hexagram 18 ☯️ ku / decay


A challenge to improvement:

that which has been spoiled through neglect

can be rejuvenated through effort.


Receiving this hexagram is a sign that there is a defect in the attitude of oneself, another, or one’s society that should be corrected. Your task now is to bring conscientious thought and action to an area where stagnation has set in. Perhaps you engage in continual doubt about the wisdom of behaving according to proper principles. Perhaps you indulge in greed, or vengeful thinking, or a harsh manner. In any case, the time has come to root out the decay.

The I Ching counsels us to work energetically at this task, but only after proper deliberation. We are advised to spend three full days in understanding the defect; another day in resolving sincerely to remove it; and then three more days watching carefully to insure that it does not return. This steady application of attention to the matter is the wind that carries away stagnation and brings new life in its place.

It is likely that the problem is an old one, and equally likely that no solution will be immediately evident. We are cautioned not to abandon the cause; only perseverance will reveal the great reward that is concealed within the problem.

Whether the fault lies in yourself, another, or your community, the requirement is the same. Watch closely while remaining quiet, innocent, and sincere. After you have clearly identified the problem, act unswervingly to eliminate it without abandoning gentleness and inner balance in the process. When this course is completed, good fortune will be met.

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 18, Ku / Decay (Work On What Has Been Spoiled)


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