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易經
the Hexagrams, Index

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

Ancient Chinese coins

易經
het Hexagrammenboek

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






Table 1,

Select a hexagram by combining the trigrams:


Trigrammemindeling
Trigrammemindeling


Table 2,

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









10. Lü

Treading (Conduct)



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上九:视履考祥,其旋元吉。

Nine at the top means:

Look to your conduct and weigh the favorable signs.
When everything is fulfilled, supreme good fortune comes.



The work is ended. If we want to know whether good fortune will follow, we must look back upon our conduct and its consequences. If the effects are good, then good fortune is certain. No one knows himself. It is only by the consequences of his actions, by the fruit of his labors, that a man can judge what he is to expect.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:夬履,贞厉。

Nine in the fifth place means:

Resolute conduct.
Perseverance with awareness of danger.



This refers to the ruler of the hexagram as a whole. One sees that one has to be resolute in conduct. But at the same time one must remain conscious of the danger connected with such resoluteness, especially if it is to be persevered in. Only awareness of the danger makes success possible.
九四:履虎尾,诉诉,终吉。

Nine in the fourth place means:

He treads on the tail of the tiger.
Caution and circumspection
Lead ultimately to good fortune.


This text refers to a dangerous enterprise. The inner power to carry it through is there, but this inner power is combined with hesitating caution in one's external attitude. This line contrasts with the preceding line, which is weak within but outwardly presses forward. Here one is sure of ultimate success, which consists in achieving one's purpose, that is, in overcoming danger by going forward.
the yellow square is indicating this line as the constituting ruler of the hexagram
六三:眇能视,跛能履,履虎尾,咥人,凶。武人为于大君。

Six in the third place means:

A one-eyed man is able to see,
A lame man is able to tread.
He treads on the tail of the tiger.
The tiger bites the man.
Misfortune.
Thus does a warrior act on behalf of his great prince.



A one-eyed man can indeed see, but not enough for clear vision. A lame man can indeed treat, but not enough to make progress. If in spite of such defects a man considers himself strong and consequently exposes himself to danger, he is inviting disaster, for he is undertaking something beyond his strength. This reckless way of plunging ahead, regardless of the adequacy of one's powers, can be justified only in the case of a warrior battling for his prince.
九二:履道坦坦,幽人贞吉。

Nine in the second place means:

Treading a smooth, level course.
The perseverance of a dark man
Brings good fortune.



The situation of a lonely sage is indicated here. He remains withdrawn from the bustle of life, seeks nothing, asks nothing of anyone, and travels through life unassailed, on a level road. Since he is content and does not challenge fate, he remains free of entanglements.
初九:素履,往无咎。

Nine at the beginning means:

Simple conduct. Progress without blame.



The situation is one in which we are still not bound by any obligations of social intercourse. If our conduct is simple, we remain free of them We can quietly follow our predilections as long as we are content and make not demands on people. The meaning of the hexagram is not standstill but progress. A man finds himself in an altogether inferior position at the start. However, he has the inner strength that guarantees progress. If he can be content with simplicity, he can make progress without blame. When a man is dissatisfied with modest circumstances, he is restless and ambitious and tries to advance, not for the sake of accomplishing anything worth while, but merely in order to escape from lowliness and poverty by dint of his conduct. Once his purpose is achieved, he is certain to become arrogant and luxury-loving. Therefore blame attaches to his progress. On the other hand, a man who is good at his work is content to behave simply. He wishes to make progress in order to accomplish something. When he attains his goal, he does something worth while, an all is well.
the Sign of hexagram Treading (Conduct) dis:

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

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

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven
   below Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven

The name of the hexagram means on the one hand the right way of conducting oneself. Heaven, the father, is above, and the lake, the youngest daughter, is below. This shows the difference between high and low, upon which composure correct social conduct, depends. On the other hand the word for the name of the hexagram, Treading, means literally treading upon something. The small and cheerful (Dui) treads upon the large and strong (Qian). The direction of movement of the two primary trigrams is upward. The fact that the strong treads on the weak is not mentioned in the Book of Changes, because it is taken for granted. For the weak to take a stand against the strong is not dangerous here, because it happened in good humor (Dui) and without presumption, so that the strong man is not irritated but takes it all in good part.

The sequence:
When beings are subjected to restraint the mores arise; hence there follows the hexagram of Conduct.

Miscellaneous notes:
That which treads does not stay.

Appended judgments:
Treading shows the basis of character. It is harmonious and attains its goal. It brings about harmonious conduct.

This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one. The movement of the two primary trigrams is upward, hence the idea that the one strides behind the other. The youngest daughter walks behind the father.
the Judgement for hexagram Treading (Conduct) dis:

履虎尾,不咥人,亨。

Treading. Treading upon the tail of the tiger.
It does not bite the man. Success.



The situation is really difficult. That which is strongest and that which is weakest are close together. The weak follows behind the strong and worries it. The strong, however, acquiesces and does not hurt the weak, because the contact is in goof humor and harmless.
In terms of a human situation, one is handling wild, intractable people. In such a case one's purpose will be achieved if one behaves with decorum. Pleasant manners succeed even with irritable people.

Commentary on the Decision:

履,柔履刚也。说而应乎乾,是以履虎尾,不咥人,亨。刚中正,履帝位而不疚,光明也。

Treading: the yielding treads upon the firm. Joyous, and in the relationship of correspondence to the Creative; hence, “Treading upon the tail of the tiger. It does not bite the man. Success.”
Strong, central, and correct, he treads into the place of the ruler and remains without blame: his light shines bright.



The yielding that treads upon the firm is the lower trigram Dui, which follows the trigram Qian. Thus the forms of the two trigrams explain the name of the hexagram.
Joyousness is the attribute of Dui, the lower trigram, which moves in the same direction as the Creative, the strong; hence the image of treading upon the tail of the tiger (Dui stands in the west, which is symbolized by the tiger). The tiger’s tail is mentioned because the weak line in Dui comes behind the three lines of Qian. In addition, it is to be noted that the yielding line in the lower trigram stands over the two firm lines.
The comment “strong, central, and correct” refers to the ruler of the hexagram, the central line of the upper trigram, Qian; this line occupies a place in the sphere of heaven, hence the place of the ruler. Light is the primary characteristic of the trigram Qian; furthermore, the nuclear trigram Li, whose attribute is light, is contained in the hexagram.
the Image going with hexagram Treading (Conduct) dis:

上天下泽,履;君子以辨上下,安民志。

Heaven above, the lake below:
The image of Treading.
Thus the superior man discriminates between high and low,
And thereby fortifies the thinking of the people.



Heaven and the lake show a difference of elevation that inheres in the natures of the two, hence no envy arises. Among mankind also there are necessarily differences of elevation; it is impossible to bring about universal equality. But it is important that differences in social rank should not be arbitrary and unjust, for if this occurs, envy and class struggle are the inevitable consequences. If, on the other hand, external differences in rank correspond with differences in inner worth, and if inner worth forms the criterion of external rank, people acquiesce and order reigns in society.




the nuclear hexagram:
家人
37. Jia Ren
the Family (The Clan)

n
the Sign:

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

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

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven
   below Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven

The name of the hexagram means on the one hand the right way of conducting oneself. Heaven, the father, is above, and the lake, the youngest daughter, is below. This shows the difference between high and low, upon which composure correct social conduct, depends. On the other hand the word for the name of the hexagram, Treading, means literally treading upon something. The small and cheerful (Dui) treads upon the large and strong (Qian). The direction of movement of the two primary trigrams is upward. The fact that the strong treads on the weak is not mentioned in the Book of Changes, because it is taken for granted. For the weak to take a stand against the strong is not dangerous here, because it happened in good humor (Dui) and without presumption, so that the strong man is not irritated but takes it all in good part.

The sequence:
When beings are subjected to restraint the mores arise; hence there follows the hexagram of Conduct.

Miscellaneous notes:
That which treads does not stay.

Appended judgments:
Treading shows the basis of character. It is harmonious and attains its goal. It brings about harmonious conduct.

This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one. The movement of the two primary trigrams is upward, hence the idea that the one strides behind the other. The youngest daughter walks behind the father.


the Judgement:

履虎尾,不咥人,亨。

Treading. Treading upon the tail of the tiger.
It does not bite the man. Success.



The situation is really difficult. That which is strongest and that which is weakest are close together. The weak follows behind the strong and worries it. The strong, however, acquiesces and does not hurt the weak, because the contact is in goof humor and harmless.
In terms of a human situation, one is handling wild, intractable people. In such a case one's purpose will be achieved if one behaves with decorum. Pleasant manners succeed even with irritable people.

Commentary on the Decision:

履,柔履刚也。说而应乎乾,是以履虎尾,不咥人,亨。刚中正,履帝位而不疚,光明也。

Treading: the yielding treads upon the firm. Joyous, and in the relationship of correspondence to the Creative; hence, “Treading upon the tail of the tiger. It does not bite the man. Success.”
Strong, central, and correct, he treads into the place of the ruler and remains without blame: his light shines bright.
 


The yielding that treads upon the firm is the lower trigram Dui, which follows the trigram Qian. Thus the forms of the two trigrams explain the name of the hexagram.
Joyousness is the attribute of Dui, the lower trigram, which moves in the same direction as the Creative, the strong; hence the image of treading upon the tail of the tiger (Dui stands in the west, which is symbolized by the tiger). The tiger’s tail is mentioned because the weak line in Dui comes behind the three lines of Qian. In addition, it is to be noted that the yielding line in the lower trigram stands over the two firm lines.
The comment “strong, central, and correct” refers to the ruler of the hexagram, the central line of the upper trigram, Qian; this line occupies a place in the sphere of heaven, hence the place of the ruler. Light is the primary characteristic of the trigram Qian; furthermore, the nuclear trigram Li, whose attribute is light, is contained in the hexagram.


the Image:

上天下泽,履;君子以辨上下,安民志。

Heaven above, the lake below:
The image of Treading.
Thus the superior man discriminates between high and low,
And thereby fortifies the thinking of the people.



Heaven and the lake show a difference of elevation that inheres in the natures of the two, hence no envy arises. Among mankind also there are necessarily differences of elevation; it is impossible to bring about universal equality. But it is important that differences in social rank should not be arbitrary and unjust, for if this occurs, envy and class struggle are the inevitable consequences. If, on the other hand, external differences in rank correspond with differences in inner worth, and if inner worth forms the criterion of external rank, people acquiesce and order reigns in society.


the Lines:


上九:视履考祥,其旋元吉。

Nine at the top means:

Look to your conduct and weigh the favorable signs.
When everything is fulfilled, supreme good fortune comes.



The work is ended. If we want to know whether good fortune will follow, we must look back upon our conduct and its consequences. If the effects are good, then good fortune is certain. No one knows himself. It is only by the consequences of his actions, by the fruit of his labors, that a man can judge what he is to expect.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:夬履,贞厉。

Nine in the fifth place means:

Resolute conduct.
Perseverance with awareness of danger.



This refers to the ruler of the hexagram as a whole. One sees that one has to be resolute in conduct. But at the same time one must remain conscious of the danger connected with such resoluteness, especially if it is to be persevered in. Only awareness of the danger makes success possible.


九四:履虎尾,诉诉,终吉。

Nine in the fourth place means:

He treads on the tail of the tiger.
Caution and circumspection
Lead ultimately to good fortune.


This text refers to a dangerous enterprise. The inner power to carry it through is there, but this inner power is combined with hesitating caution in one's external attitude. This line contrasts with the preceding line, which is weak within but outwardly presses forward. Here one is sure of ultimate success, which consists in achieving one's purpose, that is, in overcoming danger by going forward.


the yellow square is indicating this line as the constituting ruler of the hexagram
六三:眇能视,跛能履,履虎尾,咥人,凶。武人为于大君。

Six in the third place means:

A one-eyed man is able to see,
A lame man is able to tread.
He treads on the tail of the tiger.
The tiger bites the man.
Misfortune.
Thus does a warrior act on behalf of his great prince.



A one-eyed man can indeed see, but not enough for clear vision. A lame man can indeed treat, but not enough to make progress. If in spite of such defects a man considers himself strong and consequently exposes himself to danger, he is inviting disaster, for he is undertaking something beyond his strength. This reckless way of plunging ahead, regardless of the adequacy of one's powers, can be justified only in the case of a warrior battling for his prince.


九二:履道坦坦,幽人贞吉。

Nine in the second place means:

Treading a smooth, level course.
The perseverance of a dark man
Brings good fortune.



The situation of a lonely sage is indicated here. He remains withdrawn from the bustle of life, seeks nothing, asks nothing of anyone, and travels through life unassailed, on a level road. Since he is content and does not challenge fate, he remains free of entanglements.


初九:素履,往无咎。

Nine at the beginning means:

Simple conduct. Progress without blame.



The situation is one in which we are still not bound by any obligations of social intercourse. If our conduct is simple, we remain free of them We can quietly follow our predilections as long as we are content and make not demands on people. The meaning of the hexagram is not standstill but progress. A man finds himself in an altogether inferior position at the start. However, he has the inner strength that guarantees progress. If he can be content with simplicity, he can make progress without blame. When a man is dissatisfied with modest circumstances, he is restless and ambitious and tries to advance, not for the sake of accomplishing anything worth while, but merely in order to escape from lowliness and poverty by dint of his conduct. Once his purpose is achieved, he is certain to become arrogant and luxury-loving. Therefore blame attaches to his progress. On the other hand, a man who is good at his work is content to behave simply. He wishes to make progress in order to accomplish something. When he attains his goal, he does something worth while, an all is well.