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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

23: Splitting Apart

Splitting Apart

Things are not the way they appear. Reality seems like a hall of mirrors. Intrigues are multiplying like summer flies, and there are rumors of discontent. It is the time of illusion, disintegration, distrust and deception.

When you find yourself trapped in a hall of mirrors, it may be necessary to retrace your steps. Return now to the familiar; take solace in what is firm and secure. There is no blame in holding back; indeed, it is your responsibility to keep your strength intact for a period of resurrection, which follows the period of disintegration as surely as dawn follows the night.

Discretion is the better part of valor — and good timing is important too. Learn to choose the proper moments for action, thereby avoiding futile effort. Be particularly attentive at such a time as this for changes that would signal a time to retreat.

In the realm of personal relations, discovering illusion can be painful, and confusing. During such a period, it is wise to avoid undertaking bold new moves. It is especially important not to jump to conclusions when you sense that nothing is quite what it seems right now.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Slander and intrigue abound. Here we have the image of rats scurrying about, undermining the foundation of a house. At such moments, any movement at all can provide new ammunition for the inferior forces at work. Only by doing nothing can you hasten the end of the discomfort. Be patient. And brave.

Line 2

The rise of troublesome people and disintegrating forces continues. There is no help on the horizon. When the streets are filled with an angry mob, it furthers one to bolt the door. Stubborn obstinacy in such circumstances could be fatal to your cause.

Line 3

Perhaps the time has come to break away from old relationships or situations that exert a negative influence on you. One way to accomplish this is to proclaim your loyalty to, or affection for, a person who is of like mind. Be prepared for opposition when you do this, but know that you are doing the right thing. Remember that change is necessary for growth.

Line 4

Have you experienced misfortune recently? Accept your fate, and know that all suffering does pass. Take heart in the belief that things won’t get worse than they are right now.

Line 5

The forces of deception have undergone a sudden change, yielding to the superior force of truth. What is inferior will ultimately weaken; those who have waited for this outcome will be able to take advantage of the situation when the tide turns. It is time to start rallying support for your position.

Line 6 (top line)

The period of disintegration is coming to an end. The negative forces have spent themselves. Evil is not destructive of good alone -- it also destroys itself. And when evil decays, the compost it leaves behind nourishes the good seeds that remain. There is a fresh, new, invigorating energy in the air. Use it!