履 Lǚ Slow advance Fulfillment [hexagram 10]
Month 6 ; Host or Controlling line : 3
履虎尾, 不咥人, 亨. Lǚ hǔ wěi, bù dié rén, hēng.
Lu (suggests the idea of) one treading on the tail of a tiger, which does not bite him. There will be progress and success.彖传: 履, 柔履刚也. 说而应乎乾, 是以履虎尾, 不咥人, 亨. 刚中正, 履帝位而不疚, 光明也. Tuàn zhuàn: Lǚ, róu lǚ gāng yě. shuō ér yìng hū qián, shì yǐlǚ hǔ wěi, bù dié rén, hēng. gāng zhōng zhèng, lǚ dì wèi ér bù jiù, guāng míng yě.
In Lu we have (the symbol of) weakness treading on (that of) strength. (The lower trigram) indicates pleasure and satisfaction, and responds to (the upper) indicating strength. Hence (it is said), 'He treads on the tail of a tiger, which does not bite him; there will be progress and success.'
The fifth line is) strong, in the center, and in its correct place. (Its subject) occupies the God-(given) position, and falls into no distress or failure; - (his) action will be brilliant.象传: 上天下泽, 履; 君子以辨上下, 安民志. Xiàng zhuàn: Shàng tiān xià zé, lǚ; jūn zǐ yǐ biàn shàng xià, ān mín zhì.
(The trigram representing) the sky above, and below it (that representing the waters of) a marsh, form Lu. The superior man, in accordance with this, discriminates between high and low, and gives settlement to the aims of the people.
The first ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject treading his accustomed path. If he go forward, there will be no error.象传: 素履之往, 独行也. Xiàng zhuàn: Sù lǚ zhī wǎng, dú xíng yě.
'He treads his accustomed path and goes forward:' - singly and exclusively he carries out his (long-cherished) wishes.
The second ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject treading the path that is level and easy - a quiet and solitary man, to whom, if he be firm and correct, there will be good fortune.象传: 幽人贞吉, 中不自乱也. Xiàng zhuàn: Yōu rén zhēn jí, zhōng bù zì luàn yě.
'A quiet and solitary man, to whom, being firm and correct, there will be good fortune:' - holding the due mean, he will not allow himself to be thrown into disorder.
The third ‘six’, divided, shows a one-eyed man (who thinks he) can see; a lame man (who thinks he) can walk well; one who treads on the tail of a tiger and is bitten. (All this indicates) ill fortune. We have a (mere) bravo acting the part of a great ruler.象传: 眇能视; 不足以有明也. 跛能履; 不足以与行也, 咥人之凶; 位不当也. 武人为于大君; 志刚也. Xiàng zhuàn: Miǎo néng shì; bù zú yǐ yǒu míng yě. Bǒ néng lǚ; bù zú yǐ yǔ xíng yě, dié rén zhī xiōng; wèi bù dàng yě. Wǔ rén wéi yú dà jūn; zhì gāng yě.
'A one-eyed man (who thinks that he) can see:' - he is not fit to see clearly. 'A lame man (who thinks that he can) tread well:' - one cannot walk along with him. 'The ill fortune of being bitten' arises from the place not being the proper one for him. 'A (mere) bravo acting the part of a great ruler:' - this is owing to his aims being (too) violent.
The fourth ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject treading on the tail of a tiger. He becomes full of apprehensive caution, and in the end there will be good fortune.象传: 愬愬终吉, 志行也. Xiàng zhuàn: Sùsù zhōng jí, zhì xíng yě.
'He becomes full of apprehensive caution, and in the end there will be good fortune:' - his aim takes effect.
The fifth ‘nine’, undivided, shows the resolute tread of its subject. Though he be firm and correct, there will be peril.象传: 夬履贞厉, 位正当也. Xiàng zhuàn: Guài lǚ zhēn lì, wèi zhèng dàng yě.
'He treads resolutely; and though he be firm and correct, there is peril:' - this is due to his being in the position that is correct and appropriate to him.
The sixth ‘nine’, undivided, tells us to look at (the whole course) that is trodden, and examine the presage which that gives. If it be complete and without failure, there will be great good fortune.象传: 元吉在上, 大有庆也. Xiàng zhuàn: Yuán jí zài shàng, dà yǒu qìng yě.
'There will be great good fortune,' and that in the occupancy of the topmost line: - this is great matter for congratulation.
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.