The situation represented by the hexagram as a whole is called the time.
This term comprises several entirely different meanings, according to the character of the various hexagrams.
In hexagrams in which the situation as a whole has to do with movement, "the time" means the decrease or growth, the emptiness or fullness, brought about by this movement.
Hexagrams of this sort are:
Similarly, the action or process characteristic for a given hexagram is called the time, as in :
Finally, the time may also mean the symbolic situation represented by the hexagram, as in :
In addition, the time means the law expressed through a hexagram, as in :
In all cases the time of a hexagram is determinative for the meaning of the situation as a whole, on the basis of which the individual lines receive their meaning.
A given line - let us say, a six in the third place - can be now favorable, now unfavorable, according to the time determinant.