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I Ching Hexagram #10:

Steps

How to interpret "Steps"

This simple looking hexagram relates to circumstances which might be inherently risky. In most cases treading in dangerous places is inadvisable. At this time however, there is very little danger. It is written in the ancient Book of Changes that "One steps on the tail of a tiger at his or her own risk" -- but the appearance of this hexagram suggests that right now such an act would be ignored (or even seen as playful). A more general reference here could be a mingling of people belonging to different social backgrounds. This sign is typically positive.

Changes in Line 1

"Conduct as Usual"

A change in this line at the base of this hexagram is an indication that the best course of action at this time is the course which is most typically followed. While there are unknowns in the present situation, a familiarity with the "tried and true" looks especially helpful at this time.

Changes in Line 2

"Perseverance of the Solitary Soul"

The path is long and difficult. A change in this line indicates that one who is removed from daily interaction, and quietly focuses on the task at hand will be successful. Being true to oneself is indicated here, along with a warning not to be distracted by social pressure.

Changes in Line 3

"A One Eyed Man Still Sees"

This changing line near the middle of the hexagram is a reminder that the capacity to do something adequately is very different from the capacity to succeed at doing something well. If we attempt to do something when our abilities are not at their peak, we flirt with disaster at this time.

Changes in Line 4

"Apprehension and Caution"

When the possibilities of failure exist on all sides, the wise man or woman moves cautiously. An intense focus is required on events all around oneself, but at the same time an inner focus is required to control ones' path. Forward motion is the result of careful meditation. Ahead there is success.

Changes in Line 5

"Determination in the Face of Danger"

The brave individual does not ignore danger, and move forward fearlessly. The brave individual is intensely aware of the danger and the fear and presses forward despite them. "Character" is the measure of awareness and action. To ignore danger is to fail. To allow danger to overcome one is to fail. Awareness is truth.

Changes in Line 6

"Look to Your Conduct"

A change in this line at the top of the hexagram is simply a reminder that the ends do not justify the means. One's overall conduct throughout a process is extremely important. Victory is achievable. But a higher level of victory is the one in which the whole process has been conducted with honor.


A note on iFate's I Ching translation: This is not a direct translation of the original "Book of Changes" from 1000 BC. While multiple translations of the original text are available, they include many archaic references and can be difficult to understand for 21st century readers. iFate uses our own modern rewritings (two different editions) of the "Book of Changes" which makes interpreting I Ching readings far simpler. For iFate's additional contemporary re-writing of the original text, see our "Love I Ching" translation.

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