I-Ching Hexagram Forty-Nine, Reform

I-Ching 64 Hexagrams > 49. Reform

I-Ching-Hexagram Forty-Nine - Reform



Abolish the old methods.


One of the meanings of this hexagram (Reform) in Chinese Ge is leather.

The hairs of leather are removed implying removing the old things.


The questioner who has got this hexagram (Reform) shall reform and change.

It is the time to reform, one should reform and change.

If one does not change, misfortune will come.
To reform is to self-examine oneself and to change.

If you hold it and let others to help you to reform, it becomes a revolution.


In this hexagram (Reform), its upper trigram is gold (Lake) and its lower trigram is Fire.

This means gold is melt by fire and moulded into a tool.

Therefore, it is called reform.


In this hexagram (Reform), its upper trigram also means the youngest daughter and its lower trigram also means the middle daughter.

The youngest daughter and the middle daughter do not get alone.

Why? Because in this hexagram (Reform), it is either the water of a Lake putting off Fire or Fire drying out a Lake.


In Hexagram Thirty- Eight Estrangement, its trigrams are also the youngest daughter and the middle daughter.

It means loneliness and separation.

Its upper trigram is Fire which is heating upward whereas its lower trigram is Lake which moisturizes the ground downward.

Fire and Lake are going the opposite directions.

It shows the youngest daughter and the middle daughter do not get alone as they have different theories on everything.


In terms of sequence of hexagrams, this hexagram (Reform) follows Hexagram Forty-Eight Well.

In Hexagram Forty- Eight Well, a city is moved to a new location but the well cannot be moved.

However, things will develop in the opposite direction when they become extreme.

Therefore, it needs to be reformed.

It is similar to Hexagram Thirty Three Constancy and Thirty Four Withdrawal.

When it is stable (Constancy) for a period, one will escape (Withdrawal).

The trigrams of this hexagram (Reform) and Hexagram Fifty (Cauldron) are totally opposite.


Anyone who has got this hexagram (Reform) should not keep using the current methods.

One has to be changed.

If one asks the questions about relationships, this hexagram (Reform) represents you are in conflict with others.


[Summary of Hexagram Forty-Nine – Reform]


People will believe it is changed after the revolution is finished.

It is full of good fortune.

It is better to be loyal and righteous.

No regret.



1st Line

To tie up things with leather. (This implies the meaning of to consolidate and to strengthen).


It is not the right time so it cannot be changed.

One does not have the position and authority to change so it cannot be changed.

Therefore, it is better to build up the foundation first.

Do not act rashly.



2nd Line

When the reform is finished internally, then it reforms externally.

It is better to go to war. No regret.


It is the time to reform, to trust others and to work together both inside and outside.

At this moment, one shall go to get assistance.

Others are willing to help you.

Good fortune.

Because this reform is supported by people, there is no fault.


The nature of this line is meek and moderate.

One is a follower of a revolution but not an advocator of a revolution.

Therefore, one has to wait for the right time to reform and ask others to help you.

One should support others whom advocate to go to war but not advocate to go to war oneself.



3rd Line


It is misfortune to go to war.

It is dangerous to defend a place resolutely.

Requests of revolutions are raised three times.

If people are sincere, they can start the revolution.

Although it is the right time to reform, reforming irritably and rashly will cause misfortune.

If one gathers others’ opinions and follows people’s views, one will obtain the ardent support of people and the revolution can start.



4th Line


It is the time to change the ruler.

One does not need to doubt because this change enables you to actualize your aspirations.

Good fortune.

No fault.

Your mistakes can be removed.


5th Line

After the revolution, one should get everything in order.

It is similar to ruling a new country in ancient time.

Ministers formed regulations and systems to prosper the country.

This can be achieved successfully. 

No need to verify this through divination.



6th Line


Gentlemen reform speedy.

Villains start to turn over a new leaf.

It is misfortune to go to war.

It is good fortune to defend silently.


Every revolution is finished.

It is the time ranks of ministers are conferred on people who have achievements during the war.

Common people can only surrender to the ruler.

At this time, it is better not to go to war again.

Otherwise, misfortune will come.

It is good fortune to be righteous.




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