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Fu Xi Earlier Heaven bagua arrangement
易經
the Hexagrams, Index

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

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易經
het Hexagrammenboek

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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:










50. Ding

the Caldron



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the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
上九:鼎玉铉,大吉,无不利。

Nine at the top means:

The ting has rings of jade.
Great good fortune.
Nothing that would not act to further.




In the preceding line the carrying rings are described as golden, to denote their strength; here they are said to be of jade. Jade is notable for its combination of hardness with soft luster. This counsel, in relation to the man who is open to it, works greatly t his advantage. Here the counsel is described in relation to the sage who imparts it. In imparting it, he will be mild and pure, like precious jade. Thus the work finds favor in the eyes of the Deity, who dispenses great good fortune, and becomes pleasing to men, wherefore all goes well.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六五:鼎黄耳,金铉,利贞。

Six in the fifth place means:

The ting has yellow handles, golden carrying rings.
Perseverance furthers.




Here we have, in a ruling position, a man who is approachable and modest in nature. As a result of this attitude he succeeds in finding strong and able helpers who complement and aid him in his work. Having achieved this attitude, which requires constant self-abnegation, it is important for him to hold to it and not to let himself be led astray.
九四:鼎折足,覆公餗,其形渥,凶。

Nine in the fourth place means:

The legs of the ting are broken.
The prince's meal is spilled
And his person is soiled.
Misfortune.




A man has a difficult and responsible task to which he is not adequate. Moreover, he does not devote himself to it with all his strength but goes about with inferior people; therefore the execution of the work fails. In this way he also incurs personal opprobrium. Confucius says about this line: "Weak character coupled with honored place, meager knowledge with large plans, limited powers with heavy responsibility, will seldom escape disaster."
九三:鼎耳革,其行塞,雉膏不食,方雨亏悔,终吉。

Nine in the third place means:

The handle of the ting is altered.
One is impeded in his way of life.
The fat of the pheasant is not eaten.
Once rain falls, remorse is spent.
Good fortune comes in the end.




The handle is the means for lifting up the ting. If the handle is altered, the ting cannot be lifted up and used, and, sad to say, the delicious food in it, such as pheasant fat, cannot be eaten by anyone.
This describes a man who, in a highly evolved civilization, finds himself in a place where no one notices or recognizes him. This is a severe block to his effectiveness. All of his good qualities and gifts of mind thus needlessly go to waste. But if he will only see to it that he is possessed of something truly spiritual, the time is bound to come, sooner or later, when the difficulties will be resolved and all will go well.
The fall of rain symbolizes here, as in other instances, release of tension.
九二:鼎有实,我仇有疾,不我能即,吉。

Nine in the second place means:

There is food in the ting.
My comrades are envious,
But they cannot harm me.
Good fortune.




In a period of advanced culture, it is of the greatest importance that one should achieve something significant. If a man concentrates on such real undertakings, he may indeed experience envy and disfavor, but that is not dangerous. The more he limits himself to his actual achievements, the less harm the envious inflict on him.
初六:鼎颠趾,利出否,得妾以其子,无咎。

Six at the beginning means:

A ting with legs upturned.
Furthers removal of stagnating stuff.
One takes a concubine for the sake of her son.
No blame.




If a ting is turned upside down before being used, no harm is done-on the contrary, this clears it of refuse. A concubine's position is lowly, but because she has a son she comes to be honored.
These two metaphors express the idea that in a highly developed civilization, such as that indicated by this hexagram, every person of good will can in some way or other succeed. No matter how lowly he may be, provided he is ready to purify himself, he is accepted. He attains a station in which he can prove himself fruitful in accomplishment, and as a result he gains recognition.
the Sign of hexagram the Caldron tis:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Li , the Clinging, the fire
   below Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Dui , the Joyous, the lake
   below Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven

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

The six lines construct the image of Ding, The Caldron; at the bottom are the legs, over them the belly, then come the ears (handles), and at the top the carrying rings. At the same time, the image suggests the idea of nourishment. The ding, cast of bronze, was the vessel that held the cooked viands in the temple of the ancestors and at banquets. The heads of the family served the food from the ding into the bowls of the guests.
The Well (hexagram 48) likewise has the secondary meaning of giving nourishment, but rather more in relation to the people. The ding, as a utensil pertaining to a refined civilization, suggests the fostering and nourishing of able men, which redounded to the benefit of the state.
This hexagram and the Well are the only two in the Book of Changes that represent concrete, men-made objects. Yet here too the thought has its abstract connotation. Xun, below, is wood and wind; Li, above, is flame. Thus together they stand for the flame kindled by wood and wind, which likewise suggests the idea of preparing food.

The sequence:
Nothing transforms things so much as the ting. Hence there follows the hexagram of the Caldron.

The transformations wrought by Ding are on the one hand the changes produced in food by cooking, and on the other, in a figurative sense, the revolutionary effects resulting from the joint work of a prince and a sage.

Miscellaneous notes:
The Caldron means taking up the new.

The hexagram is structurally the inverse of the preceding one; in meaning also it presents a transformation. While hexagram Ge, Revolution (49) treats of revolution as such in its negative aspect, Ding shows the correct way of going about social reorganization. The two primary trigrams move in such a way that their action is mutually reinforcing. The nuclear trigrams Qian and Dui, which mean metal, complete the idea of the ting as a sacred ceremonial vessel. These old bronze vessels - as still occasionally found in excavations - have been connected throughout all time with the loftiest expressions of Chinese civilization.
the Judgement for hexagram the Caldron tis:

鼎:元吉,亨。

The Caldron. Supreme good fortune.
Success.




While the Caldron relates to the social foundation of our life, and this foundation is likened to the water that serves to nourish growing wood, the present hexagram refers to the cultural superstructure of society. Here it is the wood that serves as nourishment for the flame, the spirit. All that is visible must grow beyond itself, extend into the realm of the invisible. Thereby it receives its true consecration and clarity and takes firm root in the cosmic order.
Here we see civilization as it reaches its culmination in religion. The ding serves in offering sacrifice to God. The highest earthly values must be sacrificed to the divine. But the truly divine does not manifest itself apart from man. The supreme revelation of God appears in prophets and holy men. To venerate them is true veneration of God. The will of God, as revealed through them, should be accepted in humility; this brings inner enlightenment and true understanding of the world, and this leads to great good fortune and success.

Commentary on the Decision:

鼎,象也。以木巽火,亨饪也。圣人亨以享上帝,而大亨以养圣贤。巽而耳目聪明,柔进而上行,得中而应乎刚,是以元亨。

The Caldron is the image of an object. When one causes wood to penetrate fire, food is cooked. The holy man cooks in order to sacrifice to God the Lord, and he cooks feasts in order to nourish the holy and the worthy.
Through gentleness the ear and eye become sharp and clear. The yielding advances and goes upward. It attains the middle and finds correspondence in the firm; hence there is supreme success.




The whole hexagram, with its sequence of divided and undivided lines, is the image of a ding, from the legs below to the handle rings at the top. The trigram Xun below means wood and penetration; Li above means fire. Thus wood is put into fire, and the fire is kept up for the preparation of the meal. Strictly speaking, food is of course not cooked in the ding but is served in it after being cooked in the kitchen; nevertheless, the symbol of the ting carries also the idea of the preparation of food. The ting is a ceremonial vessel reserved for use in sacrifices and banquets, and herein lies the contrast between this hexagram and Jing, the Well (hexagram 48), which connotes nourishment of the people. In a sacrifice to God only one animal is needed, because it is not the gift but the sentiment that counts. For the entertainment of guests abundant food and great lavishness are needed. The upper trigram Li is eye, the fifth line stands for the ears of the ding; thus the image of eye and ear is suggested. The lower trigram Xun is the Gentle, the adaptive. Thereby the eye and ear become sharp and clear (clarity is the attribute of the trigram Li).
The yielding element that moves upward is the ruler of the hexagram in the fifth place; it stands in the relationship of correspondence to the strong assistant, the nine in the second place, hence has success. In ancient China nine ding were the symbol of sovereignty, hence the favorable oracle.
the Image going with hexagram the Caldron tis:

木上有火,鼎;君子以正位凝命。

Fire over wood:
The image of the Caldron.
Thus the superior man consolidates his fate
By making his position correct.




The fate of fire depends on wood; as long as there is wood below, the fire burns above. It is the same in human life; there is in man likewise a fate that lends power to his life. And if he succeeds in assigning the right place to life and to fate, thus bringing the two into harmony, he puts his fate on a firm footing. These words contain hints about fostering of life as handed on by oral tradition in the secret teachings of Chinese yoga.




the nuclear hexagram:

43. Guai
Break-through (Resoluteness)

g
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 Li , the Clinging, the fire
   below Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Dui , the Joyous, the lake
   below Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven

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

The six lines construct the image of Ding, The Caldron; at the bottom are the legs, over them the belly, then come the ears (handles), and at the top the carrying rings. At the same time, the image suggests the idea of nourishment. The ding, cast of bronze, was the vessel that held the cooked viands in the temple of the ancestors and at banquets. The heads of the family served the food from the ding into the bowls of the guests.
The Well (hexagram 48) likewise has the secondary meaning of giving nourishment, but rather more in relation to the people. The ding, as a utensil pertaining to a refined civilization, suggests the fostering and nourishing of able men, which redounded to the benefit of the state.
This hexagram and the Well are the only two in the Book of Changes that represent concrete, men-made objects. Yet here too the thought has its abstract connotation. Xun, below, is wood and wind; Li, above, is flame. Thus together they stand for the flame kindled by wood and wind, which likewise suggests the idea of preparing food.

The sequence:
Nothing transforms things so much as the ting. Hence there follows the hexagram of the Caldron.

The transformations wrought by Ding are on the one hand the changes produced in food by cooking, and on the other, in a figurative sense, the revolutionary effects resulting from the joint work of a prince and a sage.

Miscellaneous notes:
The Caldron means taking up the new.

The hexagram is structurally the inverse of the preceding one; in meaning also it presents a transformation. While hexagram Ge, Revolution (49) treats of revolution as such in its negative aspect, Ding shows the correct way of going about social reorganization. The two primary trigrams move in such a way that their action is mutually reinforcing. The nuclear trigrams Qian and Dui, which mean metal, complete the idea of the ting as a sacred ceremonial vessel. These old bronze vessels - as still occasionally found in excavations - have been connected throughout all time with the loftiest expressions of Chinese civilization.


the Judgement:

鼎:元吉,亨。

The Caldron. Supreme good fortune.
Success.




While the Caldron relates to the social foundation of our life, and this foundation is likened to the water that serves to nourish growing wood, the present hexagram refers to the cultural superstructure of society. Here it is the wood that serves as nourishment for the flame, the spirit. All that is visible must grow beyond itself, extend into the realm of the invisible. Thereby it receives its true consecration and clarity and takes firm root in the cosmic order.
Here we see civilization as it reaches its culmination in religion. The ding serves in offering sacrifice to God. The highest earthly values must be sacrificed to the divine. But the truly divine does not manifest itself apart from man. The supreme revelation of God appears in prophets and holy men. To venerate them is true veneration of God. The will of God, as revealed through them, should be accepted in humility; this brings inner enlightenment and true understanding of the world, and this leads to great good fortune and success.

Commentary on the Decision:

鼎,象也。以木巽火,亨饪也。圣人亨以享上帝,而大亨以养圣贤。巽而耳目聪明,柔进而上行,得中而应乎刚,是以元亨。

The Caldron is the image of an object. When one causes wood to penetrate fire, food is cooked. The holy man cooks in order to sacrifice to God the Lord, and he cooks feasts in order to nourish the holy and the worthy.
Through gentleness the ear and eye become sharp and clear. The yielding advances and goes upward. It attains the middle and finds correspondence in the firm; hence there is supreme success.
 



The whole hexagram, with its sequence of divided and undivided lines, is the image of a ding, from the legs below to the handle rings at the top. The trigram Xun below means wood and penetration; Li above means fire. Thus wood is put into fire, and the fire is kept up for the preparation of the meal. Strictly speaking, food is of course not cooked in the ding but is served in it after being cooked in the kitchen; nevertheless, the symbol of the ting carries also the idea of the preparation of food. The ting is a ceremonial vessel reserved for use in sacrifices and banquets, and herein lies the contrast between this hexagram and Jing, the Well (hexagram 48), which connotes nourishment of the people. In a sacrifice to God only one animal is needed, because it is not the gift but the sentiment that counts. For the entertainment of guests abundant food and great lavishness are needed. The upper trigram Li is eye, the fifth line stands for the ears of the ding; thus the image of eye and ear is suggested. The lower trigram Xun is the Gentle, the adaptive. Thereby the eye and ear become sharp and clear (clarity is the attribute of the trigram Li).
The yielding element that moves upward is the ruler of the hexagram in the fifth place; it stands in the relationship of correspondence to the strong assistant, the nine in the second place, hence has success. In ancient China nine ding were the symbol of sovereignty, hence the favorable oracle.


the Image:

木上有火,鼎;君子以正位凝命。

Fire over wood:
The image of the Caldron.
Thus the superior man consolidates his fate
By making his position correct.




The fate of fire depends on wood; as long as there is wood below, the fire burns above. It is the same in human life; there is in man likewise a fate that lends power to his life. And if he succeeds in assigning the right place to life and to fate, thus bringing the two into harmony, he puts his fate on a firm footing. These words contain hints about fostering of life as handed on by oral tradition in the secret teachings of Chinese yoga.


the Lines:


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
上九:鼎玉铉,大吉,无不利。

Nine at the top means:

The ting has rings of jade.
Great good fortune.
Nothing that would not act to further.




In the preceding line the carrying rings are described as golden, to denote their strength; here they are said to be of jade. Jade is notable for its combination of hardness with soft luster. This counsel, in relation to the man who is open to it, works greatly t his advantage. Here the counsel is described in relation to the sage who imparts it. In imparting it, he will be mild and pure, like precious jade. Thus the work finds favor in the eyes of the Deity, who dispenses great good fortune, and becomes pleasing to men, wherefore all goes well.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六五:鼎黄耳,金铉,利贞。

Six in the fifth place means:

The ting has yellow handles, golden carrying rings.
Perseverance furthers.




Here we have, in a ruling position, a man who is approachable and modest in nature. As a result of this attitude he succeeds in finding strong and able helpers who complement and aid him in his work. Having achieved this attitude, which requires constant self-abnegation, it is important for him to hold to it and not to let himself be led astray.


九四:鼎折足,覆公餗,其形渥,凶。

Nine in the fourth place means:

The legs of the ting are broken.
The prince's meal is spilled
And his person is soiled.
Misfortune.




A man has a difficult and responsible task to which he is not adequate. Moreover, he does not devote himself to it with all his strength but goes about with inferior people; therefore the execution of the work fails. In this way he also incurs personal opprobrium. Confucius says about this line: "Weak character coupled with honored place, meager knowledge with large plans, limited powers with heavy responsibility, will seldom escape disaster."


九三:鼎耳革,其行塞,雉膏不食,方雨亏悔,终吉。

Nine in the third place means:

The handle of the ting is altered.
One is impeded in his way of life.
The fat of the pheasant is not eaten.
Once rain falls, remorse is spent.
Good fortune comes in the end.




The handle is the means for lifting up the ting. If the handle is altered, the ting cannot be lifted up and used, and, sad to say, the delicious food in it, such as pheasant fat, cannot be eaten by anyone.
This describes a man who, in a highly evolved civilization, finds himself in a place where no one notices or recognizes him. This is a severe block to his effectiveness. All of his good qualities and gifts of mind thus needlessly go to waste. But if he will only see to it that he is possessed of something truly spiritual, the time is bound to come, sooner or later, when the difficulties will be resolved and all will go well.
The fall of rain symbolizes here, as in other instances, release of tension.


九二:鼎有实,我仇有疾,不我能即,吉。

Nine in the second place means:

There is food in the ting.
My comrades are envious,
But they cannot harm me.
Good fortune.




In a period of advanced culture, it is of the greatest importance that one should achieve something significant. If a man concentrates on such real undertakings, he may indeed experience envy and disfavor, but that is not dangerous. The more he limits himself to his actual achievements, the less harm the envious inflict on him.


初六:鼎颠趾,利出否,得妾以其子,无咎。

Six at the beginning means:

A ting with legs upturned.
Furthers removal of stagnating stuff.
One takes a concubine for the sake of her son.
No blame.




If a ting is turned upside down before being used, no harm is done-on the contrary, this clears it of refuse. A concubine's position is lowly, but because she has a son she comes to be honored.
These two metaphors express the idea that in a highly developed civilization, such as that indicated by this hexagram, every person of good will can in some way or other succeed. No matter how lowly he may be, provided he is ready to purify himself, he is accepted. He attains a station in which he can prove himself fruitful in accomplishment, and as a result he gains recognition.