Hexagram Thirty-nine—Getting Stopped

Inability to take the next step is delaying progress. The subject must seek help from a wise person, then apply their own sincerity to the situation.

The first line, yin, shows that moving forward will only cause more problems. In this situation it is better to rest.

The second line, yin, shows the people who take on troubles on account of others, with little gain for themselves. They may stop one's progress, but not for personal reasons.

The third line, yang, shows one who makes it thorough one difficult situation, only to fall into another. When no more progress can be made, return home.

The fourth line, yin, shows one moving forward to situations of greater difficulty. Unable to progress, this person meets with the like minded friend of the previous line. They provide each other comfort and balance.

The fifth line, yang, shows one who struggles with a difficult situation. Friends come to help, since they have been in similar situations.

The sixth line, yin, shows one who goes forward as if to purposely increase the difficulty, then standing still. This person shows their greatness in this way, and seeks favors from those who can help.

Hexagram Thirty-nine Commentary

Sometimes life flows along easily, while other times it stops. It's as if the qi, or energy, is blocked. Hexagram Thirty-nine reviews the possible scenarios and the best attitude for each. The introduction describes a situation where the subject get stopped, and it's causing a delay. The advice is to "seek help from a wise person," then work it out.

The second line, yin, shows a scenario when someone steps in with good intention, but their interference stops the flow of qi. The subject realizes nobody was trying to hurt him/her, and moves on.

The subject of the third line, yang, shows a person who gets through one situation, only to hit another block. The advice is to call it a day and head home. Get back to it after some rest, when progress is possible again.

The subject of the fourth line, yin, has a day as bad as the subject of the previous line. They run into each other after letting go. They are each qualified to provide "balance and comfort" to the other.

The fifth line, yang, elaborates on the idea of commiseration, and the ability to give and receive help from others who have been through similar situations. The subject of this line struggles, and it shows friends come by to offer help.

The subject of line six, yin, senses the blockage is a stubborn problems where it is best to back off. Nevertheless, the person goes forward. But then, overcome with intuition about what will work and what will not work, this person abruptly stops. The solution in this case is to call on people who know what to do.

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: