Updated: Mar 14
I recently completed a short study on The I Ching, also known as the Book of Changes. It is considered China’s oldest classical text, greatest sourcebook and the most famous oracle from ancient times to have survived intact into the 21st century. Every day/month/year is associated with a hexagram based on the I Ching. There are two hexagrams associated with the Year of the Water Rabbit -one that relates to the chart as a whole and one that represents just the year pillar. We can look to the stories associated with each hexagram as just another way in to understand and work with the energy of the year.
The Chinese believe that the success of all of our plans ultimately depends on the correct timing. When the timing is right a positive outcome is likely because our actions, and equally our decisions, are to act with cosmic flow with and not against the tide of Qi. Qi is the life force or intangible energy that pervades the universe.
Think of the I Ching as China’s accumulated wisdom and philosophy encapsulated within a set of 64 linear symbols known as hexagrams.
These lined symbols describe situations experienced by mankind working together with the forces of the universe. These forces are described by the Chinese as the interaction of Heaven, Earth + Man.
The hexagam that governs the year as a whole is Hexagram #37 - The Family. It is described by understanding that family provides us shelter in hard times, and that all troubles eventually turn to blessings. There are rules for managing a family. The moral virtues for the year are derived from the element of Fire which is represented by consistency and passion. The overall messages are that discipline and rules are required to have peace, and consistency is needed to apply these rules. This is a team effort; all members of the family have chores and responsibilities. The older family members are role models to the younger members. There are rules that guide us towards personal growth, discipline to build character and the responsibility of sharing work to form good work habits. All of these things are fundamental to a harmonious and successful family life.
This is a time when it is important that we all take responsibility for our actions.
How we use our time, our money and our actions dictate who we are. Family values are even more important than ever, or rather we need to implement them into our lives again. We have lost our family and community values and by prioritizing them we find the most accessible and honourable way to live in alignment with these times.
The second hexagram that is associated with just the year pillar is #54 - The Bride. The Chinese translation of this is marrying your younger sister to someone usually as a second wife. This is the only option for survival. The I Ching realizes that now and then in life we have to take inferior jobs to tide us over in difficult times. Managing this situation well takes special wisdom. The overall message is you are supported but don’t expect it to be easy. We have to adapt to make things work, maybe get a second job, live on less etc. This is not a good hexagram for expanding your business, rather it is about being strategic in order to be make it through. We may all experience difficulty and have a hard time achieving goals at this time, therefor we should not expect perfect outcomes this year. Remember this won't last as the energy changes again next year in the year of the Wood Dragon!
By understanding and working with the energy of the year we have the opportunity to live in flow with the natural universe. By living in flow, we have the ability to respond to outside forces with calmness and grace. In flow, we have time to understand that between stimulus and response there is a space, and it is in that space where we find our power to choose our response, and in our response lies our greatest opportunity for growth and freedom.
Let's all try and go with the flow and live better, more peaceful lives this year!