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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.

I Ching hexagram 49

Revolution, Lake Over Fire

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.

anita scripter's horseThe people called on animal powers to make great changes. And there you are on your blog today with a new baby horse to guide you through.

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.

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10 Comments on I Ching Question Response for Sliloh

  1. apurbaNo Gravatar says:

    i love a gigl.her name is can i get her.

  2. JaliyaNo Gravatar says:

    Wow … Dynamite question, response, conversation … I’m going to muse on this … I know a few folks whose eyes could be opened by all in this post …

    Adele, your manner of wording is beautiful … so in tune with how the oracle speaks … Thank you 🙂

    Jaliya’s last blog post..WOW (Hexagram 19 — THE BEGINNING OF INSIGHT, and Hexagram 56 — THE RECOGNITION OF WISDOM)

  3. SlilohNo Gravatar says:

    Yes Barb nailed that one I think, cigarettes are my comfort food. They might be killing me but they never judge me 😉

    A agree Adele, you could end up the Ann Landers of I Ching 😀 I’m serious, both of these articles are amazing.

    As to the friends comment, I do have friends, Adele, Bean, Barb..I wonder how long you’d last if I whined the way I feel like doing today.

    Thank you again Adele for taking the time to do these, I think they are wonderful.

    Sliloh’s last blog post..New Baby in the Family..

  4. Kim GouldNo Gravatar says:

    Barb I particularly loved this bit of your comment –

    If indeed you can make 1)workouts at the Y, 2)growing yummies in your garden, and 3)focusing your camera lens on stuff to paint and/or post — if you can make these three things your newest friends, you won’t think of the cigarettes so much.

    I think that’s great advice for anyone, anytime, to make what we love doing our friends.

    And good advice to Adele too .. lol!

    Kim Gould’s last blog post..Taking Time for the Truth

  5. AdeleNo Gravatar says:

    Barb, Write an article for a paper? Wow! Such a thought. When I get through with this move maybe I can catch up with my blogging and a lot more.

    46 years married! What were you, 6 months old?

    Speaking of Skype – maybe one day we could all have a Skype conference. But wait for me until I do my move. That would be something to look forward to.

  6. Wow, Adele — I think you could write an I Ching column for a weekly paper, or even a large city daily.

    Anita, I’ve read this over, plus your response, and think you live with a false premise… that of not having any friends. Regardless of what I think, though, it’s from your perspective that you must live.

    Are cigarettes your friends then? They were mine, once upon a time. But my boyfriend asked me to quit, and since I never smoked when I was with him, I didn’t “give up smoking” as much as I gained more time with my honey. (We’ve been married almost 46 years. No cigarettes.)

    If indeed you can make 1)workouts at the Y, 2)growing yummies in your garden, and 3)focusing your camera lens on stuff to paint and/or post — if you can make these three things your newest friends, you won’t think of the cigarettes so much.

    You DO have walking friends — we’re not on call to drop everything and meet you with camera in hand or ready to run on the treadmill, but we are here… only a Facebook away. Or an email. Or a Skype call.

    When you’re ready…….

    Barb Hartsook, Over Coffee’s last blog post..Does our Imagination Inspire Us to Act?

  7. SlilohNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Adele, thanks for this, very interesting. As for how I worded my question, I took that directly from one of those links that said to try not to ask it as a yes or no question. With that being said, no I’m quite sure I’m not fully committed or I’d have succeeded the last time 😉

    I think they were spot on including the risk of failure, although they mostly seemed positive. It would be interesting if this revolution led to friendship in the open (since I’m mostly friendless). That scares me a bit but then I can also think of a lot of people who would be much happier to hang with me if I didn’t smoke and that would include all of my family members.

    Now, Kim has it quite right, and it’s not just the physical addiction, my failure last fall came from my psychological addiction, my use of it to handle stress. If I didn’t fear the loss it would be a snap. So, I’m not sure how I’ll do but I’m setting myself up for success a little better this time.

    On to the decision I had already made, on April 1st I am quitting smoking. The biggest problem last fall was what to do when I want a cigarette and my garden was dead and the weather was getting cold. So starting in the spring, I have the YMCA for exercise, I have garden work and I have my camera. When I want a cigarette, I will grab the camera or a hoe and go outside. I’m hoping by fall when I find myself inside again that I’ll be past wanting them.

    I was a little surprised to see how all of them gave appropriate answers to my question (even if I wasn’t supposed to ask it three times). I think I’m in love with this line: Change your life with grace and elegance. I’m hopeful I can do that.

    Thank you for taking the time for this Adele, I know you are stressed and busy right now. I think this was a very good introduction into the power of I Ching.

    Sliloh’s last blog post..New Baby in the Family..

  8. BeanNo Gravatar says:

    Interesting perspective. It makes sense to me on several levels. Especially after a late night Skype session with sliloh last night 😉

    Smoking is tough because it has physical, chemical, habitual and oral hooks. Quitting smoking is not for the weak of heart and mind! I found the analogies interesting in how they apply to changing something in ourselves that is deeply ingrained. The main themes I got from the reading and responses here were the importance of support, take small steps forward and the occasional step backward is not a failure and how shedding of something that no longer serves its purpose opens up possibilities.

    I wish Sliloh much luck, success and support if and when she decides to quit.

    Bean’s last blog post..Become inspired or share inspirations here

  9. AdeleNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Kim – Thanks so much for adding your additions to this reading. That is greatly appreciated. love and xxx’s to you too.

    Adele’s last blog post..I Ching Question Response for Sliloh

  10. Kim GouldNo Gravatar says:

    HI Shiloh,

    I’d also say that your giving up requires you to let go of something that used to serve you but is not old and not of use. Which Adele said, but slightly differently. Don’t think so much about giving up smoking but about what not smoking requires you to give up. That might help you find what keeps you involved. And yes I absolutely agree with the connection with others thing. How do your ideals conflict with your emotional needs re: other people? (Actually I think I’ll have a look at that question for myself lol!)

    Lots of love to you

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