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How best to interpret Hexagram 51 - Shock?

ranfar

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I posted this question under a different thread about hexagram #51 and another member recommended placing it under a new thread to avoid confusion, so here is my question. I am most interested in the meaning of hexagram 51 and how one can tell whether it gives direction to do something or to absolutely NOT do that something.

I am a complete beginner at understanding how to interpret the i-ching, so I'm not sure I'm even framing my questions correctly - but I recently had a sudden change in a friendship and I am trying to determine how best to proceed. I moved halfway around the world and happened to make friends with someone 20 years younger than I am and suddenly on my birthday things became unusually tense. We had been laughing and joking, texting and talking several times a day, when suddenly - nothing. I sent him a text message - teasing, asking why he didn't say happy birthday (we were at work) and he replied that he thought I was trying to pick a fight. I didn't think that I was, and answered back that I had not meant to offend him - thought I was just joking around and haven't heard from him since. He is away on vacation for a month. So I had done a few i-ching casts (online) and before this occurred the 1st one I got Hexagram 24 "Returning" to my question about what kind of friendship we were in (my question was more about the age difference). Then on the day of the strange text message about my birthday, I cast again and got the exact same Hexagram #24 - Returning to a similar question, this time I asked if our friendship would continue. Today my question was very direct - Should I contact him or not? and I got Hexagram 51 - Shock. I'm thinking this is either a very strong YES or a very strong NO. Does anybody out there have an idea which it could be?

If anyone responds with a directive - could you also tell me why? The 2 answers I saw were opposite advice. One said it is a strong yes, but didn't say why and the other said I should not contact him because of the meaning of 24, but I am more curious about the meaning of 51. THANKS!!!
 

willowfox

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Again, I repeat the same answer, it says yes contact him. You are talking about this hex and not another, so concentrate on the question at hand.

The hex 51 means shock or arousing, and therefore to contact him would indeed be a real surprise for him, I'm sure that he won't be terrified in the least but it does indeed suggest a positive answer. Arousing is a call to action, and taking it further, thunder over thunder does indeed suggest contact by electronic means, telephone, email etc.
 

rosada

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Dear ranfar,

How to phrase the question is one of the trickier parts of the whole I Ching experience. As a general rule it appears the I Ching just doesn't answer "yes" or "no", but rather it will give you a "snapshot" of the situation and leave you to decide how best to proceed. Thus when you received 51 in response to your question about contacting your friend I would look at the reading as telling you not so much what you should do, but rather telling you "this is what the situation is" or "this is how the energy you are putting out will manifest." If we read 51 as telling you what your situation is, I think it is commenting that there has been a very real shock and disruption in your friendship, an assumption you had - that you were close enough that you could tease and banter - has been proved false. 51 says a major disconnect has happened. As there were no change lines I assume this is also telling you that this state of upset and confusion has not changed and therefore I would think you are being cautioned that to risk saying anything more at this time through long distant emails would only perpetuate the sense of being out of sync. I also think your getting 24 twice in regards to this situation could be read as telling you to wait until your friend Returns before trying to rebuild the connection. Up to this point your friendship was flourishing within the confines of the work situation. He is on vacation now so he may be on a totally different wave length. When he Returns you may find he's ready to take up the connection again.

Of course, we could also look at 51 as saying how he might respond to your sending him an email now. If that is the message than I think the I Ching is telling you he would be surprised - perhaps pleasantly - but as there are no changing lines and because 51 leads to 52. Stillness, I think there is a warning here that he still might not respond - especially since he didn't answer the last one - and then how would you feel?

Yet another way to look at this hexagram would be to see it as instructing you as just what you should say if you do email him. As the response is going to be shock and laughing and possibly no reply perhaps you should send him a message that is intended to inspire shock and laughter and requires no response. A really good joke maybe? And send it out to a whole list of email buddies so it is obvious no response is required?

Good luck with this!
rosada
 
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mary f

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It seems that once again you got opposite opinions. Here i give mine:

I agree with Willowfox regarding Hex. 51, that really seems related to movement, call for action. One of the wings even mention that when a shock has been caused, movement is to be done to protect the temple (friendship).

Ref. 24 is all positive, all about rebirth.

And it will be great if you please post some feedback of developments.

Good luck.
 

ranfar

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I sent a holiday greeting.

Well,
I decided to send a holiday greeting and I tried to find a funny one that wouldn't require a response, but it didn't feel real. I know he is upset with me - as he clearly indicated that in his last text to me and when I had replied to him and tried to apologize if I had offended him in some way, he did not answer and stopped talking to me entirely. Prior to this "tiff" he interacted casually, and often during the day sending funny observations about things or telling me jokes. Anyway, I know he is upset with me, so it would feel fake to send a card and not mention that reality. So, I sent a holiday greeting and told him that I've missed sharing jokes and other interesting work stuff. I wished him a very sincere happy holiday with his family and friends. And we'll see if he answers or not. If not, then I know I must have REALLY done something to offend him, and at some point I'll need to figure out what it is - like when we get back to work in a couple of weeks. But I hate this hanging over me during the holidays. It would be much nicer if things were light and cheery and friendly. I'll keep you posted!
 

mary f

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I can't help saying that an adult approach (like the one you made) is the ideal. He'll give you some type of feedback. If he doesn't return, how about interpellating him and asking for a grown-up reply?
Don't forget to feed us back.
All the best.
 
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Hello,

have just dealt with hex 51myself and thought could add one more point: in the light of your particular "should I get in touch" question, the answer seems to be - despite the thunder (your friend's reaction appears to be a bit like thunderstorm - unexpected, strong, furious - you are advised to stay calm and casual (judging by the "ha-ha" of the hexagram - even to the point of humorous), and to carry on as normal (in I Ching speak, do not drop your sacrifical spoon!:p). What with hex 24 before that, I think you have done the right thing and hopefully, your friend will return to you.

All the best and keep us posted!:)
 

lucia

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Hooliganetta I love your avatar/name - a little hooligan!!!

lucia
 
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Thanks Lucia - that avatar is totally me:p!!!

If you have a mo, please have a look at my latest post re sexual potential with a guy - burning issue as ever, hee-hee - I wanna hooliganise him ;)Any input totaly welcome :)
 

ranfar

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Well, he did answer and his reply was "friendly" yet oddly formal. He mentioned some stuff at work and a few comments about what he's been doing at home, but made no reference to my remarks about why I hadn't heard from him in the last few weeks or what triggered the disturbance in the first place. So, unless he decides to tell me in the future, I guess I'll never know. I'm guessing that he chose to reply this way so that things won't be completely awkward when we return to work, but it seems clear that the informal, joking relationship we had is a thing of the past. I did one more i-ching reading and my question was, "Why did he answer in such a weird, formal way?" and I got hexagram 30 - Clinging like Fire. I have NO IDEA what that means. Who is clinging like fire? Me or him? And if it's me - what am I clinging like fire to? If it's him - what is he clinging like fire to? Or does hexagram 30 mean something totally different? Oh well, at least he answered politely and I don't have to worry that there will be some awkward, unpleasant meeting when we both get back. Thanks to everyone who commented. It was very helpful.
 
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Hi Ranfar,

just my first gut feeling about this - hex 30 may be about you trying to resurrect the friendship the way it was - he sees your effort and at least replies politely.You do have to work together, after all.

Not related to the I Ching - if he is 20 years younger, he will not be able to be your emotional/intellectual equal at ALL times (though I'm sure at most times he has been). This may lead to him feeling as if he's being made fun of or patronised - I'm saying this as a younger person in a frienship with a lady who's 35 years older!!! We get along great, except for an odd flash of immaturity on my behalf; when this happens, she's always very gracious in letting me just get on with my "misunderstood feelings". I eventually come and admit she was right, and she is always very good at not rubbing it in.

I hope hex 24 may still manifest itself, i.e. he may fully come round at a later date.

All the best!
 

mary f

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Ranfar, see Hilary's translation ref. hex. 30 (I think Yi is talking to you; amplify the perspective!!):

Starting Points
Read the signs, see the pattern, hold it in awareness. Both understanding and the
capacity to sustain it.
Oracle
‘Clarity. Constancy bears fruit.
Creating success.
Rear female cattle, good fortune.’
Image
‘Doubled brightness gives rise to Clarity.
Great People with continuous light illumine the four regions.’

Sooner or later you both will get back to the original relationshiip.
;)
 

ranfar

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Thanks, Mary for the suggestion to read Hilary's translation of hex 30. Being new to this forum, I had not found that area yet and it was very helpful to read the explanation. After receiving the email from him the other day, I thought I could make peace with the change in our friendship and just let it go for awhile, but I still find myself worrying about the situation too often. (I have not emailed him again.) Part of it has to do with Hooliganetta's observation that the age difference is part of the problem. I have been worrying that it was a mistake to allow such a close friendship to develop with someone so much younger. But what is bothering me now is that this is still bothering me so much. I asked the I-ching for guidance to move past this. My question was, "Why am I so bothered by this unresolved situation with S ---?" This time I got hexagram #29- Dangerous Depths. In addition to the obvious question - does that mean I am supposed to have patience and ride out the dangerous waters and overcome some obstacle? I also wondered if there is any significance in the I-ching when you get hexagrams with consecutive numbers? Remember, the last one I got regarding this situation was number 30 and now I got 29. Does that mean anything unusual?
 

rosada

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Hi ranfar,

Thanks for the feedback. I've found that 30 describes a situation where people are separate but equal. Consider the trigrams. They are both fire, but rather than coming together and making ONE fire they are specifically separate. So two people who may be in close proximity but who are not in partnership. Neutral. Then after mastering neutrality comes 31. Influence. At 30 you are not yet in a position of Influence.

Pluto, the planet of death and rebirth, has recently gone into Capricorn, the sign of starting at the bottom. I'm seeing a lot of people experiencing situations where some sort of false bottom is being pulled out from under them and they are now dealing with some sort of more basic reality, but with the hope of building something that will be more authentic. Perhaps as you step back and let the friendship come back to neutral you'll find a new beginning.

...
Hmm..for some reason I didn't see the more recent posts, talk of 29 etc.
 
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ranfar

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Is there significance to getting hexagrams with consecutive numbers?

Hi Rosada,
Thanks for your comments. I took your advice and decided that it would be wise to step back and let the friendship return to a neutral position for now. As I mentioned in the earlier post, he did send a reply that day and it was friendly, but oddly formal. Whatever his reasons are for changing the tenor of the relationship, I believe it is important for me to respect that and give him his space. It is probably a good thing that some distance has occurred because I've had time to realize that what I look for in a friend is very different (as it should be) from a 22 year old's needs. I was relying too heavily on his friendship - eating lunch together, emails, texts, etc. and I realize now that he should be spending his free time with young people and forging relationships with people his own age. So, I have not emailed again and plan to be cordial and polite when we return to work next week, but much more low-key.

As for my other question though, "I also wondered if there is any significance in the I-ching when you get hexagrams with consecutive numbers? Remember, the last one I got regarding this situation was number 30 and now I got 29. Does that mean anything unusual?" Can anyone speak to this point? Is there special significance in the I-Ching when you ask a set of related questions and get hexagrams with consecutive numbers, like first I got #30 and then #29.
 

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