Cafeausoul logo
Go to home page

I ching

Guai (Determination)

I Ching Hexagram 43
Guai (Determination)

Action: Breakthrough

Hu Gua (hidden influence) 1 Creative: Initiate

Zong Gua (underlying cause) 23 Split Apart: Regenerate

Success comes when you
untangle the knots and soften the glare.

There is a great deal of unmapped country within us which would have to be
taken into account in an explanation of our gusts and storms. – George Eliot

Reading at a Glance: One of the most difficult lessons we learn in life is how to balance a resolute attitude of Determination with the openness required to keep growing. Often the obstacles that we face around us are merely showing us the condition of our inner world. In fact, obstacles only show themselves if we are looking for blockages. If we are determined to see our success manifest, this commitment to vision is often all that is needed to obtain our desires. However, we sometimes need to examine the story we tell ourselves. Is life a place to be feared or is it a tapestry of joy? What is it that you are stalking? Is it the proof that you can discover abundance or is it the reinforcement of scarcity? The hidden influence of the Creative is at play so growth is on the horizon and ready to take manifestation. The underlying cause of Split Apart or a period Regeneration must now be given concrete form in the visible world regardless of the challenges. Determination suggests that a Breakthrough in thinking can eliminate any walls to your forward progress. We see an image of looking at an obstacle and discrediting it. This means that whatever is holding you back is of your own making. Examine what pushes your buttons to see if you are unconsciously defending your need for control. You cannot open to new opportunities if your mindset leads you to make the wrong choices. Sometimes we pursue what is bad for us to reinforce a fear of intimacy as if we know the situation is not sustainable. Sometimes we flee from what might be good for us because we are reinforcing the known rather than exploring the unknown. Like a hero being tested in their sincerity, obstacles are not a reason to give up and if you know you will succeed you will. The master said: “untangle the knots and soften the glare.” Determination can be recognized in the eyes. But there is no need to approach life with a wrinkled brow or a sense that life is fighting you. Life has been committed to your success since the day you were born. Any challenges you face might actually be transforming your thinking. This is the time of year when the fiercest weather prepares the landscape for rebirth so remain undaunted but know you are being stripped of the unnecessary. You may need to make a difficult decision or share information that is sensitive but important in clarifying your vision and expectations of others. In the current situation a Breakthrough in thinking can transform a closed door into an open door.

Wolf stepping into icy water

Fear stalks

its own reflection -


the window dressing

of the prison.

“When increase goes on unceasingly, there is certain to be a break-through or a resolution.” Kuai shows the type of break-through that comes when a river bursts through a dam in the image of the Lake rising to meet the Creative. The Water opens new pathways through what appeared to be a barrier by the simple fact that it is constant. At the same time, pushing unrelentingly through obstacles can lead to an uncompromising will. Turning inward to question the power of the obstacle fortifies strength; forcing your will upon it will always generate more resistance.

The resoluteness required to achieve success, must combine vigor with openness. In the image of approaching an obstacle by discrediting it, you can refuse to acknowledge it as having power over you. To demonstrate anger and emotion can only validate the power of the obstacle and waste your energy.

When you “untangle the knots and soften the glare,” you eliminate the gusts and storms of the inner landscape. Softening your belief that nature would ever come to obstruct your forward progress, you will discover that it is always committed to developing the strength of its species. Know this and you will know constant virtue.

"The ruler of the South is called Dissatisfaction. The ruler of the North: Revolution. The ruler at the center of the world is Chaos. Dissatisfaction and Revolution met from time to time in the territory of Chaos, and Chaos treated them very hospitably. The two rulers planned how to repay Chaos’s kindness. They said: ‘Men all have seven holes to their bodies for seeing, hearing, eating and breathing. Our friend here has none of these. Let us try to bore some holes in him.’ Each day they bored one hole. On the seventh day Chaos died.”

The chaos created from the misunderstandings in your relationship with life, will dissipate when you untangle your beliefs and soften your glare. A breakthrough is achieved by becoming open. You can observe how events are teaching you about achieving this powerful peacefulness. All that you believe will eventually come to meet you as “the Way goes round and round.” When you transform the wasted energy of defensiveness into an inner shifting of openness, you will discover wellness, balance and success in all you do.

This hexagram is also called Deciding because the time calls for resoluteness in moving forward. The goal is in sight and you may need to discuss sensitive matters with others to ensure that all understand your goals and expectations. Between unhappiness and the changes needed to bring about transformation, the way can become tumultuous. In this you have an opportunity to reinforce your resolve or simply give up. Moving forward in strength is supported while moving forward because of fear may simply bring you back again to a similar situation in the future.


If you are tired of the battles = lay down your weapons. When the Creative is stirring below the Joyous Lake in unchanging form, attitudes can block a breakthrough in thinking. One can be operating so defensively that they don’t even realize how they are protecting a past way of thinking. Defensiveness always leads us in circles because we are somewhere other than the present. You may not be seeing that the Creative is generating opportunities to discover something that will make you very happy. Determination and Breakthrough should lead to an attitude of Joyousness and a sense of harmony. If that is not occurring then the unchanging nature of this hexagram can bring up the issue of clear communication. You may need to state your truth in a difficult situation and face the fallout. You can’t force your opinions on others but you do need to remain true to yourself. Difficult decisions must be made as you can no longer maintain what worked in the past. Something may need to be said that has nothing to do with compromise and may lead to eventual separation but the truth is the truth, so speak up. If you inspire Joy in others, they will naturally want to be around you. If what you have to say makes another defensive or makes them retreat, consider how you might be unconsciously defending your power or need for control. Pursuing what is bad for you and then fleeing from what may be good just leads to more defensiveness because your decisions are faulty. Get at the root of what pushes your buttons. If you feel sadness or anger – consider that you are unconsciously defending what doesn’t need to be defended. You may not know what is possible because you have never opened to a new way of making choices. Confronting what scares you might actually be the perfect medicine. If you are waiting for some type of answer from another, they may be undecided at this time.

Line 1:

Strength in the toes but not equal to the task = one makes a mistake. Changes to (28) Critical Mass. Your first attempts to change the situation may have been premature. You may be impatiently pushing forward when the time is not right to instigate action. There is more examination and preparation needed in this situation. To just push forward means you may bite off more than you can chew which leads to collapse. Proceed carefully.

Line 2:

A cry of alarm and ready to attack = but there is nothing to fear. Changes to (49) Molting/Revolution. It is said that “dragging the adversary about when there is no adversary will cost you your inner treasure.” Being overly defensive in this situation you discover that your approach is of a personal nature and not related to the events unfolding around you. Once you ‘lay down your weapons’ you will see that expecting difficulty or expecting to be attacked is precisely why others appear to attack you. Molting shows the need to let go of your armor as a type of Breakthrough in thinking.

Line 3:

Strength in the jaws and walking out into the rain = ridiculed but resolved to go. Changes to (58) Joy. In this situation someone may feel that dignity is kept intact while leaving, regardless of what is left behind or what difficulties might arise in going. Strength in the jaws is a hard line approach when something becomes unacceptable and leaving can lead to Joy. Others may not understand your decision to go but the pursuit of Joy is the Breakthrough you are after.

Line 4:

No skin on the thighs makes walking difficult = better to be led like a sheep without blame but these words are not believed. Changes to (5) Nourishment While Waiting. Some sort of negativity or punishment has the effect of traumatizing one but the situation can become one of enlightenment if you allow it. During a heated exchange or times of difficulties with another it is hard to see the Teacher in the Adversary. At such times it is hard to listen to the voice of reason because a Breakthrough in thinking is still creating blockages. Therefore, acquiescing may be viewed as punishment. Patience and receptivity can lead to success.

Line 5:

In weeding the garden determination needed = walking in the middle is without blame. Changes to (34) Great Power. The best way to achieve Breakthrough in this situation is to carefully consider what needs to be changed. Without going to extremes of judgment you might learn something new that you hadn’t considered. Don’t come to any conclusions just yet and give the situation time to evolve. In this case a Breakthrough in patience leads to Great Power.

Line 6:

Nothing said – in the end misfortune comes. Changes to (1) The Creative. When a situation requiring a Breakthrough of some sort is ignored, or if you allow issues to be swept under the carpet, they will fester into decay. Not speaking up can only lead to demise where a new beginning is all that can be achieved. In attempting to maintain the status quo or to hold to your pride, you lose that which you desire. Speak up, you have nothing to lose.

*This page provides insight on the following combinations: Hexagram 43 unchanging Hexagram 43.1 Hexagram 43.1.2 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 43.2 Hexagram 43.2.3 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 43.3 Hexagram 43.3.4 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 43.4 Hexagram 43.4.5 Hexagram Hexagram 43.5 Hexagram 43.5.6 Hexagram 43.6