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the Hexagrams, Index

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

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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:









49. Ge

Revolution (Molting)



<
上六:君子豹变,小人革面,征凶,居贞吉。

Six at the top means:

The superior man changes like a panther.
The inferior man molts in the face.
Starting brings misfortune.
To remain persevering brings good fortune.



After the large and fundamental problems are settled, certain minor reforms, and elaborations of these, are necessary. These detailed reforms may be likened to the equally distinct but relatively small marks of the panther's coat. As a consequence, a change also takes place among the inferior people. In conformity with the new order, they likewise "molt." This molting, it is true, does not go very deep, but that is not to be expected. We must be satisfied with the attainable. If we should go too far and try to achieve too much, it would lead to unrest and misfortune. For the object of a great revolution is the attainment of clarified, secure conditions ensuring a general stabilization on the basis of what is possible at the moment.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:大人虎变,未占有孚。

Nine in the fifth place means:

The great man changes like a tiger.
Even before he questions the oracle
He is believed.



A tigerskin, with its highly visible black stripes on a yellow ground, shows its distinct pattern from afar. It is the same with a revolution brought about by a great man: large, clear guiding lines become visible, understandable to everyone. Therefore he need not first consult the oracle, for he wins the spontaneous support of the people.
九四:悔亡,有孚改命,吉。

Nine in the fourth place means:

Remorse disappears. Men believe him.
Changing the form of government brings good fortune.



Radical changes require adequate authority. A man must have inner strength as well as influential position. What he does must correspond with a higher truth and must not spring from arbitrary or petty motives; then it brings great good fortune. If a revolution is not founded on such inner truth, the results are bad, and it has no success. For in the end men will support only those undertakings which they feel instinctively to be just.
九三:征凶,贞厉,革言三就,有孚。

Nine in the third place means:

Starting brings misfortune.
Perseverance brings danger.
When talk of revolution has gone the rounds three times,
One may commit himself,
And men will believe him.



When change is necessary, there are two mistakes to be avoided. One lies in excessive haste and ruthlessness, which bring disaster. The other lies in excessive hesitation and conservatism, which are also dangerous. Not every demand for change in the existing order should be heeded. On the other hand, repeated and well-founded complaints should not fail of a hearing. When talk of change has come to one's ears three times, and has been pondered well, he may believe and acquiesce in it. Then he will meet with belief and will accomplish something.
六二:巳日乃革之,征吉,无咎。

Six in the second place means:

When one's own day comes, one may create revolution.
Starting brings good fortune. No blame.



When we have tried in every other way to bring about reforms, but without success, revolution becomes necessary. But such a thoroughgoing upheaval must be carefully prepared. There must be available a man who has the requisite abilities and who possesses public confidence. To such a man we may well turn. This brings good fortune and is not a mistake. The first thing to be considered is our inner attitude toward the new condition that will inevitably come. We have to go out to meet it, as it were. Only in this way can it be prepared for.
初九:巩用黄牛之革。

Nine at the beginning means:

Wrapped in the hide of a yellow cow.



Changes ought to be undertaken only when there is nothing else to be done. Therefore at first the utmost restraint is necessary. One must becomes firm in one's mind, control oneself - yellow is the color of the means, and the cow is the symbol of docility - and refrain from doing anything for the time being, because any premature offensive will bring evil results.
the Sign of hexagram Revolution (Molting) uis:

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

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven
   below Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind

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

The Chinese character for this hexagram means in its original sense an animal's pelt, which is changed in the course of the year by molting. From this word is carried over to apply to the "moltings" in political life, the great revolutions connected with changes of governments. The two trigrams making up the hexagram are the same two that appear in Kui, Opposition (hexagram 38), that is, the two younger daughters, Li and Dui. But while there the elder of the two daughters is above, and what results is essentially only an opposition of tendencies, here the younger daughter is above. The influences are in actual conflict, and the forces combat each other like fire and water (lake), each trying to destroy the other. Hence the idea of revolution.

The sequence:
The setup of a well must necessarily be revolutionized in the course of time. Hence there follows the hexagram of Revolution.

A well must be cleaned out from time to time or it will become clogged with mud. Therefore the hexagram Jing, the Well, which means a permanent setup, is followed by the hexagram of Revolution, showing the need of changes in long-established institutions, in order to keep them from stagnating.

Miscellaneous notes:
Revolution means removal of that which is antiquated.

The hexagram is so constructed that the influences of the two primary trigrams are in opposition; hence a revolution develops inevitably. Fire (Li), below, is quickened by the nuclear trigram Xun, meaning wind or wood. The upper nuclear trigram Qian provides the necessary firmness. The entire movement of the hexagram is directed upward.
the Judgement for hexagram Revolution (Molting) uis:

革:巳日乃孚,元亨利贞,悔亡。

Revolution. On your own day
You are believed.
Supreme success,
Furthering through perseverance.
Remorse disappears.



Political revolutions are extremely grave matters. They should be undertaken only under stress of direst necessity, when there is no other way out. Not everyone is called to this task, but only the man who has the confidence of the people, and even he only when the time is ripe. He must then proceed in the right way, so that he gladdens the people and, by enlightening them, prevents excesses. Furthermore, he must be quite free of selfish aims and must really relieve the need of the people. Only then does he have nothing to regret. Times change, and with them their demands. Thus the seasons change in the course of the year. In the world cycle also there are spring and autumn in the life of peoples and nations, and these call for social transformations.

Commentary on the Decision:

革,水火相息,二女同居,其志不相得,曰革。巳日乃孚;革而信也。文明以说,大亨以正,革而当,其悔乃亡。天地革而四时成,汤武革命,顺乎天而应乎人,革之时大矣哉。

Revolution. Water and fire subdue each other. Two daughters dwell together, but their views bar mutual understanding. This means revolution.
“On your own day you are believed”: one brings about a revolution and in doing so is trusted.
Enlightenment, and thereby joyousness: you create great success through justice.
If in a revolution one hits upon the right thing, “remorse disappears.”
Heaven and earth bring about revolution, and the four seasons complete themselves thereby.
Tang and Wu brought about political revolutions because they were submissive toward heaven and in accord with men.
The time of Revolution is truly great.



Molting depends on fixed laws; it is prepared in advance. The same is true of political revolutions. The expression “on your own day” points—as in the case of the hexagram Gu, Work on what has been spoiled (18) - to one of the ten cyclic signs. These ten cyclic signs are: 1. jia 2. yi 3. bing 4. ding 5. wu 6. ji 7. geng 8. xin 9. ren 10. gui. As noted earlier in connection with hexagram 18, the eighth of these signs, xin [metal, autumn], has also the secondary meaning of renewal, and the seventh, geng, means change. Now the sign before geng is ji, hence it is on the day before the change takes place that one is believed (therefore the rendering “your own day”; ji also means “own”). If the cyclic signs are combined with the eight trigrams as correlated with the cardinal points in the Sequence of Later Heaven [Inner-World Arrangement], it will be found that Kun stands for ji — which means earth - in the southwest, midway between Dui in the west and Li in the south, that is, between the two trigrams that combat and subdue each other. The earth in the middle balances their influences, so that the clarity of fire (Li) and the joyousness of water (Dui) can manifest themselves separately. Hence the need of enlightenment and joyousness in gaining the popular confidence necessary for a revolution.As revolutions in nature take place according to fixed laws and thus give rise to the cycle of the year, so political revolutions—these can become necessary at times for doing away with a state of decay - must follow definite laws. First, one must be able to await the right moment. Second, one must proceed in the right way, so that one will have the sympathy of the people and so that excesses will be avoided. Third, one must be correct and entirely free of all selfish motives. Fourth, the change must answer a real need. This was the character of the great revolutions brought about in the past by the rulers Tang and Wu.
the Image going with hexagram Revolution (Molting) uis:

泽中有火,革;君子以治历明时。

Fire in the lake: the image of Revolution.
Thus the superior man
Sets the calendar in order
And makes the seasons clear.



Fire below and the lake above combat and destroy each other. So too in the course of the year a combat takes place between the forces of light and the forces of darkness, eventuating in the revolution of the seasons, and man is able to adjust himself in advance to the demands of the different times.




the nuclear hexagram:

44. Gou
Coming to Meet

b
the Sign:

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

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven
   below Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind

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

The Chinese character for this hexagram means in its original sense an animal's pelt, which is changed in the course of the year by molting. From this word is carried over to apply to the "moltings" in political life, the great revolutions connected with changes of governments. The two trigrams making up the hexagram are the same two that appear in Kui, Opposition (hexagram 38), that is, the two younger daughters, Li and Dui. But while there the elder of the two daughters is above, and what results is essentially only an opposition of tendencies, here the younger daughter is above. The influences are in actual conflict, and the forces combat each other like fire and water (lake), each trying to destroy the other. Hence the idea of revolution.

The sequence:
The setup of a well must necessarily be revolutionized in the course of time. Hence there follows the hexagram of Revolution.

A well must be cleaned out from time to time or it will become clogged with mud. Therefore the hexagram Jing, the Well, which means a permanent setup, is followed by the hexagram of Revolution, showing the need of changes in long-established institutions, in order to keep them from stagnating.

Miscellaneous notes:
Revolution means removal of that which is antiquated.

The hexagram is so constructed that the influences of the two primary trigrams are in opposition; hence a revolution develops inevitably. Fire (Li), below, is quickened by the nuclear trigram Xun, meaning wind or wood. The upper nuclear trigram Qian provides the necessary firmness. The entire movement of the hexagram is directed upward.


the Judgement:

革:巳日乃孚,元亨利贞,悔亡。

Revolution. On your own day
You are believed.
Supreme success,
Furthering through perseverance.
Remorse disappears.



Political revolutions are extremely grave matters. They should be undertaken only under stress of direst necessity, when there is no other way out. Not everyone is called to this task, but only the man who has the confidence of the people, and even he only when the time is ripe. He must then proceed in the right way, so that he gladdens the people and, by enlightening them, prevents excesses. Furthermore, he must be quite free of selfish aims and must really relieve the need of the people. Only then does he have nothing to regret. Times change, and with them their demands. Thus the seasons change in the course of the year. In the world cycle also there are spring and autumn in the life of peoples and nations, and these call for social transformations.

Commentary on the Decision:

革,水火相息,二女同居,其志不相得,曰革。巳日乃孚;革而信也。文明以说,大亨以正,革而当,其悔乃亡。天地革而四时成,汤武革命,顺乎天而应乎人,革之时大矣哉。

Revolution. Water and fire subdue each other. Two daughters dwell together, but their views bar mutual understanding. This means revolution.
“On your own day you are believed”: one brings about a revolution and in doing so is trusted.
Enlightenment, and thereby joyousness: you create great success through justice.
If in a revolution one hits upon the right thing, “remorse disappears.”
Heaven and earth bring about revolution, and the four seasons complete themselves thereby.
Tang and Wu brought about political revolutions because they were submissive toward heaven and in accord with men.
The time of Revolution is truly great.



Molting depends on fixed laws; it is prepared in advance. The same is true of political revolutions. The expression “on your own day” points—as in the case of the hexagram Gu, Work on what has been spoiled (18) - to one of the ten cyclic signs. These ten cyclic signs are: 1. jia 2. yi 3. bing 4. ding 5. wu 6. ji 7. geng 8. xin 9. ren 10. gui. As noted earlier in connection with hexagram 18, the eighth of these signs, xin [metal, autumn], has also the secondary meaning of renewal, and the seventh, geng, means change. Now the sign before geng is ji, hence it is on the day before the change takes place that one is believed (therefore the rendering “your own day”; ji also means “own”). If the cyclic signs are combined with the eight trigrams as correlated with the cardinal points in the Sequence of Later Heaven [Inner-World Arrangement], it will be found that Kun stands for ji — which means earth - in the southwest, midway between Dui in the west and Li in the south, that is, between the two trigrams that combat and subdue each other. The earth in the middle balances their influences, so that the clarity of fire (Li) and the joyousness of water (Dui) can manifest themselves separately. Hence the need of enlightenment and joyousness in gaining the popular confidence necessary for a revolution.As revolutions in nature take place according to fixed laws and thus give rise to the cycle of the year, so political revolutions—these can become necessary at times for doing away with a state of decay - must follow definite laws. First, one must be able to await the right moment. Second, one must proceed in the right way, so that one will have the sympathy of the people and so that excesses will be avoided. Third, one must be correct and entirely free of all selfish motives. Fourth, the change must answer a real need. This was the character of the great revolutions brought about in the past by the rulers Tang and Wu.


the Image:

泽中有火,革;君子以治历明时。

Fire in the lake: the image of Revolution.
Thus the superior man
Sets the calendar in order
And makes the seasons clear.



Fire below and the lake above combat and destroy each other. So too in the course of the year a combat takes place between the forces of light and the forces of darkness, eventuating in the revolution of the seasons, and man is able to adjust himself in advance to the demands of the different times.


the Lines:


上六:君子豹变,小人革面,征凶,居贞吉。

Six at the top means:

The superior man changes like a panther.
The inferior man molts in the face.
Starting brings misfortune.
To remain persevering brings good fortune.



After the large and fundamental problems are settled, certain minor reforms, and elaborations of these, are necessary. These detailed reforms may be likened to the equally distinct but relatively small marks of the panther's coat. As a consequence, a change also takes place among the inferior people. In conformity with the new order, they likewise "molt." This molting, it is true, does not go very deep, but that is not to be expected. We must be satisfied with the attainable. If we should go too far and try to achieve too much, it would lead to unrest and misfortune. For the object of a great revolution is the attainment of clarified, secure conditions ensuring a general stabilization on the basis of what is possible at the moment.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:大人虎变,未占有孚。

Nine in the fifth place means:

The great man changes like a tiger.
Even before he questions the oracle
He is believed.



A tigerskin, with its highly visible black stripes on a yellow ground, shows its distinct pattern from afar. It is the same with a revolution brought about by a great man: large, clear guiding lines become visible, understandable to everyone. Therefore he need not first consult the oracle, for he wins the spontaneous support of the people.


九四:悔亡,有孚改命,吉。

Nine in the fourth place means:

Remorse disappears. Men believe him.
Changing the form of government brings good fortune.



Radical changes require adequate authority. A man must have inner strength as well as influential position. What he does must correspond with a higher truth and must not spring from arbitrary or petty motives; then it brings great good fortune. If a revolution is not founded on such inner truth, the results are bad, and it has no success. For in the end men will support only those undertakings which they feel instinctively to be just.


九三:征凶,贞厉,革言三就,有孚。

Nine in the third place means:

Starting brings misfortune.
Perseverance brings danger.
When talk of revolution has gone the rounds three times,
One may commit himself,
And men will believe him.



When change is necessary, there are two mistakes to be avoided. One lies in excessive haste and ruthlessness, which bring disaster. The other lies in excessive hesitation and conservatism, which are also dangerous. Not every demand for change in the existing order should be heeded. On the other hand, repeated and well-founded complaints should not fail of a hearing. When talk of change has come to one's ears three times, and has been pondered well, he may believe and acquiesce in it. Then he will meet with belief and will accomplish something.


六二:巳日乃革之,征吉,无咎。

Six in the second place means:

When one's own day comes, one may create revolution.
Starting brings good fortune. No blame.



When we have tried in every other way to bring about reforms, but without success, revolution becomes necessary. But such a thoroughgoing upheaval must be carefully prepared. There must be available a man who has the requisite abilities and who possesses public confidence. To such a man we may well turn. This brings good fortune and is not a mistake. The first thing to be considered is our inner attitude toward the new condition that will inevitably come. We have to go out to meet it, as it were. Only in this way can it be prepared for.


初九:巩用黄牛之革。

Nine at the beginning means:

Wrapped in the hide of a yellow cow.



Changes ought to be undertaken only when there is nothing else to be done. Therefore at first the utmost restraint is necessary. One must becomes firm in one's mind, control oneself - yellow is the color of the means, and the cow is the symbol of docility - and refrain from doing anything for the time being, because any premature offensive will bring evil results.