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I Ching Hexagram #3:

Trouble At The Start

How to interpret "Trouble At The Start"

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This hexagram indicates progress after a difficult or delayed beginning. New projects or ambitions should be carefully planned before beginning. Consider the help of close friends or a trusted associate: their help will guarantee your success in the matter at hand. Storms may also be indicated here.

Changes in Line 1

"Hesitation and Burdens"

Initial setbacks often throw the weak willed from their course. Stay true to initial goals, but do not force your way forward if it is blocked. Instead, carefully consider the situation before advancing. A clear path will eventually present itself.

Changes in Line 2

"Difficulties Pile Up"

Even those who offer good-hearted assistance can sometimes be detrimental to your goals. Be careful of accepting assistance with strings attached. A clear path will eventually present itself freely.

Changes in Line 3

"One who hunts without a guide, becomes lost"

A person who enters a strange forest to hunt, without the guide of the forester, will eventually become lost. A wise person knows when to give up the hunt. Not all things are possible at all times.

Changes in Line 4

"Strive Towards Union"

Making the effort to assist someone will be beneficial to all. Changes in this line denote a "coming together" and a giving (or accepting) of generous help. Good things come through the acceptance of such offers.

Changes in Line 5

"A little does a lot. A lot does little"

There are times when small gestures work better than large sweeping moves. Be conscious of doing the right thing rather than the thing that is most impressive. A change in this line may also indicate an inability to express oneself due to the interference of others.

Changes in Line 6

"Tears flow"

A retreat is forced. There is no way to move forward. Tears are represented here. A time has come to pull back and reconsider the situation. Pain and sadness are indicated.


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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