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I Ching Hexagram #18:


How to interpret "Ruin"

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Decay and destruction are indicated in this foreboding hexagram which literally means "Mountain above Wind". The cold winds have decended from the mountain and are destroying the crops below. What is being destroyed can be saved, but enormous efforts will be required. Only through dedication and tireless labor will what is cherished be kept safe. A time of scarcity is indicated. Time must not be wasted. To relax at this time is to ensure failure.

Changes in Line 1

"Absolving the Father"

Ruin is being brought about by events that were set in place long ago. In many ways, what is going wrong now is an old problem. To correct mistakes now one must undo the mistakes of the past. Only then will those who bear the intitial blame be redeemed.

Changes in Line 2

"Mistakes of the Mother"

Current problems are the result of mistakes made in the past, but care must be taken in their correction. Blame is counter-productive. What is important is moving forward on the right foot.

Changes in Line 3

"Mistakes of the Father"

Current prolems are the result of mistakes made in the past. Repentance on the part of those whose fault it is will come eventually, but they are less important than their correction. Success is indicated.

Changes in Line 4

"Tolerating Father's Mistakes"

A change in this line near the center of the hexagram is a stern warning against tolerating the mistakes of the past. If these mistakes are allowed to persist, then misfortune will follow and blame will fall to he who bears responsibility at the present time.

Changes in Line 5

"Correcting Father's Mistakes"

This line indicates a successful correction of mistakes made in the past. Praise is seen for a task well done.

Changes in Line 6

"Not Serving Princes or Kings"

A change in this line at the top of the hexagram of "Ruin" is a reminder that one can set oneself apart from the issues of the current day. If one does cast aside current issues however, one must work equally hard at serving higher goals. To ignore current issues in a selfish manner brings misfortune.

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List of all possible changes for this hexagram

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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