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I ching

Yu (Enthusiasm)

I Ching Hexagram 16
Yu (Enthusiasm)

Action: Excite

Hu Gua (hidden influence) 39 Obstruction: Innovate

Zong Gua (underlying cause) 9 Small Restraint: Surrender

If you make your home in the inevitable,
you will arrive exactly where you need to be.

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook always be cast;
In the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish. – Ovid

Reading at a Glance: Yu shows Thunder over Earth which can bring new energy and inspiration to your situation. In ancient times, people gathered around the fire at the end of winter, sharing stories meant to jar the clan from stagnation. In ancient China, Chen or Thunder was believed to ignite the seeds into rebirth. Yu was believed to be the energy that connects people to the Gods. It is associated with art and music and any inspirational work that ignites our imagination and lifts us out of this world for awhile. The trick is to work with this Enthusiastic and inspired energy in a way that you don’t become lost in it. Yu can be a warning to take off your rose colored glasses if you are still waiting for that answer when all signs have already told you all you need to know. Enthusiasm should not be confused with the law of attraction. If you place preconceptions against the ability to see what is, you may suffer disappointment. Yu is a child riding an elephant joyously. The child is the Taming of the Small or Small Restraint, like the weak force in the universe that holds much of life together. It was your joy or willingness to meet life face to face with innocent excitement that generated this opportunity. The child doesn’t know, so operates without preconceptions. This is the innovation suggested by the hidden influence of Obstruction. Trusting the wild and powerful elephant can be both good and bad. Enthusiasm needs to be grounded in moderation otherwise it can lead to escapism and pipe dreams. The elephant embodies the creative power of emotion, which when harnessed, tramples any barriers to forward progress. You are asked to connect with this innocent enthusiasm for inspiration and to inspire others. This is a hexagram which combines how walking the path, allowing life to guide you and meeting experience innocently will create the joy and enthusiasm that makes all things possible. Like a child, “those who don’t know what can’t be done accomplish great things.” Align your will with the way and believe that anything is possible. Something magical is on the horizon so stay grounded while you look for that magical elephant to ride upon.

Erupting volcano in lush landscape

The earth’s power

to thrive

and succeed


in your core.

“One who possesses something great and is modest is sure to have enthusiasm.” Yu is the image of a child riding an elephant where spontaneous enthusiasm, combined with nature’s enormous transformative power will allow you to trample any barriers that would impede your forward progress.

Like the athlete who enters ‘the zone,’ by overcoming resistance, movement is effortless, and you feel as if you can accomplish anything. Yet, nothing in the environment has really changed, although somewhere within, the illusion of resistance dissipates. Enthusiasm is your devotion to moving forward when you tap life’s positive and free flowing energy.

The master said: “The power of becoming resides in a positively charged core.” The only similarity between Lu and the power of attraction is positive intention. Lu coaches modesty or a willingness to stay practical and grounded. You can fill intention with a concrete desire or preconceived outcome and wonder why it doesn’t arrive. Perhaps you are gaining something fulfilling by playing in fantasy. The texts warn that you need not wait a whole’ve been given the answer. You’ve already seen the signs. Enthusiasm embraces what is. We must sometimes close the door to fantasy so that reality can show us it is even better than we dreamed.

You can approach life with a positive attitude of acceptance, or you can resist and fight against it with your will. The way is much easier when you follow the path of least resistance.

Banging endlessly against a closed door, you might discover that another door remains open. This is the sublimity you will discover when following the energy of life. The nuclear trigram of the Abysmal suggests a wellspring coming up against the Mountain of a closed door.

Water cannot flow up the hill of a hardened perspective, but a profound inner shifting can open the doors of inertia where your devotion to movement magnetizes opportunity. The door was always open; it is a shift in awareness that will allow you to find it. Let your will be the enthusiastic expression of celebrating what comes to pass. In other words, go with the flow because the flow knows where to go. And your boat ride is waiting.


Knock on the door of enthusiasm = the joy inside will open and let you in. You are going to have a date with enthusiasm. It is a hard thing to kick start and takes momentum to keep it going, but look for that first burst of inspiration that ignites a new idea. You can be receiving a message to bring more enthusiasm and passion into your life and an opportunity is coming. You can also be at a plateau of inspiration and riding a wave that will eventually recede, so prepare for the change. The other message can be enthusiasm running rampant while you close your ears to any realistic input. Whether you need a burst of inspiration, spiritual guidance, or an unexpected date with reality – change is coming. The good news is that whatever it is – it will lead to greater fulfillment. Enthusiasm must be grounded to be meaningful.

Line 1:

Boasting enthusiasm = not uniting does not further. Changes to (51) Shocking. A false sense of well being has led to pride and a surprise encounter with failure. Something important to you may be brushed off by someone else who thinks you are too overly excited. Your behavior may appear Shocking to another. Better to use enthusiasm with humility without bragging. Emotions are interfering with the ability to see clearly. There may be a loss of purpose or blocked aspirations. Excess is at play in some way which a return to humility will cure. Bring it down a notch and trust the flow.

Line 2:

Separated by rock but aware of the signs = persistence brings good fortune. Changes to (40) Deliverance. There is much that can deceive one who cannot read the signs and cycles of change. Perhaps you know the answer and just don’t want to face it? Enthusiasm leads to liberation or Deliverance if you are not swayed by passing fads and remain persistent. It is your vision that carries the day so examine your outlook. Firm as a rock, one does not allow enthusiasm to run away with them. If you are in a holding pattern, the Way should open soon.

Line 3:

Relying on others to support enthusiasm = waiting wastes opportunity. Changes to (62) Small Exceeding. Instead of proceeding, one hesitates out of fear and misses an opportunity. Perhaps you feel that the call to align appears needy or reveals weakness. Others are offering support although timing is important in order to seize the opportunity. Remove the barriers that are causing unnecessary discomfort and delay. You do not need the support of others to keep your enthusiasm alive.

Line 4:

Enthusiasm without doubt = gathering friends. Changes to (2) Receptive. Shining with enthusiasm without any sense of doubt attracts others to your cause. Confidence and trust in others leads to their willing support. What you need and how you express yourself resonates with others. This is an excellent line showing a strong team based on devotion to each other or a greater good.

Line 5:

Persistence = chronically ill but does not die. Changes to (45) Gathering Together. Enthusiasm is obstructed and creates pressure, slowing down a sense of joining others. However, the blockage is a source of enlightenment for all. This is an uncomfortable situation which has the potential to lead to a breakthrough. You may need to accept that this is as good as it gets but growth and potential are still possible.

Line 6:

False enthusiasm = if after completion one changes, no blame. Changes to (35) Progress. You may be staring longingly at the past and are not seeing the present or are living an illusion. If you can let go of being deluded by enthusiasm, there is still time to move toward a more practical and grounded opportunity for growth. The sober awakening is actually a good thing. Perhaps your enthusiasm has run away with you and you need to bring it back down to earth for others to grasp it. Continuing in fantasy won’t lead anywhere. Look realistically at the situation and Progress indicates that you can succeed.

*This page provides insight on the following combinations: Hexagram 16 unchanging Hexagram 16.1 Hexagram 16.1.2 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 16.2 Hexagram 16.2.3 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 16.3 Hexagram 16.3.4 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 16.4 Hexagram 16.4.5 Hexagram Hexagram 16.5 Hexagram 16.5.6 Hexagram 16.6