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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

55: Great Abundance

Great Abundance

Abundance comes into full flower when a group is united and the power of its leadership is at its peak. The situation is like the sun at midday — a high noon of clarity, insight and progress. Whether this refers to a national cycle, a business boon or a period of personal abundance, peak periods can be brief. It is important to bale your hay while the sun is shining.

During a period of abundance, it is beneficial to show benevolence, to share the fruits of one’s good fortune. Think of good deeds now as a hedge against times of scarcity in the future. This reading bodes well for the raising of children, and in the nurturing of a healthy family or any close-knit group.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

To facilitate the experience of abundance, a mixture of energy and vision is required. Often this combination comes from two people who are joining together in the effort. They are well-matched; their partnering is well-founded. This changing line indicates that the timing is good for finding a partner who can help you advance to the top. Great good fortune awaits.

Line 2

In times of radiant abundance, plots and intrigues are like eclipses of the sun that happen occasionally. Often the best way to handle periods of temporary darkness is to let them pass and sink of their own weight. To try to do battle with negative forces at this time would only cause you to stumble blindly. Hold inwardly to what is true, and your sun will reemerge soon enough.

Line 3

Your recent success is eclipsed by a fast-moving element that could snatch the reins from your hands. In the ensuing confusion, even insignificant people are gaining power. This makes it impossible for you to accomplish much right now. Though you are not to blame, a time of loss and difficulty may well follow.

Line 4

When a shadow has passed over a situation of prosperity or success, an unsettled feeling can remain afterward. In order to prevent a temporary setback from becoming a permanent condition, an effort must be made to find complementary strengths that support your position. A search for wise counsel, in particular, is indicated here.

Line 5

Those who bring modesty to high positions attract those who are capable of offering brilliant counsel. Accepting their advice brings blessings and supreme good fortune. The situation is like that of a wealthy man who hires the best investment advisors, and then actually listens to them! The rich get richer.

Line 6 (top line)

Arrogance in the handling of power tends to bring the opposite of the desired effect. If you strive for abundance so single-mindedly that you alienate those who are close to you, you will be left holding an empty bag in the end. Too bad. Holding power is like bringing a large torch into a sea of candles: the more the flame is passed to others, the greater the chance that the torch will be reignited if its flame dies out. Otherwise, isolation and misfortune can become the result.