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Fu Xi Earlier Heaven bagua arrangement
易經
the Hexagrams, Index

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Ancient Chinese coins

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:










60. Jie

Limitation



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上六:苦节,贞凶,悔亡。

Six at the top means:

Galling limitation.
Perseverance brings misfortune.
Remorse disappears.



If one is too severe in setting up restrictions, people will not endure them. The more consistent such severity, the worse it is, for in the long run a reaction is unavoidable. In the same way, the tormented body will rebel against excessive asceticism. On the other hand, although ruthless severity is not to be applied persistently and systematically, there may be times when it si the only means of safeguarding against guilt and remorse. In such situations ruthlessness toward oneself is the only means of saving one's soul, which otherwise would succumb to irresolution and temptation.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:甘节,吉;往有尚。

Nine in the fifth place means:

Sweet limitation brings good fortune.
Going brings esteem.



The limitation must be carried out in the right way if it is to be effective. If we seek to impose restrictions on others only, while evading them ourselves, these restrictions will always be resented and will provoke resistance. If, however, a man in a leading position applies the limitation first to himself, demanding little from those associated with him, and with modest means manages to achieve something, good fortune is the result. Where such an example occurs, it meets with emulation, so that whatever is undertaken must succeed.
六四:安节,亨。

Six in the fourth place means:

Contented limitation. Success.



Every limitation has its value, but a limitation that requires persistent effort entails a cost of too much energy. When, however, the limitation is a natural one (as for example, the limitation by which water flows only downhill), it necessarily leads to success, for then it means a saving of energy. The energy that otherwise would be consumed in a vain struggle with the object, is applied wholly to the benefit of the matter in hand, and success is assured.
六三:不节若,则嗟若,无咎。

Six in the third place means:

He who knows limitation
Will have cause to lament.
No blame.



If an individual is bent only on pleasures and enjoyment, it is easy for him to lose his sense of the limits that are necessary. If he gives himself over to extravagance, he will have to suffer the consequences, with accompanying regret. He must not seek to lay the blame on others. Only when we realize that our mistakes are of our own making will such disagreeable experiences free us of errors.
九二:不出门庭,凶。

Nine in the second place means:

Not going out of the gate and the courtyard
Brings misfortune.



When the time for action has come, the moment must be quickly seized. Just as water first collects in a lake without flowing out, yet is certain to find an outlet when the lake is full, so it is in the life of man. It is a good thing to hesitate so long as the time for action has not come, but no longer. Once the obstacles to action have been removed, anxious hesitation is a mistake that is bound to bring disaster, because one misses one's opportunity.
初九:不出户庭,无咎。

Nine at the beginning means:

Not going out of the door and the courtyard
Is without blame.



Often a man who would like to undertake something finds himself confronted by insurmountable limitations. Then he must know where to stop. If he rightly understands this and does not go beyond the limits set for him, he accumulates an energy that enables him, when the proper time comes, to act with great force. Discretion is of prime importance in preparing the way for momentous things.
Concerning this, Confucius says:
Where disorder develops, words are the first steps. If the prince is not discreet, he loses his servant. If the servant is not discreet he loses his life. If germinating things are not handled with discretion, the perfecting of them is impeded. Therefore the superior man is careful to maintain silence and does not go forth.
the Sign of hexagram Limitation Fis:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water
   below Trigram Dui , the Joyous, the lake

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Gen , Keeping Still, the mountain
   below Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Dui , the Joyous, the lake
   below Trigram Dui , the Joyous, the lake

A lake occupies a limited space. When more water comes into it, it overflows. Therefore limits must be set for the water. The image shows water below and water above, with the firmament between them as a limit. The Chinese word for limitation really denotes the joints that divide a bamboo stalk. In relation to ordinary life it means the thrift that sets fixed limits upon expenditures. In relation to the moral sphere it means the fixed limits that the superior man sets upon his actions-the limits of loyalty and disinterestedness.

The sequence:
Things cannot be forever separate. Hence there follows the hexagram of Limitation.

Miscellaneous notes:
Limitation means stopping.

This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one, but the inner structure and the interrelationships of the nuclear trigrams are the same in both. Here water is held together by the lake, while in the preceding hexagram water is dispersed by the wind.
the Judgement for hexagram Limitation Fis:

节:亨。苦节,不可贞。

Limitation. Success.

Galling limitation must not be persevered in.



Limitations are troublesome, but they are effective. If we live economically in normal times, we are prepared for times of want. To be sparing saves us from humiliation. Limitations are also indispensable in the regulation of world conditions. In nature there are fixed limits for summer and winter, day and night, and these limits give the year its meaning. In the same way, economy, by setting fixed limits upon expenditures, acts to preserve property and prevent injury to the people.

But in limitation we must observe due measure. If a man should seek to impose galling limitations upon his own nature, it would be injurious. And if he should go too far in imposing limitations on others, they would rebel. Therefore it is necessary to set limits even upon limitation.

Commentary on the Decision:

节,亨,刚柔分,而刚得中。苦节不可贞,其道穷也。说以行险,当位以节,中正以通。天地节而四时成,节以制度,不伤财,不害民。

“Limitation. Success.” The firm and the yielding are equally divided, and the firm have attained the middle places.
“Galling limitation must not be persevered in,” because its way comes to an end.
Joyous in passing through danger; in the appropriate place, in order to limit; central and correct, in order to unite.
Heaven and earth have their limitations, and the four seasons of the year arise.
Where limitation is applied in the creation of institutions, property is not encroached upon, and people are not harmed.



There are three yang lines and three yin lines symmetrically distributed - first two yang lines, then two yin lines, then one of each. Hence there are strong lines in the two central places, the second and the fifth.
To persist in galling limitation would lead to failure. But owing to the central and moderate behavior of the ruler of the” hexagram, the nine in the fifth place, this danger is overcome. Joyousness is the attribute of the lower trigram Dui, and danger that of the upper trigram Kan. The limitation of the ruler of the hexagram is brought about by the two yin lines between which it stands. But owing to its central and correct position, it attains an all-pervading influence.
Limitation - division into periods - is the means of dividing time. Thus in China the year is divided into twenty-four jieqi, which, being in harmony with atmospheric phenomena, make it possible for man to arrange his agricultural activities so that they harmonize with the course of the seasons. The limitation or suitable division of production and consumption was one of the most important problems of good government in ancient China. Fundamental principles pertaining to this problem are also indicated in the present hexagram.
the Image going with hexagram Limitation Fis:

泽上有水,节;君子以制数度,议德行。

Water over lake: the image of Limitation.
Thus the superior man
Creates number and measure,
And examines the nature of virtue and correct conduct.



A lake is something limited. Water is inexhaustible. A lake can contain only a definite amount of the infinite quantity of water; this is its peculiarity. In human life too the individual achieves significance through discrimination and the setting of limits. Therefore what concerns us here is the problem of clearly defining these discriminations, which are, so to speak, the backbone of morality. Unlimited possibilities are not suited to man; if they existed, his life would only dissolve in the boundless. To become strong, a man's life needs the limitations ordained by duty and voluntarily accepted. The individual attains significance as a free spirit only by surrounding himself with these limitations and by determining for himself what his duty is.




the nuclear hexagram:

27. Yi
the Corners of the Mouth (Providing Nourishment)

R
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 Kan , the Abysmal, the water
   below Trigram Dui , the Joyous, the lake

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Gen , Keeping Still, the mountain
   below Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Dui , the Joyous, the lake
   below Trigram Dui , the Joyous, the lake

A lake occupies a limited space. When more water comes into it, it overflows. Therefore limits must be set for the water. The image shows water below and water above, with the firmament between them as a limit. The Chinese word for limitation really denotes the joints that divide a bamboo stalk. In relation to ordinary life it means the thrift that sets fixed limits upon expenditures. In relation to the moral sphere it means the fixed limits that the superior man sets upon his actions-the limits of loyalty and disinterestedness.

The sequence:
Things cannot be forever separate. Hence there follows the hexagram of Limitation.

Miscellaneous notes:
Limitation means stopping.

This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one, but the inner structure and the interrelationships of the nuclear trigrams are the same in both. Here water is held together by the lake, while in the preceding hexagram water is dispersed by the wind.


the Judgement:

节:亨。苦节,不可贞。

Limitation. Success.

Galling limitation must not be persevered in.



Limitations are troublesome, but they are effective. If we live economically in normal times, we are prepared for times of want. To be sparing saves us from humiliation. Limitations are also indispensable in the regulation of world conditions. In nature there are fixed limits for summer and winter, day and night, and these limits give the year its meaning. In the same way, economy, by setting fixed limits upon expenditures, acts to preserve property and prevent injury to the people.

But in limitation we must observe due measure. If a man should seek to impose galling limitations upon his own nature, it would be injurious. And if he should go too far in imposing limitations on others, they would rebel. Therefore it is necessary to set limits even upon limitation.

Commentary on the Decision:

节,亨,刚柔分,而刚得中。苦节不可贞,其道穷也。说以行险,当位以节,中正以通。天地节而四时成,节以制度,不伤财,不害民。

“Limitation. Success.” The firm and the yielding are equally divided, and the firm have attained the middle places.
“Galling limitation must not be persevered in,” because its way comes to an end.
Joyous in passing through danger; in the appropriate place, in order to limit; central and correct, in order to unite.
Heaven and earth have their limitations, and the four seasons of the year arise.
Where limitation is applied in the creation of institutions, property is not encroached upon, and people are not harmed.



There are three yang lines and three yin lines symmetrically distributed - first two yang lines, then two yin lines, then one of each. Hence there are strong lines in the two central places, the second and the fifth.
To persist in galling limitation would lead to failure. But owing to the central and moderate behavior of the ruler of the” hexagram, the nine in the fifth place, this danger is overcome. Joyousness is the attribute of the lower trigram Dui, and danger that of the upper trigram Kan. The limitation of the ruler of the hexagram is brought about by the two yin lines between which it stands. But owing to its central and correct position, it attains an all-pervading influence.
Limitation - division into periods - is the means of dividing time. Thus in China the year is divided into twenty-four jieqi, which, being in harmony with atmospheric phenomena, make it possible for man to arrange his agricultural activities so that they harmonize with the course of the seasons. The limitation or suitable division of production and consumption was one of the most important problems of good government in ancient China. Fundamental principles pertaining to this problem are also indicated in the present hexagram.


the Image:

泽上有水,节;君子以制数度,议德行。

Water over lake: the image of Limitation.
Thus the superior man
Creates number and measure,
And examines the nature of virtue and correct conduct.



A lake is something limited. Water is inexhaustible. A lake can contain only a definite amount of the infinite quantity of water; this is its peculiarity. In human life too the individual achieves significance through discrimination and the setting of limits. Therefore what concerns us here is the problem of clearly defining these discriminations, which are, so to speak, the backbone of morality. Unlimited possibilities are not suited to man; if they existed, his life would only dissolve in the boundless. To become strong, a man's life needs the limitations ordained by duty and voluntarily accepted. The individual attains significance as a free spirit only by surrounding himself with these limitations and by determining for himself what his duty is.


the Lines:


上六:苦节,贞凶,悔亡。

Six at the top means:

Galling limitation.
Perseverance brings misfortune.
Remorse disappears.



If one is too severe in setting up restrictions, people will not endure them. The more consistent such severity, the worse it is, for in the long run a reaction is unavoidable. In the same way, the tormented body will rebel against excessive asceticism. On the other hand, although ruthless severity is not to be applied persistently and systematically, there may be times when it si the only means of safeguarding against guilt and remorse. In such situations ruthlessness toward oneself is the only means of saving one's soul, which otherwise would succumb to irresolution and temptation.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:甘节,吉;往有尚。

Nine in the fifth place means:

Sweet limitation brings good fortune.
Going brings esteem.



The limitation must be carried out in the right way if it is to be effective. If we seek to impose restrictions on others only, while evading them ourselves, these restrictions will always be resented and will provoke resistance. If, however, a man in a leading position applies the limitation first to himself, demanding little from those associated with him, and with modest means manages to achieve something, good fortune is the result. Where such an example occurs, it meets with emulation, so that whatever is undertaken must succeed.


六四:安节,亨。

Six in the fourth place means:

Contented limitation. Success.



Every limitation has its value, but a limitation that requires persistent effort entails a cost of too much energy. When, however, the limitation is a natural one (as for example, the limitation by which water flows only downhill), it necessarily leads to success, for then it means a saving of energy. The energy that otherwise would be consumed in a vain struggle with the object, is applied wholly to the benefit of the matter in hand, and success is assured.


六三:不节若,则嗟若,无咎。

Six in the third place means:

He who knows limitation
Will have cause to lament.
No blame.



If an individual is bent only on pleasures and enjoyment, it is easy for him to lose his sense of the limits that are necessary. If he gives himself over to extravagance, he will have to suffer the consequences, with accompanying regret. He must not seek to lay the blame on others. Only when we realize that our mistakes are of our own making will such disagreeable experiences free us of errors.


九二:不出门庭,凶。

Nine in the second place means:

Not going out of the gate and the courtyard
Brings misfortune.



When the time for action has come, the moment must be quickly seized. Just as water first collects in a lake without flowing out, yet is certain to find an outlet when the lake is full, so it is in the life of man. It is a good thing to hesitate so long as the time for action has not come, but no longer. Once the obstacles to action have been removed, anxious hesitation is a mistake that is bound to bring disaster, because one misses one's opportunity.


初九:不出户庭,无咎。

Nine at the beginning means:

Not going out of the door and the courtyard
Is without blame.



Often a man who would like to undertake something finds himself confronted by insurmountable limitations. Then he must know where to stop. If he rightly understands this and does not go beyond the limits set for him, he accumulates an energy that enables him, when the proper time comes, to act with great force. Discretion is of prime importance in preparing the way for momentous things.
Concerning this, Confucius says:
Where disorder develops, words are the first steps. If the prince is not discreet, he loses his servant. If the servant is not discreet he loses his life. If germinating things are not handled with discretion, the perfecting of them is impeded. Therefore the superior man is careful to maintain silence and does not go forth.