2: Receptive Power

hexagram 2 illustration

Great receptivity attracts great gifts and great blessings. A natural responsiveness attracts success through support and perseverance rather than bold action. Thus, a wise person demonstrates strength like a powerful but gentle mare. This auspicious hexagram, consisting of all yin lines, represents the power of the feminine principle, which has not been honored in our modern world; however, such receptivity is much more powerful and healing than we think.

The receptive force is sensual and subtle, and can be overlooked by too much thinking, talking, and planning. When spring comes, does the grass “plan” to grow? This is a time to concentrate on realities rather than potentials—with how to respond to a situation rather than how to direct or manipulate it. The mature feminine allows herself to be guided by a higher power and is skilled at graceful acceptance. Spiritually, her quiet contribution is highly effective, bringing a deeply felt kind of success.

Do not be too assertive at this time. If you try to direct things now, you are liable to become confused or alienated. Opening yourself to receive what you attract should be your primary concern. Be patient, and take your time. Draw strength from mindfulness, and you will be doubly fortunate. Focus more on feeling than on action. Be broad and deep in your attitude so that you accept everything that comes with grace and equanimity. Be receptive and spacious like the ocean; let the river of changes flow to you. You might allow a partner to take the lead for now. Strive for a natural responsiveness that is based on inner strength rather than outer show. You will be able to go further by letting go of control rather than forging ahead under your own steam. Receptive power arises through alignment with creative power, not in opposition to it.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Something in your current situation or a close relationship is foreboding, like the first frost of the autumn season that warns of the deadly cold of winter. Heed small warning signs that you may see at this time. Prepare yourself. Gather firewood now, and you will be prepared to fend off the fiercest cold. Watch for signs of decay.

Line 2

Let movement and stillness meet. When action springs naturally from inner calm and proceeds to harmonize with external creative forces, all is well. Good results are achieved without contrivance, complex intentions, or even great effort. Let nature serve as a reminder of how, without artificiality, everything good can develop naturally.

Line 3

Leave the pursuit of fame and praise to others at present. Focus on accepting yourself unconditionally. Freedom from vanity gives you a powerful advantage. Do not display your virtue for all to see, but nurture it within yourself. Try to be of service and your life will improve by itself. Allow fruit to ripen slowly. Quiet perseverance is what is called for.

Line 4

If things are not going well, be reserved and act with caution. It’s possible that an antagonistic force has been aroused against you, causing whatever you do to be misunderstood. Avoid challenging this force right now; that would only bring about hateful retaliation. On the other hand, you should also avoid the appearance of capitulation, which could allow the force to gather strength against you. Maintain your reserve and caution, and lose yourself in solitude or in the tumult of the crowd. Don’t let yourself be a target.

Line 5

When called upon to play an important role in a project or a relationship, success comes from reliability and discretion. Be polite and kind, and you will secure greater influence. Discretion is essential at this time. If you are genuine without making a show of it, good fortune will follow.

Line 6 (top line)

Beware of troublesome relationships or confusion over personal boundaries. Do not try to gain a position to which you are not truly entitled. When boundaries are not clearly defined, both dogs and nations quarrel. If you attempt to change your role now, a bloody battle may ensue. Slow down. Do not act until roles and responsibilities have been made clear.