|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.
49. Skinning (gé). Revolution
All changes have their time. If something old prevents going forward, it is necessary to give it up without regret. Learn how to get rid of unnecessary time burdens, but you do not accidentally mix up the 'ballast' to what is truly valuable.
Inital text of I Ching
Revolution. On your own day you are believed. Supreme success, furthering through perseverance. Remorse disappears.
Fire in the lake:
The image of Revolution. Thus the superior man sets the calendar in order and makes the seasons clear.
- Wrapped in the hide of a yellow cow.
- When one's own day comes, one may create revolution. Starting brings good fortune. No blame.
- Starting brings misfortune. Perseverance brings danger. When talk of revolution has gone the rounds three times, one may commit himself, and men will believe him.
- Remorse disappears. Men believe him. Changing the form of government brings good fortune.
- The great man changes like a tiger. Even before he questions the oracle he is believed.
- The superior man changes like a panther. The inferior man molts in the face. Starting brings misfortune. To remain persevering brings good fortune.
It's time of inevitable change, internal degeneration and the beginning of new things. Base everything on the inner truth and experience of spiritual quests of the recent times. Show firmness. There is no place for regret and sorrow for past mistakes. Look ahead. Even if you return to the old case, look for a new approach, and then you will get the desired result. There are big changes in personal affairs: breaking old love affairs for a new love relationship.
The Chinese character for this hexagram means in its original sense an
animal's pelt, which is changed in the course of the year by molting. From
this word is carried over to apply to the "moltings" in political life, the great
revolutions connected with changes of governments.
The two trigrams making up the hexagram are the same two that appear in
K'uei, OPPOSITION (38), that is, the two younger daughters, Li and Tui. But
while there the elder of the two daughters is above, and what results is
essentially only an opposition of tendencies, here the younger daughter is
above. The influences are in actual conflict, and the forces combat each other
like fire and water (lake), each trying to destroy the other. Hence the idea of
Political revolutions are extremely grave matters. They should be undertaken
only under stress of direst necessity, when there is no other way out. Not
everyone is called to this task, but only the man who has the confidence of
the people, and even he only when the time is ripe. He must then proceed in
the right way, so that he gladdens the people and, by enlightening them,
prevents excesses. Furthermore, he must be quite free of selfish aims and
must really relieve the need of the people. Only then does he have nothing to
Times change, and with them their demands. Thus the seasons change in
the course of the year. In the world cycle also there are spring and autumn in
the life of peoples and nations, and these call for social transformations.
Fire below and the lake above combat and destroy each other. So too in the
course of the year a combat takes place between the forces of light and the
forces of darkness, eventuating in the revolution of the seasons, and man is
able to adjust himself in advance to the demands of the different times.
Changes ought to be undertaken only when there is nothing else to be done.
Therefore at first the utmost restraint is necessary. One must becomes firm in
one's mind, control oneself-yellow is the color of the means, and the cow is
the symbol of docility-and refrain from doing anything for the time being,
because any premature offensive will bring evil results.
When we have tried in every other way to bring about reforms, but without
success, revolution becomes necessary. But such a thoroughgoing upheaval
must be carefully prepared. There must be available a man who has the
requisite abilities and who possesses public confidence. To such a man we
may well turn. This brings good fortune and is not a mistake. The first thing
to be considered is our inner attitude toward the new condition that will
inevitably come. We have to go out to meet it, as it were. Only in this way
can it be prepared for.
When change is necessary, there are two mistakes to be avoided. One lies in
excessive haste and ruthlessness, which bring disaster. The other lies in
excessive hesitation and conservatism, which are also dangerous. Not every
demand for change in the existing order should be heeded. On the other
hand, repeated and well-founded complaints should not fail of a hearing.
When talk of change has come to one's ears three times, and has been
pondered well, he may believe and acquiesce in it. Then he will meet with
belief and will accomplish something.
Radical changes require adequate authority. A man must have inner strength
as well as influential position. What he does must correspond with a higher
truth and must not spring from arbitrary or petty motives; then it brings great
good fortune. If a revolution is not founded on such inner truth, the results
are bad, and it has no success. For in the end men will support only those
undertakings which they feel instinctively to be just.
A tigerskin, with its highly visible black stripes on a yellow ground, shows its
distinct pattern from afar. It is the same with a revolution brought about by a
great man: large, clear guiding lines become visible, understandable to
everyone. Therefore he need not first consult the oracle, for he wins the
spontaneous support of the people.
After the large and fundamental problems are settled, certain minor reforms,
and elaborations of these, are necessary. These detailed reforms may be
likened to the equally distinct but relatively small marks of the panther's coat.
As a consequence, a change also takes place among the inferior people. In
conformity with the new order, they likewise "molt". This molting, it is true,
does not go very deep, but that is not to be expected. We must be satisfied
with the attainable. If we should go too far and try to achieve too much, it
would lead to unrest and misfortune. For the object of a great revolution is
the attainment of clarified, secure conditions ensuring a general stabilization
on the basis of what is possible at the moment.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
All changes and the rearrangements happening around of you now, will end; yes so it is successful, that results will surpass all your expectations. You now are not assured of yourselves, but new prospects come nearer, and you again we shall find belief in. Probably, your plans will change, and you will go there where before and did not gather. Now to you very much carries in game.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary