|There were "old" features in your gua (hexagram). It means that you have two hexagrams. The first one — is something that the Book tells you at the moment, the second is something it warns you about.
33. Retiring (dùn). Retreat
Before a big leap think and make the run, departing from the starting line a few steps.
Inital text of I Ching
Retreat. Success. In what is small, perseverance furthers.
Mountain under heaven:
The image of Retreat. Thus the superior man keeps the inferior man at a distance, not angrily but with reserve.
- At the tail in retreat. This is dangerous. One must not wish to undertake anything.
- He holds him fast with yellow oxhide. No one can tear him loose.
- A halted retreat is nerve-wracking and dangerous. To retain people as men- and maidservants brings good fortune.
- Voluntary retreat brings good fortune to the superior man and downfall to the inferior man.
- Friendly retreat. Perseverance brings good fortune.
- Cheerful retreat. Everything serves to further.
If we talk about the great, then now it is the moment of transition between the willingness to act and action itself. Prudence, balance, clarification of objectives and its comparison with internal need (higher aspiration) are necessary - a temporary escape from the action itself. Feel free to act - according to your will, without coercion. Intentions must be kept secret. It is time for positive solution of only minor problems, but even here caution is necessary.
The power of the dark is ascending. The light retreats to security, so that the
dark cannot encroach upon it. This retreat is a matter not of man's will but of
natural law. Therefore in this case withdrawal is proper; it is the correct way
to behave in order not to exhaust one's forces.
In the calendar this hexagram is linked with the sixth month (July-August),
in which the forces of winter are already showing their influence.
Conditions are such that the hostile forces favored by the time are advancing.
In this case retreat is the right course, and it is not to be confused with flight.
Flight means saving oneself under any circumstances, whereas retreat is a
sign of strength. We must be careful not to miss the right moment while we
are in full possession of power and position. Then we shall be able to
interpret the signs of the time before it is too late and to prepare for
provisional retreat instead of being drawn into a desperate life-and-death
struggle. Thus we do not simple abandon the field to the opponent; we make
it difficult for him to advance by showing perseverance in single acts of
resistance. In this way we prepare, while retreating, for the counter-
movement. Understanding the laws of a constructive retreat of this sort is
not easy. The meaning that lies hidden in such a time is important.
The mountain rises up under heaven, but owing to its nature it finally comes
to a stop. Heaven on the other hand retreats upward before it into the
distance and remains out of reach. This symbolizes the behavior of the
superior man toward a climbing inferior; he retreats into his own thoughts as
the inferior man comes forward. He does not hate him, for hatred is a form
of subjective involvement by which we are bound to the hated object. The
superior man shows strength (heaven) in that he brings the inferior man to a
standstill (mountain) by his dignified reserve.
Since the hexagram is the picture of something that is retreating, the lowest
line represents the tail and the top line the head. In a retreat it is
advantageous to be at the front. Here one is at the back, in immediate contact
with the pursuing enemy. This is dangerous, and under such circumstances
it is not advisable to undertake anything. Keeping still is the easiest way of
escaping from the threatening danger.
Yellow is the color of the middle. It indicates that which is correct and in line
with duty. Oxhide is strong and not to be torn.
While the superior men retreat and the inferior press after them, the
inferior man represented here holds on so firmly and tightly to the superior
man that the latter cannot shake him off. And because he is in quest of what
is right an so strong in purpose, he reaches his goal. Thus the line confirms
what is said in the Judgment: "In what is small" --here equivalent to "in the
inferior man" -- "perseverance furthers."
When it is time to retreat it is both unpleasant and dangerous to be held back,
because then one no longer has freedom of action. In such a case the only
expedient is to take into one's service, so to speak, those who refuse to let one
go, so that one may at least keep one's initiative and not fall helplessly under
their domination. But even with this expedient the situation is far from
satisfactory--for what can one hope to accomplish with such servants?
In retreating the superior man is intent on taking his departure willingly and
in all friendliness. He easily adjusts his mind to retreat, because in retreating
he does not have to do violence to his convictions. The only one who suffers
is the inferior man from whom he retreats, who will degenerate when
deprived of the guidance of the superior man.
It is the business of the superior man to recognize in time that the moment
for retreat has come. If the right moment is chosen, the retreat can be carried
out within the forms of perfect friendliness, without the necessity of
disagreeable discussions. Yet, for all the observance of amenities, absolute
firmness of decision is necessary if one is not to be led astray by irrelevant
The situation is unequivocal. Inner detachment has become an established
fact, and we are at liberty to depart. When one sees the way ahead thus
clearly, free of all doubt, a cheerful mood sets in, and one chooses what is
right without further thought. Such a clear path ahead always leads to the
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Try to constrain itself a little; believe, that you only will win from this. At present persistence and persistence will not bring any advantage. This hexagram is very favorable for interesting rest and entertainments; take advantage of this time to consider the plans for the future. However do not hasten to carry out them, the present period of uncertainty yet will not end. Use it for meditation, quiet contemplation and reflection is better.
2. Field (kūn). The Receptive
Benefit is in expecting changes. Only having realized necessity and inevitability of cataclysms during transition from one state to another, it is possible to man and overcome difficulties – stop dawdling and spinning the wheels.
Inital text of I Ching
The Receptive brings about sublime success, furthering through the perseverance of a mare. If the superior man undertakes something and tries to lead, he goes astray; But if he follows, he finds guidance. It is favorable to find friends in the west and south, to forego friends in the east and north. Quiet perseverance brings good fortune.
The earth's condition is receptive devotion. Thus the superior man who has breadth of character carries the outer world.
- When there is hoarfrost underfoot, solid ice is not far off.
- Straight, square, great. Without purpose, yet nothing remains unfurthered.
- Hidden lines. One is able to remain persevering. If by chance you are in the service of a king, seek not works, but bring to completion.
- A tied-up sack. No blame, no praise.
- A yellow lower garment brings supreme good fortune.
- Dragons fight in the meadow. Their blood is black and yellow.
Lasting perseverance furthers.
Earth is passive female origin. It is time of compromise. Firmness and tenacity are necessary for achieving the desired goal. Bit also obedience is needed to go in this direction subordinating impulse of creativity. Interest and hard work are necessary. Do not think that everything will happen itself. Work will be highly awarded.
This hexagram is made up of broken lines only. The broken lines represents
the dark, yielding, receptive primal power of yin. The attribute of the
hexagram is devotion; its image is the earth. It is the perfect complement of
THE CREATIVE--the complement, not the opposite, for the Receptive does
not combat the Creative but completes it . It represents nature in contrast to
spirit, earth in contrast to heaven, space as against time, the female-maternal
as against the male-paternal. However, as applied to human affairs, the
principle of this complementary relationship is found not only in the relation
between man and woman, but also in that between prince and minister and
between father and son. Indeed, even in the individual this duality appears
in the coexistence of the spiritual world and the world of the senses.
But strictly speaking there is no real dualism here, because there is a clearly
defined hierarchic relationship between the two principles. In itself of course
the Receptive is just as important as the Creative, but the attribute of
devotion defines the place occupied by this primal power in relation to the
Creative. For the Receptive must be activated and led by the Creative; then it
is productive of good. Only when it abandons this position and tries to stand
as an equal side by side with the Creative, does it become evil. The result
then is opposition to and struggle against the Creative, which is productive of
evil to both.
The four fundamental aspects of the Creative--"sublime success, furthering
through perseverance"--are also attributed to the Receptive. Here, however,
the perseverance is more closely defined: it is that of a mare. The Receptive
connotes spatial reality in contrast to the spiritual potentiality of the Creative.
The potential becomes real and the spiritual becomes spatial through a
specifically qualifying definition. Thus the qualification, "of a mare," is here
added to the idea of perseverance. The horse belongs to earth just as the
dragon belongs to heaven. Its tireless roaming over the plains is taken as a
symbol of the vast expanse of the earth. This is the symbol chosen because
the mare combines the strength and swiftness of the horse with the
gentleness and devotion of the cow.
Only because nature in its myriad forms corresponds with the myriad
impulses of the Creative can it make these impulses real. Nature's richness
lies in its power to nourish all living things; its greatness lies in its power to
give then beauty and splendor. Thus it prospers all that lives. IT is the
Creative that begets things, but they are brought to birth by the Receptive.
Applied to human affairs, therefore, what the hexagram indicated is action in
conformity with the situation. The person in questions not in an
independent position, but is acting as an assistant. This means that he must
achieve something. It is not his task to try to lead--that would only make him
lose the way-but to let himself be led. If he knows how to meet fate with an
attitude of acceptance, he is sure to find the right guidance. The superior man
lets himself be guided; he does not go ahead blindly, but learns from the
situation what is demanded of him and then follows this intimation from
Since there is something to be accomplished, we need friends and helpers in
the hour of toil and effort, once the ideas to be realized are firmly set. The
time of toil and effort is indicated by the west and south, for west and south
symbolize the place where the Receptive works for the Creative, as nature
does in summer and autumn. If in that situation one does not mobilize all
one's powers, the work to be accomplished will not be done. Hence to find
friends there means to find guidance. But in addition to the time of toil and
effort, there is also a time of planning, and for this we need this solitude. The
east symbolized the place where a man receives orders from his master, and
the north the place where he reports on what he has done. At that time he
must be alone and objective. In this sacred hour he must do without
companions. So that the purity of the moment may not be spoiled by fictional
hates and favoritism.
Just as there is only one heaven, so too there is only one earth. In the
hexagram of heaven the doubling of the trigram implies duration in time,
but in the hexagram of earth the doubling connotes the solidity and extension
in space by virtue of which the earth is able to carry and preserve all things
that live and move upon it. The earth in its devotion carries all things, good
and evil,, without exception. In the same way the superior man gives to his
character breadth, purity, and sustaining power, so that he is able both to
support and to bear with people and things.
Just as the light-giving power represents life, so the dark power, the shadowy,
represents death. When the first hoarfrost comes in the autumn, the power
of darkness and cold is just at its beginning. After these first warnings, signs
of death will gradually multiply, until, in obedience to immutable laws, stark
winter with its ice is here.
In life it is the same. After certain scarcely noticeable signs of decay have
appeared, they go on increasing until final dissolution comes. But in life
precautions can be taken by heeding the first signs of decay and checking them
The symbol of heaven is the circle, and that of earth is the square. Thus
squareness is a primary quality of the earth. On the other hand, movement
in a straight line, as well as magnitude, is a primary quality of the Creative.
But all square things have their origin in a straight line and into turn form
solid bodies. In mathematics, when we discriminate between lines, planes
and solids, we find that rectangular planes result from straight lines, and
cubic magnitudes from rectangular planes. The Receptive accommodates
itself to the qualities of the Creative and makes them its own. Thus a square
develops out of a straight line and a cube out of a square. This is compliance
with the laws of the Creative; nothing is taken away, nothing added.
Therefore the Receptive has no need of a special purpose of its own, nor of
any effort' yet everything turns out as it should.
Nature creates all beings without erring: this is its foursquareness. It
tolerates all creatures equally: this is its greatness. Therefore it attains what is
right for all without artifice or special intentions. Man achieves the height of
wisdom when all that he does is as self-evident as what nature does.
If a man is free of vanity he is able to conceal his abilities and keep them from
attracting attention too soon; thus he can mature undisturbed. If conditions
demand it, he can also enter public life, but that too he does with restraint.
The wise man gladly leaves fame to others. He does not seek to have credited
to himself things that stand accomplished, but hopes to release active forces;
that is, he completes his works in such a manner that they may bear fruit for
The dark element opens when it moves and closes when at rest. The strictest
reticence is indicated here. The time is dangerous , because any degree of
prominence leads either to the enmity of irresistible antagonists if one
challenges them or to misconceived recognition if one is complaisant.
Therefore a man ought to maintain reserve, be it in solitude or in the turmoil
of the world, for there too he can hide himself so well that no one knows
Yellow is the color of the earth and of the middle; it is the symbol of that
which is reliable and genuine. The lower garment is inconspicuously
decorated--the symbol of aristocratic reserve. When anyone is called upon to
work in a prominent but not independent position, true success depends on
the utmost discretion. A man's genuineness and refinement should not
reveal themselves directly; they should express themselves only indirectly as
an effect from within.
In the top place the dark element should yield to the light. If it attempts to
maintain a position to which it is not entitled and to rule instead of serving,
it draws down upon itself the anger of the strong. A struggle ensues in which
it is overthrown, with injury, however, to both sides. The dragon, symbol of
heaven, comes to fight the false dragon that symbolized the inflation of the
earth principle. Midnight blue is the color of heaven; yellow is the color of
earth. Therefore, when black and yellow blood flow, it is a sign that in this
unnatural contest both primal powers suffer injury.
When nothing but sixes appears, the hexagram of THE RECEPTIVE changes
into the hexagram of THE CREATIVE. By holding fast to what is right, it
gains the power of enduring. There is indeed no advance, but neither is there
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Gods have wakened mother-ground. It is necessary for you to work assiduously, and your efforts in two months will crown greater success. You are the person cultural and thirsting knowledge, with love concerning even to the smallest fruits of the work. You are respectful and adhered to mother. Now do not think too much of material benefit, do not give vent to greed. Your desire will be executed, though and not at once. In the near future it is not recommended to send to road - to any, with someone. In your circle soon there will be a person feeding for you strong interest.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary