Hexagram #4

Hexagram 4This hexagram is called “enveloping” or “youthful folly” and it follows from the previous one by moving the two yang lines from the first and fifth places to the second and sixth places.  This implies that whatever was emerging with the previous hexagram (“sprouting”) has moved into a new phase.  Indeed, this hexagram depicts something that is immature, but growing.

This hexagram is also a positive one, like the ones before it, but it also carries a number of cautions with it.  There is a strong caution to not rush things, to let them unfold at their own pace, even if it appears that nothing is happening or that obstacles are in the way.  Patience is counseled, saying that asking once will bring instruction, but asking multiple times will only lead to confusion.

The two trigrams that make up this hexagram are water under the mountain.  This implies that there is a source that is flowing, but hidden.  The hidden hexagram is returning, which implies returning to the source or the Sage.

The changing lines are full of warnings as this young growth continues.  The first line cautions you to be self-disciplines but not over-zealous about it.  The second line counsels you to protect and nurture your new growth.  The third line warns against clinging to things that have no substance.  The fourth line cautions that if you let the growth stay hidden too long, it will turn against you and cut you off from your goal.  The fifth line counsels that you keep “beginner’s mind” – open to the possibilities.  The last line warns against trying to rush things and push this new growth, that it will not benefit you to do this.

If you throw this hexagram in answer to a question, it would indicate that something related to your question is in the early stages of development, and the changing lines would give you counsel on how to best proceed.

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