Hexagram 03, line 6


See also line 2 and 4.

Qixue 泣血 is a fixed expression used in several ancient texts: ‘weep tears of blood’. In the Lun Heng 論衡 we read:

At the time of the Kings Li and Wu, Pien Ho presented them with a jade-stone, and had his two feet cut off. Offering his stone he wept, till his tears ran dry, when he went on weeping blood.  Can the sincerity of Tsou Yen bear a comparison with Pien Ho’s sufferings, or his unjust arrest with the amputation of the feet? Can the sighs towards heaven be put on a parallel with tears of blood?
(tr, A. Forke, p. 113)

From this context we learn that qixue means to cry until the tears are tried up and you continue to cry blood.

Liang 漣: flowing, streaming. Like in the Shijing 詩經 :

I ascended that ruinous wall,
To look towards Fuguan;
And when I saw [you] not [coming from] it;
My tears flowed in streams.
(tr. James Legge)

Carts lingering.
Shedding bloody tears in streams.

Hexagram 03, line 4 & 5

Line 4

乘馬班如.求婚媾.往吉. 無不利.

See also line 2.

Carts lingering,
Seeking marriage (for tying bonds).
Going is auspicious.
Nothing disadvantageous.

Line 5


Gao 膏: The best; cream; quintessence of something. The 王力古漢語字典 gives as one of the meanings ‘the best place/location’ (‘精華所在’; p. 1008).

The best place for stationing troops.
Divination for small issues: auspicious.
Divination for big issues: inauspicious.

Hexagram 03, line 3


Ji 即: approach; be close to

Lu 鹿: general term for deer, reindeer, moose, etc. According to Lu Deming’s 陸德明 Jingdian Shiwen 經典釋文 the Wang Su 王肅 notes have lu 麓, the foot of a hill or mountain. Kong Yingda 孔穎達 reads 鹿 as 麓 in his Chunqiu Zuozhuan Zhengyi 春秋左傳正義 :

Lu 鹿 is the foot of a mountain. A forest that is joined to a mountain is called lu 鹿.

Yu 虞: a forester; someone who is in charge of the forests and everything that lives in it. In the Shujing 書經 we read:

The Di said, ‘Who can superintend, as the nature of the charge requires, the grass and trees, with the birds and beasts (on my hills and in my marshes)?’ All (in the court) replied, ‘Is there not Yi?’ The Di said, ‘Yes. Ho! Yi do you be my forester.’

In the Zhouli 周禮 we have a passage in which a forester is specifically linked to the forest that is near a mountain (麓):

Every large forest at the foot of a mountain requires 12 men of the Shi 士 (officials), of the Shi 史 (historians) four men, of the Xu 胥 (petty officials) twelve men, of the Tu 徒 (common workers) one hundred and twenty. A forest of middle size requires a quantity of foresters equal to the quantity required for a middle sized mountain. A forest of small size requires a quantity of foresters equal to the quantity required for a small sized mountain.

Ji 幾: before a verb it should be read as ‘should, ought to’ (用于動詞前,表示理當如此.可譯為“應當、“應該”等; 古代漢語虛詞詞典, p. 457).

Buru 不如, ‘not as good as’, ‘it is better to’.

She 舍: stop and stay overnight (留宿)

Lin 吝: similar to lin 遴, ‘difficulties; difficult progress’. According to Lu Deming Jing Fang 京房 uses 遴 instead of 吝. The Mawangdui text uses 𠳵, which is a known variant of 鄰 –> 遴.

Approaching the forest without a forester, only ending up in the middle of the woods. The lord should stop and stay overnight. To go results in difficulties.

Hexagram 03, line 2


Tun 屯: to gather, assemble; to station troops, (to) garrison.

Ru 如: According to 古代漢語虛詞詞典 (p. 458-459) ‘多用于形容詞或副詞之后,也有用于動詞之后的,表示事物或動作的状态.可譯為“….一的樣子”、“….的” ‘ . Used behind a verb it denotes appearance, how something behaves or acts. Similar to today’s  ‘…一的樣子’ or ‘….的’. Often translated as ‘…-ing’. Ru after tun means that tun is a verb.

Zhan 邅: haltering, lingering; not able to go forward because of difficulties ahead.

Changma 乘馬: cart drawn by a horse; ride a horse.

Ban 班: same as ban 般, ‘linger, stay’. Zheng Xuan 鄭玄 has ban 般.

Kou 寇: invader, enemy (侵略者;敵人)

Hun 婚: marry

Gou 媾: is also related to marrying, meaning ‘to marry again’, ‘take a second wife’ (重婚,重疊交互為婚姻) with the sole purpose of tying bonds between families (親上加親; 結爲婚姻).

Zi 字: pregnant.

Shinian 十年: ‘ten years’, meaning ‘a long time’ (形容時間長久).

Troops gathering, haltering,
Carts lingering.
It is not an invader who wants to marry (for tying bonds).
Divination for a woman: she is not pregnant.
Only after a long time she will get pregnant.

Hexagram 03, Judgment & line 1


Tun 屯: to gather, assemble; to station troops, (to) garrison (漢語大詞典, Vol. 1, p. 483).

Tuan 彖


You wang 攸往: see here. This phrase is currently under reinvestigation. About wang 往: The opposite of lai 來. To go to a place.  Wang Li 王力 says:

“往”是到某地去, “去”是離開某地,詞義正相反。直到近代, “去”才有 “往”義.
“往” is going to a certain place, “去” is leaving a certain place, it’s meaning is the opposite. Only until recent times “去” got the same meaning as “往”.
(王力古漢語字典, p. 295)

According to Wang, wang was not used to stress the meaning of ‘leaving’, it was used as a verb to indicate going in a certain direction.

Jian hou 建侯: establish feudal lords (封立諸侯).

Greatly accepted offering.
Favourable to divine.
Do not undertake a far journey.
Favourable to establish feudal lords.

First line


Panhuan 磐桓 = panhuan 盤桓: to stop, to stay, linger (逗留).

Ju 居: residence, the place where one stays to live or reside (住所); also ‘to stop (moving)’ (停息).

This line seems to talk about an oracle consultation for deciding the place to stay. There might be a link (albeit weak) with the story of Pan Geng 盤庚 in the Shujing about relocating the capital. Pan 磐 is an often used loan for pan 盤, en this line has intriguing connections with this story:

Pan-geng wished to remove (the capital) to Yin, but the people would not go to dwell there. He therefore appealed to all the discontented, and made the following protestations. ‘Our king came, and fixed on this. He did so from a deep concern for our people, and not because he would have them all die, where they cannot (now) help one another to preserve their lives. I have consulted the tortoise-shell, and obtained the reply: “This is no place for us.”

See also LiSe’s translation.

If we read pan 磐 as the name Pan (Geng) 盤(庚) the phrase 磐桓 could also read ‘Pan is worried’. But let’s not do that.

Stay (at the current location).
Favourable divination for (deciding) a residence.
Favourable to establish feudal lords.