|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.
55. Abounding (fēng). Abundance
Wealth brings joy only to those who can share it. Do not be afraid to run out of it - wasting gold to good things, you are growing with spiritual power. Even if wasting all, life will provide an opportunity to correct everything.
Inital text of I Ching
Abundance has success. The king attains abundance. Be not sad. Be like the sun at midday.
Both thunder and lightning come:
The image of Abundance. Thus the superior man decides lawsuits and carries out punishments.
- When a man meets his destined ruler, they can be together ten days, and it is not a mistake. Going meets with recognition.
- The curtain is of such fullness that the polestars can be seen at noon. Through going one meets with mistrust and hate. If one rouses him through truth, good fortune comes.
- The underbrush is of such abundance that the small stars can be seen at noon. He breaks his right arm. No blame.
- The curtain is of such fullness that the polestars can be seen at noon. He meets his ruler, who is of like kind. Good fortune.
- Lines are coming, blessing and fame draw near. Good fortune.
- His house is in a state of abundance. He screens off his family. He peers through the gate and no longer perceives anyone. For three years he sees nothing. Misfortune.
The palace was built and filled with treasures. The situation is favorable as never before. Success and profit are everywhere. Be generous and do not worry about the decrease in wealth. Hurry to do good things. Hospitality, sacrifice, extravagance – all is in favor: you will get new friends, strengthen your positions. But be prepared to answer for their actions. Do not be proud of his success and wealth - always think that the main treasure is in soul. Remember that the harvest is always replaced by winter, when it is silly to wait for fruit - this should not make you sad.
Chên is movement; Li is flame, whose attribute is clarity. Clarity within,
movement without-this produces greatness and abundance. The hexagram
pictures a period of advanced civilization. However, the fact that
development has reached a peak suggests that this extraordinary condition of
abundance cannot be maintained permanently.
It is not given to every mortal to bring about a time of outstanding greatness
and abundance. Only a born ruler of men is able to do it, because his will is
directed to what is great. Such a time of abundance is usually brief. Therefore
a sage might well feel sad in view of the decline that must follow. But such
sadness foes not befit him. Only a man who is inwardly free of sorrow and
care can lead in a time of abundance. He must be like the sun at midday,
illuminating and gladdening everything under heaven.
This hexagram has a certain connection with Shih Ho, BITING THROUGH
(21), in which thunder and lightning similarly appear together, but in the
reverse order. In BITING THROUGH, laws are laid down; here they are
applied and enforced. Clarity (Li) within makes it possible to investigate the
facts exactly, and shock (Chên) without ensures a strict and precise carrying
out of punishments.
To bring about a time of abundance, a union of clarity with energetic
movement is needed. Two individuals possessed of these two attributes are
suited to each other, and even if they spend an entire cycle of time together
during the period of abundance, it will not be too long, nor is it a mistake.
Therefore one may go forth, in order to make one's influence felt; it will meet
It often happens that plots and party intrigues, which have the darkening
effect of an eclipse of the sun, come between a ruler intent on great
achievement and the man who could effect great undertakings. Then,
instead of the sun, we see the northern stars in the sky. The ruler is
overshadowed by a party that has usurped power. If a man at such a time
were to try to take energetic measures, he would encounter only mistrust and
envy, which would prohibit all movement. The essential thing then is to
hold inwardly to the power of truth, which in the end is so strong that it
exerts an invisible influence on the ruler, so that all goes well.
The image is that of a progressive covering over of the sun. Here the eclipse
reaches totality, therefore even the small stars can be seen at noon.
In the sphere of social relationships, this means that the prince is now so
eclipsed that even the most insignificant persons can push themselves into
the foreground. This makes it impossible for an able man, though he might
be the right hand of the ruler, to undertake anything. It is as though his arm
were broken, but he is not to blame for being thus hindered in action.
Here the darkness is already decreasing, therefore interrelated elements come
together. Here too the complement must be found-the necessary wisdom to
complement joy of action. Then everything will go well. The
complementary factor postulated here is the reverse of the one in the first
line. In the latter, wisdom is to be complemented by energy, while here
energy is complemented by wisdom.
The ruler is modest and therefore open to the counsel of able men. Thus he
is surrounded by men who suggest to him the lines of action. This brings
blessing, fame, and good fortune to him and all the people.
This describes a man who because of his arrogance and obstinacy attains the
opposite of what he strives for. He seeks abundance and splendor for his
dwelling. He wishes at all odds to be master in his house, which so alienates
his family that in the end he finds himself completely isolated.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Symbol of this hexagram - an autumn harvest, gathering of a rich crop. It means, that your happy star brightly shines your way. Your business go stably and successfully. Probably, in the future they will go even better. Remember, that you always need to be well informed about all events. Do not forget and about economy, try to save money gradually. This time is especially favorable for employment by an agriculture, and also art. However absolutely there is no confidence that your desires will be executed though now you are accompanied obviously with success.