I Ching Predictions for the Changes Ahead in 2021
by Nori Muster
Similar to last year, we still face the warming of our climate, and we have wasted another four years ignoring science. We're also in a pandemic that continues to take lives. Along with climate change and the pandemic, we've suffered through storms of propaganda and lies.
To look into the future, we can turn to the Daoist oracle, the I Ching (Book of Changes). It consists of sixty-four hexagrams (stories), each told in six lines. The I Ching dates back 3,000 years, and is still in use today in Daoist temples, and is available to everyone.
To find the most productive attitudes for the changes ahead, I selected three Hexagrams: Fellowship (Hexagram 13), Opposition (Hexagram 38), and Not Yet Completed (Hexagram 64).
Hexagram 13: Fellowship
Yearning for Normalcy
This hexagram shows "fire below and sky above," which is the way things ought to be. Going into 2021, the majority of people crave honesty and compassion. These are natural desires following years of grief from unnecessary death and suffering.
Line 1 (yang): This line shows the representative of the people coming to the gate. This person greets others as equals and makes no distinctions of family, race, or gender. This is the dream we have worked for in a long, righteous struggle. For some, the struggle started four years ago, while for others it started before any of us were even born.
Line 6 (yang): this line shows the representative of the people working alongside others in the outskirts of the town. Leaders who care for the people will work on the ground with them to make things right, not from a pedestal as a dictator. Lines two, three, and four describe the worst flaws a leader can have.
Line 2 (yang): This line criticizes leaders who only respect their own family. It says neglecting the greater good brings shame and regret. People with ulterior motives get caught up in their own lies, leading a double life. Lies hurt innocent people, and ultimately hurt everyone.
Line 3 (yang): The third line shows a general who keeps his soldiers hiding in the bushes without attacking. This is a waste because he could have done so much more if only he had been capable. For years to come, Americans will feel a sense of loss. Among many other burning issues we have neglected our responsibility to secure a sustainable environment.
Line 4 (yang): Prejudice is a destructive attitude, instilled since birth in some families. It's especially destructive in a leader. However, despite bad leadership, the fourth line holds the space for humanity to "give up the desire to attack people who are different." In 2021, people of all races will continue to move toward unity and equality.
Line 5 (yin): The person in the fifth line is heartbroken by the injustice in the world. As time goes on, aggrieved people will speak up. Listening to their stories will motivate us to make needed changes.
Hexagram 38: Opposition
Trust in Times of Change
Although alienation and general unhappiness have gradually taken over, working on one thing at a time will cure the whole system.
Line 1 (yang): The first line shows a person who loses their horses, but trusts the horses to return. The I Ching says this is a situation worthy of trust. In 2021, people will need to heal their sense of trust. After years of difficult changes, many people feel betrayed.
Line 4 (yang): In this line, a wise and compassionate person meets the person of the first line. The I Ching explains, "Both of these people possess faithful and steadfast attitudes to get them through the current situation." Working together, confident people increase their faith and trust.
Line 2 (yang): In the second line, a student sees their teacher in an unlikely place. Feeling at peace, the student greets the teacher. If we run into a teacher outside the classroom, the proper etiquette is to offer a friendly greeting. While we can take negative events as lessons, it may be hard to interpret and learn from the negativity. However, teachers and leaders will emerge in 2021, so we can draw positive change from the mistakes of history. Like the student, we may find our teachers in unexpected places.
Line 3 (yin): The person in the third line is "going against the ways of heaven." As a result, their carriage is turned around and dragged backward. Just as the people from the first and fourth lines meet, the people from the third and sixth lines also meet.
Line 6 (yang): The person of the sixth line "maintains harmony in a tumultuous situation." When this strong person approaches the carriage, he sees it full of ghosts and raises his bow. Then he realizes a dear relative is inside, so he puts down his bow.
This attitude of connection and mercy is the proper attitude toward someone in trouble. Empathic people will feel compassion for those who were misled with hate and fear. Although lies may have turned them into ghosts of their former selves, we still recognize them as our loved ones. In 2021 we can put down our bows and welcome them back from the in-between world. However, stubborn people may decide to remain stuck.
Line 5 (yin): The fifth line says, "Because society can perform the needed corrections, people can go on peacefully with their lives." This explains how people cope with change. Needed corrections will afford more people the freedom to live peaceful lives.
Hexagram 64: Not Yet Completed
Moving Toward Stasis
This hexagram, being the last one in the I Ching, explains how change is completed. Change is not something that happens like flipping on a switch. Some historians believe it takes hundreds of years to change engrained trends in civilization. In 2021 we will see remnants of unenlightened attitudes while we continue to work for equal justice for all.
Line 1 (yin): Sixty-four is the hexagram of the fox crossing the river, a simple metaphor for completion. In the first line, the fox tries to cross but gets her tail wet. This can happen when people go bounding off to new projects without tying up their current projects.
Line 6 (yang): In this line, the fox tries to cross the river with an overly proud attitude, but embarrasses herself when she gets her whole head dunked in the water. As this line points out, we need to remain humble and attentive, not arrogant, as we work.
Line 2 (yang): Lines two, three, four, and five explain how to avoid the embarrassment of immersing our tails or heads. Line 2 offers the metaphor of a carriage that comes to a complete halt before going on its way. It signifies tying up every detail of a situation before calling it complete.
Line 3 (yin): The third line points out that right at the end of a project, "The timing is appropriate to meet that last remaining challenge." The end comes when we take care of the last details before closing the books.
Line 4 (yang): The fourth line offers the metaphor of a king who sets out on a mission, determined to succeed. Completing one project the right way creates confidence, and determination to succeed on the next project.
Line 5 (yin): The fifth line lists the rewards of a job well done: wisdom, sincerity, and integrity. These are the real rewards, even if it's work you do for money. In 2021, we will continue to work for justice.
Nori Muster is the author of Learning to Flow with the Dao: The 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching, and you can read your I Ching at her site, surrealist.org. She has a Master of Science degree from Western Oregon University and her thesis is on art therapy. Her first book, Betrayal of the Spirit, is a memoir of her ten years with the Hare Krishnas.
This essay originally appeared in Sedona Journal of Emergence, Predictions 2021 & Beyond, Annal Predictions Issue 2020-2021.
The 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching: Learning to Flow with the Tao
The I Ching is the ancient Taoist book of metaphors, written to offer guidance in the inevitable changes of life. The I Ching consists of sixty-four hexagrams, the number of combinations mathematically possible with six solid and broken lines. The broken lines "- -" are yin, or passive, dark, yielding. The solid lines are yang, active, light, reaching. Ancient Taoist scholars recorded meanings for each of the sixty-four combinations.
Your future is in your hands. Consult the I Ching for ideas that lead to clear thinking and positive mental attitude. The I Ching teaches you to flow with changes. Create positive change from the inside through conscious living. Take the time to reflect on your attitudes and ideas.
This interpretation of the ancient text I Ching has been online since 2000. Thousands of visitors have accessed the oracle through Surrealist.org. Now it is available at Amazon. Learn to flow with change instead of resist it.
See Learning to Flow with the Tao at Amazon.com—click here.