787878Hexagram 63


Line image

Outer activity is quiet and this is accepted (lines 3 and 4), inner life force activity is also quiet and is accepted (lines 1 and 6); there is active feeling but we are not making this our sense of reality (lines 2 and 5). So here is a stillness which, in the Chinese oracle is called “after completion”; it represents a phase where an activity has come to an end and in this phase we just exist in undefined feeling and there is no ongoing activity. It is the state in which we find ourselves after a change is completed.

Trigram image

The emerging energy clings to its source (Li) and is inactive in the outer world (K’an); it starts again tentatively in our identity (Li) and is again quenched in our inner being (K’an). We can hardly speak of flow here because the flow has been completed and is no longer accepted innerly or outerly; it is an end which signals a beginning. The change may be just a small part of our activity or it may involve our whole mode of experiencing, but it is a clear transition; it is expressed by hexagrams 63 and 64 together (after completion and before completion) and is a very useful concept arising out of these trigrams Li and K’an which is discussed further in appendix one.

The Chinese Oracle

After completion.
Success of the small.
Continuing in the way is rewarded.
Good fortune in beginnings,
misfortune in endings.


The great movement of a cycle is over and we are re-born, we are small again in a new environment as we were small when born in the world. This is not an end so continuance is necessary and its success is the development of a new cycle of experience. We should concentrate on beginnings because the old, the ending, is in dis-order, dis-integrating.


The pattern
Fire enters water.
Water enters fire.
Mutually they change
each other’s reality
forming what is different
after they have changed.
For humans
He may be surprised
to find himself
without the thing he has made
with such care.
He can rejoice in passing
from one reality to another.
In nature
Under the sun.
Through the sea.
The reality of rock
is sand.
In forms we make
Complete change is an end
and a beginning.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

Here is new activity developing from the inside; we need to await its development so that we act outside in phase with it.

The Chinese Image
He brakes the carriage wheels.
The tail is in the water.
No error.

The general rule when going through transition is to keep going, but here we are just in “after completion” and there are still parts which have not completed the change, or the tail is still in the water in the image of crossing the great water. It is no error to slow down so that these parts can catch up with the change.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

In a new situation, after transition, there may be feelings of insecurity which cause us to feel over-exposed and withdraw our feelings.

The Chinese Image
The lady in a carriage loses the blind to her window.
It will return after seven days, she should not go after it.

She feels vulnerable as we do at this time, but as the cycle completes itself (the seven days) the protection of confidence returns. This vulnerability is actually an advantage if we accept it as natural to our situation and not an error to be corrected, it gives us additional sensitivity which we need in new surroundings.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

If we have outer activity increasing directly after completion it shows that we have not yet changed our external mode of being; transition does not occur through making changes out there in the world, it is by change in the way we ourselves are.

The Chinese Image
The illustrious ancestor subdued the province of Kuei Fang (the devil’s country) after three years.
Men of inferior ability would have been useless.

Three is the number of transition or change, so it is this that creates the success. A devil or evil one in a situation of change is the narrow view which will not change and allow enlargement, and this is also the inferior man—the opposite of the great man so often referred to.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

Our outer state (line 3) is inactive in this tao and we need to preserve that inactivity if we are to change out of our mind-desire mode of being—the mode of trying to make something “better”.

The Chinese Image
Amongst fine silks are ragged clothes.
Be careful all day.

Amongst our wide aspirations are narrow desires; all day is throughout conscious activity, and being always aware of them will itself change them.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

Intuitive feeling is the basis of our knowing our circumstance and this line 5 is about the conscious interpretation of that feeling; when we become more involved here we consider how to use the life force.

The Chinese Image
Someone in the east sacrifices an ox with less benefit than one in the west who makes a spring offering.

The ox is the strength of outer activity and this is sacrificed at the beginning (the east where the sun rises).
The spring offering is the sacrifice of beginnings (a giving up before we start and so an offering, not a killing); this is made at the end of a cycle (the west).
So it is more beneficial to give up starting new things, which arises when the old are ended, than to kill off the outside activity after it has developed.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

If our inner being does not accept the end of a cycle the transition cannot complete.

The Chinese Image
His head is submerged in the water.

The head is the controller and here it is right in the liquifying process of change. For identity to emerge changed from transition it needs to flow in the momentum of being changed, not to get involved in controlling it.

Nuclear HexagramHexagram 64

Incomplete change.

Line image

Here the personal self has withdrawn from both inner and outer activity (lines 4 and 6) and we are in the peace of inactive feeling (lines 2 and 5). This uninvolvement and quiet feeling comes at the end of a cycle of involvement and the common name of the hexagram is “before completion”.

Trigram image

In this flow the energy is hesitant in our outer expression and inner being (both Li) so we will be unsure how to express in a situation that is somewhat empty and confusing. The emerging energy is low (K’an) and so is the energy in our identity (also K’an) which pictures our situation at the end of something we have been involved in, the energy has run out but it is not all completed yet and we are hesitant to invest more energy in it.

The Chinese Oracle

Before completion.
Little fox. Crossing the ice. Tail in the water.
No chosen direction is favourable now.


No chosen direction means not starting something new—for to do that we choose. The tail is in the water because the crossing is not yet complete and it is by keeping our choosing mind frozen that we can complete what we have been engaged in (when this becomes liquid the tail gets wet). So the success is in completing (the crossing) and the little fox is he who is learning to take advantage of his circumstances.


The pattern
Change is not complete.
Only part is changed.
Change is still to come.
For humans
He starts out into opposition.
He is so changed
he opposes no more.
In nature
Water enters fire,
leaving fire.
In forms we make
When existing orders
change their challengers
partial change occurs.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

Here we are not moving sufficiently with the tao we are in; the drive in the tao diminishes before we have completed our transition out of a habit-reality.

The Chinese Image
The little fox gets his tail wet.

We are in transition so it is essential to keep moving, if we stop to consider our position we get submerged in where we are and the transition ceases.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

With our intuitive feelings active we are more aware, and to be more aware when in transition means witnessing, not being involved in action; we just feel our situation.

The Chinese Image
He brakes the wheels of his carriage.
Continuance in the way brings good fortune.

We stop our outer movement; it is this that carries us in the world and so is our carriage. Transition continues here while the old way of moving is stopped, so continuing with this is the way through.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

If we stop movement during transition we may start off in a new direction to save ourselves the effort of inner change.

The Chinese Image
The movement is not complete.
New directions are unfortunate.
The advantage comes in crossing the great water.

Change in our mode of being is not complete so to start any new movement now will be moving from our old motivations and endanger the change that is nearly complete.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

When a change is happening in our identifying pattern our old motivations turn up all sorts of new activities to keep themselves in being; these are the stumbling blocks to change.

The Chinese Image
Continuance in the way brings good fortune.
Subduing the land of Kuei (the land of the devils) took three years and great rewards were gained.

We have to continue through the change (three years symbolically is a cycle of change) continually preventing old and habitual ways from keeping their footholds. Before completion means that we are on our way in a process of change and to complete the transition we must persist.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

Our intuitive feeling is quiet in this tao; we have needed to accept this quietness also so that new action did not arise. Now we are further along the path of change and do not need this vigilance.

The Chinese Image
Continuance in the way brings reward.
No regret.
The attraction of the superior man has effect.
Good fortune.

The transition has passed its doubting phase where we were subject to going back to the old ways. We now have confidence in the wider experience which is the reward of transition.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

The life energy of this tao moves to create change, and here we go with the movement, identifying in it. We need to be careful of this identifying.

The Chinese Image
Confidence and feasting is no error.
If his head gets wet confidence is lost.

Confidence and over-confidence; in the first we trust providence and in the second we trust our heads.