home
my Question journal
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:









明夷

36. Ming Yi

Darkening of the Light



<
the yellow square is indicating this line as the constituting ruler of the hexagram
上六:不明晦,初登于天,后入于地。

Six at the top means:

Not light but darkness.
First he climbed up to heaven,
Then plunged into the depths of the earth.



Here the climax of the darkening is reached. The dark power at first held so high a place that it could wound all who were on the side of good and of the light. But in the end it perishes of its own darkness, for evil must itself fall at the very moment when it has wholly overcome the good, and thus consumed the energy to which it owed its duration.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六五:箕子之明夷,利贞。

Six in the fifth place means:

Darkening of the light as with Prince Ji.
Perseverance furthers.



Prince Ji lived at the court of the evil tyrant Zhou Xin, who, although not mentioned by name, furnished the historical example on which this whole situation is based. Prince Ji was a relative of the tyrant and could not withdraw from the court; therefore he concealed his true sentiments and feigned insanity. Although he was held a slave, he did not allow external misery to deflect him from his convictions.
This provides a teaching for those who cannot leave their posts in times of darkness. In order to escape danger, they need invincible perseverance of spirit and redoubled caution in their dealings with the world.
六四:入于左腹,获明夷之心,出于门庭。

Six in the fourth place means:

He penetrates the left side of the belly.
One gets at the very heart of the darkening of the light.
And abandons gate and court.



We find ourselves close to the commander of darkness and so discover his mot secret thoughts. In this way we realize that there is no longer any hope of improvement, and thus we are enabled to leave the scene of disaster before the storm breaks.
九三:明夷于南狩,得其大首,不可疾贞。

Nine in the third place means:

Darkening of the light during the hunt in the south.
Their great leader is captured.
One must not expect perseverance too soon.



It seems as if chance were at work. While the strong, loyal man is striving eagerly and in good faith to create order, he meets the ringleader of the disorder, as if by accident, and seizes him. Thus victory is achieved. But in abolishing abuses one must not be too hasty. This would turn out badly because the abuses have been in existence so long.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六二:明夷,夷于左股,用拯马壮,吉。

Six in the second place means:

Darkening of the light injures him in the left thigh.
He gives aid with the strength of a horse.
Good fortune.



Here the Lord of Light is in a subordinate place and is wounded by the Lord of Darkness. But the injury is not fatal; it is only a hindrance. Rescue is still possible. The wounded man gives no thought to himself; he thinks only of saving the others who are also in danger. Therefore he tries with all his strength to save all that can be saved. There is good fortune in thus acting according to duty.
初九:明夷于飞,垂其翼。君子于行,三日不食,有攸往,主人有言。

Nine at the beginning means:

Darkening of the light during flight.
He lowers his wings.
The superior man does not eat for three days
On his wanderings.
But he has somewhere to go.
The host has occasion to gossip about him.



With grandiose resolve a man endeavors to soar above all obstacles, but thus encounters a hostile fate. He retreats and evades the issue. The time is difficult. Without rest, he must hurry along, with no permanent abiding place. If he does not want to make compromises within himself, but insists on remaining true to his principles, he suffers deprivation. Never the less he has a fixed goal to strive for even though the people with whom he lives do not understand him and speak ill of him.
the Sign of hexagram Darkening of the Light Uis:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Li , the Clinging, the fire

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder
   below Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder

Here the sun has sunk under the earth and is therefore darkened. The name of the hexagram means literally "wounding of the bright"; hence the individual lines contain frequent references to wounding. The situation is the exact opposite of that in the foregoing hexagram. In the latter a wise man at the head of affairs has able helpers, and in company with them makes progress; here a man of dark nature is in a position of authority and brings harm to the wise and able man.

The sequence:
Expansion will certainly encounter resistance and injury. Hence there follows the hexagram of Darkening of the Light. Darkening means damage, injury.

Miscellaneous notes:
Darkening of the Light means injury.

The whole hexagram has a historical background. For at the time when King Wen wrote the judgments on the hexagrams, conditions in China were just as this hexagram pictures them. In the judgments on the lines, the Duke of Zhou refers to Prince Ji as exemplifying the situation. Confucius carries this further in the Commentary on the Decision by adding the example of King Wen.
Later on - quite in keeping with the meaning - historical personages came to be linked with each of the lines. The evil ruler was Zhou Xin, the last king of the Yin dynasty. He is symbolized by the six at the top. Under him the most able princes of the realm were all made to suffer severely, and their fates are mirrored in the individual lines. The highminded Bo Yi withdrew into hiding with his brother, Shu Qi. He is represented by the nine at the beginning. The six in the second place pictures King Wen, who, as the foremost of the feudal princes, was long held prisoner by the tyrant, with constant danger to his life. The nine in the third place represents his son, afterward King Wu of Zhou, who overthrew the tyrant. The six in the fourth place depicts the situation of Prince Wei Zi who was able to save himself by timely flight abroad. Finally, the six in the fifth place depicts the situation of Prince Ji, who could save his life only by dissembling.
This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one.
the Judgement for hexagram Darkening of the Light Uis:

明夷:利艰贞。

Darkening of the Light. In adversity
It furthers one to be persevering.



One must not unresistingly let himself be swept along by unfavorable circumstances, nor permit his steadfastness to be shaken. He can avoid this by maintaining his inner light, while remaining outwardly yielding and tractable. With this attitude he can overcome even the greatest adversities. In some situations indeed a man must hide his light, in order to make his will prevail inspite of difficulties in his immediate environment. Perseverance must dwell in inmost consciousness and should not be discernible from without. Only thus is a man able to maintain his will in the face of difficulties.

Commentary on the Decision:

明入地中,明夷。内文明而外柔顺,以蒙大难,文王以之。利艰贞,晦其明也,内难而能正其志,箕子以之。

The light has sunk into the earth: Darkening of the Light. Beautiful and clear within, gentle and devoted without, hence exposed to great adversity—thus was King Wen.
“In adversity it furthers one to be persevering”: this means veiling one’s light. Surrounded by difficulties in the midst of his closest kin, nonetheless keeping his will fixed on the right—thus was Prince Ji.



The inner trigram is Li, light, whose attributes are beauty and clarity; the outer trigram is Kun, the Receptive, whose attributes are yieldingness and devotion. King Wen, in whom these attributes are seen united, is depicted in one of the rulers of the hexagram, the six in the second place.
Prince Ji is depicted by the six in the fifth place. He too is in difficulties; these are represented by the nuclear trigram Kan, the Abysmal, danger. King Wen is as it were hidden by this nuclear trigram over him. For the six in the fifth place the difficulties lie within, that is, below. It is not overcome by them because it is at the top of the upper nuclear trigram Zhen, movement. By movement it gets clear of the difficulties, and the light, although jeopardized, cannot be extinguished.
the Image going with hexagram Darkening of the Light Uis:

明入地中,明夷;君子以莅众,用晦而明。

The light has sunk into the earth:
The image of Darkening of the Light.
Thus does the superior man live with the great mass:
He veils his light, yet still shines.



In a time of darkness it is essential to be cautious and reserved. One should not needlessly awaken overwhelming enmity by inconsiderate behavior. In such times one ought not to fall in with the practices of others; neither should one drag them censoriously into the light. In social intercourse one should not try to be all-knowing. One should let many things pass, without being duped.




the nuclear hexagram:

40. Jie
Deliverance

5
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 Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Li , the Clinging, the fire

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder
   below Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder

Here the sun has sunk under the earth and is therefore darkened. The name of the hexagram means literally "wounding of the bright"; hence the individual lines contain frequent references to wounding. The situation is the exact opposite of that in the foregoing hexagram. In the latter a wise man at the head of affairs has able helpers, and in company with them makes progress; here a man of dark nature is in a position of authority and brings harm to the wise and able man.

The sequence:
Expansion will certainly encounter resistance and injury. Hence there follows the hexagram of Darkening of the Light. Darkening means damage, injury.

Miscellaneous notes:
Darkening of the Light means injury.

The whole hexagram has a historical background. For at the time when King Wen wrote the judgments on the hexagrams, conditions in China were just as this hexagram pictures them. In the judgments on the lines, the Duke of Zhou refers to Prince Ji as exemplifying the situation. Confucius carries this further in the Commentary on the Decision by adding the example of King Wen.
Later on - quite in keeping with the meaning - historical personages came to be linked with each of the lines. The evil ruler was Zhou Xin, the last king of the Yin dynasty. He is symbolized by the six at the top. Under him the most able princes of the realm were all made to suffer severely, and their fates are mirrored in the individual lines. The highminded Bo Yi withdrew into hiding with his brother, Shu Qi. He is represented by the nine at the beginning. The six in the second place pictures King Wen, who, as the foremost of the feudal princes, was long held prisoner by the tyrant, with constant danger to his life. The nine in the third place represents his son, afterward King Wu of Zhou, who overthrew the tyrant. The six in the fourth place depicts the situation of Prince Wei Zi who was able to save himself by timely flight abroad. Finally, the six in the fifth place depicts the situation of Prince Ji, who could save his life only by dissembling.
This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one.


the Judgement:

明夷:利艰贞。

Darkening of the Light. In adversity
It furthers one to be persevering.



One must not unresistingly let himself be swept along by unfavorable circumstances, nor permit his steadfastness to be shaken. He can avoid this by maintaining his inner light, while remaining outwardly yielding and tractable. With this attitude he can overcome even the greatest adversities. In some situations indeed a man must hide his light, in order to make his will prevail inspite of difficulties in his immediate environment. Perseverance must dwell in inmost consciousness and should not be discernible from without. Only thus is a man able to maintain his will in the face of difficulties.

Commentary on the Decision:

明入地中,明夷。内文明而外柔顺,以蒙大难,文王以之。利艰贞,晦其明也,内难而能正其志,箕子以之。

The light has sunk into the earth: Darkening of the Light. Beautiful and clear within, gentle and devoted without, hence exposed to great adversity—thus was King Wen.
“In adversity it furthers one to be persevering”: this means veiling one’s light. Surrounded by difficulties in the midst of his closest kin, nonetheless keeping his will fixed on the right—thus was Prince Ji.



The inner trigram is Li, light, whose attributes are beauty and clarity; the outer trigram is Kun, the Receptive, whose attributes are yieldingness and devotion. King Wen, in whom these attributes are seen united, is depicted in one of the rulers of the hexagram, the six in the second place.
Prince Ji is depicted by the six in the fifth place. He too is in difficulties; these are represented by the nuclear trigram Kan, the Abysmal, danger. King Wen is as it were hidden by this nuclear trigram over him. For the six in the fifth place the difficulties lie within, that is, below. It is not overcome by them because it is at the top of the upper nuclear trigram Zhen, movement. By movement it gets clear of the difficulties, and the light, although jeopardized, cannot be extinguished.


the Image:

明入地中,明夷;君子以莅众,用晦而明。

The light has sunk into the earth:
The image of Darkening of the Light.
Thus does the superior man live with the great mass:
He veils his light, yet still shines.



In a time of darkness it is essential to be cautious and reserved. One should not needlessly awaken overwhelming enmity by inconsiderate behavior. In such times one ought not to fall in with the practices of others; neither should one drag them censoriously into the light. In social intercourse one should not try to be all-knowing. One should let many things pass, without being duped.


the Lines:


the yellow square is indicating this line as the constituting ruler of the hexagram
上六:不明晦,初登于天,后入于地。

Six at the top means:

Not light but darkness.
First he climbed up to heaven,
Then plunged into the depths of the earth.



Here the climax of the darkening is reached. The dark power at first held so high a place that it could wound all who were on the side of good and of the light. But in the end it perishes of its own darkness, for evil must itself fall at the very moment when it has wholly overcome the good, and thus consumed the energy to which it owed its duration.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六五:箕子之明夷,利贞。

Six in the fifth place means:

Darkening of the light as with Prince Ji.
Perseverance furthers.



Prince Ji lived at the court of the evil tyrant Zhou Xin, who, although not mentioned by name, furnished the historical example on which this whole situation is based. Prince Ji was a relative of the tyrant and could not withdraw from the court; therefore he concealed his true sentiments and feigned insanity. Although he was held a slave, he did not allow external misery to deflect him from his convictions.
This provides a teaching for those who cannot leave their posts in times of darkness. In order to escape danger, they need invincible perseverance of spirit and redoubled caution in their dealings with the world.


六四:入于左腹,获明夷之心,出于门庭。

Six in the fourth place means:

He penetrates the left side of the belly.
One gets at the very heart of the darkening of the light.
And abandons gate and court.



We find ourselves close to the commander of darkness and so discover his mot secret thoughts. In this way we realize that there is no longer any hope of improvement, and thus we are enabled to leave the scene of disaster before the storm breaks.


九三:明夷于南狩,得其大首,不可疾贞。

Nine in the third place means:

Darkening of the light during the hunt in the south.
Their great leader is captured.
One must not expect perseverance too soon.



It seems as if chance were at work. While the strong, loyal man is striving eagerly and in good faith to create order, he meets the ringleader of the disorder, as if by accident, and seizes him. Thus victory is achieved. But in abolishing abuses one must not be too hasty. This would turn out badly because the abuses have been in existence so long.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六二:明夷,夷于左股,用拯马壮,吉。

Six in the second place means:

Darkening of the light injures him in the left thigh.
He gives aid with the strength of a horse.
Good fortune.



Here the Lord of Light is in a subordinate place and is wounded by the Lord of Darkness. But the injury is not fatal; it is only a hindrance. Rescue is still possible. The wounded man gives no thought to himself; he thinks only of saving the others who are also in danger. Therefore he tries with all his strength to save all that can be saved. There is good fortune in thus acting according to duty.


初九:明夷于飞,垂其翼。君子于行,三日不食,有攸往,主人有言。

Nine at the beginning means:

Darkening of the light during flight.
He lowers his wings.
The superior man does not eat for three days
On his wanderings.
But he has somewhere to go.
The host has occasion to gossip about him.



With grandiose resolve a man endeavors to soar above all obstacles, but thus encounters a hostile fate. He retreats and evades the issue. The time is difficult. Without rest, he must hurry along, with no permanent abiding place. If he does not want to make compromises within himself, but insists on remaining true to his principles, he suffers deprivation. Never the less he has a fixed goal to strive for even though the people with whom he lives do not understand him and speak ill of him.