Our I Ching group has been meeting for several years. Often we come up with a “group” question to pose to the Sage. Tonight we hemmed and hawed about how to stay positive in a world where most of us are swimming in the negative soup served up the media. We decided that we all knew the answer to this dilemma and that it wasn’t quite the right question for the Sage. So the question we finally came up with was, “What is the best way to live with changes?” We received hexagram #55-“Abundance”-Thunder over Fire with no moving lines.
Thunder (Chen or Zhen) is an aspect of the Wood element- the introduction of a new principle springtime energy, upward moving chi. Its function is to shake things up and find the motivation (the yang line at the bottom) that makes things happen.
Fire is radiant and illuminating. It creates clarity and is the spirit of warmth. Mythologically, it is manifested in a shape-changing bird with brilliant plumage that comes to rest on things. Its action is to cling to whatever it touches. It is the single yin line in the middle that holds two strong lines together
Wood produces Fire and Fire exhausts Wood (Thunder). The I Ching seems to be saying that on an elemental level, change can be either exhausting (fire exhausts wood) or nourishing (wood produces fire).
In the various different texts we use as source material (Wilhelm of course, Deng Ming Dao, Stephen Karcher, Al Huang, Carol Anthony, and Brian Walker among others), the Sage then goes on to talk about independent watchfulness, moving with clarity and grace, and action that creates the expert timing that is derived from the clear understanding of cycles. In effect, the best way to live with change is to let brightness and awareness stir everything up so that creativity flourishes.
Carol Anthony reminds us that if one receives this hexagram, it is important to delete the negative images that block abundance. These come in the form of poison arrows and spells that are projected by media, our childhood experiences and even the time before birth. All of these can block our abilities to respond creatively to what life brings to us.
She leaves us with this reminder, “BE NOT SAD. BE LIKE THE SUN AT MID-DAY!”