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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

34: Great Vigor

Great Vigor

Congratulations … there is strength and vigor in this situation, like a ram that has knocked down a fence to free himself from captivity. This points to a time when a strong force comes into its own and achieves power.

When a leader finally comes into power, his or her personal strength usually has peaked. Great strength has been required in climbing to the mountaintop, but once at the summit, the support of others is needed to maintain position. A shift in attitude becomes necessary. Persevere in what is right and just. Your strength must be tempered by wisdom; to maintain power, the strong leader must learn to share it with others. Only then will his position be secure, for he will not only be the possessor of power, but a source of it as well.

If you find yourself in a strong position, it is important to act responsibly and react with care. Power must not be allowed to degenerate into raw force that rides roughshod over everything in its path. A strong sense of responsibility to the collective good is the key to the successful exercise of power. By following what we intuitively know to be for the greater good, we avoid reckless abuses, which in the end undermine the source of our strength. Arrogance contains the seeds of its own undoing.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Possessing great personal vigor does not assure success all by itself. If you start your movement from a lowly or weak position, attempting to advance prematurely through forceful efforts will bring misfortune. Even for those of great strength and ability, progress is achieved step by step.

Line 2

The gates of good fortune are swinging open for you; the time has come to plunge ahead. In times of great opportunity, beware of premature celebrations. Keep your balance now.

Line 3

A ram crashing through a hedge gets his horns tangled up. He may be the strongest animal in the flock, but a proud, haughty ram brings misfortune upon himself. Avoid empty displays of power or force. A wise leader measures success in terms of finely tuned performance, not raw power. Power is the fuel, but precision is the regulator.

Line 4

The determined application of a strong force brings success. Like the axle of a large wagon, a powerful person’s strength is often hidden inside, and this is as it should be. Often, the less of a show, the greater the power. By quietly bringing inner strength to the outer world, resistance dissolves, and great achievements become possible.

Line 5

When the strong find themselves in a loose and easy situation, a loss of alertness and a weakening of power can set in. If external resistance is absent at work or in your situation, relax and enjoy things for the time being, but avoid becoming complacent, and learn to create challenges for yourself, perhaps in recreational activities.

Line 6 (top line)

Use of excessive force can generate strong opposition, leading to deadlocks that make it impossible to either advance or retreat. Once you have pushed things too far, your only option may be to recognize the impasse created by an overly aggressive attitude, and make the proper adjustments.