Hexagram Sixty-three—Reaching Completion

Hexagram Sixty-three shows that although the project is finished, there remains more to do. There may still be some details, which overlooked, could lead to chaos.

The first line, yang, explains that it would be wise to slow down and examine the situation for any unfinished business. The image is of a wagon driver who slows down to bring the wagon over a creek.

The second line, yin, recommends keeping one's balance in the face of a last minute problem. It is like a woman who loses her hat in the wind. She will inevitably find it within a short time.

The third line, yang, shows a king who goes off to conquer a territory overrun by fearful men. The work will take time, so it may be necessary to work to the point of fatigue some days.

The fourth line, yin, suggests there is some doubt about the completion of a project, so it is better to be on guard all day. The analogy is given of a person watching for leaks in a boat.

The fifth line, yang, explains that some projects may take more effort than others, as if decided by the divine powers. One person may conduct a grand sacrifice, but not receive the same blessings as a neighbor who sincerely performs a small offering.

The sixth line, yin, shows one who loses patience with a tedious project, just as someone crossing a river may become engulfed, even up to the top of the head. Recognize the peril of the situation and be cautious.

Hexagram Sixty-three Commentary

The final two hexagrams discuss projects that are unfinished. The overall message is to make sure a situation is completely resolved. Craftsmen know the importance of finishing the details of a project, and these last two hexagrams reinforce this concept. The introduction says although a project is finished, there is still more for the subject to do. They may have overlooked a detail that could unravel all their good work.

The first line, yang, says to slow down and examine the situation for anything that appears incomplete. The metaphor is of a wagon driver who slows down to get the wagon through a creek.

The second line, yin, recommends the subject keep their balance if there's a last minute problem. The metaphor is of a woman who loses her hat in the wind. It won't take long to find it, so take the necessary steps to do things right.

The third line, yang, shows a leader who will do what it takes to bring a project to conclusion. The metaphor is if a king who conquers lands "overrun by fearful men."

The fourth line, yin, explains the attitude of making sure a project is complete. This could be the most important part of the project, similar to "watching for leaks in a boat."

The fifth line, yang, shows that completion comes easy in some projects, but not in others. Sometimes the biggest projects go of easily, while a small project takes extra care. The line says it is as if these things are "decided by the divine powers."

The subject of the sixth line, has lost patience with a tedious project. The metaphor is of someone crossing a river who may get in too deep and drown. In a situation like this, the line recommends caution.

To the reader: Most of the hexagrams have at least one line that predicts bad results, but that does NOT mean you are fated to that result. The hexagrams illustrate different attitudes, so study the actions and reactions to learn the attitudes that will lead to better outcomes.

The I Ching teaches you to flow with changes and create positive change from the inside through conscious living. Your future is in your hands. Consult the I Ching for ideas that lead to clear thinking and positive mental attitude. Reading the I Ching helps you take the time to reflect on your attitudes and ideas. Continue asking until you feel positive about your course.

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A note about this interpretation of the I Ching: Nori Muster wrote this version of the I Ching in 1994 and put it online at in 2000. It is also available at Amazon: