This hexagram, called “Arguing” or “Conflict”, is the reverse of the previous one in the sense that the upper and lower trigrams are reversed. Instead of having the trigram of The Creative below the Water, now The Creative is above the Water. This indicates a lack of stability. This hexagram counsels us that now is not the time to start a project or to have a goal in mind, that there are contradictory forces swirling around us. It’s not completely bleak though. We are told that if we can keep our center, we will be connected to the spirits. It’s only if we pursue our argument to its end that we will close the way and lose our connection.
Because of the position of the upper and lower trigrams (The Creative above Water), the base is not solid and we cannot, at this time, express the creative through action. The hidden hexagram is that of Dwelling People, which seems to indicate that we will find companions if we hold our center and withdraw from the conflict if necessary. It follows from the previous hexagram, Attending, in that any time people come together to eat and drink, there may arise differences of opinion.
Several of the changing lines counsel us to withdraw from the situation. The first line says this is not a play we want to be. The second line says to return to our own people. The fourth line has similar advise, to return to our place and wait. The last line is a dire warning that we cannot win in this situation. The remaining lines are more positive, with the third line counseling us to draw from the wisdom of the ancients and the fifth line telling us that results of the situation will be positive.
I would consider this hexagram, overall, to be mixed. There is some positive and some negative in it, depending on the situation and on the changing lines. If you threw this hexagram in answer to a question, you would need to consider both the question and the I Ching‘s answer very carefully in order to determine how to proceed.