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Hexagram 42: Increase

[Note - you'll need to read the background to the situation, before you can understand this one]

'Where next with Friends?'
Hexagram 42, Increase, changing to 27, Nourishment.

Sometimes the I Ching's answers are obscure and enigmatic; sometimes they are so straightforward I feel as if it's saying 'now, this is very simple, heaven knows why you still haven't got it, but watch my lips…'. This was one of those!

'Increase. Beneficial to have a direction to go. Beneficial to cross the great river.'

This is the image of pouring in more to a vessel - increase in everything good, that comes from giving. It calls for commitment, direction, and basically says 'commit yourself, give more'. No elaborate schemes or systems are called for, just responsiveness -

'the wise disciple sees what she can do better, and changes; sees what she's done wrong, and puts it right.'

and 'riding the wave':

'Increase: long-living enrichment but no instituting things.
Increase: with the rising harvest.'

'Instituting things' also means 'spreading a net'. Increase can be ridden, but not caught. No point sitting at home saying 'where is the goodwill?' - it doesn't work like that.

As if this weren't enough - the moving line:

'With sincerity, a generous heart.
No questioning, fundamental good fortune.
Sincerity and generosity are my te'

It felt like something between reassurance and a challenge. If I have real generosity, if this is my essential nature, there is no need to ask this sort of question. Of course real generosity brings good fortune from the source - what else? Hmm - so why did I ask the question? Because - surprise - I'm not as saintly as the ideal described in this line. But at least I know that what comes back to me will reflect the true spirit in which I work.



In late summer 2002, my friend was unemployed and decided to follow a dream and enter the local culinary school that has a good name. He was nervous about taking on loan debt and anxiety about it in general. I told him to bring over 6 coins of any kind. The I Ching book I have is Crowley's. His throw got him Hexagram 42, which in this book is:

Increase; now's no time to sit and shiver;
but to move on, even to cross the river
Success excuses boldness; face thy fate!
Good omens and true virtue joined, essay!
Ill leads to well, for him that leads they way;
Even the capital remove he may.
Let all men share in thy improved estate!
By soul's disorders realms disintegrate.

So, starting with the facts. The culinary school my friend went to was a Cordon Bleu accredited school that taught the finest French traditions (three in the world, France, Portland, Oregon and in the United Arab Emirates). After a twelve month course he graduated, if not at the very top of his class, among the top three. His class was called the last good class since the school dropped standards to acquire mundane students. As one of 30 top students, he went on a trip to Europe and met famous chefs and winemakers. He graduated as a Certified Culinarian which ensures him good chef jobs for the rest of his employment. He quickly received raises in his first job out of school up to a living wage.

My friend does not rely on mysticism regularly at all, but he was encouraged by the I Ching reading he got. I told him before he threw his coins that he would get an answer that spoke truly and clearly to the wisdom of whatever the question asked focused on. And I only said that when I had to admit to my albeit mystical but also reality-based psyche that I was not deceiving people if I told them to trust an I Ching reading without fear of deception or ambiguity. The only condition being the person has to be honest with themself interpreting the personal meanings they find in the reading, whether it is pleasant or unpleasant or critical.

Quinn Hansen

I'm an acupuncturist, and thus use the I Qing for diagnostic/treatment insights. This is one I did recently on my cat. Some of the terminology is specific to Chinese medicine, so may be obscure for the lay reader. The medical commentary is taken mainly from "The Medical I Qing" by Mike Shima.

What is the prognosis for Punk's perpetual muscularskeletal injuries? (My commentary in Italics.)

Punk has had a history of getting hurt whenever we let him out, and sometimes even when he is inside. We assumed it was kitten recklessness, but this is a little eerie. The first major injury happened in the apartment, when he was perhaps 4 months old. Hurt a foreleg, and spent a day or so shaking in my husband's lap. He eventually recovered. We let him outside, and found him an hour later shaking in pain, unable to walk or climb steps, on the ground floor of the three story building, telling us that perhaps he tried to do something foolish visavis the staircase.

There have been innumerable instances since then, culminating one evening when I let him outside. By the time I found him the next morning, he was unable to walk because of a rather severe shoulder injury on the right, a back leg injury also on the right, and a sort of fear based paralysis.

The constant stream of injuries to his legs and shoulders makes me wonder what underlying weakness he has. He appears to be a very big, healthy, muscular, emotionally balanced, all around sound cat.

42 Increase, changing line 2

Leg pain, fair prognosis.

This seems reasonable. The moving line in the second position is the most interesting part here, indicating a problem with the legs, or in the early stages of the condition. Since cats have all fours on the ground, the shoulder issues can also be indicated by the second line movement (as opposed to people, where the shoulders would be represented by the fifth line).

Upper Trigram is 5, The Gentle.

Corresponds to Wood. Colour and emotion of Metal (white, grief, depression). Wind (changeability), Liver Yin deficiency, thigh problems, long recovery.

Lower Trigram is 8, The Receptive.

Corresponds to Earth. Colour of Water, emotion of Metal (black, grief). Chronic slow illnesses, digestive system, legs, feet, subcutaneous tissue.

When taking the component trigrams of the original hexagram, Metal and Wood are prominent, with references to Earth. I have seen a lot of grief/sadness/depression out of Punk from time to time, but honestly it's hard to tell if it isn't just loneliness or boredom. I think the addition of Pippin (new kitten) to the household has alleviated many of these moods, with a minimal amount of jealousy. Seeing Yin patterns in the trigrams.


Upper Trigram is 7, Keeping Still

Corresponds to Earth. Colour of Earth?. Stubbornness. Joints, shoulders particularly, stuckness, injuries.

Lower Trigram is 8, The Receptive.

Corresponds to Earth. Colour of Water, emotion of Metal (black, grief). Chronic slow illnesses, digestive system, legs, feet, subcutaneous tissue.

Nuclear Hexagram

23 Splitting Apart, line 1 changing

Paralysis, systemic toxins, neck/shoulder paralysis. Digestion issues. Moving line at 1: Spleen vacuity --> Liver Wind, spasms, diarrhea, foot infections from trauma, leg paralysis. Fair prognosis.

The Nuclear information is taken from within the middle of the original hexagram, which gives information about deeper causes. The stuckness and slowness of joint issues is reflected in the trigrams, and the full Nuclear hexagram. Splitting Apart is generally a fairly sinister hexagram, in that it indicates the split from the Yin and the Yang (i.e., what happens when you die), but since this is the Nuclear aspect, it indicates perhaps a precondition that leads to the current problem, not the future. The moving line indicates body location (this all may have started with foot problems), also time (started when he was a small kitten.)

Punk's feet have always seemed very healthy though. From the time we first got him, I always rubbed his feet, clipped his nails, and generally got him used to having his feet touched. They have always seemed ok to me.

Nuclear Progressed

27 Corners of the Mouth

Malnutrition, toxicity, heart heat coming to mouth, food stagnation. Diet and nutrition at the root.

Lower Progressed Nuclear Trigram changes to 4, The Arousing

Corresponds to Wood. Colour of green, anger. Tendons, gallbladder, liver yang, Nervous system (sympathetic), pain in nerves.

This may be getting a little too obscure and far afield, but if one takes the trigrams of the nuclear progressed hexagram, it seems that there is the usual vicious cycle between Earth and Wood acting out in the tendon, joints, and muscles. This is odd, because I've always fed him very well. On the other hand, generations upon generations of poorly fed skinny cats make up his ancestry, so this may be some sort of a congenital thing.

Main Hexagram Progressed

59, Dispersion

Stomache ache, food poisoning, diarrhea, arthritis, kidney issues, low back pain. Cold damp pathogenic factors.

The progressed main hexagram tells you where things may be headed, temporally or otherwise. The food problem is still showing up, but the body parts have changed. Kidney and low back are Water, which means the cycle has moved out of the Earth/Wood struggle. I imagine that this is where a lot of the Metal involvement will manifest. The cold damp is close to a Nukus winter, minus the damp. This winter may be hard on him.

April Rich

(Webmaster's note:
The 'Medical I Ching' may be useful to someone like April who already has medical knowledge. But I've seen it badly frighten and hopelessly mislead many people, and would not recommend it.