I-Ching Hexagram Twenty Seven, Nourishing

I-Ching 64 Hexagrams > 27.Nourishing

I-Ching-Hexagram Twenty-Seven – Nourishing



To nourish.

To maintain health fitness and to cultivate temperament.

Keep oneself alone in a room and refine oneself.


This hexagram (Nourishing) in Chinese Yi means cheeks.

It also implies to nourish.

The yang lines of 1st line and 6th line of this hexagram (Nourishing) look like lips whereas the yin lines of 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th line of this hexagram (Nourishing) look like tooth.

That is why this hexagram (Nourishing) is called Yi in Chinese.


Humans rely on month to eat and nourish themselves.

That is why this hexagram (Nourishing) implies Nourishing.

There are two types of Nourishing – health and virtue.


The upper trigram of this hexagram (Nourishing) means stoppage and the lower trigram of this hexagram (Nourishing) means moving.

This is similar to the movement of human’s mouth.

The upper jaw does not move whereas the lower jaw is moving.

It is moving internally but there is no movement externally.

It is similar to someone staying alone at a place refining his mind hardly.

Superficially, one does not move.

Internally, one is working hard refining.


This hexagram also means one is moving and knows when to stop.

It is to stop before one is going too far especially it is related to our mouth such as eating and talking.

Generally, it is wise to talk less and talk cautiously.

Then, there will be no conflicts and calamity caused by conversations.

When one is eating, one must be cautious and must control.

Be careful and avoid sickness caused by eating too much food or dirty food.


In terms of the sequence of hexagrams, this hexagram (Nourishing) follows Hexagram Twenty Six Great Restraint.

Hexagram Twenty Six Great Restraint states many talented people are gathered together.

This hexagram (Nourishing) has the meaning of gathering and supporting talented people.


The divinator who has got this hexagram (Nourishing) is better be righteous and silent.

Reading more and eating less.

Listening more and speaking less.

These are the ways to refine oneself.

When explaining fortune of this hexagram (Nourishing), the aforementioned points will become general principles.

The lower trigram of this hexagram (Nourishing) belongs to movement which implies misfortune.

The upper trigram of this hexagram (Nourishing) belongs to quietness which implies good fortune.



[Summary of Hexagram Twenty-Seven - Nourishing]

Be righteous and good fortune will come.

Beholding how to nourish others in order to find how to nourish yourself.

Therefore, this hexagram (Nourishing) emphasizes observing the path of nourishment including how to nourish others and yourself.

The purpose of observation is to find out what is good and what is harmful in order to control the diet and to speak and to act cautiously.


1st Line

Dump your magic turtle.

Looking me enjoying the food.



One does not know being silent is important to cultivate one’s spirit and prudence.

On the contrary, one admires when looking other enjoying the food and then one becomes anxious.

It is the time to keep the path of calmness and then good fortune will come.

If one pursues rapidly wealth and rank, one will invite humiliation.

A magic turtle is the metaphor of the ultimate example of nourishing oneself.

In legend, a magic turtle can keep itself alive by “drinking” air.

It is a creature which can nourish itself.

Leaving the path of self-nourishment and looking other enjoying the food.

One steps aside drooling but cannot eat the food.



1st line is the main line of the lower trigram of this hexagram (Nourishing).

This is the first line and is the line of Thunder (movement).

Its position and its line are yang and it matches up with 4th line.

Why it is misfortune?

This hexagram (Nourishing) states it is good fortune when one be calm and virtuous.

1st line is acting rashly demanding for 4th line.

4th line is a yin line so it cannot nourish the yang line.

Therefore, it is misfortune.

Originally, 1st line can nourish oneself but it is acting rashly demanding for 4th line to nourish.

However, 4th line denies so one invites humiliation.


2nd Line


It is against one’s reason to go down to ask for support.

One goes up to ask for support but he is not the right one to ask for.

It becomes misfortune.


Not asking yourself to support refining your mind and ask others to support you.

It is against one’s reason.  Misfortune.

One who asks an influential official’s family to support will be rejected and insulted.

It is against the correct path of asking for support.

One does not have a foothold among the people of the same kind.

Therefore, it will be misfortune if one goes to ask an influential official’s family.


It is yin line in 2nd line and it matches up with the position of this line.

Why is it misfortune?

Yin line cannot support itself, so it asks others to support.

2nd line goes along with 1st line, therefore it goes down to ask 1st line for support.

However, yang line of 1st line goes against yin line of 2nd line which is against the path of nourishments.

Going to plateaus refers to 2nd line which goes up to ask for support (the upper trigram of this hexagram (Nourishing) is Mountain).

In the upper trigram of this hexagram (Nourishing), it is 6th line which can support 2nd line.

5th line can support and match up with 2nd line.

However, it is yin line of 5th line goes against 2nd line.

Therefore, it is misfortune.


3rd Line


One goes against the path of nourishment. Misfortune.

One cannot practise the path of nourishment in ten years.

There are no long-term benefits.


One goes against the way of supporting and refining oneself.

In this case, even though you are very persistent and virtuous, there will still be misfortune.

It cannot be recovered in ten years.

Good time does not last long.


3rd line is yin line which does not match up with the position which is yang. 

It is the line on top of the lower trigram of this hexagram, Thunder.

Therefore, it is the peak of vibration which goes against the serene path of nourishment.

In this case, it is misfortune which lasts for ten years.


4th Line

It is against one’s reason to go down to ask for support.  Good fortune.

A tiger is looking the floor when it is walking.

Its desire to hunt prey expresses naturally. 

There is no fault.


It is like a tiger to nourish itself externally so it concentrates its attention on prey.

Although the prey is not far from its eyes but it is far in its mind.

Although the desire is expressed externally, it is expressed naturally.

It is simple, honest and sincere.

Good fortune.

There is no fault.


5th Line


Going against the path of nourishment is logical.

There will be good fortune if one is virtuous and serene.

Cannot cross over the water (cannot take risks).


Keep serene.

One is able to trust talented people in order to support them.

Although you do not have talent, you know one’s subordinates well enough to assign them jobs commensurate with their abilities.

Therefore, many people benefit.

Your success will be achieved through the support of others but cannot be achieved by yourself.

The main point is how you choose the right people and how they handle jobs but not how to do tasks yourself.

If you do tasks yourself, you will fail and nothing can be achieved especial you cannot go to dangerous places yourself.


5th line is the main line among all lines but its line is yin.

Therefore, it does not match up with the position and it is insufficient to nourish oneself so one goes up and asks for support.

However, when one goes up, yin energy supports the yang energy.

Therefore, things will go smoothly and it is good fortune.

5th line goes up and becomes 6th line.

6th line goes down and becomes 5th line.

Therefore, it becomes yin energy supporting yang energy.


6th Line


This is the source of the path of nourishment. 

Feeling scary and uneasy.

Good fortune.

It is better to walk across the great rivers.

It is high position with great responsibility.

All people rely on you.

Therefore, it is hardship and difficult.

At the end, it is good fortune.

One is capable of carrying out important tasks and facing risks.


This line is the master of all lines and 4 yin lines of this hexagram (Nourishing) ask this line for support.

This is a yang line in the yin position so it is not staying at the right position.

At the same time, it is nourishing other 4 yin lines.

Therefore, the responsibility of this line is great.

Good fortune because yin energy of 5th line goes along with the yang energy of this line.

This line also matches up with 3rd line.

This hexagram (Nourishing) states the path of loyalty and serenity.

This line is the master so it can be serene controlling movements.

Therefore, it is good fortune.



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