualified for achieving successful results of this kind. The latter part of the commentary deals with the two primary trigrams and points out that the inexhaustible source of progress is inner calm combined with adaptability to circumstances. Calm is the attribute of the inner trigram, Gen, adaptability that of the outer trigram, Xun.
the Image going with hexagram Development (Gradual Progress) Dis:

山上有木,渐;君子以居贤德,善俗。

On the mountain, a tree:
The image of Development.
Thus the superior man abides in dignity and virtue,
In order to improve the mores.




The tree on the mountain is visible from afar, and its development influences the landscape of the entire region. It does not shoot up like a swamp plant; its growth proceeds gradually. Thus also the work of influencing people can be only gradual. No sudden influence or awakening is of lasting effect. Progress must be quite gradual, and in order to obtain such progress in public opinion and in the mores of the people, it is necessary for the personality to acquire influence and weight. This comes about through careful and constant work on one's own moral development.




the nuclear hexagram:
未济
64. Wei Ji
Before Completion

P
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 Xun , the Gentle, the wind
   below Trigram Gen , Keeping Still, the mountain

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Li , the Clinging, the fire
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

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

This hexagram is made up of Xun (wood, penetration) above, i.e., without, and Gen (mountain, stillness) below, i.e., within. A tree on a mountain develops slowly according to the law of its being and consequently stands firmly rooted. This gives the idea of a development that proceeds gradually, step by step. The attributes of the trigrams also point to this: within is tranquillity, which guards against precipitate actions, and without is penetration, which makes development and progress possible.

The sequence:
Things cannot stop forever; hence there follows the hexagram of Development. Development means to progress.

Miscellaneous notes:

Development shows how the maiden is given in marriage and in this must await the actions of the man.

Like the hexagrams Jin, Progress (35), and Sheng, Pushing Upward (46), this hexagram pictures progress. But while Progress is like the rising sun spreading light over the earth, and Sheng shows a tree pushing up through the earth, what is meant here is slow growth such as that of a tree on a mountainside. In another aspect the hexagram is one of those dealing with the relation of man and woman, and therefore most closely related to the hexagram Xian, Influence (31). In the latter the youngest daughter is being influenced by the youngest son. The effect is quick and mutual, expressing the natural attraction between the sexes. In the present hexagram, the mature elder daughter is being influenced by the youngest son; hence in this instance the emphasis is rather on the mores with their restraining effect. Thus we are reminded here of the gradual development in the case of marriage, which in the course of time came to require the carrying out of six different rites (cf. the next hexagram).


the Judgement:

渐:女归吉,利贞。

Development. The maiden
Is given in marriage.
Good fortune.
Perseverance furthers.




The development of events that leads to a girl's following a man to his home proceeds slowly. The various formalities must be disposed of before the marriage takes place. This principle of gradual development can be applied to other situations as well; it is always applicable where it is a matter of correct relationships of co-operation, as for instance in the appointment of an official. The development must be allowed to take its proper course. Hasty action would not be wise. This is also true, finally, of any effort to exert influence on others, for here too the essential factor is a correct way of development through cultivation of one's own personality. No influence such as that exerted by agitators has a lasting effect. Within the personality too, development must follow the same course if lasting results are to be achieved.
Gentleness that is adaptable, but at the same time penetrating, is the outer form that should proceed from inner calm.
The very gradualness of the development makes it necessary to have perseverance, for perseverance alone prevents slow progress from dwindling to nothing.

Commentary on the Decision:

渐之进也,女归吉也。进得位,往有功也。进以正,可以正邦也。其位刚,得中也。止而巽,动不穷也。

The progress of Development means the good fortune of the maiden’s marriage.
Progressing and thereby attaining the right place: going brings success.
Progressing in what is right - thus one may set the country in order.
His place is firm, and he has attained the middle. Keeping still and penetrating: this makes the movement inexhaustible.




The meaning of the name of the hexagram is explained in terms of the first part of the Judgment, the rest of which is elucidated on the basis of the structure of the hexagram. The two rulers of the hexagram, the second and the fifth line, show a progressing and therefore attain their correct and natural places. Attainment of a proper place bespeaks a correct attitude of mind; there by undertakings meet with success, and the state can be set in order. The emphasis here is on the combination of personal moral effort and such strength as is required to set the state in order. The ruler of the hexagram, standing in the fifth place - that of command - combining strength and central correctness, is especially well qualified for achieving successful results of this kind. The latter part of the commentary deals with the two primary trigrams and points out that the inexhaustible source of progress is inner calm combined with adaptability to circumstances. Calm is the attribute of the inner trigram, Gen, adaptability that of the outer trigram, Xun.


the Image:

山上有木,渐;君子以居贤德,善俗。

On the mountain, a tree:
The image of Development.
Thus the superior man abides in dignity and virtue,
In order to improve the mores.




The tree on the mountain is visible from afar, and its development influences the landscape of the entire region. It does not shoot up like a swamp plant; its growth proceeds gradually. Thus also the work of influencing people can be only gradual. No sudden influence or awakening is of lasting effect. Progress must be quite gradual, and in order to obtain such progress in public opinion and in the mores of the people, it is necessary for the personality to acquire influence and weight. This comes about through careful and constant work on one's own moral development.


the Lines:


上九:鸿渐于陆,其羽可用为仪,吉。

Nine at the top means:

The wild goose gradually draws near the clouds heights.
Its feathers can be used for the sacred dance.
Good fortune.




Here life comes to its end. A man's work stands completed. The path rises high toward heaven, like the flight of wild geese when they have left the earth far behind. There they fly, keeping to the order of their flight in strict formation. And if their feathers fall, they can serve as ornaments in the sacred dance pantomimes performed in the temples. Thus the life of a man who has perfected himself is a bright light for the people of earth, who look up to him as an example.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:鸿渐于陵,妇三岁不孕,终莫之胜,吉。

Nine in the fifth place means:

The wild goose gradually draws near the summit.
For three years the woman has no child.
In the end nothing can hinder her.
Good fortune.




The summit is a high place. In a high position one easily becomes isolated. One is misjudged by the very person on whom one is dependent-the woman by her husband, the official by his superior. This is the work of deceitful persons who have wormed their way in. The result is that relationships remain sterile, and nothing is accomplished. But in the course of further development, such misunderstandings are cleared away, and reconciliation is achieved after all.


六四:鸿渐于木,或得其桷,无咎。

Six in the fourth place means:

The wild goose goes gradually draws near the tree.
Perhaps it will find a flat branch. No blame.




A tree is not a suitable place for a wild goose. But if it is clever, it will find a flat branch on which it can get a footing. A man's life too, in the course of its development, often brings him into inappropriate situations, in which he finds it difficult to hold his own without danger. Then it is important to be sensible and yielding. This enables him to discover a safe place in which life can go on, although he may be surrounded by danger.


九三:鸿渐于陆,夫征不复,妇孕不育,凶;利御寇。

Nine in the third place means:

The wild goose gradually draws near the plateau.
The man goes forth and does not return.
The woman carries a child but does not bring it forth.
Misfortune.
It furthers one to fight off robbers.




The high plateau is dry and unsuitable for the wild goose. If it goes there, it has lost its way and gone too far. This is contrary to the law of development.
It is the same in human life. If we do not let things develop quietly but plunge of our own choice too rashly into a struggle, misfortune results. A man jeopardizes his own life, and his family perishes thereby. However, this is not all necessary; it is only the result of transgressing the law of natural development. If one does not willfully provoke a conflict, but confines himself to vigorously maintaining his own position and to warding off unjustified attacks, all goes well.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六二:鸿渐于磐,饮食衎衎,吉。

Six in the second place means:

The wild goose gradually draws near the cliff.
Eating and drinking in peace and concord.
Good fortune.




The cliff is a safe place on shore. The development has gone a step further. The initial insecurity has been overcome, and a safe position in life has been found, giving one enough to live on. This first success, opening up a path to activity, brings a certain joyousness of mood, and one goes to meet the future reassured.
It is said of the wild goose that it calls to its comrades whenever it finds food; this is the symbol of peace and concord in good fortune. A man does not want to keep his good luck for himself only, but is ready to share it with others.


初六:鸿渐于干,小子厉,有言,无咎。

Six at the beginning means:

The wild goose gradually draws near the shore.
The young son is in danger.
There is talk. No blame.




All the individual lines in this hexagram symbolize the gradual flight of the wild goose. The wild goose is the symbol of conjugal fidelity, because it is believed that this bird never takes another mate after the death of the first.
The initial line suggests the first resting place in the flight of water birds from the water to the heights. The shore is reached. The situation is that of a lonely young man who is just starting out to make his way in life. Since no one comes to help him, his first steps are slow and hesitant, and he is surrounded by danger. Naturally he is subjected to much criticism. But these very difficulties keep him from being too hasty, and his progress is successful.