Extreme pressures have caused the structure to collapse. Fixing it is futile. It’s time to start over.
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51 – Fifty-One Chên / Thunder
Thunder echoes upon Thunder, commanding reverence for its father Heaven:
In awe of Heaven’s majestic power, the Superior Person looks within and sets his life in order.
Thunder mingles with startled screams of terror for a hundred miles around.
As the people nervously laugh at their own fright, the devout presents the sacrificial chalice with nary a drop of wine spilt.
A thunderbolt of Cosmic judgement crashes to earth.
For the common person, it’s just a momentary fright soon forgotten, its warning unfathomed and unheeded.
But to one who understands its significance, this thunder is a signal to repent.
Centering the Self, seeking balance, the enlightened person will respect and align himself with this Higher Power, while his fellows remain subject to the whims of every passing storm.
Nine in the fourth place means:
Shock is mired.
Movement within the mind depends for its success partly on circumstances. If there is neither a resistance that might be vigorously combated, nor yet a yielding that permits of victory – if, instead, everything is tough and inert like mire – movement is crippled.
24 – Twenty-Four Fu / Return
Thunder regenerates deep within Earth’s womb:
Sage rulers recognized that the end of Earth’s seasonal cycle was also the starting point of a new year and a time for dormancy.
They closed the passes at the Solstice to enforce a rest from commerce and activity.
The ruler himself did not travel.
You have passed this way before but you are not regressing.
This is progress, for the cycle now repeats itself, and this time you are aware that it truly is a cycle.
The return of old familiars is welcome.
You can be as sure of this cycle as you are that seven days bring the start of a new week.
Use this dormancy phase to plan which direction you will grow.
You are about to experience a rebirth — about to be given another chance, a new lease on life.
You have persevered, gone the distance through an entire cycle — through the Spring of hope or new passion, through a Summer of growth and building, only to be sacrificed like the archetypal Harvest King at the Autumn reaping.
You lie dormant like seed beneath Winter snows now, healing and absorbing new energies in preparation for the new young Spring coming shortly to your life.