24: Returning

A turning point recharges you and eventually brings success. This hexagram 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 cusp of a turnaround—a time for letting go of the old and making way for the new; a time of new beginnings. And it all starts with rest.

Don’t move too fast, as a new momentum is just beginning. This turnaround requires that your energy be recharged by adequate rest so that your life force is not depleted 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 the splitting apart of old ones.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Everyone suffers setbacks from time to time. Some lucky people suffer small ones early in life and learn that they can survive a period of collapse. In this case, a minor setback is little more than an inconvenience but serves to build character, as long as proper action is taken before things decline too far. Persevere, always returning to the main road, as good fortune lies 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 indicates true strength of character. Follow the example of such people; they have much to teach you about discarding egocentric concerns and embracing the good. Such self-control brings great 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, they are foolish and unstable. Be sure to chart a steady course and move steadily toward your goal.

Line 4

Those who have been under the influence of self-serving people can turn themselves around through the positive support of one true friend. A willingness to abandon herd instincts may lead to some lonely moments, but with the help of a like-minded person, it can lead to much 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 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 course of action in such a situation is to be humble, let go, and learn from your mistakes.