Hexagram Sixty-one—Higher Self

When someone looks to the core of their being and sincerely takes guidance from that source, there will be success in all areas.

The first line, yang, shows one who concentrates on the matter at hand. This person finds peace and strength from within that could not come from any other source.

The second line, yang, shows one who shares their inner satisfaction with others. The comparison is a crane that finds shade in the reeds of a pond and calls out to its young to come enjoy the shade.

The third line, yin, shows one who is sincere at heart, yet confused by outside circumstances. Obstacles may indicate the person needs to spend more time thinking things through.

The fourth line, yin, shows one who has outgrown teammates. It may be time to go ahead on one's own, with the full moon as a guide.

The fifth line, yang, shows one who is sincere, who gathers close associates. The truth they share is awe-inspiring, and it increases self-confidence.

The sixth line, yang, shows a rooster trying to fly to heaven. It is best to be honest about one's strengths and limitations, for sincerity cannot do everything.

Hexagram Sixty-one Commentary

Unlike the Abrahamic religions, Daoism is not centered around a supreme deity. Rather, it focuses on the rhythms of nature, and teachings of those who came before. Thus, there is no concept of praying to a supreme deity to intervene in earthly affairs. However, this hexagram comes the closest to explaining the Daoist method of prayer. The introduction explains it as looking into the core of one's being and taking guidance from that source.

The subject of the first line, yang, concentrates and finds "peace and strength from within that could not come from any other source."

The subject of the second line, yang, shares this inner satisfaction with others. The metaphor is of a crane who finds a peaceful, shady spot among the reeds, then calls to her young to join her.

The subject of the third line, yin, is a good person, but gets confused because they have not taken the time to think things out.

The subject of the fourth line, yin, is a thoughtful person who finds good companionship around other thinking people. The line says the subject has "outgrown teammates." The advice is to go ahead on one's own, and look to the full moon, or light within, as a guide.

The subject of the fifth line, yang, is sincere and gathers close associates. The enlightenment they share increases their self-confidence.

The sixth line, yang, shows a rooster trying to flap its wings and get to heaven. Since this will never work, the advice is to stop. Rather than flapping one's wings like a rooster, it's better to be honest about one's own strengths and weaknesses. For example, even the most introspective and sensitive person cannot do everything.

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: