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易經
the Hexagrams, Index

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

Ancient Chinese coins

易經
het Hexagrammenboek

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






Table 1,

Select a hexagram by combining the trigrams:


Trigrammemindeling
Trigrammemindeling


Table 2,

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









57. Xun

the Gentle (The Penetrating, Wind)



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上九:巽在床下,丧其资斧,贞凶。
巽在床下,上穷也。丧其资斧,正乎凶也。

Nine at the top means:

Penetration under the bed.
He loses his property and his ax.
Perseverance brings misfortune.




A man's understanding is sufficiently penetrating. He follows up injurious influences into the most secret corners. But he no longer has the strength to combat them decisively. In this case any attempt to penetrate into the personal domain of darkness would only bring harm.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:贞吉悔亡,无不利。无初有终,先庚三日,后庚三日,吉。
九五之吉,位正中也。

Nine in the fifth place means:

Perseverance brings good fortune.
Remorse vanishes.
Nothing that does not further.
No beginning, but an end.
Before the change, three days.
After the change, three days.
Good fortune.




In the situation described in Gu, Work on what has been spoiled (hexagram 18), an entirely new point of departure must be set up, whereas here it is only a question of reforms. The beginning has not been good, but the moment has been reached when a new direction can be taken. Change and improvement are called for. Such steps must be undertaken with steadfastness, that is, with a firm and correct attitude of mind; then they will succeed, and remorse will disappear. But it must be remembered that such improvements require careful consideration. Before a change is made, it must be pondered over again and again. After the change is made, it is necessary to note carefully for some time after how the improvements bear the test of actuality. Such careful work is accompanied by good fortune.
the yellow square is indicating this line as the constituting ruler of the hexagram
六四:悔亡,田获三品。
田获三品,有功也。

Six in the fourth place means:

Remorse vanishes.
During the hunt
Three kinds of game are caught.




When a responsible position and accumulated experience lead one to combine innate modesty with energetic action, great success is assured. The three kinds of animals referred to served for offerings to the gods, for feasting guests, and for everyday consumption. When the catch answered all three purposes, the hunt was considered especially successful.
九三:频巽,吝。
频巽之吝,志穷也。

Nine in the third place means:

Repeated penetration. Humiliation.




Penetrating reflection must not be pushed too far, lest it cripple the power of decision. After a matter has been thoroughly pondered, it is essential to form a decision and to act. Repeated deliberation brings fresh doubts and scruples, and thereby humiliation, because one shows oneself unable to act.
九二:巽在床下,用史巫纷若,吉,无咎。

Nine in the second place means:

Penetration under the bed.
Priests and magicians are used in great number.
Good fortune. No blame.




At times one has to deal with hidden enemies, intangible influences that slink into dark corners and from this hiding affect people by suggestion. In instances like this, it is necessary to trace these things back to the most secret recesses, in order to determine the nature of the influences to be dealt with. This is the task of the priests; removing the influences is the task of the magicians. The very anonymity of such plotting requires an especially vigorous and indefatigable effort, but this is well worth while. For when such elusive influences are brought into the light and branded, they lose their power over people.
the yellow square is indicating this line as the constituting ruler of the hexagram
初六:进退,利武人之贞。

Six at the beginning means:

In advancing and in retreating,
The perseverance of a warrior furthers.




In born gentleness is often carried to the point of indecisiveness. One does not feel strong enough to advance resolutely. A thousand doubts crop up; one is, however, not minded to withdraw but drifts indecisively to and fro. In such a situation, a military decisiveness is the proper thing, so that one resolutely does what order demands. Resolute discipline is far better than irresolute license.
the Sign of hexagram the Gentle (The Penetrating, Wind) qis:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind
   below Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Li , the Clinging, the fire
   below Trigram Dui , Trigram Dui, the Joyous, the lake

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind
   below Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind

Xun is one of the eight doubled trigrams. It is the eldest daughter and symbolizes wind or wood; it has for its attribute gentleness, which nonetheless penetrates like the wind or like growing wood with its roots.
The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is dissolved by the penetrating light principle, to which it subordinates itself in gentleness. In nature, it is the wind that disperses the gathered clouds, leaving the sky clear and serene. In human life it is penetrating clarity of judgment that thwarts all dark hidden motives. In the life of the community it is the powerful influence of a great personality that uncovers and breaks up those intrigues which shun the light of day.

The sequence:
The wanderer has nothing that might receive him; hence there follows the hexagram of the Gentle, the Penetrating. The Gentle means going into.

This means that the wanderer in his forlornness has no place to stay in, and that hence there follows Xun, the hexagram of homecoming.

Miscellaneous notes:
The Gentle means crouching.
The dark line is below, it crouches down beneath the light lines, and through this gentle crouching succeeds in penetrating among the strong lines.

Appended judgments:
The Gentle shows the exercise of character. Through the Gentle one is able to weigh things and remain hidden. Through the Gentle one is able to take special circumstances into account.

Gentle penetration makes the character capable of influencing the outside world and gaining control over it. For thus one can understand things in their inner nature without having to step into the forefront oneself. Herein lies the power of influence. In this position, one is able to make the exceptions demanded by the time, without being inconsistent.
Among the eight trigrams, Xun occupies the southeast, between spring and summer. It means the flowing of beings into their forms, it means baptism and giving life.
the Judgement for hexagram the Gentle (The Penetrating, Wind) qis:

巽:小亨,利攸往,利见大人。

The Gentle. Success through what is small.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.
It furthers one to see the great man.




Penetration produces gradual and inconspicuous effects. It should be effected not by an act of violation but by influence that never lapses. Results of this kind are less striking to the eye than those won by surprise attack, but they are more enduring and more complete. If one would produce such effects, one must have a clearly defined goal, for only when the penetrating influence works always in the same direction can the object be attained.
Small strength can achieve its purpose only by subordinating itself to an eminent man who is capable of creating order.

Commentary on the Decision:

重巽以申命,刚巽乎中正而志行。柔皆顺乎刚,是以小亨,利有攸往,利见大人。

Penetration repeated, in order to spread commands abroad.
The firm penetrates to the middle and to the correct, and its will is done.
Both of the yielding lines submit to the strong; therefore it is said: “Success through what is small. It furthers one to have somewhere to go. It furthers one to see the great man.”




This hexagram is constituted by a doubling of the trigram Xun, which means on the one hand gentleness, adaptability, on the other penetration. In the issuing of commands, it is all-important that they really penetrate the consciousness of the subordinates. This is effected by adaptation of the commands to their understanding. A twofold penetration is required: first penetration of a command to the feeling of the vassals, scattering the evil hidden in secret recesses, as the wind scatters clouds; second, a still deeper penetration, to the depths of consciousness, where the hidden good must be awakened. To obtain this effect, commands must be given repetitively.
The text is further explained in the light of the structure of the hexagram. The strong line that has penetrated to the center—the correct place for it—is the nine in the fifth place; therefore its will is done, and it is favorable to undertake something. The yielding lines in the first and the fourth place obey the firm ruler of the hexagram above them. Hence success is connected with the small, which is furthered by seeing the great man (the nine in the fifth place).
the Image going with hexagram the Gentle (The Penetrating, Wind) qis:

随风,巽;君子以申命行事。

Winds following one upon the other:
The image of the Gentle Penetrating
Thus the superior man
Spreads his commands abroad
And carries out his undertakings.




The penetrating quality of the wind depends upon its ceaselessness. This is what makes it so powerful; time is its instrument. In the same way the ruler's thought should penetrate the soul of the people. This too requires a lasting influence brought about by enlightenment and command. Only when the command has been assimilated by the people is action in accordance with it possible. Action without preparation of the ground only frightens and repels.




the nuclear hexagram:

38. Kui
Opposition

o
the Sign:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind
   below Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Li , the Clinging, the fire
   below Trigram Dui , Trigram Dui, the Joyous, the lake

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind
   below Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind

Xun is one of the eight doubled trigrams. It is the eldest daughter and symbolizes wind or wood; it has for its attribute gentleness, which nonetheless penetrates like the wind or like growing wood with its roots.
The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is dissolved by the penetrating light principle, to which it subordinates itself in gentleness. In nature, it is the wind that disperses the gathered clouds, leaving the sky clear and serene. In human life it is penetrating clarity of judgment that thwarts all dark hidden motives. In the life of the community it is the powerful influence of a great personality that uncovers and breaks up those intrigues which shun the light of day.

The sequence:
The wanderer has nothing that might receive him; hence there follows the hexagram of the Gentle, the Penetrating. The Gentle means going into.

This means that the wanderer in his forlornness has no place to stay in, and that hence there follows Xun, the hexagram of homecoming.

Miscellaneous notes:
The Gentle means crouching.
The dark line is below, it crouches down beneath the light lines, and through this gentle crouching succeeds in penetrating among the strong lines.

Appended judgments:
The Gentle shows the exercise of character. Through the Gentle one is able to weigh things and remain hidden. Through the Gentle one is able to take special circumstances into account.

Gentle penetration makes the character capable of influencing the outside world and gaining control over it. For thus one can understand things in their inner nature without having to step into the forefront oneself. Herein lies the power of influence. In this position, one is able to make the exceptions demanded by the time, without being inconsistent.
Among the eight trigrams, Xun occupies the southeast, between spring and summer. It means the flowing of beings into their forms, it means baptism and giving life.


the Judgement:

巽:小亨,利攸往,利见大人。

The Gentle. Success through what is small.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.
It furthers one to see the great man.




Penetration produces gradual and inconspicuous effects. It should be effected not by an act of violation but by influence that never lapses. Results of this kind are less striking to the eye than those won by surprise attack, but they are more enduring and more complete. If one would produce such effects, one must have a clearly defined goal, for only when the penetrating influence works always in the same direction can the object be attained.
Small strength can achieve its purpose only by subordinating itself to an eminent man who is capable of creating order.

Commentary on the Decision:

重巽以申命,刚巽乎中正而志行。柔皆顺乎刚,是以小亨,利有攸往,利见大人。

Penetration repeated, in order to spread commands abroad.
The firm penetrates to the middle and to the correct, and its will is done.
Both of the yielding lines submit to the strong; therefore it is said: “Success through what is small. It furthers one to have somewhere to go. It furthers one to see the great man.”
 



This hexagram is constituted by a doubling of the trigram Xun, which means on the one hand gentleness, adaptability, on the other penetration. In the issuing of commands, it is all-important that they really penetrate the consciousness of the subordinates. This is effected by adaptation of the commands to their understanding. A twofold penetration is required: first penetration of a command to the feeling of the vassals, scattering the evil hidden in secret recesses, as the wind scatters clouds; second, a still deeper penetration, to the depths of consciousness, where the hidden good must be awakened. To obtain this effect, commands must be given repetitively.
The text is further explained in the light of the structure of the hexagram. The strong line that has penetrated to the center—the correct place for it—is the nine in the fifth place; therefore its will is done, and it is favorable to undertake something. The yielding lines in the first and the fourth place obey the firm ruler of the hexagram above them. Hence success is connected with the small, which is furthered by seeing the great man (the nine in the fifth place).


the Image:

随风,巽;君子以申命行事。

Winds following one upon the other:
The image of the Gentle Penetrating
Thus the superior man
Spreads his commands abroad
And carries out his undertakings.




The penetrating quality of the wind depends upon its ceaselessness. This is what makes it so powerful; time is its instrument. In the same way the ruler's thought should penetrate the soul of the people. This too requires a lasting influence brought about by enlightenment and command. Only when the command has been assimilated by the people is action in accordance with it possible. Action without preparation of the ground only frightens and repels.


the Lines:


上九:巽在床下,丧其资斧,贞凶。
巽在床下,上穷也。丧其资斧,正乎凶也。

Nine at the top means:

Penetration under the bed.
He loses his property and his ax.
Perseverance brings misfortune.




A man's understanding is sufficiently penetrating. He follows up injurious influences into the most secret corners. But he no longer has the strength to combat them decisively. In this case any attempt to penetrate into the personal domain of darkness would only bring harm.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:贞吉悔亡,无不利。无初有终,先庚三日,后庚三日,吉。
九五之吉,位正中也。

Nine in the fifth place means:

Perseverance brings good fortune.
Remorse vanishes.
Nothing that does not further.
No beginning, but an end.
Before the change, three days.
After the change, three days.
Good fortune.




In the situation described in Gu, Work on what has been spoiled (hexagram 18), an entirely new point of departure must be set up, whereas here it is only a question of reforms. The beginning has not been good, but the moment has been reached when a new direction can be taken. Change and improvement are called for. Such steps must be undertaken with steadfastness, that is, with a firm and correct attitude of mind; then they will succeed, and remorse will disappear. But it must be remembered that such improvements require careful consideration. Before a change is made, it must be pondered over again and again. After the change is made, it is necessary to note carefully for some time after how the improvements bear the test of actuality. Such careful work is accompanied by good fortune.


the yellow square is indicating this line as the constituting ruler of the hexagram
六四:悔亡,田获三品。
田获三品,有功也。

Six in the fourth place means:

Remorse vanishes.
During the hunt
Three kinds of game are caught.




When a responsible position and accumulated experience lead one to combine innate modesty with energetic action, great success is assured. The three kinds of animals referred to served for offerings to the gods, for feasting guests, and for everyday consumption. When the catch answered all three purposes, the hunt was considered especially successful.


九三:频巽,吝。
频巽之吝,志穷也。

Nine in the third place means:

Repeated penetration. Humiliation.




Penetrating reflection must not be pushed too far, lest it cripple the power of decision. After a matter has been thoroughly pondered, it is essential to form a decision and to act. Repeated deliberation brings fresh doubts and scruples, and thereby humiliation, because one shows oneself unable to act.


九二:巽在床下,用史巫纷若,吉,无咎。

Nine in the second place means:

Penetration under the bed.
Priests and magicians are used in great number.
Good fortune. No blame.




At times one has to deal with hidden enemies, intangible influences that slink into dark corners and from this hiding affect people by suggestion. In instances like this, it is necessary to trace these things back to the most secret recesses, in order to determine the nature of the influences to be dealt with. This is the task of the priests; removing the influences is the task of the magicians. The very anonymity of such plotting requires an especially vigorous and indefatigable effort, but this is well worth while. For when such elusive influences are brought into the light and branded, they lose their power over people.


the yellow square is indicating this line as the constituting ruler of the hexagram
初六:进退,利武人之贞。

Six at the beginning means:

In advancing and in retreating,
The perseverance of a warrior furthers.




In born gentleness is often carried to the point of indecisiveness. One does not feel strong enough to advance resolutely. A thousand doubts crop up; one is, however, not minded to withdraw but drifts indecisively to and fro. In such a situation, a military decisiveness is the proper thing, so that one resolutely does what order demands. Resolute discipline is far better than irresolute license.