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Blog post: Hexagram 10, Treading

hilary

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Hexagram 10 tells you that you are ‘treading the tail of the tiger.’ The first question to ask yourself about it is always – naturally enough – ‘What tiger? Where?’ There is something here that could devour you; you need to know what it is.

In some readings, the tiger is not hard to identify – ‘What if I ask my boss for a raise?’ for instance. But there are also inner tigers, hungry and fierce, and divination, too, can be tigerish in its intensity.

Following a tiger is not something you generally fall into by accident. Tigers, in old China, could certainly eat you, but they might also grant protection and fertility. You follow close behind the tiger because you are drawn to it: the power, the high, pure energy.

This desire for communion, for a connection with something more, is conveyed through the many layers of Hexagram 10’s imagery: the tiger, the trigrams, the name of the hexagram.

Its component trigrams, dui below qian, show the lake reflecting the sky into its depths, or the youngest daughter whose dances court (and perhaps embody) the immutable power of heaven. The noble one observes this carefully -

‘Heaven above, lake below. Treading.
The noble one differentiates above and below,
And makes a place for the people’s aspiration.’

- and recognises a difference between the heights and the depths that reflect them, and so has a more expansive awareness of dimensions, and finds a place for that aspiration that reaches upwardhttp://onlineclarity.co.uk/answers/2006/07/18/hexagram-10-and-wingless-chickens/.

The name of the hexagram, lu, Treading, is a complex character showing shoes and footsteps, and also the person who sat as the representative of the deceased ancestor at sacrifices (something that Stephen Karcher evokes here and here). It could be – this is speculative – that when you Tread, it is as if you were stepping into the shoes of an ancestor, embodying their spirit. Again, you would be seeking that connection with spiritual power – and you would need great respect and great skill to walk so closely with ancestors.

Treading is also described as ‘conduct’ – how you make your way in the world. How will you walk your path – and, most importantly, what powers are you walking with? Have you studied their nature and learned how to be with them?

Your studies might have begun in the preceding hexagram: 9, Small Taming. The small farmer watches the skies, sees the dark clouds still not quite raining, and works his plot one weed at a time. This can be a quiet work of (self-)cultivation – but it can also be a frustrating time of not quite reaching fulfilment, not quite managing to contain or channel the powers, not being quite big or strong enough to effect change.

But the noble one here is learning the ways of heaven, shaping himself to its laws as responsively as the wind, ‘cultivating the natural pattern of character’. It’s as if he were serving an apprenticeship -

‘Things are tamed,’ says the Sequence, ‘and then there are the rituals. And so Treading follows.’

Once you have learned the rituals, learned how to relate and interact with the power of heaven, then you may be able to tread, cautiously, behind the tiger.
 

rodaki

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10, treading, could again be about apprenticeship . . to walk behind wild animals means to take on their properties cause that's the only way to survive in their footsteps . . looking back in 6th line could be about seeing your footsteps and seeing yourself no more . . only tiger's trails . . then maybe you can live and exchange with the animals in good company . .

:bows:
 

Sparhawk

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The name of the hexagram, lu, Treading, is a complex character showing shoes and footsteps, and also the person who sat as the representative of the deceased ancestor at sacrifices (something that Stephen Karcher evokes here and here). It could be – this is speculative – that when you Tread, it is as if you were stepping into the shoes of an ancestor, embodying their spirit. Again, you would be seeking that connection with spiritual power – and you would need great respect and great skill to walk so closely with ancestors.

You know, one perspective I always keep in mind is that of Charles de Harlez, who translated the Yi into French at the end of the 1800's. He thought the Yijing was a sort of dictionary for the discrete number of characters that is in the name of the hexagrams and the text of the lines would be explanations to the meaning of those words. Wrong in many ways, but not completely crazy. Dictionaries are tools that we use to find all the possible meanings of a given word. In a way, we use the Yijing to find meaning that escapes us at the moment. The search for certain answers isn't much different, be it by using the Yijing, an encyclopedia or a dictionary.
 

fkegan

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You know, one perspective I always keep in mind is that of Charles de Harlez, who translated the Yi into French at the end of the 1800's. He thought the Yijing was a sort of dictionary for the discrete number of characters that is in the name of the hexagrams and the text of the lines would be explanations to the meaning of those words. Wrong in many ways, but not completely crazy. Dictionaries are tools that we use to find all the possible meanings of a given word. In a way, we use the Yijing to find meaning that escapes us at the moment. The search for certain answers isn't much different, be it by using the Yijing, an encyclopedia or a dictionary.

Hi Luis,
The Yi as a dictionary is an interesting concept. However, life is soo much easier in light of the structure that explains the symbolism so well. Dictionaries also give folks warning of the terms and meanings (denotations and connotations) being employed.

Overall, I would note the first lesson in Zen class. Hex10.3 is the IMAGE of a tiger --there isn't one around and it would both bite and eat you if you tried to take fertility clues from this wild predator. In my childhood my parents had a paper mache tiger given them by a grateful Chinese foreign student as a good fortune token. It was a bobble-head but did not ever bite.

In Oracles, the Yi speaks to us in whatever metaphors we need, so hex10.3 >> 1 would be relevant to a question of asking for a raising. Though personally I wouldn't emphasize that boss man is likely to bite your head off. Rather I would note this is the only open Yin or broken line of the hexagram; so its many allusions to the mouth, but its also about the adorable youngest daughter eagerly and lovingly following her father so closely that she is stepping upon the backs of his shoes which is annoying him very much. So he turns around and glares at her impertinence, but she is so adorable and so innocent that he just smiles on her showing his teeth but not yelling or biting.

In terms of asking for a raise this counsels that such requests are annoying, so you have to emphasize how much you are following boss's lead; focused upon doing such a good job bringing the company along just his way, and a raise will show that he agrees you have been well-mentored by him. Anyway, the resultant is hex 1 or Sunshine or the Creative process, so look at the raise request as just the beginning of a long process before you can harvest the profit.

Each detail brought forward by Hilary can be found through hex 10. It is important not to get into the words or their associations totally. The lines and their structures will set the limits of what is ultimately associated to this dictionary entry of hex 10. In terms of hex 9 which is the observation of the wind and cloud animated by sunshine interacting with the ground (thus becoming hotter) generating weather patterns high up (whether the clouds pick up electric charge yielding lightning and rain or just travel by taunting the farmer. In that context hex 10 as the 10th hexagram is about the end of the water cycle in the Lake (or sea in our metaphor) with the sun shining upon it generating water vapor. Thus, this is the hexagram of continuing process even when things seem to be settled since major forces are at work, some for innovation, some for accumulation all at the same time.

Frank
 

elvis

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10 - its infrastructure is described by analogy to generic qualities of hexagram 47
 
M

meng

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Really like/appreciate your blog on this Lady H. I hope it doesn't sound condescending if I say you've matured in your experiential understanding of what you wrote about from your mind in earlier times. Who am I to judge? The one who can say the same about my own experience with treading.

You described the pure emotion I felt when climbing up through a boulder strewn valley wash yesterday. I will add a 62 to the 9, in the experiencing of 10. I was where I knew I didn't belong, way over my head in nature's danger, and no longer physically fit for leaping and squatting. Ouch, don't ask. My greatest strength was my dog, as he is a better treader.

This morning's reading reflected the experience, when I asked "What am I now?" 4.5,6 - 29. That's what treading feels like to me.
 

fkegan

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Hi Bruce,

There is an aspect of hex 10 that reminds me of my father's advice to my mother when she said it was so difficult to leave a party as there were so many interesting people eager to continue such heartfelt conversations just a little bit longer. He replied, "Just put on foot in front of the other and soon you will be out the door."

In my own experience, I remember hiking in the CA Sierras and getting into a steep place where I was slipping down a dangerous slope between boulders. As I slipped I thought 'I'm not a mountain goat' and as the adrenaline kicked in to save me from falling down off the trail, I heard myself reply, 'right now I have to be!'

Frank
 

peterg

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this thing bites

Some time ago , after a bad legal judgment , I was shooting off in all directions hoping to hit something.
Then I cast 24.2.6.- 41 That stopped me dead in my tracks. Afterwards I adopted a much quieter approach & talked to one person only , who proved to be a very effective intermediary buying valuable time.

AFTER 24.6 my first reaction was ' this thing bites '.
Then I cast a second time ( which i rarely do ) & got 55.2.3.5.6. - 10
It wont bite , if youre lucky.
Recently 55 is back. 55 & 55.1.4.5 - 39. A few days later my doctor suggested I get a hearing test & recommended a clinic called ''hidden hearing'' . The hiding lord ?
 

suishou

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No need to worship your ancestors.

"Again, you would be seeking that connection with spiritual power – and you would need great respect and great skill to walk so closely with ancestors."

I almost burst out laughing when I read this. It's also possible that your ancestors and their spirits are total *******s and have no interest in you developing spiritually, because they are attached and invested in your genetics and all the programming loaded into those genetics. They'd rather have you stay exactly where you are than have you grow spiritually and operate on your own wisdom. You would not believe the kind of trouble they can put people through. This has been my experience as well as the experience of many other professional psychics I have known.

Also, this article was one of the best written articles I have seen on this site. Really lucid writing.
 

phoebe phoenix

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Today i read your blog about Hexagram 10. I have often struggled with understanding this hexagram, but today, from your interpretation Hilary, you helped me go ah-ha!

Recently I have been asking the powers that be for an apprenticeship. Little did I realise I've been awarded it: I have recently returned to tai chi!

Thank you Hilary and everyone else (including lise heyboer - i love your site too!, confucius, martin, willowfox, bruce, rosada, sparhawk and lightofreason) who contribute so richly to this site. It has helped me through many difficulties and many searching questions.
 
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