I-Ching Hexagram Eighteen, Poison

I-Ching 64 Hexagrams > 18.Poison

I-Ching-Hexagram Eighteen – Poison


To spoil.

To captivate.

To confuse.

To have an accident.

The family is making every effort to get out of straitened circumstance.

This Hexagram (Poison) in Chinese “Gu” means worms are moving in a bowl.

It implies things are decaying.

It also means to captivate and to delude.

Upper trigram of this hexagram (Poison) represents a young guy and lower trigram of this hexagram (Poison) represents an older girl.

This young guy and the older girl are doing something opposite to their identities.

This is the sign of the older girl deluding and abducting the young guy.

The upper trigram of this hexagram (Poison) is mountain and the lower trigram of this hexagram (Poison) is wind.

Wind is blowing in the valley (under the mountain) so plants and trees were collapsing and in a mess.

This is the sign of chaos.


It also shows it is slowly eroded so things are stopped.

It has another meaning that the superiors are stopped so the inferiors have a chance to invade.


Food is left over a place for a long so it decays.

People, who have happy days for a long time, will be low in spirit and spoiled.

This implies the corruption of a society hidden in a peaceful and wealthy country.

Superficially, it is peaceful and everyone is happy.

Internally, it is spoiled and corrupted.

If one does not brace up, one will be on the danger list.


In the sequence of hexagrams, this hexagram (Poison) follows Hexagram Seventeenth Following.

Hexagram Seventeenth Following means go with the flow but it may be too casual and go with one’s pleasure.

Accidents will happen if one is too casual and goes with one’s pleasure for a long time.

Hexagram Eighteenth “Poison” is the time when one has accidents.

When there are accidents, one has to handle it.

In the stage of Hexagram Seventeenth Following, it is peaceful but accidents will happen when one is too casual and goes with one’s pleasure for a long time.

When accidents (Poison) happen, one needs to rectify and straighten out.


This hexagram (Poison) is similar to a body which has chronic diseases.

When a chronic disease is found, the disease has been in the body for a long time.

However, it is not fatal at that moment.

Therefore, one nourishes the body, changes to healthy habits and to preserve one’s health leading to recovery of health.

When one gets this hexagram (Poison), decay has been created.

If one can solve issues planning for future taking precaution after suffering a loss, it is not too late to remedy.

It is a way of good luck.

If one does not solve issues and let it go, it will be further decaying and cannot undo.


[Summary of Hexagram Eighteenth – Poison]

Things happen.

It is a sign of good fortune.

It is better to cross the river and take risks.

Before crossing a river, one has to plan how to do it.

3 days before crossing the river, one starts preparation and takes trials.

3 days after crossing the river, one has to keep tracking and understand the situation.


Because one is working hard to do it again, it will be good fortune even thought things have been decaying.

There will be a great achievement and it is not on a danger list.



1st Line


The family is in straitened circumstance.

Luckily, there is a talented and smart son who can inherit his family wishes to save the family business.

He can make every effort to get out of straitened circumstance and gain the reputation back.

Although it is tough and dangerous, good fortune comes at the end.


2nd Line


A son helps mother to work for her business.

Being a son, it is not appropriate to help mother doing her duties which a wife should do.

Therefore, it is better not insisting to do such thing.



3rd Line


One feels a little bit regret after helping a father to do his duties.

However, it is not a fault.


One should work hard to save the business from a straitened circumstance.

However, one does not know how to prioritize the jobs and reverse all procedures.

One’s character is too vigorous so one feels a little bit regret.

This is doing for all people and not for you only.

Therefore, it is not a fault.


4th Line


Things are getting worse.

When one goes to help, things are getting more adverse.

It is urgent to save a decaying business.

However, one is weak, willful and incapable.

Therefore, the business is more spoiled.

Based on the current situation, it is misfortune.



5th Line


One shoulders father’s responsibilities and inherits father’s virtue.

Therefore, one has got public praise.


Although one is not talented, one is working in a higher rank and able to choose a right person.

There are many elites helping you.

Therefore, one has got good reputation.


6th Line


This is the peak of this hexagram (Poison).

One can keep oneself out of the affair.

Therefore, one does not worrying about the decaying business.

One is ambitious but does not follow the common customs.

One keeps one’s nose clean and withdraws from society and lives in obscurity.

One enjoys living in forests and nature.

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