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I Ching Hexagram #5:


How to interpret "Patience"

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The lesson of this hexagram is that good things come to those who wait. Patience requires both inner strength and a commitment to resist the temptation of acting prematurely. Often hardships will arise in the course of one's time spent waiting. The message here is that those who endure these hardships, and "cross great streams" will emerge victorious. Do not be put off your path at this time.

Changes in Line 1

"Waiting at the Field"

Patience is best exercised from a proper vantage point. Consider placing oneself in a position from where one can watch approaching events at a distance. Do not alter your daily routine, because there is much in it that will help you when events move more quickly.

Changes in Line 2

"Waiting by the Sea"

During tests of patience, it is easy to assume the worst. Such assumptions cause undue panic and grief and reduce one's ability to think clearly and rationally. Remember that with patience comes perseverance. Do not be swayed by unwarranted fears of failure.

Changes in Line 3

"Waiting in the Marsh"

While waiting for events to happen, it is important to remain ready for action. Changes in this line represent a warning that things are not "at the ready" and your response may be too slow when the situation calls for action.

Changes in Line 4

"Waiting by Blood"

Changes in this line are a serious warning that you are not prepared for action that will soon be required of you. It is foolish to remain trapped in a position of weakness. You must urgently "climb out of the pit" you are in, and get yourself to a place where you are capable of action and change.

Changes in Line 5

"Waiting at the Feast"

Your perseverance brings good fortune, but the ultimate achievement still lies ahead. It is important to rest along the way. Enjoy the good things that life has to offer. You will need the strength for the challenge that still lies ahead.

Changes in Line 6

"Falling Down. / Visitors Arrive."

There are two messages represented by this changing line: The first is a stern message that a serious failure is imminent. You stand at the edge of a pit, and it is quite sure that you will fall. The second message is more unusual: During your fall, "uninvited guests" will arrive. Treat them all well. For they are part of a larger plan that will help you immeasurably.

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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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