Hexagram Sixty-four—Not Yet Completed

Hexagram Sixty-four, the last of the hexagrams, shows incompleteness. Be cautious, because although it seems a current project is finished, there is still more to do.

The first line, yin, shows a fox crossing a stream. If she lets her guard down, she will get her tail wet. This is an embarrassing situation for one who is supposed to be in charge.

The second line, yang, recommends taking due caution and acting correctly, just as one may cautiously apply the brakes in a carriage to avoid an accident.

The third line, yin, warns that one should not go forward without finishing the current situation. The timing is appropriate to meet that last remaining challenge.

The fourth line, yang, explains that through steadfast and intelligent action, a situation becomes successful and all questions are answered. Act just like a king who sets out on a potentially rewarding mission, determined to succeed.

The fifth line, yin, explains that the qualities of wisdom, sincerity, and integrity come from hard work. The line encourages the subject to always finish projects completely, for this will bring success.

The sixth line, yang, shows one who is confident in their accomplishments. There is no blame in this, but pride can lead to arrogance, and arrogance leads to mistakes. It is as if the fox looses her determination while crossing the river and her whole head is immersed.

Hexagram Sixty-four Commentary

The last hexagram is also sometimes called "completion and not yet completed." Like the last hexagram, it also warns against thinking things are complete. Even when one project is done, and completely finished, another project will soon come along with more to do.

The first line, yin, says the subject needs to be responsible to all the projects they have started. If the subject strikes off in a new direction without taking care of the details of the current situation, it can lead to embarrassment and problems. The metaphor is of a fox crossing a stream, who gets her tail wet.

The second line, yang, recommends bringing activities to a safe halt to avoid accidents and future problems. The metaphor in the line is "applying the brakes in a carriage to avoid an accident."

The third line, yin, says before starting something new, focus on completing the current project. It's better to complete everything now, then move on to the next thing.

The fourth line, yang, says once the current situation is complete, it will be the right time to take on the next project. When the time is right, the subject will move forward "like a king who sets out on a potentially rewarding mission, determined to succeed."

The fifth line, yin, says taking on difficult projects and bringing them to completion teaches "wisdom, sincerity, and integrity."

The sixth line, yang, explains that once a project is complete, the subject must move into the next project with beginner's mind, rather than arrogance. The final metaphor is of the fox who loses her determination while crossing a river, and "her whole head is immersed." The end of one project leads to the beginning of the next, and requires continued determination and work ahead.

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: