I-Ching Hexagram 19

I-Ching Hexagram 19 – Lin – Approach

the trigram above – K’UN – the Receptive, Earth
the trigram below – TUI – the Joyous, Lake

from The I Ching or Book of Changes by Richard Wilhelm, Cary F. Baynes, Hellmut Wilhelm and C. G. Jung

The Chinese word lin has a range of meanings that is not exhausted by any single word of another language. The ancient explanations in the Book of Changes give as its first meaning, “becoming great.” What becomes great are the two strong lines growing into the hexagram from below; the light-giving power expands with them. The meaning is then further extended to include the concept of approach, especially the approach of what is strong and highly placed in relation to what is lower. Finally the meaning includes the attitude of condescension of a man in high position toward the people, and in general the setting to work on affairs. This hexagram in linked with the twelfth month (January – February), when, after the winter solstice, the light power begins to ascend again.


APPROACH has supreme success.
Perseverance furthers.
When the eighth month comes,
There will be misfortune.

The hexagram as a whole points to a time of joyous, hopeful progress. Spring is approaching. joy and forbearance bring high and low nearer together. Success is certain. But we must work with determination and perseverance to make full use of the propitiousness of the time. And one thing more: spring does not last forever. In the eighth month the aspects are reversed. Then only two strong, light lines are left; these do not advance but are in retreat (see next hexagram). We must take heed of this change in good time. If we meet evil before it becomes reality – before it has even begun to stir – we can master it.


The earth above the lake:
The image of APPROACH.
Thus the superior man is inexhaustible
In his will to teach,
And without limits
In is tolerance and protection of the people.

The earth borders upon the lake from above. This symbolizes the approach ad condescension of the man of higher position to those beneath him. The two parts of the image indicate what his attitude toward these people will be. Just as the lake is inexhaustible in depth, so the sage is inexhaustible in his readiness to teach mankind, and just as the earth is boundlessly wide, sustaining and caring for all creatures on it, so the sage sustains and cares for all people and excludes no part of humanity.


Nine at the beginning means:
Joint approach.
Perseverance brings good fortune.

The good begins to prevail and to find response in influential circles. This in turn is an incentive to men of ability. It is well to join this upward trend, but we must not let ourselves be carried away by the current of the time; we must adhere perseveringly to what is right. This brings good fortune.

Nine in the second place means:
Joint approach.
Good fortune.
Everything furthers.

When the stimulus to approach comes from a high place, and when a man has the inner strength and consistency that need no admonition, good fortune will ensue. Nor need the future cause any concern. he is well aware that everything earthly is transitory, and that a descent follows upon every rise, but need not be confused by this universal law of fate. Everything serves to further. Therefore he will travel the paths of life swiftly, honestly and valiantly.

Six in the third place means:
Comfortable approach.
Nothing that would further.
If one is induced to grieve over it,
One becomes free of blame.

Things are going well for a man: he achieves power and influence. But in this lies the danger that he may relax, and confident of his position, allow the easygoing, careless mood to show itself in his dealings with other people. This would inevitably be harmful. But there is possibility of a change of mood. If he regrets his mistaken attitude and feels the responsibility of an influential position, he frees himself of faults.

Six in the fourth place means;
Complete approach.
No blame.

While the three lower lines indicate rise to power and influence, the three upper lines show the attitude of persons in higher position toward those of lower rank for whom they procure influence. Here is shown the open-minded approach of a person of high rank to a man of ability whom he draws into his own circle, regardless of class prejudice. This is very favorable.

Six in the fifth place means;
Wise approach.
This is right for a great prince.
Good fortune.

A prince, or anyone in a leading position, must have the wisdom to attract to himself people of ability who are expert in directing affairs. His wisdom consists both in selecting the right people and in allowing those chosen to have a free hand without interference from him. For only through such self-restraint will he find the experts needed to satisfy all of his requirements.

Six at the top means:
Greathearted approach.
Good fortune. No blame.

A sage who has put the world behind him and who in spirit has already withdrawn from life may, under certain circumstances, decide to return once more to the here and now and to approach other men. This means great good fortune for the men whom he teaches and helps. And for him this greathearted humbling of himself is blameless.

10 Responses to I-Ching Hexagram 19

  1. gef says:

    I have a dark person in my life,spouse, and she is slandering me with total lies and revenge. I have never cheated on her; however, I can not say the same for her. This has happened numerous times, she is a Scorpio. I confronted her and she has reversed everything, left, and slandering me and put all the fault on me. One question I got a 31 with a 4 changing line and 15 alternate hexagram. Second question, I do not need or want the chaos in my life but I love her, 19 hexagram with no changing lines.
    Advise please.

    • TheAbysmal says:

      I can’t offer you any advice. The hexagrams & changes are meant for you to reflect upon to determine your best course of action.

      Hexagram 19 refers to this particular season, when the days grow longer (unless you’re at the equator or southern hemisphere), and our strength returns. You must persevere to continue on your journey – it seems like your Scorpio spouse’s behaviour provides you with the obstacle over which you must persevere to continue.

      Best of fortune to you in this new year.

  2. Vani says:

    A prince, or anyone in a leadin gposition = A prince, or anyone in a leading position,

  3. Tizio says:

    Hello: First I’d like to thank you for your website which has been very helpful to me on many occasions. My question is about Hexagram 19, six in the fifth place. There seems to be a typo I can’t decipher: “allowing those chosen to have a free ahdn without interference from him.”

    Once again I thank you for your work. Tizio

    • TheAbysmal says:

      I think that was supposed to be “a free hand”

      thanks for pointing it out – I haven’t fully proofread all 64 hexagrams, so any feedback is welcome.

      glad you find the site useful.

  4. Myst says:


    I am in a situation where one of my superiors keep humiliating me, I am currently looking for work so that I can leave the company. My question to the I Ching was “How will work progress for me” and I receive 19 changing to 41. It will be kind of you to provide some interpretation on this one, thank you in advance.

  5. Myst says:

    I found better luck with interpretation on another forum, thanks anyway.


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