45 Cui4

The lower: Kun (submissiveness, earth). The upper: Dui (joy, the marsh).

Cui: to gather together; a gathering of elites, which must be properly and righteously led, like herbs flourishing around a marsh. 






People gather together after having come to meet (Gou); therefore Cui is granted. Cui signifies gathering together. cui4 indicates flourishing grasses and refers to a gathering of one species.

The upper trigram Dui is a marsh, and the lower trigram Kun is earth; a marsh over earth signifies water irrigating the soil, which allows the grasses to flourish. The internal trigram of Cui is Kun, submissiveness and people, while the external trigram Dui is joy and persuasion. A pleasant expression accompanied by genuine internal submission is signified, suggesting people massing around their leader with heartfelt admiration in response to his persuasion (i.e. the upper trigram).

The internal hexagram of Cui is Jian (53), wild geese migrating in an orderly manner. Its changing hexagram is Da Chu (26), large storage; the power will be largely consolidated after people gather together; conversely they will enhance and discipline each other after they have gathered together.


Text: Cui (to gather together), (which entails) smooth progress; the king arrives at the shrine.  It is advantageous (or appropriate) to see a great lord, (which offers) smooth progress; it is advantageous (or appropriate) to persist (in righteousness).  To worship with a ceremonial sacrifice, (which is of) auspiciousness; it is instrumental in going somewhere.

Commentary on the text: Cui, (signifying) gathering together.  (Hexagram Cui exhibits its virtue in the form of) submissiveness (of the internal trigram Kun) in company with joy (as the external trigram Dui expresses); (the one of) rigidity (i.e. line 5) at the core position (of the upper trigram) has correlation (with those below of the lower trigram Kun) therefore (people are) gathering together.  The king arrives at the shrine and worships with the most filial (attitude)It is advantageous (or appropriate) to see a great lord (line 5), (which offers) smooth progress, (owing to) gathering together based on righteousness.  To worship with large (i.e. grand and sumptuous) sacrifices, (which is of) auspiciousness; it is instrumental in going somewhere, (which is due to being) submissive to the mandate of Heaven.  By observing those who gather together, the preference of the whole of creation in the world can be comprehended.

Text explanation:

Calling for people to gather together requires legitimacy, i.e. a mandate from Heaven and the ancestors: therefore the king goes to the shrine and presides over a sacrificial ceremony. When people gather, they require good leadership and management otherwise they will become disorderly and divided. Therefore it is advantageous to see a great lord. Line 5, the masculine axle centre at the king’s position, is correlated with line 2, the representative line of the lower trigram Kun, the people. Both stay at their right positions, i.e. they act properly and will gather together based on righteousness. Hexagram Cui is in a prosperous era; it is taken for granted that worship will be expressed with a grand and sumptuous sacrifice, such as the offer of cattle of the lower trigram Kun. The will and power are united; it is instrumental in undertaking what is planned. Cattle, goats and pigs are offered in sacrificial ceremonies, with cattle being the most valued.

The inner upper trigram Xun (to enter, the wind) presents one feminine line submissively prostrating itself beneath two masculine lines which illustrates the meaning of worship. Line 6 is the shrine, and line 5, the king; line 5 correlates with line 2, the representative line of Kun, the people and cattle. This indicates that the king leads his people to worship at the shrine with the most precious sacrifice.

Commentary on the image: The marsh is over earth; Cui.  A gentleman, in accordance with this, repairs his weapons and prepares for a latent riot.

Cui is signified as people gathering, but two forces are involved in hexagram Cui, which will lead to turbulence. A gentleman should prepare himself well in advance for a confrontation.


Gathering entails smooth progress and will advance smoothly if it heeds the right advice. People are expected to gather when the king arrives at the shrine to undertake the sacrificial ceremony exhibiting legitimacy, which requires smooth progress. It is advantageous, or appropriate, to have a skilled leader present when people are gathering. This way the gathering will be orderly and progress smoothly. It is advantageous, or appropriate, to gather based on righteousness; then all virtuous and able people will join in. It is auspicious to worship with many sacrificial offerings, i.e. to worship Heaven with the highest reverence and to generously entertain the virtuous and able people attending. Then the will and power are united; it is instrumental in undertaking what is intended.

Hexagram Cui possesses the virtues of smooth progress, advantage and persistence but lacks that of origination; therefore it needs to resort to the root, i.e. the legitimacy of gathering and the qualities of a great leader to bring people together.

Hexagram Cui is usually regarded as elites gathering; it can refer to forming a political party or commercial association. Its commentary on the image suggests that it should prevent and dissolve what divides members. The changing hexagram is Da Chu (26), large storage, wherein manpower and resources will be built up allowing the great mission to go forward.






In the world of hexagram Cui, those above call on those below to join them. Masculine lines 4 and 5 gather the feminine lines below, respectively and by means of correlation (which here stands for those below responding to the call above by joining of their own accord), or occupation and sustenance (those below joining those above according to the master-slave relationship).

As two groups come together, a crisis of conflict and riot underlies hexagram Cui. Lines 5 and 2 stay at their right positions, i.e. they act righteously and their joining conforms to righteousness. On the other hand, lines 4, 3 and 1 do not act righteously; therefore lines 1 and 3 must seek what is right to join in, and line 4 must seek great auspiciousness in order to avoid calamity. All the line texts are provided with the phrase of no calamity or fault; this is what hexagram Cui pursues, and all of them can free themselves from calamity or fault if they act according to what is righteous.


The 1st line

Text: Sincerity and trust don’t last to the end; this disturbs your Cui (gathering together).  In case of crying (for joining), a handclasp turns (this) into a smile, no need to worry; there is no calamity (or fault) in going forth.

Text explanation:

 Joining entails sincerity and trust which is the basis of gathering. The bonding with the summoner will become unstable if one’s intent can’t be firmly maintained with sincerity and trust. However, as there originally existed a calling for gathering, one will be welcomed once one asks to join; no need to worry. There is no fault or calamity attached to an available gathering at this stage, as gathering just starts and one is still seeking the right one to join.

Line 1 is in the beginning phase and in a place not right for it, signifying that it hasn't made up its mind, and won't act according to what is righteous. It is in correlation with line 4 and, therefore, goes for gathering. It does exhibit sincerity and trust as the upper trigram changes to Kan (the abyss, water) after joining; however it also becomes friendly beside line 5 and occupied by line 5, i.e. it will be influenced by line 5, so its sincerity and trust won't last long.




Nevertheless as long as it cries out to join, line 4 will immediately offer its hand in welcome since the inner upper trigram Gen (keeping still, the mountain) looks like a hand and the upper trigram Dui is joy, which expresses a smile; there is nothing to worry about; there will be free-dom from calamity (or fault) when going forth to gather together.




Commentary on the image: To disturb your Cui (gathering together), (because) aspiration is disordered.

Trigram Kan denotes sincerity and trust and is also taken for aspiration. Even though it's aspiration, like its sincerity and trust, will be affected by line 5 after it joins line 4, there will be no calamity or fault either, as line 1, at the position of commoners, is always accepted by all of those above and line 5 is its final destination.

Enlightenment through six one: to start the process and make adjustment later if necessary. Although joining without sincerity and trust won’t last long, at the moment one will be warmly accepted if one asks to join; this is because there already exists a calling to gather. There will be no calamity (or fault) in going forth. The hexagram that appears while this line is activated, changing to masculine and disconnecting correlation from line 4, is Sui (17), to follow, signifying to make adjustments in a timely manner, and to perform correctly in accordance with the occasion. The joining of line 1 is a realistic choice according to the require-ments of the moment; therefore one still must explore timely, and take great care in deciding on what is best to pursue.  


The 2nd line

Text: To be invited (to gather together) is auspicious (引吉), (which will be of) no calamity (or fault); sincerity and trust make it instrumental in undertaking the simple sacrificial ceremony of Spring.

Text explanation:

yin3 of 引吉ji2 (to be invited is auspicious) signifies to draw (a bow), i.e. to pull and guide something into position. Therefore, 引吉 here is interpreted as being auspicious if joining is done by being raised up by those above rather than acting on one's own initiative. It can be free from calamity (or fault) in this way as such actions are based on sincerity and trust, the basis of gathering.

Line 2 is feminine at its right place, i.e. it acts righteously, and feminine tends to remain still; it correlates with line 5, the king, and is designated to join it. However it will be auspicious if it is invited by line 5 instead of joining on its own initiative, because should it become active, i.e. a masculine line, there would be no correlation between lines 2 and 5.

The joining action of line 2 must be carried out like performing a simple sacrificial ceremony in the Spring. In Spring seeds are newly sown, it is still far from harvest time; worship is conducted with a simple sacrifice, accompanied by sincerity and trust which are central and essential in the modest ceremony. This attitude is reflected in both the inner lower and the upper trigram Kan (the abyss, water), sincerity and trust, which appear after line 2 is lifted to position 5.




Commentary on the image: The auspiciousness of being invited (to gather together) is of no calamity (or fault), (which is due to the fact that) (the principle of) moderation won’t change.

Positions 2 and 5 are both axle centres, where the principle of moderation is available; line 2 neither actively asks to join nor does it presume to be in a position to refuse; it remains moderate, i.e. neither indifferent nor overbearing, after it is promoted to position 5.

Enlightenment through six two: to exhibit sincerity and trust, and wait for a call (to gather). To be invited to join, like being promoted by those above instead of approaching on one's own initiative, is auspicious, and there will be no calamity or fault. Should this line change to masculine and become active, it would lose correlation with line 5 and the hexagram would become Kun4 (47), to be besieged. Sincerity and trust are the most valuable assets if one has no outstanding merit; when joining, the principle of moderation must be maintained throughout.


The 3rd line

Text: As if Cui (gathering together) mingles with sighs, nothing is favourable; there will be no calamity (or fault) in going forth, (but) a little resentment.

Text explanation:

Line 3 has no access to line 5, the king, but is occupied by line 4. It can only join line 4 and sighs with disappointment, which won't bring anything favourable. If it can go forth to position 4, it will sustain, and join with, line 5. Even though the hexagram will change to Jian (39), difficulty in proceeding, the result is just a little resentment as it stays between masculine lines 3 and 5; there will be no fault or calamity.

Commentary on the image: There will be no calamity (or fault) in going forth, (which signifies that the one to join is) the upper (one of) Xun.

Line 3 is the representative line of the inner upper trigram Xun (to enter, the wind), wherein feminine line 3 prostrates itself beneath masculine lines 4 and 5; however the one that it should join is line 5, i.e. the upper of the two masculine lines of trigram Xun.

Enlightenment through six three: to discard expediency and do what is right. If one takes what is at hand rather than taking what is right, it won't result in anything favourable. What one should heed is the call of legitimate gathering, and undertake what is righteous (i.e. going forth and acting righteously at position 4); although the correct choice will cause minor resentment, there will be no calamity or fault. If this line changes to masculine and breaks away from line 4's control, the hexagram appears in the form of Xian (31), telepathy, which suggests marrying a female with whom one shares telepathy, i.e. joining the one of the same aspiration.


The 4th line

Text: (The subject must be of) great auspiciousness, (and then there will be) no calamity (or fault).

Text explanation:

One must be blessed with great auspiciousness; then one will be free from calamity.

Line 4 is at the courtier’s position; it correlates with line 1 and occupies line 3, signifying it gathers lines 1 and 3 which will incur jealousy from line 5, the king; therefore it can be free from calamity only after securing great auspiciousness.

Great auspiciousness here signifies that one must have insight into one's unfavourable circumstances and deliberately do everything right.

Commentary on the image: (Line 4 must be of) great auspiciousness and (then there will be) no calamity, (which is due to the fact that) the position (where it stays) is inappropriate (to masculine).

Line 4 is a masculine at a feminine position, i.e. it doesn't act righteously according to its position, like feminine sustaining masculine and being independent from those below, i.e. like a courtier supporting the king without forming his own party.

Enlightenment through nine four: be discreet in word and deed; the native serpent is no match for the mighty dragon. Even if a person acquires the bulk of support, staying next to legitimate power will cause him calamity. He must realise that doing so doesn’t comply with his position, and should be very careful to undertake only what is safe and auspicious; then there is no fault or calamity. The hexagram that appears while this line is activated and changes to feminine is Bi3 (8), intimate interdependence (with the king, line 5).


The 5th line

Text: Cui (gathering together) occupies the position, (which will result in) no calamity (or fault).  (However it is) not sincere and trustworthy; (It must be of) origination (i.e. the fountain of goodness) and everlasting as well as persistence (in righteousness), (and then) regret will be gone. 

Text explanation:

Line 5, the king, is a masculine line at the core position and at the position right to it; it correlates with line 2, the representative line of the lower trigram Kun, the people; seemingly the king has all his people gather around him. However, owing to the existence of line 4, it can't express sincerity and trust to the feminine lines below for them to join. So it must cultivate itself, persistently without cease to posses the virtues of a king like those of hexagram Bi3 (8), intimate interdependence. Then line 4 will change to feminine and the upper trigram to Kan (the abyss, water), sincerity and trust. Afterward, it will sit in the middle of sincerity and trust, and correlate with line 2, now with the support of line 4 signifying that all have become submissive to him, therefore regret is gone.



Commentary on the image: Cui (gathering together) occupies the position, (but) aspiration doesn’t radiate.

Lines 4 and 5 are two masculine lines that independently gather the feminine lines below. This creates two forces: one possesses legitimacy, while the other has the majority of lines joining it; this is the source of conflict and rioting mentioned in the commentary on the image of the hexagram. The king, line 5, must demonstrate his virtue; then the courtier, line 4, will sustain him and all the people will gather around him. After line 4 changes to feminine, trigram Kan, aspiration (of gathering the people) appears, signifying that aspiration is realised.

Enlightenment through nine five: to occupy a correct position and prepare fully for the mission. A person occupies a position which entitles him to gather all the people around him. Although there is another force alongside him, there will be no calamity (or fault) because the position is right to him. However he must exhibit sincerity and trust to encourage the people to join him. To that end, he cultivates the virtue of good leadership and brings it into full play; after that no one else can compete with him; he will become the only one the people will join, then regret will be gone. Should this line not abide by the advice and change to feminine, the hexagram would become Yu (16), to take precautions against calamity, as line 4 gains all support.


The 6th line

Text: (The subject is in a state of) sighing and weeping, (but which will cause) no calamity (or fault).

Text explanation:

Line 6 stays at the top of hexagram Cui but far from the people of the lower trigram Kun; it has no correlation with Kun, like a high-ranking person with no people around him. The upper trigram Dui denotes the mouth, by which it sighs. Line 6 riding over line 5, the king, is unsuited to form any faction; fortunately line 6 is feminine and feminine tends to remain still, which signifies that it is motionless, only sighing, weeping and looking sad; therefore there will be no calamity or fault.

Commentary on the image: (Line 6 is in a state of) sighing and weeping, (as) it hasn't yet rested on the top.

Position 6 is the place where the line is back to normal after having passed the peak development of the hexagram. It sighs and weeps because it isn’t content with the current status.

Enlightenment through six six: be content with your current status; a loss might turn out to be a gain. A person occupies a high-ranking position but has no people to join him. Although he feels sad, there is no calamity since if this line changes to masculine correlating nominally with the people below, the hexagram will become Pi (12), stagnation and blockage, which refers to a state of adversity.