Hexagram Twenty-six—Storing Energy

Hexagram Twenty-six shows a wise person accumulating reserves. During this period it is wise to gather and concentrate one's energies, since this is a period of preparation.

The first line, yang, shows that the situation is troubling, even dangerous. It is wise to step back, rather than go forward into the storm.

The second line, yang, shows a carriage broken down. The person within has caused no error, but the situation is dangerous.

The third line, yang, shows a warrior with strong, reliable horses. Realizing his position of danger, the warrior trains the horses daily and learns the skills needed to overcome the threat.

The fourth line, yin, shows a young bull with a wooden harness over his horns. This precaution to keep the bull from goring will bring good fortune.

The fifth line, yin, gives the analogy of a gelded boar. Because the boar was castrated it is not dangerous.

The sixth line, yang, shows its subject entering the gates of heaven. The subject has accumulated virtue to an extreme degree, and is ready to move forward on their project.

Hexagram Twenty-six Commentary

Hexagram Twenty-six gently reminds us life has its inevitable dark days, so when times are good, it's also time to prepare for hard times. The introduction offers the metaphor of "a wise person accumulating reserves."

The first line, yang, gives a further warning about hard times. It offers the metaphor of a bad storm. It's dangerous to walk outside, so the line advises, "It is wise to step back, rather than go forward into the storm."

The second line, yang, reminds us trouble will come on its own—it's not always something we cause, or even predict. The metaphor in this line is a person in a dangerous situation after their carriage breaks down, even though "the person within has caused no error."

The third line, yang, explains how to prepare for the difficult times through planning and steady work. The metaphor is a warrior who clearly sees the potential for danger in life, then learns the skills needed to cope with life's problems. The warrior also trains their horses on a daily basis.

The fourth line, yin, explains how to take precautions. The metaphor shows a bull working with a harness on its horns. This will prevent the bull from goring someone.

The fifth line, yin, explains how to prevent problems in the future. The metaphor is of a gelded boar, and says, "Because the boar was castrated it is not dangerous." Instead of stepping into a dangerous storm like the first line warns against, follow the example of preparation in the third line, precaution in the fourth line, and prevention of future problems in this line. Even though we live in the now, we can do things now to make the future easier on ourselves.

The sixth line, yang, shows its subject entering the gates of heaven because of accumulating virtue. This is the ultimate preparation—as it says in the introduction, "gather and concentrate one's energies, since this is a period of preparation." We all have a limited time on earth, so the whole thing is about gathering and concentrating our energy. The sixth line also uses the gates of heaven as a metaphor to begin any new project. Whether approaching the gates of heaven or beginning a new project, the subject can live in a way to prepare their soul for what's coming.

To the reader: Most of the hexagrams have at least one line that predicts bad results, but that does NOT mean you are fated to that result. The hexagrams illustrate different attitudes, so study the actions and reactions to learn the attitudes that will lead to better outcomes.

The I Ching teaches you to flow with changes and create positive change from the inside through conscious living. Your future is in your hands. Consult the I Ching for ideas that lead to clear thinking and positive mental attitude. Reading the I Ching helps you take the time to reflect on your attitudes and ideas. Continue asking until you feel positive about your course.

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A note about this interpretation of the I Ching: Nori Muster wrote this version of the I Ching in 1994 and put it online at in 2000. It is also available at Amazon: