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I Ching 201.10 Li means "treading"

Li, the Tenth Hexagram, Means literally “shoes”, and has a verbal usage of “Treading”. It is composed of the Trigram the Creative over the Joyous. Thus, the image is that of Heaven over a marsh. It can easily be seen as Hsiao Khu, the preceding Hexagram, turned upside down.



When Abundance has begun, there come to be Ceremonial Rites, and hence Hsiao Khu is followed by Li.

Here Confucius is making a pun. “Li”, the Name of this Gua, means “Shoes”. “Li”, a homophone Meaning “Rituals” is written with a different character.


TREADING. The Sage treads upon the tail of the tiger, but the tiger does not bite. There will be progress and success.

The Gentle, which is beside the Creative in the Earlier and Later Heaven Arrangements, is below the Creative, hence “treading” upon it.


Heaven above, the lake below: The image of TREADING. Thus the Sage distinguishes between high and low, thereby enriching the thinking of the people.

What good is a Sage who can’t share Wisdom?


Nine at the beginning means: Follow the accustomed Road. Progress is made, without guilt.

No matter how long we have gone astray, we can always return to the Road, can’t we?

Nine in the second place means: Treading a smooth, level course. The firm and correct persistence of a recluse brings Abundance.

This indicates a Time in which one should act alone, and chastely. Don’t seek outside help, here.

Six in the third place means: The blind see, and the lame walk, treading on the tail of the tiger. The tiger bites. This brings about lack. Thus the warrior must not act with too much bravado on behalf of the Great Monarch.

The Healing implied by this line must be accepted cautiously. Don’t overdo. Watch out for vanity.

Nine in the fourth place means: The Sage treads on the tail of the tiger. Caution and circumspection lead, in the end, to Abundance.

Here one only must be careful and moral, and goodness will come.

Nine in the fifth place means: Resourceful conduct leads to persistence with awareness of danger.

This is a Time to be strong. It is the knowledge of the danger that Means it can be avoided, but not diminished.

Nine at the top means: Look to your conduct and weigh the Signs. When this Prophecy is fulfilled, and the Mission completed without fail, Supreme Abundance will come.

This is a lot more positive than most Sixth lines. Pay attention and do the Work.

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