Meanings of the Individual Hexagrams in the I Ching

I Ching the Individual meanings of each Hexagram

The Hexagrams (which consist of 6 lines) are built up from the bast to the top. The first Three go at the bottom so look this one up on the column going vertically down on the left hand side. Then find the Top one, this is along the Horizontal line going from left to right, where they meet give which Hexagram it is. The number can then be looked up on the list below.


Hexagram 1 Ch'ien - The Creative

Heaven over Heaven The creative force of the universe is available to you if you are true to yourself. Trust that the unknowable workings of fate are only serving to bring you the lessons you need to grow.
Hexagram 2 K'un - The Receptive

Earth over Earth Cultivate a yielding, receptive nature that will provide appropriate grounds for the seeds of wisdom to grow. A time to follow as there is not sufficient experience to lead or initiate change. Reserve and develop your inner strength for the future.
Hexagram 3 Chun - Initial Difficulty

Water over Thunder A time of potential growth and new beginnings, maybe initial adversity. A new situation can develop in any direction. Accept any help that is offered and stay steadfast. Allow the situation to resolve itself.
Hexagram 4 Meng - Innocence
Mountain over Water Beginner's luck will will run out. Seek guidance from an experienced teacher and learn from your own mistakes.
Hexagram 5 Hsu - Waiting
Heaven over Water A time to wait and have faith in the order of things. Observe yourself and your situation, correct any inferior feelings that cause imbalance.
Hexagram 6 Sung - Contention Conflict

Heaven over Water By imposing your view instead of accepting what comes, makes you in conflict with the universe and attracts opposition. Disengage from doubts, fears and impatience and communicate with others to develop an understanding that will resolve conflict. Accept and respect the advice of one wiser than you in this situation.
Hexagram 7 Shih - The Army

Earth over Water Be firm in your purpose and exemplary in your actions, be an inspiration to others hence gaining there support and achieving a worthy goal.
Hexagram 8 Pi - Union Holding Together

Water over Earth Strengthen bonds by reviewing your actions and demeanor. Are you being truthful?. Be steady in your principles in the face of challenges and temptations. Maintain inner truth and sincerity and you will achieve much.
Hexagram 9 Hsiao Ch'u - Taming Force

Wind over Heaven Forcing your way will only bring misfortune. Remain focused on your path and remove obstacles with genital actions. Look at the long term. Plant the correct seeds now to reap a harvest in the future. Cultivate patience, tolerance, adaptability and detachment. Accept that all you can do is change yourself.
Hexagram 10 Lu - Treading Carefully

Conduct Heaven over Lake Be careful not to overstep the mark and cause offense. Do not be subservient to those above you nor domineering to those below and you will be able to move with confidence and meet with success.
Hexagram 11 T'ai - Tranquillity

Peace Earth over Heaven A time of burgeoning potential. It is possible to grow to great heights but keep your inner balance that has brought you here. Do not relax into complacency.
Hexagram 12 P'i - Stagnation

Standstill Heaven over Earth A difficult time is coming. Your run of good fortune has waned. Retreat into yourself and have faith that things will improve sooner if you persevere in the correct manner.
Hexagram 13 T'ung Jen - Companionship

Fellowship with others Heaven over Fire A union with others coming together for a mutual goal. Make sure that there are no reservations, or a state of chaos might come about.
Hexagram 14 Ta Yu - Great Possession

Possessing plenty Fire over Heaven By being true and honest you will enter into a period of great abundance. An opportunity for you to shine. Maintain your humility and integrity. If you abuse your strength you will lose it.
Hexagram 15 Ch'ien - Humility
Modesty Earth over Mountain Strive to remain modest. You can face any obstacles if you remain modest and perceive what is good and right.
Hexagram 16: Yu - Happiness

Enthusiasm Thunder over Earth A good time to start a new undertaking, but be sure your foundations are strong. You have the energy to see plans through. Maintain a strong inner clarity do not become egotistical.
Hexagram 17 Sui - Following
Lake over Thunder Accept the way things are and maintain steady in response to events. Inner truth and acceptance will lead to joy which will spread to others.
Hexagram 18 Ku - Disruption

Work on Corruption Mountain over Wind There is disorder. There is a chance to redeem the situation by correcting the improper attitudes and ideas, so changing the disruption to harmony. You need strength of character and decisive action, but first find the cause. When found work quickly.
Hexagram 19 Lin - Approach

Earth over Lake Good times are coming. Undertakings will be successful. Higher powers approach you to give assistance. But don't relax what brought you here.
Hexagram 20 Kuan - Observing

Contemplation Wind over Earth The creative power of the universe works in unseen ways, influencing situations and people without conscious intent.
Hexagram 21 Shih Ho - Biting Through

Biting Through Fire over Thunder There is an obstacle here, possibly an incorrect attitude that needs to be dealt with. Try to see the problem clearly. Forcefulness will bring misfortune. Use your inner strength to withdraw.
Hexagram 22 Pi - Adornment

Grace Mountain over Fire A person who does not try to be alluring but cultivates devotion to the simplicity of the inner truth possesses a grace and beauty that shines through.
Hexagram 23: Po - Stripping Away

Splitting apart Mountain over Earth Everything seems to be going wrong. Attempting to influence the situation will only prolong it. Withdraw from the unfavorable circumstances engage patient non-action allowing free rein for the forces to settle.
Hexagram 24 Fu - Returning

Earth over Thunder A time of increasing fortune. Watch and wait as things progress at their own rate and draw in your strength for the time of growth that is approaching.
Hexagram 25 Wu Wang - Correctness

Innocence Heaven over Thunder Do not anticipate the future or hold on to the passed at this point. Nurture your innocence so intuition can flow and follow the guidance of the wiser adult.
Hexagram 26 Ta Ch'u - Taming Force

Mountain over Heaven Remain calm and detached in the face of hostile provocation's from others who seek to undermine your resolve. Your character is being tested. Hold on to inner truth. Use these difficulties as opportunities to increase your understanding. Some people may be fearful and jealous of your spiritual progress. Pay them no heed and remain focused.
Hexagram 27 I - Nourishment

Mountain over Thunder By feeding on the desires of the ego we promote the growth of inferior spiritual qualities such as envy, self-pity, distrust. By meditation we cultivate a tranquil, receptive state that allows wisdom to flow from the universe.
Hexagram 28 Ta Kuo - Excess

Lake over Wind You are under unbearable pressure, it is likely that you will give way to the weight. There is an understandable temptation to escape and seek refuge, which will only delay the inevitable. Keeping running only weakens our resolve and makes problems unbearable. A time to stand firm, you are equal to the task, rely on your inner truth and integrity and you will emerge stronger. My require a sacrifice, but benefits will accrue if you face the test.
Hexagram 29 K'an - The Deep

The Abysmal Water over Water Flow with the current of change in life instead of struggling against it. Open your heart and adopt the receptive, detached state that will allow the universe to work out the best solution.
Hexagram 30 Li - Fire

The Clinging Fire over Fire Clinging to correct principles gives us the strength to live a joyful and fulfilling life, able to face difficulties with equanimity and paradoxically to gain independence.
Hexagram 31 Hsein - Sensitivity

Influence Lake over Mountain Follow the correct procedure to bring about a joyful union that is mutually beneficial to both parties involved. Be open minded and gentle to receive benefits from external influences. To have a beneficial influence on others you need to maintain an inner independence and integrity, acting from a position of quiet inner truth and humility.
Hexagram 32 Heng - Persistence
Duration Thunder over Wind A time of endurance, which requires persistence and stamina. Be calm and sincere and be careful to stay true to your path and you will succeed. You may be going through a change or one is coming, whatever hold your equanimity. Do not yearn or hope for something to be better, and do not fear that things will get worse, but remain constant and unwavering. Do what needs to be done with calmness, detachment and integrity.
Hexagram Hexagram 33 Tun - Withdrawal

Retreat Heaven over Mountain Accept the fact that you are faced with unfavorable odds, perform a strategic withdrawal in order to make preparations for a more favorable time to advance.
Hexagram 34 Ta Chuang - The Power of Greatness

Thunder over Heaven A time of increasing power and strength, but guard against self-congratulation and complacency. Follow the correct principles of patience, humility, gentleness and detachment. Wait for the appropriate time to act and stay balanced. Do not use have a misguided belief in your power to influence things to your own benefit as the resulting misfortune will be great.
Hexagram 35: Chin - Advancement

Progress Fire over Earth A time of great progress. Your judgment can become clouded if you do not keep yourself and your actions pure and simple. Work for progress for its own sake rather than in the pursuit of selfish goals. Hexagram
Hexagram 36 Ming I - Darkening of the Light

Earth over Fire When engulfed by difficult circumstances, it is necessary to keep your inner light bright to help guide you through difficulties. Giving in to weakness or feelings of despair at making no progress dims the brightness within. Now is a time for detachment and perseverance at maintaining an inner truth. Things progress slowly but progress they do, so have faith in the creative power of the universe.
Hexagram 37 Chia Jen - Family

Wind over Fire Cultivate the correct principles of acceptance, humility, modesty and gentleness to attract and develop healthy relationships.
Hexagram 38 K'uei - Opposition

Fire over Lake Resisting the flow of creative energy increases the power of inferior attitudes that we harbour, which in turn increases resistance in an ever intensifying spiral. Everything that comes to us is appropriate for our learning and growth. There is a need to look beneath the exterior to learn the lesson.
Hexagram 39 Chien - Halting

Obstruction Water over Mountain It is best to retreat from the problem and examine the self for attitudes that need correcting and to seek advice from a wise friend or counselor.
Hexagram 40 Hsieh - Liberation

Deliverance Thunder over Water Look within when faced with obstacles and seek to correct improper attitudes, this will bring relief. The work you have done on yourself will bring release and the way is clear for steady progress. Now is a time to step forward with confidence and balance. Don't brood on what has gone but forgive and forget. They were lessons you needed to reach this point.
Hexagram 41 Sun - Decrease

Mountain over Lake A period is coming which requires a return to simplicity. It is a time for restricting the demands of the ego to strive for success or attainment of goals. Power is limited but by drawing in and exercising firm discipline it is possible to rely on inner strength to get through this lean period.
Hexagram 42 I - Increase

Wind over Thunder Great progress can be made at this time. Beware of complacency and remember the source of your good fortune. Be generous and share with others in a humble and sincere way.
Hexagram 43 Kuai - Breakthrough

Lake over Heaven Resist inferior influences of the ego in order to gain a breakthrough. By resisting emotional responses to other people it is possible to defuse the situation before it becomes too great. Keep emotionally disengaged.
Hexagram 44 Kou - Meeting

Heaven over Wind There is a warning here, that by ignoring danger signs it is possible to meet inferior elements halfway and allow them to develop. A time for self-examination. If your suspicions are aroused, listen to them because they come from your higher self.
Hexagram 45 Ts'ui - Gathering Together

Lake over Earth When a group act together in a spirit of peace and harmony its strength is magnified making the whole a sum greater than its parts. This needs a strong leader and a need to deal with the outside world in a calm manner.
Hexagram 46 Sheng - Ascending

Pushing upwards Earth over Wind Great progress can be made at this time by persisting in what is right. Ask help from those willing to give it.. Nothing can stand in your way if you push steadily towards the light.
Hexagram 47 K'un - Repression
Oppression Lake over Water These are testing times with difficult situations and little progress.. Face this adverse time with calmness and equanimity. A time for self-assessment.
Hexagram 48 Ching - The Well

Water over Wind Spiritual nourishment, counsel, guidance, wisdom. This Hexagram refers to the I Ching as a source of spiritual sustenance that is freely available to anyone who wishes to draw from it. But is also a reminder to treat that deep wisdom with respect and not to muddy its waters with frivolous queries or indifference.
Hexagram 49 Ko - Change

Revolution Lake over Fire Change, Advance, Devotion. Changes are afoot. A time to analyze your motives and instill the necessary change of heart that will set things in motion. Success is assured if you act from a position of selflessness.
Hexagram 50 Ting - The Cauldron

Fire over Wind Growth, Sacrifice, Nourishment. Develop what is good within yourself for the benefit of society at large.
Hexagram 51 Chen - Thunder

The arousing Thunder over Thunder Shock, Movement, Stimulation, Excitement. Do not be shocked by external influences, if you are it indicates that there are areas or attitudes that need looking at. The truly powerful person is unmoved by such occurrences, being n complete harmony with the universal laws.
Hexagram 52 Ken - Mountain

Keeping still Mountain over Mountain Stillness, Observing, Quiteness, Clarity, Readiness. What is needed is a calm observation. It is not possible to be still with strong emotions. Be still when stillness is required and act when action is required.
Hexagram 53 Chien - Growth

Development Wind over Mountain Gradual progress, Patience, steady growth. The goal may seem a long way off but with patience and diligence it will be arrived at.
Hexagram 54 Kuei Mei - Marrying Maiden

Thunder over Lake To act on desires is to fail to follow the correct principles . There will always be desires and problems in relationships but by following proper conduct there effect will be minimal.
Hexagram 55 Feng - Abundance

Thunder over Fire Fullness, Power, Wise actions, Plenty. Live for the present moment, make the most of this period of abundance and influence to achieve great gains.
Hexagram 56 Lu - Travel

The Wanderer Fire over Mountain Moving, Restless, Temporary, Transient. The best way to proceed is to stay alert, be cautious, reserved and respectful of others that you meet, follow your instincts and have no attachments.
Hexagram 57 Sun - Gentle

Wind over Wind Gentle, Penetrating, Wind,Persistence. Try to dispel any blockages that may stand in your way gently. Be consistent and have well defined goals to focus on. One that can be aimed at with persistent effort. This way changes will have a long-term and far-reaching effects.
Hexagram 58 Tui - The Joyous

Lake over Lake Inner strength, Fulfillment, Harmony, Joy To make life better we must have this or must do that, but the material gains do not bring lasting joy as there will always be something else to have or do. I Ching says that to be fulfilled we need to devote ourselves to the principles of humility, detachment, modesty and acceptance.
Hexagram 59 Huan - Dispersal

Wind over Water Division, Dissolution, Rigidity, Stubbornness. Be like a warm spring wind which blows gently but with great persistence over the winder ice, dissolving it gradually and allowing the river to flow freely once more.
Hexagram 60 Chieh - Restraint-Limitation

Water over Lake Moderation, Guidelines, Boundaries. If you know and respect your personal boundaries you will have a greater freedom of expression within them. It is wise to restrain the desires and fears that are the cause of troubled thinking.
Hexagram 61 Chung Fu - Inmost Sincerity

Inner Truth Wind over Lake Prejudice, Understanding, acceptance. It is not possible to reach any kind of understanding if we indulge in such feelings as pride, anger or self-pity. I Ching counsels us to leave emotional responses behind and to try to understand the truth of a situation.
Hexagram 62 Hsiao Kua - Great Smallness

Thunder over Mountain Non-action, Caution, Patience. When faced with difficult circumstances it is tempting to be assertive . but to act in this way will only make things worse. The best course to take is one of patient non-action, relying on principles of humility, modesty and acceptance. Difficult times will always reappear.
Hexagram 63 Chi Chi - Completion

Water over Fire Order, Balance, Awareness, Culmination. Out of chaos comes order. This can quickly change. A warning here not to relax the discipline that has got you this far. It is necessary to be on guard against falling into chaos again.
Hexagram 64 Wei Chi - Before Completion

Fire over Water Caution, regeneration, Potential, Clarity. During regenerative times such as these there is intense pressure to succeed but, to get anywhere worthwhile, you need to proceed cautiously and with firm dedication to higher principles.