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I Ching Hexagram #33:


How to interpret "Retreat"

vintage divider

Advantage can often be gained by moving backwards temporarily, before again moving forward. This is a time to take a break, go on vacation or spend time alone. Step away from the "battlefield" for a time. Be willing to survey progress as well as losses. Cut losses and allegiances that hold you back from your goals. Reevaluate everything. Retreat can be a sign of strength here. This type of retreat is not the same as surrender; this is a regrouping of your forces.

Changes in Line 1

"Retreating without Hesitation"

Why wait until the last minute to retreat? If the signs are pointing to a beneficial retreat, the wise person pursues their escape route immediately. If your current situation has hit a rough patch, take some time to look at it from the sidelines.

Changes in Line 2

"Deciding Deliberately"

Once retreat is set as your course of action, don't look back. Activate your decision with a sense of fervor and trust. Don't let your decision go astray. Tie yourself to your decision as if you are tying up a trouble

Changes in Line 3

"Handling Blocks"

People and circumstances may attempt to block your retreat. Don't let this happen. Keep strong your intention to retreat. Don't let other's opinions alter your plans

Changes in Line 4

"Retreating With Honor"

This line is a reminder that once you have decided upon retreat, good fortune will come your way. Stay decisive and there will be advantages all around. For the ambivalent one who cannot make up their mind, this is a time of missed opportunity

Changes in Line 5

"Valuing Retreat"

Withdrawing attention and energy from a person or situation that no longer serves you is noble and brings happiness. The wise person recognizes this moment for what it is: a chance to regain inner peace

Changes in Line 6

"Cheerful Retreat"

The weight from one's shoulders will lift as retreat unfolds. You've made the proper decision.

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The above hexagram interpretation is part of iFate's award winning free online I-Ching readings. If you haven't tried one yet, click here to try a free I Ching reading now.

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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