When all seems hopeless and confused, recognize what your intuition is telling you.
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5 – Five Hsü / Calculated Waiting
Deep Waters in the Heavens:
Thunderclouds approaching from the West, but no rain yet.
The Superior Person nourishes himself and remains of good cheer to condition himself for the moment of truth.
Great Success if you sincerely keep to your course.
You may cross to the far shore.
You must now endure this Dangling — either a carrot before your nose, or a sword above your head.
This strange mix of apprehension and anticipation is a Purgatory.
There is nothing more you can do to affect the outcome.
You must now submit to the Fates.
Six at the top means:
The showdown comes, with the opponents too evenly matched.
Just as all hopes of survival are dashed, three strangers appear.
They will tip the scales in favor of the contender who recognizes them for what they are.
One falls into the pit.
Three uninvited guests arrive.
Honor them, and in the end there will be good fortune.
Three Bogatyrs, or three knights: Ilya Muromets, Dobrynya Nikitich and Aliosha Popovich – Victor Vasnetsov (1848-1926)
The waiting is over; the danger can no longer be averted. One falls into the pit and must yield to the inevitable. Everything seems to have been in vain. But precisely in this extremity things take an unforeseen turn. Without a move on one’s own part, there is outside intervention. At first one cannot be sure of its meaning: is it rescue or is it destruction? A person in this situation must keep his mind alert and not withdraw into himself with a sulky gesture of refusal, but must greet the new turn with respect. Thus he ultimately escapes the danger, and all goes well. Even happy turns of fortune often come in a form that at first seems strange to us.
9 – Nine Hsiao Ch’u / Gentle Restraint
Winds of change high in the Heavens:
Air currents carry the weather.
Dense clouds blow in from the West, but still no rain.
The Superior Person fine tunes the image he presents to the world.
No matter what you do, the fruit of your labors never seems to ripen.
Your reward remains just out of reach.
Men have gone mad from such anticipation.
Don’t lose your balance lunging for the brass ring.
While the Fates continue to restrain you, go them one better and display a self-generated restraint and grace.
Look for the humor in the situation.