home
my Question jounal
search for a hexagram ask a question draw a hexagram
what is the Yijing? the Ten Wings foreword by Jung preface by Wilhelm Dutch flag about us
support our site
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:









18. Gu

Work on what has been spoiled (Decay)



<
上九:不事王侯,高尚其事。

Nine at the top means:

He does not serve kings and princes,
Sets himself higher goals.



Not every man has an obligation to mingle in the affairs of the world. There are some who are developed to such a degree that they are justified in letting the world go its own way and refusing to enter public life with a view to reforming it. But this does not imply a right to remain idle or to sit back and merely criticize. Such withdrawal is justified only when we strive to realize in ourselves the higher aims of mankind. For although the sage remains distant from the turmoil of daily life, he creates incomparable human values for the future.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六五:干父之蛊,用誉。

Six in the fifth place means:

Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.
One meets with praise.



An individual is confronted with corruption originating from neglect in former times. He lacks the power to ward it off alone, but with able helpers he can at least bring about a thorough reform, if he cannot create a new beginning, and this also is praiseworthy.
六四:裕父之蛊,往见吝。

Six in the fourth place means:

Tolerating what has been spoiled by the father.
In continuing one sees humiliation.



This shows the situation of someone too weak to take measures against decay that has its roots in the past and is just beginning to manifest itself. It is allowed to run its course. If this continues, humiliation will result.
九三:干父之蛊,小有悔,无大咎。

Nine in the third place means:

Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.

There will be a little remorse. No great blame.



This describes a man who proceeds a little too energetically in righting the mistakes of the past. Now and then, as a result, minor discourse and annoyances will surely develop. But too much energy is better than too little. Therefore, although he may at times have slight cause for regret, he remains free of any serious blame.
九二:干母之蛊,不可贞。

Nine in the second place means:

Setting right what has been spoiled by the mother.

One must not be too persevering.



This refers to mistakes that as a result of weakness have brought about decay-hence the symbol, "what has been spoiled by the mother. " In setting things right in such a case, a certain gentle consideration is called for. In order not to wound, one should not attempt to proceed too drastically.
初六:干父之蛊,有子,考无咎,厉终吉。
干父之蛊,意承考也。

Six in the beginning means:

Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.
If there is a son,
No blame rests upon the departed father.
Danger. In the end good fortune.



Rigid adherence to tradition has resulted in decay. But the decay has not yet penetrated deeply and so can still be easily remedied. It is as if a son were compensated for the decay his father allowed to creep in. Then no blame attaches to the father. However, one must not overlook the danger or take the matter too lightly. Only if one is conscious of the danger connected with every reform will everything go well in the end.
the Sign of hexagram Work on what has been spoiled (Decay) Gis:

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

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

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

The Chinese character Gu represents a bowl in whose contents worms are breeding. This means decay. It is come about because the gentle indifference in the lower trigram has come together with the rigid inertia of the upper, and the result is stagnation. Since this implies guilt, the conditions embody a demand for removal of the cause. Hence the meaning of the hexagram is not simply "what has been spoiled" but "work on what has been spoiled".

The sequence:
When one follows others with pleasure, there are certain to be undertakings. Hence there follows the hexagram of Work on what has been spoiled. Work on what has been spoiled means undertakings.

Miscellaneous notes:
Work on what has been spoiled. Afterward there is order.

The structure of the hexagram is not favorable. The heavy Gen is above; below is the gentle, listless Xun, the eldest daughter, who is occupied with the youngest son. But this stagnation is not permanent or unalterable. The nuclear trigrams show another trend. Zhen comes forth from Dui; both tend upward in movement and undertake the work of improvement energetically and joyously. This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one.
the Judgement for hexagram Work on what has been spoiled (Decay) Gis:

蛊:元亨,利涉大川。先甲三日,后甲三日。

Work on what has been spoiled
Has supreme success.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
Before the starting point, three days.
After the starting point, three days.



What has been spoiled through man's fault can be made good again through man's work. It is not immutable fate, as in the time of Standstill, that has caused the state of corruption, but rather the abuse of human freedom. Work toward improving conditions promises well, because it accords the possibilities of the time. We must not recoil from work and danger - symbolized by crossing of the great water - but must take hold energetically. Success depends, however, on proper deliberation. This is expressed by the lines, "Before the starting point, three days. After the starting point, three days." We must first know the cause of corruption before we can do away with them; hence it is necessary to be cautious during the time before the start. Then we must see to it that the new way is safely entered upon, so that a relapse may be avoided; therefore we must pay attention to the time after the start. Decisiveness and energy must take the place of inertia and indifference that have led to decay, in order that the ending may be followed by a new beginning.

Commentary on the Decision:

蛊,刚上而柔下,巽而止,蛊。蛊,元亨,而天下治也。利涉大川,往有事也。先甲三日,后甲三日,终则有始,天行也。

Work on what has been spoiled. The firm is above and the yielding below; gentle and standing still - that which has been spoiled.
“Work on what has been spoiled has supreme success,” and order comes into the world.
“It furthers one to cross the great water.” On going one will have things to do.
“Before the starting point, three days. After the starting point, three days.” That a new beginning follows every ending, is the course of heaven.



The name of the hexagram is explained in its structure and in the attributes of the trigrams. The preceding hexagram is here reversed: the strong, upward-striving force is above, and the weak, sinking force is below. In this way the movements diverge, and relationships are lacking. The attributes of the two trigrams are inner weakness, gentle, irresolute drifting, and, on the outside, inaction. This leads to spoiling.
At the same time, however, something thus spoiled imposes the task of working on it, with expectation of success. Through work on what has been spoiled the world is set in order once more. But something must be undertaken. Crossing of the great water is suggested by the lower trigram, which means wood (hence boat) and wind (hence progress), and by the lower nuclear trigram Dui, lake.
The phrase “before the starting point,” rendered literally, means “before the sign jia.” The trigram Zhen, in the east, means spring and love, and the cyclic sign Chia (with I) is next to it. Chia is the “starting point.” Before the three spring months, whose days taken together are called jia (and yi), lies winter; here the things of the past come to an end. After the spring months comes summer; from spring to summer is the new beginning. The words, “Before the sign jia, three days. After the sign jia, three days,” are thus explained by the words of the commentary: “That a new beginning follows every ending, is the course of heaven.” Since inner conditions are the theme of this hexagram, that is, work on what has been spoiled by the parents, love must prevail and extend over both the beginning and the end (cf. hexagram 57, Xun, the Gentle).
Fu Xi 'Earlier Heaven' bagua arrangement

Another explanation is suggested by the order of the trigrams in the Inner-World Arrangement as depicted here. The starting point (jia) is Zhen. Going three trigrams back from this, we come to the trigram Qian, the Creative; going three trigrams forward we come to Kun, the Receptive. Now Qian and Kun are the father and mother, and the hexagram refers to work on what has been spoiled by these two.
the Image going with hexagram Work on what has been spoiled (Decay) Gis:

山下有风,蛊;君子以振民育德。

The wind blows low on the mountain:
The image of Decay.
Thus the superior man stirs up the people
And strengthens their spirit.



When the wind blow s slow on the mountain, it is thrown back and spoils the vegetation. This contains a challenge to improvement. It is the same with debasing attitudes and fashions; they corrupt human society. His methods likewise must be derived from the two trigrams, but in such a way that their effects unfold in orderly sequence. The superior must first remove stagnation by stirring up public opinion, as the wind stirs up everything, and must strengthen and tranquilize the character of the people, as the mountain gives tranquillity and nourishment to all that grows in its vicinity.




the nuclear hexagram:
归妹
54. Gui Mei
the Marrying Maiden

C
the Sign:

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

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

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

The Chinese character Gu represents a bowl in whose contents worms are breeding. This means decay. It is come about because the gentle indifference in the lower trigram has come together with the rigid inertia of the upper, and the result is stagnation. Since this implies guilt, the conditions embody a demand for removal of the cause. Hence the meaning of the hexagram is not simply "what has been spoiled" but "work on what has been spoiled".

The sequence:
When one follows others with pleasure, there are certain to be undertakings. Hence there follows the hexagram of Work on what has been spoiled. Work on what has been spoiled means undertakings.

Miscellaneous notes:
Work on what has been spoiled. Afterward there is order.

The structure of the hexagram is not favorable. The heavy Gen is above; below is the gentle, listless Xun, the eldest daughter, who is occupied with the youngest son. But this stagnation is not permanent or unalterable. The nuclear trigrams show another trend. Zhen comes forth from Dui; both tend upward in movement and undertake the work of improvement energetically and joyously. This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one.


the Judgement:

蛊:元亨,利涉大川。先甲三日,后甲三日。

Work on what has been spoiled
Has supreme success.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
Before the starting point, three days.
After the starting point, three days.



What has been spoiled through man's fault can be made good again through man's work. It is not immutable fate, as in the time of Standstill, that has caused the state of corruption, but rather the abuse of human freedom. Work toward improving conditions promises well, because it accords the possibilities of the time. We must not recoil from work and danger - symbolized by crossing of the great water - but must take hold energetically. Success depends, however, on proper deliberation. This is expressed by the lines, "Before the starting point, three days. After the starting point, three days." We must first know the cause of corruption before we can do away with them; hence it is necessary to be cautious during the time before the start. Then we must see to it that the new way is safely entered upon, so that a relapse may be avoided; therefore we must pay attention to the time after the start. Decisiveness and energy must take the place of inertia and indifference that have led to decay, in order that the ending may be followed by a new beginning.

Commentary on the Decision:

蛊,刚上而柔下,巽而止,蛊。蛊,元亨,而天下治也。利涉大川,往有事也。先甲三日,后甲三日,终则有始,天行也。

Work on what has been spoiled. The firm is above and the yielding below; gentle and standing still - that which has been spoiled.
“Work on what has been spoiled has supreme success,” and order comes into the world.
“It furthers one to cross the great water.” On going one will have things to do.
“Before the starting point, three days. After the starting point, three days.” That a new beginning follows every ending, is the course of heaven.
 


The name of the hexagram is explained in its structure and in the attributes of the trigrams. The preceding hexagram is here reversed: the strong, upward-striving force is above, and the weak, sinking force is below. In this way the movements diverge, and relationships are lacking. The attributes of the two trigrams are inner weakness, gentle, irresolute drifting, and, on the outside, inaction. This leads to spoiling.
At the same time, however, something thus spoiled imposes the task of working on it, with expectation of success. Through work on what has been spoiled the world is set in order once more. But something must be undertaken. Crossing of the great water is suggested by the lower trigram, which means wood (hence boat) and wind (hence progress), and by the lower nuclear trigram Dui, lake.
The phrase “before the starting point,” rendered literally, means “before the sign jia.” The trigram Zhen, in the east, means spring and love, and the cyclic sign Chia (with I) is next to it. Chia is the “starting point.” Before the three spring months, whose days taken together are called jia (and yi), lies winter; here the things of the past come to an end. After the spring months comes summer; from spring to summer is the new beginning. The words, “Before the sign jia, three days. After the sign jia, three days,” are thus explained by the words of the commentary: “That a new beginning follows every ending, is the course of heaven.” Since inner conditions are the theme of this hexagram, that is, work on what has been spoiled by the parents, love must prevail and extend over both the beginning and the end (cf. hexagram 57, Xun, the Gentle).
Fu Xi 'Earlier Heaven' bagua arrangement

Another explanation is suggested by the order of the trigrams in the Inner-World Arrangement as depicted here. The starting point (jia) is Zhen. Going three trigrams back from this, we come to the trigram Qian, the Creative; going three trigrams forward we come to Kun, the Receptive. Now Qian and Kun are the father and mother, and the hexagram refers to work on what has been spoiled by these two.


the Image:

山下有风,蛊;君子以振民育德。

The wind blows low on the mountain:
The image of Decay.
Thus the superior man stirs up the people
And strengthens their spirit.



When the wind blow s slow on the mountain, it is thrown back and spoils the vegetation. This contains a challenge to improvement. It is the same with debasing attitudes and fashions; they corrupt human society. His methods likewise must be derived from the two trigrams, but in such a way that their effects unfold in orderly sequence. The superior must first remove stagnation by stirring up public opinion, as the wind stirs up everything, and must strengthen and tranquilize the character of the people, as the mountain gives tranquillity and nourishment to all that grows in its vicinity.


the Lines:


上九:不事王侯,高尚其事。

Nine at the top means:

He does not serve kings and princes,
Sets himself higher goals.



Not every man has an obligation to mingle in the affairs of the world. There are some who are developed to such a degree that they are justified in letting the world go its own way and refusing to enter public life with a view to reforming it. But this does not imply a right to remain idle or to sit back and merely criticize. Such withdrawal is justified only when we strive to realize in ourselves the higher aims of mankind. For although the sage remains distant from the turmoil of daily life, he creates incomparable human values for the future.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六五:干父之蛊,用誉。

Six in the fifth place means:

Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.
One meets with praise.



An individual is confronted with corruption originating from neglect in former times. He lacks the power to ward it off alone, but with able helpers he can at least bring about a thorough reform, if he cannot create a new beginning, and this also is praiseworthy.


六四:裕父之蛊,往见吝。

Six in the fourth place means:

Tolerating what has been spoiled by the father.
In continuing one sees humiliation.



This shows the situation of someone too weak to take measures against decay that has its roots in the past and is just beginning to manifest itself. It is allowed to run its course. If this continues, humiliation will result.


九三:干父之蛊,小有悔,无大咎。

Nine in the third place means:

Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.

There will be a little remorse. No great blame.



This describes a man who proceeds a little too energetically in righting the mistakes of the past. Now and then, as a result, minor discourse and annoyances will surely develop. But too much energy is better than too little. Therefore, although he may at times have slight cause for regret, he remains free of any serious blame.


九二:干母之蛊,不可贞。

Nine in the second place means:

Setting right what has been spoiled by the mother.

One must not be too persevering.



This refers to mistakes that as a result of weakness have brought about decay-hence the symbol, "what has been spoiled by the mother. " In setting things right in such a case, a certain gentle consideration is called for. In order not to wound, one should not attempt to proceed too drastically.


初六:干父之蛊,有子,考无咎,厉终吉。
干父之蛊,意承考也。

Six in the beginning means:

Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.
If there is a son,
No blame rests upon the departed father.
Danger. In the end good fortune.



Rigid adherence to tradition has resulted in decay. But the decay has not yet penetrated deeply and so can still be easily remedied. It is as if a son were compensated for the decay his father allowed to creep in. Then no blame attaches to the father. However, one must not overlook the danger or take the matter too lightly. Only if one is conscious of the danger connected with every reform will everything go well in the end.