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易經
the Hexagrams, Index

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

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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:









60. Jie

Limitation



<
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 , 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 , Trigram Dui, the Joyous, the lake
   below Trigram Dui , 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 Sign:

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