How to interpret "Conflict"
The message of this hexagram is that even those who go through life with good-will and the best intentions will at times meet with hostility and powerful opposition. At this time it is advised that conflict be avoided, for conflict at this time (even if justified) will lead to more serious setbacks. There are times when a "cautious halt" can be far more powerful than the most aggressive response.
Changes in Line 1
"Little Gossip... Good Fortune Comes"
During times of opposition and conflict, gossip can often make matters worse. A change in this line represents a warning to restrain your thoughts on the matter, and allow the seas to become calmed.
Changes in Line 2
There are times in which the only way to avoid conflict is to retreat. At this time, since conflict is to be avoided, it is advised that even a retreat is better than to engage in hostilities. Such actions will ultimately benefit your entire household and community. There is no shame in a retreat at this time.
Changes in Line 3
A change in this line is a warning that things are imminently about to become dangerous or risky. An avoidance of conflict will result in good news. It should be noted however that the credit for some of your actions will go to another. Do not resist this at this time. Be content with the good fortune that comes your way.
Changes in Line 4
"Turn Back. Submit to Fate"
Conflict at this time may be especially tempting because victory will be seemingly at hand. A change in this line represents a special warning that just because something "can" be won, does not mean that it "should" be. Find peace in perseverance and a change of attitude. Only through avoidance of conflict can you truly succeed.
Changes in Line 5
"Contend Before Him"
There are times when conflicts must be brought before a third party who will judge the merits of the case. At this time you should have faith that a third party will judge fairly and (if you are in the right), this judgement carries "supreme good fortune".
Changes in Line 6
"The Belt is Bestowed"
A change in this line is a warning against the pursuit of a prize at this time. If one enters a conflict and emerges victorious, he will be given awards and favors. The warning here, however, is that these awards will be "snatched away", and you will spend all your energy defending your new position. Misery comes after victory.
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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.