1) Correspondence

Lines occupying analogous places in the lower and the upper trigram sometimes have an especially close relationship, the relationship of correspondence. As a rule, firm lines correspond with yielding lines only, and vice versa.

The following lines, provided that they differ in kind, correspond:

The second and the fifth place:


The first and the fourth line:

The third and the top:

A relationship between the third and the top line hardly ever occurs-or at most only as a temptation-because an exalted sage who has renounced the world would forfeit his purity if he became entangled in worldly affairs, and an official in the third place would forfeit his loyalty if he passed by his ruler in the fifth place.

Of course when a line is a ruler of a hexagram, there occur relationships of correspondence that are independent of these considerations, and the good fortune or misfortune implied by them is determined by the time significance of the hexagram as a whole.

2) Holding Together

Between two adjacent lines of different character there may occur a relationship of holding together, which is also described with respect to the lower line as "receiving" and with respect to the upper as "resting upon."

As regards the relationship of holding together, the fourth and the fifth line (minister and ruler) are of first importance. Here, in contradistinction to the situation respecting the second and the fifth line, it is more favorable for a yielding minister to hold together with a strong ruler, because in this closer proximity reverence is of value.

Thus in sixteen hexagrams in which this type of holding together occurs, it is always more or less auspicious:


But the holding together of a strong, i.e., an incorrect line in the fourth place with a yielding ruler

Conversely, it is favorable in certain hexagrams in which the strong fourth line is the ruler: these are hexagrams 16, 21, 34, 55 (here the line is the ruler of the upper trigram), 64.

In addition, the relationship of holding together occurs also between the fifth and the top line. Here it pictures a ruler placing himself under a sage; in such a case it is usually a humble ruler (a weak line in the fifth place) who reveres a strong sage (a strong line above), as in hexagrams 14, 26, 27; 50.

This is naturally very favorable.

But when, conversely, a strong line stands in the fifth place with a weak one above it, this points rather to association with inferior elements and is undesirable, as in hexagrams 28, 31, 43, 58.

The only exception to this appears in hexagram 17, SUi, FOLLOWING, because the total meaning of the hexagram presupposes that the strong element descends to a place under the weak element.


The remaining lines :

The first and second, the second and third, the third and fourth, do not stand in the correct relationship of holding together. Where this occurs it always implies a danger of factionalism and is to be avoided. For a weak line, resting upon a firm line is even at times a source of trouble.

Quand il s'agit de traits qui sont les maîtres de leur hexagramme, les correspondances et les rapports d'entraide sont pris en considération quelle que soit la place.

In dealing with lines that are rulers of their hexagrams, correspondence and holding together are taken into account regardless of the places of the lines. Besides the above - mentioned instances, other examples may be cited :