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I ching

Yi (Increase)

I Ching Hexagram 42
Yi (Increase)

Action: Expand

Hu Gua (hidden influence) 23 Split Apart: Regenerate

Zong Gua (underlying cause) 32 Duration: Commit

The law of compensation shows how ‘what is’ springs from ‘what is not.’

As there is no worldly gain without some loss,
so there is no worldly loss without some gain. –Francis Quarles

Reading at a Glance: Like Springtime, a cycle is beginning in which new growth will continue its forward march toward the apex of summer. Increase is a message about expansion and fullness. Like Decrease, Yi is simply another cycle of life as it flowers, decays and achieves rebirth. Since the time suggests Increase the universe is supporting growth while opportunities emerge to support your expansion. The Wind is moving and dispersing the enormous creative energy of Thunder below and a time of flowering is at hand. The underlying cause of Duration can show that after a period of commitment and planning, it is time to put your plan into action. The hidden influence of Split Apart shows how Regeneration requires the ability to expand. Therefore a time of Increase may also be associated with releasing any self sabotaging thoughts that undermine forward growth. There can be a balancing that is necessary where being too conservative is no longer working and you may need to take a chance on the unknown. The opportunity for growth and expansion is surrounding you and you need only take advantage of it while it is here.

Colorful sunrise with boat

The wise detect

and prepare for

the sun’s march


the empty sky.

“If decrease goes on and on, it is certain to bring about increase.” When the moon’s waning has reached its zenith, it begins waxing. “Increase moves gentle and mild; daily progress without limit.” Because change is universal in all regularly recurring processes of nature, all things will reach a stage in which they begin to move toward their opposite condition. This principle suggests a transition toward fullness.

We only give credibility to observable phenomena, although more than 90% of our universe is comprised of the unseen, and scientists call this the ‘missing mass problem.’ When you can begin to discern the movement of nature’s unseen aspects, you can prepare for the opportunity that always arises after a period of decrease. The darkest and most silent hour is always right before the dawn of activity. The ‘void’ is often frightening, although it is pregnant with enormous possibility.

The law of compensation shows how “what is, springs from what is not.” A blind person will develop a more acute way of hearing. Another will compensate for a real or imagined deficiency by overdeveloping other character traits. A cold pressure system in the north will draw warmer weather into the southern regions. Regardless of where you look, you will find nature filling in its vacuous spaces to improve ‘what is not.’

In the mountain snowmelt of spring, you can observe stasis transforming into movement. Sustenance conserved is now release to flow where it is needed. An empty sky can suddenly fill with clouds and rain. You observe events as they happen, but fail to acknowledge the enormous potential of the unseen that brings about increase. As a lesson about patience, what had appeared stationary or deficient is actually the changing of direction that brings about fulfillment. Compensation is how energy is transformed at all levels of life. Energy rises, but when it is trapped or repressed, it must find another outlet for expression. This can happen in a volcano, earthquake, or in the quaking of your inner landscape.

Adaptation shows how 'what is' springs from 'what is not,' as new traits emerge when required for survival. Increase shows the unacknowledged potential of the unseen that is already taking form. Increase and decrease are natural processions that are mutually dependent upon each other and cannot be separated. Embracing the unseen cycles of potential Yin allows you to prepare for the successive Yang that will emerge on the horizon. You can await the sunrise where others see only an empty sky.


With every awakening = a sunrise comes. As Thunder stirs below the Wind in stagnant form you may not be getting the message about the abundant opportunity that is presented in this situation. This can be the classic message about the silver lining in any difficult situation. To balance the enthusiastic Thunder with the Gentle and Penetrating efforts of the Wind above, you may need to be more sensitive or patient about the object of your enquiry. Perhaps you are so much in a hurry to obtain what you desire that you move too fast or out of step with the time and miss the opportunity presented. The Thunder is powerful but its effects can only become lasting and understood when applied with the Gentle influence suggested by the Wind. When Wind and Thunder move in unison the power is unstoppable. Find a balance between enthusiasm and patience. Consider how abundance is fortified when it is shared with generosity to those below.

Line 1:

One is in a position to accomplish something great = supreme good fortune. Changes to (20) Contemplation. The situation is allowing for a greater ability to understand your own issues, even when it is challenging. Contemplation of increase means that blockages that lead to decrease or withholding are eliminated through self examination. After a period of retreat and observation the time becomes ripe to implement your plan. Because you actually lead through experience and by example, you can accomplish great things.

Line 2:

Someone increases one and ten oracles agree = from heaven comes this great good fortune. Changes to (61) Inner Truth. Your connection to others is deeply felt and shared. You resonate from clarity and the inner certainty that everything is unfolding as it should. This is an example of a mindset of abundance rather than scarcity. Because you are open to sharing abundance grace shines down upon you in the image of heaven’s blessing. However, it is your attitude of acceptance that has brought this about.

Line 3:

Enriched through misfortune, no blame in being sincere = walk the middle path. Changes to (37) Family. As life moves in cycles of increase and decrease it may appear that not getting what you desire is bad but it actually is a blessing in disguise. The Family reminds us of life’s cycles and what remains constant about us. To walk the middle path is to avoid extremes in judgment. Accept that what is unfolding is purposeful and will lead to greater fulfillment. Discovering sincerity is one of life’s greatest lessons in following Tao.

Line 4:

Walking in the middle while abiding by rules brings favor = one can move the capital city. Changes to (25) Innocence. The middle way is a mindset of patience and innocence in meeting unfolding events. Innocence is a way of approaching life without expectation but also ensuring that one is not selfishly hoarding out of a sense of scarcity. Two people can have different ways of viewing experience and it is important to realize that your way is only one way. Meeting in the middle can mean sacrificing the known for compassion. To bring about increase or to achieve your desire may require ground rules that serve more than just your needs. Moving the capital city is a metaphor for letting go of preconceptions to serve the greater good.

Line 5:

If the heart is true, no need to ask = supreme good fortune from kindness as a virtue. Changes to (27) Nourishing Vision. It is said that those who go against the Way end up being called unlucky. What is really happening is that fighting the flow or having a negative mindset interferes with the purposeful unfolding of events. To make benevolence and acceptance your virtue, make the most of all situations with a kind heart and a willingness to share. Because you do not use counting rods to measure experience in terms of good and bad, the situation unfolds favorably. When in doubt, follow the heart.

Line 6:

Increasing no one and therefore reprimanded = one’s heart is not steady. Changes to (3) Difficult Beginnings. The lines of this hexagram show the appropriate way to ensure that increase continues but in this case, there is only confusion. The middle way is an attitude of acceptance but the heart is not committed to this approach. In this situation there can be vacillation and uncertainty which creates false starts. In order to succeed it is important to examine commitment and steady the heart. A purely selfish approach does not benefit others which can lead to a lack of support in achieving your desires.

*This page provides insight on the following combinations: Hexagram 42 unchanging Hexagram 42.1 Hexagram 42.1.2 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 42.2 Hexagram 42.2.3 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 42.3 Hexagram 42.3.4 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 42.4 Hexagram 42.4.5 Hexagram Hexagram 42.5 Hexagram 42.5.6 Hexagram 42.6