I-Ching Hexagram Five, Waiting

I-Ching 64 Hexagrams > 5.Waiting

I-Ching-Hexagram Five - Waiting


A dragon hangs up on a beach, waiting for the right time.

It is the hexagram of February.


This hexagram in Chinese Xu means waiting.

The Chinese word Xu composes of two Chinese words – Rain (upper part of the word Xu) and Sky (lower part of the word Xu).

This also means water in the sky.


The image of this hexagram is the risk of water in upper part and being robust in the lower part.

This implies a person who is robust and talented but there is the risk related to water.

Therefore, a person cannot go forward, like a dragon hanging up on the beach.

This is a sign of waiting.


Another image of this hexagram is water evaporates and condenses into clouds.

However, there is not enough water to turn clouds into rain.

Rain means the balance of Yin and Yang and to blossom and bear fruits.


There are clouds in the sky.

In order to make it raining, the accumulation of vapour is required. 

When the time is right, it will rain.

That means there are insufficient favorable factors so you have to wait for the right time to show your talent.


Although one is robust and can engage in an adventure turning peril into safe, the best strategy is to retreat and stand on defensive waiting for the best time.


This hexagram Waiting comes after the hexagrams of Spouting and Youth.

The hexagrams of Spouting and Youth represent the beginning of civilization so citizens are silly and innocent.

The hexagram Waiting is the right time to start teaching peasants how to fish and how to be self-sufficient.


[Summary of Hexagram Five- Waiting]

Wait for the right time.

When one has high credibility, everything will be promising and going smoothly.

Everything will be fine if one is being quite.

One can adventure sailing across a river.


1st Line


There is risk ahead.

One will not be affected by risk if one does not adventure knowing how to avoid risk.


Because one does not adventure and force oneself to go forward, one keeps a distant from risk.

Therefore, one can get away from guilt.


2nd Line


One is trapped like sinking into sands along water side.

One is ridiculed and hearing mocking words.

However, one can solve problems because one is robust and handle the situation in a temperate manner.


3rd Line


One is being trapped like sinking into sands along water side.

One jeopardizes oneself creating many enemies because one is robust and seeking to be number one.

It is full of danger outside.

If one is being cautious all the time and keeping a person or a thing at arm’s length, one will be safe.



4th Line


When one is delicate and weak, one is in danger and cannot extricate oneself.

Because one is yielding and accepts their suggestions, one can get out of danger.


5th Line

One is in danger now.

Because one is robust and has totally finished one’s duty, one can enjoy the pleasure of foods and drinks.

Everything will be fine if one has done one’s duty and be fair.

The reasons of eating and drinking are to prepare and wait for the right time to take action.


[In ancient time of China, warriors are eating and resting to prepare for fighting in coming wars.]


6th Line


Originally, it is the time one can get out of danger, but one is working in the position which does not match up with one’s identity.

However, one will be fine when one respects someone who unexpectedly comes to help.


6th line of this hexagram Waiting is the last state of risk of water supposing it is the end of waiting.

One is escaping from danger hiding in a cave.

By that time, there are three people entering into the cave helping one to get out of danger.

One respects these three people and get out of danger successfully.

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