XXVI. Does the Public Need You?

Here, we have a hexagram that serves almost as a mini-essay on the nature of a person who is sort of born to be a politician (in the best sense of the word, not the worst). Written multiple thousands of years ago, it's something of a marvel that it seems so applicable to this day.What … Continue reading XXVI. Does the Public Need You?

XXV. In Times of Doubt and Uncertainty, Fear Nothing

Yet again, I am forced to remind myself (in vain, unfortunately) that all 64 hexagrams in the I Ching are to be taken as equals. Having said that, the twenty-fifth is just overflowing with the kind of wisdom and truth we so desperately need in our days and weeks, especially when we are facing difficulties … Continue reading XXV. In Times of Doubt and Uncertainty, Fear Nothing

XXIV. The Turning Point

Well, we made it through yesterday's depressing meander, and it's as though the text itself possesses some human quality of kindness, for we are rewarded today with that terrible symbol's exact opposite. Yesterday was the Dead End, today we see the Turning Point. As with the previous one, the basic meaning here is readily apparent … Continue reading XXIV. The Turning Point

XXIII. The Dead End

There is absolutely no way around it - the twenty-third hexagram is a gigantic, catastrophic bummer of epic proportions. It's almost definitely the darkest depiction we have covered so far. The elementary symbolism should be apparent just from looking at the shape of the hexagram itself. There's only one light line left, and it's leaving. … Continue reading XXIII. The Dead End

XXII. The Importance of Beards

One strange way to approach the 22nd Hexagram (properly titled “Grace”, by the way) is to say simply that a beard is a very fine thing, but should never be confused with the chin. Really, it actually says this. A beard is a cool decoration, but a chin is an important part of your face. … Continue reading XXII. The Importance of Beards

XXI. Law and Order: DOC (Days of Change)

This is a hexagram about crime. It's a hexagram about identifying crime, enforcing the law, prosecuting the crime, and handing out just punishment. It's like a Law and Order spinoff launched right in the middle of an ancient Chinese text, which I honestly think would make for a pretty entertaining, and even thrilling, show. In … Continue reading XXI. Law and Order: DOC (Days of Change)

XX. The High View

For the purposes of this hexagram, we are provided a very clear image of a tower upon a hill. The sage who sits atop the tower can see far and wide, understanding the world and its people below. Just as importantly, though, the sage himself can be seen by all the people. It's just as … Continue reading XX. The High View

XIX: Springtime Party with the Springtime Prince

There's admittedly something a tiny bit tricky about interpreting this hexagram. We've seen dual images before - sometimes one single hexagram describes, for example, both a specific situation and a specific kind of person. The implication here is pretty straightforward, actually: take the images in tandem, two representations of the same singular phenomenon. This is … Continue reading XIX: Springtime Party with the Springtime Prince

XVIII: Fixing the Table by Flipping It

This post is the eighteenth of sixty-four in our Days of Change series exploring each hexagram of the ancient Chinese I Ching one by one. To sample others in this series - or go wild and read from the beginning - go here. Sorry Baby Boomers, but this question is for everyone else: how many times … Continue reading XVIII: Fixing the Table by Flipping It

XVII: The Good Shepherd

The greatest among you will be your servant. Matthew 23:11 (NRSV) In employing the metaphor of a shepherd, I run the risk of implying that people are nothing more than useless sheep in need of a saving guide carrying a staff or at least awesome facial hair. This is not my intention. This hexagram is … Continue reading XVII: The Good Shepherd