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Blog post: The need for Hexagram 12

hilary

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The need for Hexagram 12

woodland with sapling in the shade of great trees
Hexagram 12 is called Pi 否 – Blocked, Standstill, Stasis, Negation. It encapsulates the experience of being denied and stymied. The noble one’s constancy bears no fruit: despite your best, most creative efforts, it just isn’t happening.

The Sequence into this one is (as so often) quite enigmatic:

‘Things cannot end with flowing together, and so Blocked follows.’

Hexagram 12, Xugua

Yes, but why can’t things end with flowing together? Hexagram 11, Flow, with everything in sync and working smoothly, seems like a perfectly balanced, sustainable state of affairs. Why should it be superseded by this hampering and frustration?

I’ve always had the feeling the answer to this lay somewhere in the nuclear hexagram of 12: 53, Gradual Development, with its Image of the tree on the mountain, growing immensely slowly. Could being blocked and slowed down this way somehow make for stronger growth?

In his lovely book, The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohlleben explains how a sapling just a few yards high, one that looks to be ten years old at most, could actually be over eighty.

This is because the parent tree, in whose shade it grows, is absorbing about 97% of the available sunlight with its dense canopy of leaves. The tiny trickle of light remaining isn’t enough for the sapling to grow; it can only survive.

So at once I think of ‘Heaven and earth do not interact’ in the Image, and the young plant that can’t see the sky and liberate its full potential for growth. Here’s a perfect picture of being Blocked and unable to make progress.

But then comes the eye-opening information. This comprehensive shading and ‘blocking’ by the parent tree is actually known as upbringing. It makes for robust, sturdy saplings, because they form tiny woody cells with very little air. The small cell size makes them more flexible, less likely to break in storms; the density makes them more resistant to fungal infection and better able to heal wounds from browsing deer.

Trees – like those in artificial plantations – that grow freely in full light from the start have a much shorter life-expectancy.

And this is why trees, at least, need Hexagram 12.

woodland with sapling in the shade of great trees

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my_key

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@hilary - Nice blog full of all sorts of connective tissue!
Hex 11 and Hex 12 do appear inextricably bound together Flow and Stagnation; movement and standstill. They complement and contrast - bound in their own unique vital dance .
As a couple they provide the valuable link between the cultivation of beginnings and first tentative steps along the Hex 9 / 10 axis through to the culmination of greater achievements after the emergence of new purpose in the lands of Hex 13 / Hex 14 .

Seeing the influence on Hex 12 of the nuclear Hex 53 Gradual Progress makes good sense especially when the influence of the nuclear for Hex 11 which is Hex 54 Marrying Maiden is brought into the equation.
‘Gradual Progress: the marrying woman waits for the man to act.’
‘Marrying Maiden: completion for the woman.’
In Hex 11 the flow tends towards a completion. There is a subtle maturing of the yin. In the 11/12 field there is an unseen influence playing out where the maid becomes a woman. In some ways this could be seen as 'Phase 1 complete (hex 11). What now? (Hex 12)'. In 12, behind the scenes, the maturing yin gains a sense of hesitation ( a running out of steam, maybe) that requires a fresh creative stimulus or additional support from the yang, hence the outward development becomes faltering and gradual.

The analogy to the shading -a lingering in the matured yin - of a young sapling becoming more sturdy, more robust, more flexible as a result of the arrest in it's flow upwards appears to be a positive act of nature. The positive reinforcements are all happening 'behind the scenes'. Successful 'Upbringing' often is reliant on the unseen influences in life. The arrest period of Hex 12 facilitates within it the generation of the seeds of a new purpose which allows potential for the greater achievements of the tiny sapling that was planted long ago.

It seems the old adage "Mighty oaks from little acorns grow" is indeed true and moreso if they are 'encouraged' to stop and to make a few tactical and strategic adjustments along the way.
 

Olga Super Star

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12 UN is also what I got for our trees in the garden.. wonderful!
 

Viru10

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Welp.. wrote a long response to this and it got lost, including the draft. :hissy: I guess I was 12'd

Anyways this was a great thread that underscores the necessity for hex 12 periods. I wanted to point to an analog in Vedic Astrology called Sadhe Sati which literally means 7.5, meaning a 7.5 year Saturn transit within 45 degrees of your natal moon sign- typically the sign before until sign after your moon sign, which takes 7.5 years.

This is a very hex 12 period. Everything moves at a snail's pace. You might have to apply for 30 jobs to get 2 interviews instead of 10 (depending on your natal Saturn, of course). For most people it's a period of unexplainable bad luck, a sisyphean decade on all accounts in your personal and professional life.

Saturn wants you to value dedication and focus, especially over long stretches before it even thinks of giving you any awards. Whereas Jupiter and Venus want to give results immediately and/or without much effort, Saturn only rewards after a long time stumbling in the dark.

Nothing really is learnt in a hex 11 period, you can easily get carried away by the good times as there's no pressure from life to make you learn anything. (Coincidentally the 11th house transit from the moon is considered very favorable and kind of like peak 11 right before 12 begins.)

Generally people who haven't had to deal with Saturn's maturation process don't develop enough of a strong core/foundation and become weak adults, similar to the saplings in the nursery. Saturn usually guarantees maturity through its harsh lessons. But the individual is always much better off in the long run for having learned these lessons as Saturn thinks in decades, taking almost 30 years to transit the entire Zodiac.

I think Saturn and its transit periods are a good analogue for understanding the necessity of hex 12 periods.
 

rosada

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Interesting how 12. Stagnation comes between 11.Peace, the hexagram that describes a person perhaps UNCONSCIOUSLY flowing forward peacefully with a group and 13. Fellowship in The Wild which describes the individual CONSCIOUSLY joining and moving forward with others. Stagnation could describe the struggle one goes through to leave the herd and become that conscious independent enity.

For example, 12. could be saying the peaceful flow is no longer serving one, like one's religious practice isn't working as in coming to realize the peaceful meditation is no longer lifting one to the higher realms but has in fact become boring and pointless, but do you dare leave the cult?

Or take schooling as another example. Like when you realize you are getting nothing from going to class but then you must face the shame of dropping out or the threat of never being able to find work with out a credential (even though the piece of paper may actually be meaningless).

The lines of hex. 12 seem to be describing this realization that it's time to extricate oneself from the group and the challenges one has to go through to do this - eventually leading to 13. Fellowship in the Wild and the recognition that we must each choose our own paths yet we can join with others to build a better world together.

12.1 Still a member of the group but starting to question if it's too small, too self entangled...
12.2 Some still need this group, others have out grown it.
12.3 Scary to have to say you're going to break your pledge.
12.4 Yet you have God given right to think independently.
12.5 No need to be reckless and burn bridges. Hedge your bets.
12.6 Whoo-hoo! Turns out going forward on your own was the totally right thing to do and instead of being isolated and alone you are now ready to join a larger group of independent thinkers!
 
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my_key

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I would agree the process of 11 through 13 can be viewed as one of growing consciousness and awareness. In 11 we are happily living in our newly created coccoon . This is great but maybe there is more - maybe we even have blinkers on.

The process in 12 is an inner growth revealing slowly the inferior and petty that still resides, initially unseen. These are causing aspects of our growth / development / consciousness to be held in check. We are perhaps in danger of stagnating in our own rich juices.

12.1 - Recognising the nature of the petty roots in your stagnation
12.2 - Noticing how the petty plays out in your life - yet unable to act.
12.3 - Suffering from the consequences of the petty
12.4 - Trusting your truth. Going with the flow - whereever it leads
12.5 - Accepting the challenge. Learning - avoiding the last calls of the petty
12.6 - Committing to life beyond the petty.

12 requires a facing of external hardships that inevitably promote weeding of our inner garden, creating space that will encourage new seeds to grow. The lessons of harsh experience forge an increased awareness. The drop- off point of 12 is arriving at 13 with bright and shiny new awareness and a zeal to further align and unite with these newly acquired perspectives.
 

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