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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

24: Returning

Returning

There is a turning point that recharges you and eventually brings success. This is associated with the turning of darkness back toward the light — the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the day when darkness begins to decrease and the hours of daylight start to increase. This is the beginning of a turnaround — a time for letting go of the old and making way for the new; a time of new beginnings. And it starts with rest.

Don’t move too fast right now. The new momentum is just beginning. The turnaround demands that your energy be recharged by adequate rest, so that your life force is not spent prematurely. This principle of hibernation, of allowing energy to renew itself and be strengthened by rest, applies to many situations: recuperation after an illness; the slow return of trust after a period of estrangement; the careful development of new relationships after a splitting apart of old ones.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Everyone suffers setbacks from time to time. The lucky ones suffer small ones early in life, so that they learn that they can survive a period of collapse. In this case, a minor setback is little more than an inconvenience, but could serve to build character, so long as proper action is taken before it goes too far. Persevere, return to the main road, and good fortune will lie ahead.

Line 2

Spectacular comebacks in any field are a sign of self-mastery. Achieving success the first time, on the strength of one’s natural abilities, is good luck; coming back after failure or disappointment is a sign of true strength of character. Follow the example of such people; they have much to teach you about discarding egocentric concerns and embracing the good. This can only bring good fortune.

Line 3

Those who continually reverse their direction through a lack of self-control run great risks, and are sometimes thought to be brilliant, but more often are foolish and unstable. Be sure to chart a steady course and move steadily toward your goal.

Line 4

Those under the influence of inferior people can be turned around by the positive influence of one true friend. A willingness to abandon the herd instincts of the small-minded may lead to lonely moments, but with the help of a like-minded person can lead to success.

Line 5

When the turning point arrives, the noble search their heart, and in so doing discover their proper course. Those who are honest with themselves rise to the occasion in moments of great importance.

Line 6 (top line)

Blind obstinacy always brings misfortune, because opportunities available to the open-minded are lost when rigid pride prevails. Once a golden opportunity has been missed, trying to re-create it will not work. The best attitude in such a circumstance is to be humble, let go and learn from your mistakes.