Upper trigram: Ch'ien The Creative, Heaven
Lower trigram: Sun The Gentle, Wind
Coming to Meet. The maiden is powerful.
One should not marry such a maiden.
Under heaven, wind:
The image of Coming to Meet.
Thus does the prince act when disseminating his commands
And proclaiming them to the four quarters of heaven.
These texts apply only for the lines that were marked, when the hexagram was cast. Note that the lines are counted from the bottom up.
The bottom line marked means:
It must be checked with a brake of bronze.
Perseverance brings good fortune.
If one lets it take its course, one experiences misfortune.
Even a lean pig has it in him to rage around.
The 2nd line marked means:
There is a fish in the tank. No blame.
Does not further guests.
The 3rd line marked means:
There is no skin on his thighs,
And walking comes hard.
If one is mindful of the danger,
No great mistake is made.
The 4th line marked means:
No fish in the tank.
This leads to misfortune.
The 5th line marked means:
A melon covered with willow leaves.
Then it drops down to one from heaven.
The top line marked means:
He comes to meet with his horns.
Humiliation. No blame.
The interpretations above and comments below are from Richard Wilhelm's version of the I CHING.
Comments on the Hexagram
This hexagram indicates a situation in which the principle of darkness, after
having been eliminated, furtively and unexpectedly obtrudes again from
within and below. Of its own accord the female principle comes to meet the
male. It is an unfavorable and dangerous situation, and we must understand
and promptly prevent the possible consequences.
The hexagram is linked with the fifth month [June-July], because at the
summer solstice the principle of darkness gradually becomes ascendant again.
The rise of the inferior element is pictured here in the image of a bold girl
who lightly surrenders herself and thus seizes power. This would not be
possible if the strong and light-giving element had not in turn come halfway.
The inferior thing seems so harmless and inviting that a man delights in it; it
looks so small and weak that he imagines he may dally with it and come to
The inferior man rises only because the superior man does not regard him
as dangerous and so lends him power. If he were resisted from the fist, he
could never gain influence.
The time of COMING TO MEET is important in still another way.
Although as a general rule the weak should not come to meet the strong,
there are times when this has great significance. When heaven and earth
come to meet each other, all creatures prosper; when a prince and his official
come to meet each other, the world is put in order. It is necessary for
elements predestined to be joined and mutually dependent to come to meet
one another halfway. But the coming together must be free of dishonest
ulterior motives, otherwise harm will result.
The situation here resembles that in hexagram 20, Kuan, CONTEMPLATION
(VIEW). In the latter the wind blows over the earth, here it blows under
heaven; in both cases it goes everywhere. There the wind is on the earth and
symbolizes the ruler taking note of the conditions in his kingdom; here the
wind blows from above and symbolizes the influence exercised by the ruler
through his commands. Heaven is far from the things of earth, but it sets
them in motion by means of the wind. The ruler is far from his people, but
he sets them in motion by means of his commands and decrees.
The bottom line marked
If an inferior element has wormed its way in, it must be energetically checked
at once. By consistently checking it, bad effects can be avoided. If it is allowed
to take its course, misfortune is bound to result; the insignificance of that
which creeps in should not be a temptation to underrate it. A pig that is still
young and lean cannot rage around much, but after it has eaten its fill and
become strong, its true nature comes out if it has not previously been curbed.
The 2nd line from the bottom marked
The inferior element is not overcome by violence but is kept under gentle
control. Then nothing evil is to be feared. But care must be taken not to let it
come in contact with those further away, because once free it would unfold its
evil aspects unchecked.
The 3rd line from the bottom marked
There is a temptation to fall in with the evil element offering itself-a very
dangerous situation. Fortunately circumstances prevent this; one would like
to do it, but cannot. This leads to painful indecision in behavior. But if we
gain clear insight into the danger of the situation, we shall at least avoid more
The 4th line from the bottom marked
Insignificant people must be tolerated in order to keep them well disposed.
Then we can make use of them if we should need them. If we become
alienated from them and do not meet them halfway, they turn their backs on
us and are not at our disposal when we need them. But this is our own fault.
The 5th line from the bottom marked
The melon, like the fish, is a symbol of the principle of darkness. It is sweet
but spoils easily and for this reason is protected with a cover of willow leaves.
This is a situation in which a strong, superior, well-poised man tolerates and
protects the inferiors in his charge. He has the firm lines of order an beauty
within himself but he does not lay stress upon them. He does not bother his
subordinates with outward show or tiresome admonitions but leaves them
quite free, putting his trust in the transforming power of a strong and upright
personality. And behold! Fate is favorable. His inferiors respond to his
influence and fall to his disposition like ripe fruit.
The top line marked
When a man has withdrawn from the world, its tumult often becomes
unbearable to him. There are many people who in a noble pride hold
themselves aloof from all that is low and rebuff it brusquely wherever it
comes to meet them. Such persons are reproached for being proud and
distant, but since active duties no longer hold them to the world, this does
not greatly matter. They know how to bear the dislike of the masses with
Here I add some perspectives on this hexagram, as well as other methods to read its meaning, in additon to what Richard Wilhelm derives from it above.
Meaning of the Trigrams Combined
Each hexagram combines two trigrams, making one the upper and the other the lower. The meaning of the hexagram is mainly derived from that combination. Here's what it means for this hexagram:
Heaven upon Wind
This hexagram is a summary of the sky: From heaven comes the wind, which reaches and disturbs the world below it. Heaven is the highest and mightiest. Since it is fixed high above us, it acts by wind.
This image is similar to the Japanese concept of kamikaze, the wind of the gods. Ultimately, according to many ancient mythologies, heaven rules all from high above. The wind is a major force at its disposal. It acts out the will of its high origin.
Any wind is a wind of change. It creates movements in the world, movements with a direction and an outcome. Since its starting point is heaven, the direction of it is what ancient China described as tien tao, heaven's way. The wind shows heavenly intentions. Or as Taoism would have it: the way of nature, which is indifferent to human will and independent of it.
We might want to call it chance, but in ancient Chinese cosmology there was no such thing. Any event had a purpose — human if caused by humans, heaven's if caused by natural phenomena. Anyway, this hexagrams points to processes over which we have little or no control.
That is why this hexagram is sort of a warning signal when appearing in a reading. If heaven sends this powerful messenger to us, we should be attentive to what is being said, what path is suggested. After all, the wind is as close to contact with heaven as earthbound creatures can hope to come. The ruler speaks its mind to its subjects. We had better listen closely before doing anything at all.
Yin and Yang Significances
In this hexagram, only the bottom line is Yin (broken), whereas all the five lines above it are Yang (full). So, this is definitely a Yang dominated sign. Still, the bottom line is one of fundamental importance, wherefore it cannot be neglected.
It is natural that Yin, like earth, is below heavenly Yang. But although heaven is traditionally regarded as so much grander in every way than the earth, the extreme unbalance between Yin and Yang is seen with some concern. That is why the hexagram speaks of caution. Something is not as it should be.
When the earthly is suppressed by so much heavenly, then procreation and the fruition of the earth are burdened. Also, the system of the world, as well as that of any of its creatures, is disturbed by the unbalance between Yin and Yang. The world needs darkness as well as light, and cold as well as heat. Otherwise conditions may get to be extreme.
When this hexagram appears in a reading, it is cause for pondering the matter carefully. What may seem overwhelmingly good at the light of day can prove strenuous already at the moment of dusk. Things are not as good as they seem to be in all their superficial glory. So, one should hesitate instead of jumping to conclusions, reconsider instead of hurrying to decide on the first impression.
Read more about the polarity of Yin and Yang here:
Yin and Yang
Compare to the Reversed Trigrams
It's common to compare a hexagram to the one where the lines are the opposite: a full line is broken and a broken line full. But I find it much more interesting to compare hexagrams with the trigrams reversed: the upper trigram becomes the lower, and the lower trigram becomes the upper. That deepens the understanding of the trigrams at work — when they're not identical. Click the image to see what it means for the two trigrams of this hexagram:
The hexagram with the trigrams reversed
Compare to the Reversed Lines
You can also compare this hexagram to its opposite according to the six lines, where each broken line is full, and vice versa. In some cases it leads to the same hexagram as the one where the trigrams are switched. Here is the hexagram with reversed lines (click it to get to its webpage):
Hexagram with opposite lines
Click the header to read more about the eight trigrams that are combined into the 64 hexagrams.
The 64 I Ching Hexagrams
An I Ching hexagram is composed of two trigrams. Each of the 64 hexagrams has its own name, meaning, and divinatory text. Here they all are, in the traditional order. Click on the image of an I Ching hexagram to get to its webpage.
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