|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.
9. Small Accumulating (xiǎo chù). Small Taming
Remember the origin, but do not cling to the past. Do not try to comprehend all at once - knowledge comes slowly.
Inital text of I Ching
The Taming Power of the Small has success. Dense clouds, no rain from our western region.
The wind drives across heaven:
The image of the Taming Power of the Small. Thus the superior man refines the outward aspect of his nature.
- Return to the way. How could there be blame in this? Good fortune.
- He allows himself to be drawn into returning. Good fortune.
- The spokes burst out of the wagon wheels. Man and wife roll their eyes.
- If you are sincere, blood vanishes and fear gives way. No blame.
- If you are sincere and loyally attached, you are rich in your neighbor.
- The rain comes, there is rest. This is due to the lasting effect of character. Perseverance brings the woman into danger. The moon is nearly full. If the superior man persists, misfortune comes.
"Clouds are dense but there is no rain." The problems are perceived and resolved with difficulty. You need to rethink or to overcome past - there is a source of problems, there is a hint how to overcome them. The behavior should be based on a gradual and methodical approach. Remember the basics. Now it is time for savings: gather knowledge step by step and accumulate experience, learn from mistakes. Time of global changes and great events has come yet.
This hexagram means the force of the small--the power of the shadowy--that
restrains, tames, impedes. A weak line in the fourth place, that of the
minister, holds the five strong lines in check. In the Image it is the wind
blowing across the sky. The wind restrains the clouds, the rising breath of the
Creative, and makes them grow dense, but as yet is not strong enough to turn
them to rain. The hexagram presents a configuration of circumstances in
which a strong element is temporarily held in leash by a weak element. It is
only through gentleness that this can have a successful outcome.
This image refers to the state of affairs in China at the time when King Wên,
who came originally from the west, was in the east at the court of the reigning
tyrant Chou Hsin. The moment for action on a large scale had not yet
arrived. King Wên could only keep the tyrant somewhat in check by friendly
persuasion. Hence the image of many clouds, promising moisture and
blessing to the land, although as yet no rain falls. The situation is not
unfavorable; there is a prospect of ultimate success, but there are still obstacles
in the way, and we can merely take preparatory measures. Only through the
small means of friendly persuasion can we exert any influence. The time has
not yet come for sweeping measures. However, we may be able, to a limited
extent, to act as a restraining and subduing influence. To carry out our
purpose we need firm determination within and gentleness and adaptability
in external relations.
The wind can indeed drive the clouds together in the sky; yet, being nothing
but air, without solid body, it does not produce great or lasting effects. So also
an individual, in times when he can produce no great effect in the outer
world, can do nothing except refine the expression of his nature in small
It lies in the nature of a strong man to press forward. In so doing he
encounters obstructions. Therefore he returns to the way suited to his
situation, where he is free to advance or to retreat. In the nature of things
this will bring good fortune, for it is wise and reasonable not to try to obtain
anything by force.
One would like to press forward, but before going farther one sees from the
example of others like oneself that this way is blocked. In such a case, if the
effort to push forward is not in harmony with the time, a reasonable and
resolute man will not expose himself to a personal rebuff, but will retreat
with others of like mind. This brings good fortune, because he does not
needlessly jeopardize himself.
Here an attempt is made to press forward forcibly, in the consciousness that
the obstructing power is slight. But since, under the circumstances, power
actually lies with the weak, this sudden offensive is doomed to failure.
External conditions hinder the advance, just as loss of the wheel spokes stops
the progress of a wagon. We do not yet heed this hint form fate, hence there
are annoying arguments like those of a married couple. Naturally this is not
a favorable state of thing, for though the situation may enable the weaker side
to hold its ground, the difficulties are too numerous to permit of a happy
result. In consequence even the strong man cannot so use his power as to
exert the right influence on those around him. He experiences a rebuff where
he expected an easy victory, and he thus compromises his dignity.
If one is in the difficult and responsible position of counselor to a powerful
man, on should restrain him in such a way that the threat of actual bloodshed
may arise. Nonetheless, the power of disinterested truth is greater than all
theses obstacles. It carries such weight that the end is achieved, and all danger
of bloodshed and all fear disappear.
Loyalty leads to firm ties because it means that each partner complements the
other. In the weaker person loyalty consists in devotion, in the stronger it
consists in trustworthiness. This relation of mutual reinforcement leads to a
true wealth that is all the more apparent because it is not selfishly hoarded
but is shared with friends. Pleasure shared is pleasure doubled.
Success is at hand. The wind has driven up the rain. A fixed standpoint has
been reach. This has come about through the cumulation of small effects
produced by reverence for a superior character. But a success thus secured bit
by bit calls for great caution. It would be a dangerous illusion for anyone to
think he could presume upon it. The female principle, the weak element
that has won the victory, should never persist in vaunting it--that would lead
to danger. The dark power in the moon is strongest when the moon is
almost full. When it is full and directly opposite the sun, its waning is
inevitable. Under such circumstances one must be content with what has
been achieved. To advance any further, before the appropriate time has
come, would lead to misfortune.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Yes, now to you do not accompany neither luck, nor success. But remember: night is the most dark before a dawn. You in confusion, you now do not own conditions, but it soon will pass. Events which everyone will change to the best are already close. Now you need to have patience and wait simply. Yes, you have got used to consider as the minion of fortune. You do not need to spend now itself for petty quarrels, try to not overtire on work. In three months the success in monetary affairs expects you.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary