I-Ching Hexagram Forty-Two, Increase

I-Ching 64 Hexagrams > 42. Increase

I-Ching-Hexagram Forty-Two - Increase


Working hard to progress.

To redeem one’s weakness.

In this hexagram (Increase), its upper trigram is Wind and its lower trigram is Thunder.

One buries oneself in work and walks on a solid ground step by step to go up.

This is a sign of correcting evil doings and reverting to good.

In this hexagram, one strives not for what one is good at but for one’s weakness in order to increase one’s strength.

One emulates those better than oneself.

It is better for one to goes to a place where one has not yet been to explore.


It takes time to work and accumulate experience to actualize the results.

Based on the types of benefits, it can be decided whether it is good fortune or misfortune.

Long-term benefits will be more favourable than short-term benefits in this hexagram (Increase)


In Hexagram Forty One Decrease, it destroys inferiors but benefits superiors.

On the contrary, this hexagram (Increase), it destroys superiors but benefits inferiors.

Superiors put themselves under great convenience to benefits their subordinates.

Therefore, subordinates feel a heartfelt admiration towards their superiors.

In Hexagram Forty One Decrease, subordinates sacrifice for their superiors.

In this hexagram (Increase), superiors heap favours upon subordinates to buy popularity.


In terms of sequence of hexagrams, this hexagram (Increase) follows Hexagram Forty-One Decrease.

The meanings and trigrams of this hexagram (Increase) and Hexagram Forty-One Decrease are totally opposite.

In Hexagram Forty-One Decrease, one removes the excess and unnecessary things.

In this hexagram (Increase), one tries to redeem one’s weakness and skills one does not have.


In terms of self-cultivation, Hexagram Forty-One Decrease is to remove desires and bad habits.

In this hexagram (Increase), one is working hard to refine oneself to improve one’s ability.


In terms of human relationship, Hexagram Forty-One Decrease is to decrease what inferiors have to benefit superiors.

In this hexagram (Increase), it is to decrease what superiors have to benefit inferiors.

Hexagram Forty-One Decrease is to sacrifice oneself to benefit all subordinates.

Conversely, in this hexagram (Increase), superiors heap favours upon subordinates.


In terms of investment, Hexagram Forty-One Decrease suggests to stop loss, reduce investment and remove unprofitable properties.

This hexagram (Increase) suggests to enhance investment.


In terms of strategy, Hexagram Fort-One Decrease suggests to cease the loss to survive.

This hexagram (Increase) suggests to follow up a victory with hot pursuits.




[Summary of Hexagram Forty-Two – Increase]


It is better to travel and cross the river implying one can take risks.

It has the meanings of working hard, being positive and aggressive.



1st Line

It is suitable to develop one’s ability to the full.

Good fortune.

There is no fault.


The position of this line is the most inferior.

However, it is the time to decrease what superiors have to benefit inferiors.

Therefore, inferiors are helped by superiors.

This line has a Yang line which matches up with its position and it also matches up with 4th line of this hexagram (Increase).

4th line of this hexagram (Increase) is ministers.

Although this line is inferior, it is being put into an important position.

This line is also the first line of the lower trigram, Thunder, of this hexagram (Increase).

Therefore, it is the right time to take action.


However, this line is very inferior so it is being looked down.

If the events have not been finished perfectly, there will be many faults.

When one develops one’s ability to the full and the result is great, mistakes can be avoided.

There will be no fault after it is full of good fortune.



2nd Line


There are ten turtles coming to help.

There is no way to disobey.

Always being loyal and righteous.

Good fortune.

Because of this, the emperor offers sacrifices to the god of heaven.

In ancient time, tortoise-shells were sacred treasure of answering questions- Ancient Chinese carried out divination using the plastrons of tortoise shells.

There was a strict procedure to choose, handle and store tortoise-shells.

Therefore, helped by tortoises is similar to helped by divine.

Ten turtles mean many deities coming to help so no one violates god’s will.

Therefore, one is helped by god.



3rd Line

Working hard to help victims in sudden crises.

There is no fault.

One keeps insisting to be credible and to be moderate.

Reporting the situations to the leader and attaining his trust.


It is a thankless job.

One not only works hard to put off the fire but also works carefully to avoid faults.

This line originally is full of worries.

This line has a Yin line but it is a Yang position.

One should not make a difference.

However, during sudden crises, one has to help whole-heartedly, be credible and be moderate to avoid faults.

Misfortune exists.

It originally exists.

Misfortune does not come from nothing nor created by you.



4th Line

Being moderate to handle all tasks.

One gives superiors’ suggestions and superiors will follow all the time even though suggestions are about moving the location of the country.


Superiors follow one’s suggestions.

They aid and abet one another.

Based on the benefits of all people, they move the location of the country to comfort all people.

It is suitable to move to a different location.

It is good fortune to move to a different location.

The subordinates are being trusted by superiors so the subordinates can carry out great projects.


In this hexagram (Increase), 3rd line and this line states two messages of moderation and reporting to superiors.

This line is being trusted more than the 3rd line.

Therefore, the 3rd line shows a Gui* so that a superior puts his trust in you.

This line does not need a Gui* as one is being trusted already.

This is because the 3rd is a Yin line located at a Yang position - it is not in a right position.

It does not match up with 5th line of this hexagram (Incresae).

Therefore, one has to take action when sudden disasters have come.

This line is a Yin line located in a Yin position - it is in a right position.

It is adjacent to 5th line of this hexagram (Increase).

Yin energy of this lines and Yang energy of the 5th line are united together.

This means it can help the master of the 5th line and is being trusted.

Therefore, it does not need a Gui*. 

It will be authorized when it asks to.

Therefore,  one can carry out big tasks.


(*Remarks: Gui is an elongated pointed tablet of jade held in the hands by ancient rulers on ceremonial occasions. This implies a person who has Gui is being trusted by emperors or gods)



5th Line

One is credible and heaps favours upon others.

Therefore, one shall not ask a question as it must be good fortune.

A credible one heaps favours upon others so one will receive what one has given.


The one who gives is more fortunate than the one who receives.

One benefits others so one will be rewarded by others.

Good fortune.

This hexagram (Increase) is to decrease one’s benefits to increase other’s benefits.

This line is the master of all lines in this hexagram (Increase).

It is an emperor who can benefits all people in a country.

The one who gives is more fortunate than the one who receives.

Therefore, in this line, a credible and sincere person can benefit all people.

All people remember the favours deeply in their mind.

Therefore, there is no need to ask whether it is good fortune or not.

It must be good fortune.




6th Line

One cannot help to smooth out so he is attacked by outsiders.

One’s confidence does not persist.



If one wants to smooth out something, one should be persistent.

Then, things will be done without problems.

A selfish person who does something for short-term benefits will be taken revenge.


This line is not located in a right position as it is on top of the master (5th line of this hexagram, Increase).

It cannot benefits others.

It needs others to benefit this line.

One does not have merits has taken merits because of one’s selfishness.

One is not persistent.




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