Wei Ji intimates progress and success (in the circumstances which it implies). (We see) a young fox that has nearly crossed (the stream), when its tail gets immersed. There will be no advantage in any way.未济“亨”,柔得中也.“小狐汔济”,未出中也. “濡其尾,无攸利”,不续终也.虽不当位,刚柔应也 Wèi jì? hēng?, róu dé zhòng yě.? xiǎo hú qì jì?,wèi chū zhōng yě.? rú qí wěi, wú yōu lì?, bù xù zhōng yě. suī bù dàng wèi, gāng róu yīng yě
‘Wei Ji intimates progress and success (in the circumstances which it implies):’ - the weak (fifth) line is in the center. ‘The young fox has nearly crossed the stream:’ - but he has not yet escaped from the midst (of the danger and calamity). ‘Its tail gets immersed. There will be no advantage in any way:’ - there is not at the end a continuance (of the purpose) at the beginning. Although the places (of the different lines) are not those appropriate to them, yet a strong (line) and a weak (line always) respond to each other.火在水上, 未济. 君子以慎辨物居方 Huǒ zài shuǐ shàng, wèi jì. Jūn zǐ yǐ shèn biàn wù jī fāng
The trigram representing) water and that for fire above it form Wei Ji. The superior man, in accordance with this, carefully discriminates among (the qualities of) things, and the (different) positions they (naturally) occupy.
The first ‘six’, divided, shows its subject (like a fox) whose tail gets immersed. There will be occasion for regret.濡其尾, 亦不知极也 Rú qí wěi, yì bù zhī jí yě
‘His tail gets immersed:’ - this is the very height of ignorance.
The second ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject dragging back his (carriage-) wheel. With firmness and correctness there will be good fortune.九二贞吉, 中以行正也 Jiǔ èr zhēn jí, zhòng yǐ xíng zhèng yě
‘The second ‘nine’, (undivided), shows good fortune arising from being firm and correct:’ - it is in the central place, and the action of its subject thereby becomes correct.
The third ‘six’, divided, shows its subject, with (the state of things) not yet remedied, advancing on; which will lead to evil. But there will be advantage in (trying to) cross the great stream.未济, 征凶, 位不当也 Wèi jì, zhēng xiōng, wèi bù dàng yě
‘(The state of things is) not yet remedied. Advancing will lead to evil:’ - the place (of the line) is not that appropriate for it.
The fourth ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject by firm correctness obtaining good fortune, so that all occasion for repentance disappears. Let him stir himself up, as if he were invading the Demon region, where for three years rewards will come to him (and his troops) from the great kingdom.贞吉, 悔亡, 志行也 Zhēn jí, huǐ wáng, zhì xíng yě
(By firm correctness there is good fortune, and cause for repentance disappears:‘ - the aim (of the subject of the line) is carried into effect.
The fifth ‘six’, divided, shows its subject by firm correctness obtaining good fortune, and having no occasion for repentance. (We see in him) the brightness of a superior man, and the possession of sincerity. There will be good fortune.君子之光, 其晖吉也 Jūn zǐ zhī guāng, qí huī jí yě
‘(We see) the brightness of a superior man: - ’ the diffusion of that brightness tends to good fortune.
The topmost ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject full of confidence and therefore feasting (quietly). There will be no error. (If he) cherish this confidence, till he (is like the fox who) gets his head immersed, it will fail of what is right.饮酒濡首, 亦不知节也 Yǐn jiǔ rú shǒu, yì bù zhī jié yě
‘He drinks and gets his head immersed:’ - he does not know how to submit to the (proper) regulations.
This translation of the YiJing classic text uses the original Chinese including the 象传 Xiàng zhuàn commentary converted to modern simplified characters and pinyin.
The English translation is based on William Legge (1899) ➚ which is now out of copyright. We have changed some wording and converted to American spelling.
We hope to replace this with a more modern translation.
In the first few paragraphs each gua is described. The name of the gua (hexagram) is followed by the two trigrams that make it up (lake, mountain, fire, water, earth, heaven, thunder and wind). Each gua has a controlling element (earth, fire, water, metal and wood). After this information there are three related guas. The Opposite gua is the one where all yang is changed to yin and yin to yang - it is usually opposite in meaning. The Inverse gua is the gua with the order inverted so first is last and vice versa. The mutual gua is a more complex combination and re-ordering of the internal trigrams making up the gua. Then the association of the gua to the annual cycle is shown - this is the Chinese lunar month number (not Western month). The controlling or host yao is considered the most important line in the gua and is highlighted in the hexagram.
The main description for the hexagram is then followed by a section for each of the six possible changing lines which indicate the transformation into another, related gua. The text uses ‘nine’ to refer to a yang line and ‘six’ for a yin line. The pure yin and yang hexagrams have, however, a different text structure as they are so important.
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