Monday, May 16, 2011

Hexagram 5


All beings have need of nourishment from above. But the gift of food comes in its sown time, and for this one must wait. This hexagram shows the clouds in the heavens, giving rain to refresh all that grows and to provide mankind with food and drink. The rain will come in its own time. We cannot make it come; we have to wait for it. The idea of waiting is further suggested by the attributes of the two trigrams – strength within, danger in front. Strength in the face of danger does not plunge ahead but hides its time, whereas weakness in the face of danger grows agitated and has not the patience to wait

WAITING. If you are sincere,
You have light and success.
Perseverance brings good fortune.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
Waiting is not mere empty hoping. It has the inner certainty of reaching the goal. Such certainty alone gives that light which leads to success. This leads to the perseverance that brings good fortune and bestows power to cross the great water.
One is faced with a danger that has to be overcome. Weakness and impatience can do nothing. Only a strong man can stand up to his fate, for his inner security enables him to endure to the end. This strength shows itself in uncompromising truthfulness [with himself]. It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any sort of self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized. This recognition must be followed by resolute and persevering action. For only the man who goes to meet his fate resolutely is equipped to deal with it adequately. Then he will be able to cross the great water – that is to say, he will be capable of making the necessary decision and of surmounting the danger.

Clouds rise up to heaven:
The image of WAITING.
Thus the superior man eats and drinks,
Is joyous and of good cheer.
When clouds rise in the sky, it is a sign that it will rain. There is nothing to do but to wait until the rain falls. it is the same in life when destiny is at work. We should not worry and seek to shape the future by interfering in things before the time is ripe. We should quietly fortify the body with food and drink and the mind with 
gladness and good cheer. Fate comes when it will, and thus we are ready

--from the Wilhelm-Baynes translation of The I Ching or Book of Changes

Have you ever worked with the I Ching?


  1. Wow...sometimes, stuff really speaks to one, doesn't it?

  2. Never worked with the I Ching, but I just put the book on my Amazon shopping list. It sounds interesting to me.

  3. Long, long ago when I lived in a tall purple Victorian full of hippies, the I Ching was thrown every day, the Tarot cards laid out every day, people read their horoscopes every day. Everything worked, all the time. Magic was everywhere. What fun it was to live in a state of amazement.

  4. For exactly 42 years, and I am still learning. Some time yarrow stalks, some time coins given to me by my Beloved Grandfather, very old, almost plain now by use, Chinese coins from the 19th century, when he lived there. I like to believe his touch is still within. I wish some of his knowledge and wisdom about the I Ching could be there as well.

    Some times, clear as the sound of a bell, when not, I am the obtuse. That much I have learned.

  5. "We should quietly fortify the body with food and drink and the mind with
    gladness and good cheer. Fate comes when it will, and thus we are ready."
    Now you KNOW I love that.

  6. No, I never have. I hope it blesses you!

  7. Yes, but a long time ago, and you have sent me in search of my old book and the coins I kept with it.



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