I’ve participated in many I Ching readings for others but never on line. I’m used to having a face-to-face discussion. But here we are so I will respond by acting as if the Anita / Sliloh is here with me.
Sliloh: What can I expect when I attempt to quit smoking? I thought that would be a good one since I didn’t manage it last fall so well.
Adele: The way your question is worded it seems to imply that the you have not fully committed to giving up smoking. You want to but doubt you can be successful based on past failures. “What can I expect?” seems like you may be hoping for some magical answer that comes from outside yourself in order to do this. I have heard that giving up smoking is one of the hardest things to do. I find giving up things in general extremely difficult and the older I get the harder it is. Losing a few pounds while very easy when I was young now requires the torture of deprivation. So I recognize how hard this is and also perhaps any doubts that you can do it.
Based on your desire to quit smoking when you asked I Ching you got the Hexagram 49/Ko Revolution with the top line changing the Hexagram into #13, Fellowship with people in the open.
The response you got from asking the virtual I Ching is from the Richard Wilhelm interpretation. This refers to molting, the shedding of the old skin. The Hexagram refers to political revolutions that must be pondered and “undertaken only under direst necessity.” In your case, giving up smoking, if you can succeed, surely will be a revolution – the shedding of old skin, quite literally. Smoking affects the skin. And doctors will tell you, it is a necessity to stop.
Stephen Karcher in his “Total I Ching” names this Hexagram as Skinning / Revolution, thereby putting the meaning of skinning up front. He refers to animals and snakes shedding their old skin. If you can give up smoking you will be literally shedding your old skin. How appropriate!
Karcher Also tells us about ritual transformations where the shamans put on an animal mask to call their spirits. They had dances for this that happened in the Spring. He says, “The exorcists dressing in the bearskins and wearing a bear mask with fur golden metal eyes would drive out the old year animals pushing them over the edge of the word into renewal and change.”
You might go to a dance class, or dance whenever you get the urge to smoke – something to get your energy moving and changing.
The top line that changes in Skinning/ Revolution is interesting and relevant to the issue. Here you can see how I Ching talks about what “the superior person” can do or will do – change like a panther, meaning, you will be acting in the best way if you can make this change with distinct but small steps akin to the marks of the panther’s coat.
This line also says that in this big change – the revolution, that with the “inferior people” the molting, does not go deep and warns that one must be satisfied with what is attainable at the moment. The I Ching knows that a setback is very possible.
I like what Karcher says about that top line, “It’s pattern is beautiful. Change your life with grace and elegance. This is a transformation that can realize things and ground change in the a life around you. Don’t simply put on another mask. Stay aright where you are for now, and the changes will fall into your hands.”
To sum up I would say the reading is spot on for the question. The timing is right, Spring is coming, the time of letting go of old stuff, old skins, old ways of being. The time of new skins and molting. You should take it one step at a time and be alert to falling easily into the old pattern. But the molting, skinning, shedding of old habits will lead you towards an openness with a group. Karcher calls Hexagram 13, Harmonizing People and instructs, “Bring people together, harmony; share an idea or goal. welcome others … great sacrifice to welcome the season and open the fields…”
This could be a support group. A place for new friends.
If you were sitting here with me I would ask you what that reading of Revolution changing to Friendship in the Open meant to you, even if you never had any experience with I Ching before. You can respond to that in a comment if you like.
Thanks for sharing.