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The 64 Hexagrams
of the I Ching

The Well

48: The Well

About I Ching Hexagrams The Cauldron

50: The Cauldron

49: Revolution

The elements of this hexagram are fire under water. Fire evaporates water, and water puts out fire. Similarly, change often causes conflict, and conflict brings about change. This hexagram refers to a time in the cycle of human affairs when things are stirring up and the hint of dramatic change is in the air.

In order to succeed, a revolution must be in alignment with the laws of nature and good timing. It must begin at the right moment, gather support from a broad base of people, be guided by sincere and capable leaders, and—most important of all—address a real need. The strength of the forces of change will always be in proportion to the urgency of the need being championed. This is true whether the revolution is in government, business, education, or your own personal affairs.

Revolutionary change ushers in a period when chaos arises from order. Let’s remember that not all order is good and not all chaos bad. Chaos is often an integral part of the way things evolve—as any parent and evolutionary science will confirm. This hexagram reminds us to have the courage to radically change and renew the way we bring ourselves to life. In this way, you can channel chaos to your cause and unleash a new power on behalf of the good. If engaging in a negotiation, change the rules; if composing a piece of music, add the unexpected; if courting a lover, dare to be unconventional.

Combat between forces of dark and light are cyclical; as such, one can become aware of these cycles and master them through preparation. In periods of drought, even wild storms are preferable to just another sunny day. A new season awaits.

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