I Ching

Daily I Ching Hexagram for December 17th is 22: Grace and Beauty

22: Grace and Beauty


December 17th, 2014
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A splashy sunset bathes the mountains in a soft radiance; the light of a full moon dances on the surface of a rippling river. Grace and beauty adorn the natural world. Grace is not an all-powerful force, nor is it the essential or fundamental thing. By itself, it is form without content. Grace is moonlight on water, not the sunlight at noon. Yet grace brings artistic expression into the world, and enhances the quality of our lives.

In the arts, grace arises out of adherence to form: the dancer becoming the form of the dance, the musician giving life to the form of a musical score, the painter becoming one with the brush and canvas. In human affairs, grace is also aligned with form — with mastery of aesthetic and cultural patterns honed by time and honored by tradition. Through appreciation of graceful customs in human relationships we apprehend the pure beauty of the ideal, of life raised above the mere struggle for survival.

Possession of grace, like the bearing of a beautiful gift to a wedding, can add stature to those in humble positions. Take care to lend grace and dignity even to small happenings, while giving the weight of deep and careful consideration to matters of greater consequence. Though it should not be confused with true substance, an artistic flair can take one far in this world.

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Your Daily I Ching Hexagram for December 16th is 63: After Completion

63: After Completion


December 16th, 2014
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It is a fine irony that after completion of some project or great enterprise, there is still much left to do. Completion is merely a pause in the cycle of creation and decay, a momentary still point for the swinging pendulum of life. Though completion does imply a period of restful pause — one that usually has been well earned — it is not an actual end, but rather a uniquely harmonious flat spot in the constancy of change and movement.

The image of After Completion is that of a kettle of water boiling over a fire. When the forces are balanced, the water boils properly; but if the pot is too full, it may boil over and put out the fire; or, if the fire is too hot, it may evaporate all the water. In the equilibrium that follows the completion of something significant, the current dynamics must be watched carefully to assure that a proper balance is maintained.

After Completion is the time for fine-tuning, for refinements and embellishments of what has already been accomplished.

Even if we are enjoying a rewarding situation right now, the laws of the natural world dictate that influence and success will eventually decline. So, don’t let current good fortunes prompt careless or relaxed attitudes. A successful endeavor or partnership needs to be carefully tended and maintained. What is incomplete should be finished, and brought to fruition without delay.

Take satisfaction upon completion, but do not dwell on it. To do so could bring a halt to your influence and capability.

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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for December 15th is 37: Community

37: Community


December 15th, 2014
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A community or extended family that works is one where healthy interdependence is appreciated and supported. Good direction is essential, but strong kinship is dependent upon every member of the community. Trust, shared responsibilities and good communication are essential. Each member must be encouraged to find his or her appropriate expression, and contribution.

The functional family is a team that symbolizes the ideal of human interdependence, and has long provided a firm foundation for society. The healthy family is a microcosm of society and the native soil in which ethical values take root and grow. Fertilize this soil, and the whole of society benefits.

The power that bonds a tribe is the yin or feminine principle — gentleness and receptivity. Relationships are improved through cultivation of these. Learn to accept both advice and aid from others, and be willing to assume an appropriate role in any group that supports good relating. A good team player is always valuable to others. Increase your value!

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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for December 14th is 55: Great Abundance

55: Great Abundance


December 14th, 2014
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A time of abundance comes into full flower when the powers of leadership and teamwork are at their peak. The situation is like that of the sun at midday — a high noon of clarity, insight and progress. Such peak periods can be brief. Whether this refers to a national cycle, a business boom or a period of abundance, it is important to bale your hay while the sun is shining.

During a period of abundance, it benefits one to show benevolence, to share the fruit of one’s good fortune. Think of good deeds now as a hedge against times of scarcity in the future. This reading bodes well for expansion in love, the raising of children and the nurturing of a healthy family or any close-knit group.

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Your I Ching Hexagram for December 12th is 49: Revolutionary Change

49: Revolutionary Change


December 12th, 2014
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According to Chinese symbolism, the juxtaposed elements of this hexagram are fire under water. Fire evaporates water, and water puts out fire. Change can cause conflict; conflict brings about change. This hexagram refers to that time in the cycle of human affairs when things need stirring up, and when the hint of dramatic change is in the air.

In order to succeed, revolutionary change must be in alignment with certain unchanging laws. The process must begin at the right moment, gather support from a broad base of people, be guided by sincere and capable leadership and — most important of all — must address a real need. The strength of the forces of change will always be in proportion to the urgency of the need being championed. This is true whether the revolution is in government, in business, in education or in one’s personal affairs.

Revolutionary change points to a time when chaos arises from order. It is important to realize that not all order is good, not all chaos bad. Chaos, in fact, is an integral part of the way of things — as any parent (and modern science) will confirm. Have the courage to radically change and renew the way you present yourself. In this way, you can summon chaos to your cause, and you will unleash a new power on your behalf. If engaging in a negotiation, change the rules; if composing a piece of music, add the unexpected; if courting a lover, dare to be unconventional.

In periods of drought, even wild storms are preferable to yet another sunny day.

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Your I Ching Hexagram for December 11th is 13: Fellowship

13: Fellowship


 December 11th, 2014
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Fellowship. When communal bonds unite people, great success is possible. But such bonds can develop only when personal interests are subordinated to goals that serve the greater good of all. The broader the basis for action, the greater the benefits that can be achieved. And conversely, the greater the potential good, the more powerful the support behind it. A spirit of cooperation steadies the boat, but it helps to have a beautiful island to row towards.

Learn to respect the strength in diversity, for a community’s true power lies not in its numbers, but in the diverse skills and resources of its members. Just as the stoutest walls are reinforced with many different materials, so the strongest groups allow differences to co-exist inside the whole.

With a unified group solidly behind you, even difficult enterprises can be attempted without great risk.

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Your I Ching Hexagram for December 10th is 19: Approach of Spring

19: Approach of Spring


December 10th, 2014
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It is as if spring is approaching. Good times ahead feel inevitable; there is vitality in the air. This is a most auspicious time. Like a snake emerging from hibernation, negative forces are barely stirring and can be effectively controlled. This is a time of hopeful progress, and must be used to best advantage. When approaching good fortune, paying attention to what is happening now earns great dividends. All in all, a clear road lies ahead.

Take some action now, for at some point this ripe opportunity for advancement will be reversed. No spring lasts forever. It’s wise to stay alert and note the changing seasons and the energy they call for.

Spring is the season of new relationships. In the bounty of good times, new bonds form effortlessly. Relationships born in spring can serve well to warm the following autumn and winter.

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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for December 9th is 41: Decrease

41: Decrease


December 9th, 2014
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Increase and decrease are part of the natural cycle of life. As spiritual author long ago put it, ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.’ Like a reservoir that is being used to irrigate the fields, learning to accept a decrease in position or material possessions is part of preparing for increase in the future.

We may live in materialistic times, but there is no disgrace in material decrease, particularly if it represents an investment in future gain — even if that gain be in the form of one’s education or the development of personal character. Likewise, the inner strength that comes from bearing loss can be balanced by a corresponding increase in inner strength and insight — as in the expression ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ When letting go of attachment and personal demands leads to a greater simplicity in daily life, good fortune often comes calling.

In nature, the lake evaporates to form the clouds that drop the rain that nurtures the surrounding forest. As the forest grows thick, more rain is captured for the lake. Similarly, an ‘evaporation’ or decrease in one area of your life, may give rise to an eventual increase in another. A loss of responsibility at work can mean more free time; more free time may generate more career options. A period of decrease is not necessarily a bad thing; in fact, it can free the spirit and fill the soul.

Be mindful of the lesson of young lovers: even with a minimum of possessions, feelings of the heart can bring an unsurpassed richness to life. The smallest of actions, if sincere, have value. So remain confident, for a time of decrease may actually bode good fortune, especially if you remain open to that possibility.

Let go of frustration, resistance and regret over whatever may be going down at this time. Accept the cycle, and remember what goes down must come up.

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