The Hexagrams


Book Contents

Preface
Introduction
The Technique
Base Structure of the I Ching
The Hexagrams
 — 01 QIAN (Yang) — 02 KUN (Yin) — 03 TUN (Difficult Beginning) — 04 MENG (Immaturity) — 05 XU (Waiting Patiently) — 06 SONG (Dispute) — 07 SHI (The Army) — 08 BI (Fellowship) — 09 XIAO CHU (Small Accumulation) — 10 LI (Conduct) — 11 TAI (Peace) — 12 PI (Obstacle) — 13 TONG REN (Fellowship) — 14 DA YOU (Great Harvest) — 15 QIEN (Modesty) — 16 YU (Enthusiasm) — 17 SUI (Compliance) — 18 GU (Correcting the Corruption) — 19 LIN (Advancing) — 20 GUAN (Contemplation) — 21 SHI HO (Biting Through Hardship) — 22 BI (Adornment) — 23 BO (Erosion) — 24 FU (Return) — 25 WU WANG (Innocence) — 26 DA CHU (Great Potential) — 27 YI (Nourishment) — 28 DA GUO (Critical Mass) — 29 KAN (Watery Depths) — 30 LI (Fire) — 31 XIAN (Mutual Attraction) — 32 HENG (Constancy) — 33 DUN (Retreat) — 34 DA ZHUANG (Power of the Great) — 35 JIN (Success) — 36 MING YI (Time of Darkness) — 37 JIA REN (Family) — 38 KUI (Contradiction) — 39 JIAN (Obstruction) — 40 JIE (Dissolution of the Problem) — 41 SUN (Sacrifice) — 42 YI (Benefit) — 43 GUAI (Resolution) — 44 GOU (Contact) — 45 CUI (Congregation) — 46 SHENG (Rising) — 47 KUN (Adversity) — 48 JING (The Well) — 49 GE (Revolution) — 50 DING (The Cauldron) — 51 ZHEN (Force of Thunder) — 52 GEN (Keeping Still) — 53 JIAN (Gradual Progress) — 54 GUI MEI (The Maiden) — 55 FENG (Peak) — 56 LU (The Wanderer) — 57 XUN (Gentle Wind) — 58 DUI (Joyousness) — 59 HUAN (Scattered) — 60 JIE (Self-Restraint) — 61 ZHONG FU (Inner Truth) — 62 XIAO GUO (Predominance of the Small) — 63 JI JI (After Crossing the Water) — 64 WEI JI (Before Crossing the Water)

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The Well / Water Hole / Reaching the Water

You must understand basic truths.

This hexagram uses a well as a metaphor for the mind, how to conduct one’s education, and the clarity or lacking clarity of the water. The mind is like a well. Its ideal state is one of clarity and quietude amidst the activities of daily life. The message of this hexagram is to follow the example of the well by being peaceful and resourceful. The well also represents the ‘waters’ you are giving to others, the way you can reach out to others for bringing over your message, be it as a teacher, or as an artist, business person, doctor or professional, or a government official. Whatever your position or profession, you are living in the world and you need to reach out to others in order to be useful.

1. The first line uses the image of a well that seems forsaken as nobody comes to drink from it. This metaphor means that you are too self-centered and isolated from others; else the meaning of this line is that you need to update and broaden your vision, giving up something that is outdated, or adapt positively to a new situation. Trust your inner guidance and focus your intention on becoming useful to those around you, and the world in general.

2. This line speaks of an open well, but a person reaching not far enough down to catch water because the rope of the bucket is too short. This means that it is too early for an undertaking or you do not make full use of your talents in carrying it out. It is not enough to be talented, you also need to be attentive to the material world and have the desire to be heard and seen. Trust in your potential and you will find a way to deploy your smart!

3. This line speaks of a functional and clean well but nobody comes to drink the water. It is thus a similar image as the first line, only that now the well is clean. This means that you need to practice persistence in reaching out to others. You have clear ‘waters’ now to give but you need to be known to others. Make yourself known to others in whatever way this is possible, and do not be shy! You need to share your knowledge, art or wisdom, or it’s not useful to the world.

4. This line traditionally speaks of a well that is protected by a railing around it. This metaphor means that you should now take care of your own affairs, and avoid being involved in those of others. You now should build the foundation for your later successes, which means you need first of all build a solid inner foundation, based upon virtue and a correct attitude. Besides, you need to have faith that the time will come for your deployment and success!

5. This line speaks of pure, clean water that is available for all. Here, your talents have been recognized and you are visible to others. This is the beginning of your social success. You need to trust your inner guidance still further in order to continue to grow and expand your influence.

6. Here great success is indicated because of wise decisions that also benefit others. The advice of this line was traditionally to not cover the well so that the waters can be drunk by all. Likewise, your clear ‘waters’ now reach others, who benefit from your spirit of open-mindedness and universal love. This is a situation of great good fortune!

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