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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

42: Increase


Substantial progress or increasing prosperity is exhilarating, as long as you go with the flow and keep the interests of others in mind. Like a river’s white water rapids, periods of increase can be of short duration. It furthers one to ride the rapids now, while the waves of opportunity are high.

Leadership in times of increasing opportunity involves commitment to the needs of your cohorts or dependents. By always remembering that to lead is to serve, a leader strengthens his or her ability to bring about a lasting increase in prosperity. In a time of general increase, those who contribute most directly to the common good will achieve the greatest and most long-lasting rewards.

When opportunities for increase arise, supreme good fortune comes to those who act swiftly and boldly, while avoiding the trap of letting their actions be merely self-serving. If you aspire to a position of prominence, the most enduring strategy is to work to raise the tide of your entire community, company or relationship, rather than to set out to swim upstream on your own.

When the times favor prosperity, and when leadership is in the hands of the broad-minded, supreme good fortune is the result.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

When you are the recipient of what blind luck, realize that good fortune has found you because you allowed room for it to enter. Luck is most attracted to selflessness. When it shows up -- in the form of new wealth, power or energy -- it is best preserved and strengthened by sharing the bounty with others -- perhaps by donating some of your time to worthwhile and selfless pursuits. A self-absorbed individual, whose entire purpose is the personal accumulation of wealth or power, soon becomes a prisoner of his own desires.

Line 2

Sudden good fortune can be as disruptive as a calamity. The surest means of staying on course when good fortune falls into your life is to refresh your love of the good. Operate from a sincere desire to extend the power of your integrity and loyalty into your outer world. When you remain true to your self, good fortune becomes a lasting condition, and small obstacles along the way are easily overcome. If you have any instinctive desires to help others at a time like this, heed them. Don’t be afraid to follow your heart whenever it has a desire to do good.

Line 3

Ironically, even a miscalculation or a seemingly unfortunate event can lead to good fortune in a time of general increase. This line is reminiscent of a baseball player on a hot streak who is fooled by an inside pitch; he accidentally bloops a hit to the outfield while trying to get out of the way. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. When you are on a roll, it behooves you to step up to the plate.

Line 4

Be careful to maintain a high level of trustworthiness. You may be called upon to act as a mediator. Whatever the circumstance, it’s important that you maintain fairness and a sense of balance. If you make the benefit of all concerned your highest priority, your advice will be followed, and you will be respected. Whatever you do, do not take advantage of your position when good fortune smiles upon you.

Line 5

A kind heart does not make demands or ask for recognition. Genuine kindness and consideration come naturally and are spontaneous. Supreme good fortune!

Line 6 (top line)

This line refers to someone who has isolated himself or herself by abusing power or being insensitive to the needs of others, particularly those in dependent positions. Becoming greedy or power-hungry causes one to lose touch with the times, because a broad vision is needed to observe the big picture including what is coming up. The easiest way to lose good fortune is to take it for granted or to abuse the privilege.