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Winner, Nautilus Silver Award The Toltec I Ching

Hexagram 14

Image  | Ancient spirits, part human and part butterfly, emerge from cocoons that hang from the branches of a tree.

Interpretation  | This hexagram depicts the passage into a new and more ennobling stage of life. The human form symbolizes the body and its potential. The butterfly symbolizes the soul and its potential. The cocoon symbolizes a period of self-imposed isolation during which one undergoes transformation. The tree symbolizes continuity of the vision passing from the spirit ancestors to their living descendants. Taken together, these symbols mean that you turn inward to fulfill the timeless ideal of the evolving immortal. Of the features of the butterfly, the antennas symbolize senses beyond the five senses, the compound eyes symbolize looking at things from many different points of view, the proboscis symbolizes nourishing oneself only on the nectar of life, and the wings symbolize the capacity to rise above limitations. That many of these ancient spirits emerge from their cocoons at the same time means that you find spiritual companions on your journey. Taken together, these symbols mean that your own invisible progress is essential to the forging of the invisible community of spirit.

Action  | The masculine and feminine halves of the spirit warrior—the human and butterfly forms, respectively—unite to form a more versatile and charismatic person. This is a time in which powerful forces, long dammed up within you, are finally released and allowed to come to expression. The higher potential you have long sensed approaching now falls within your reach. Remove yourself from your daily routines where you can and spend time by yourself in communion with nature and spirit. Turn your will inward, direct all your inner resources toward destroying every influence of the past that seeks to destroy your joy of life and sense of confidence. Consider the obstacles that have held you back, look at them from the perspective of the grandeur of the universe, reflect on their importance in the scheme of eternity. Sense the immortality of that which is beyond the senses, feel yourself an intrinsic part of the indivisible whole, see the world through the eyes of the ancestors' hopes and dreams for your life. Taking up the view that every lifetime is of the utmost consequence, you cease to act out of self-interest and rededicate yourself to another lifetime of bringing benefit to others. Allowing your heart to be touched by the ancestors' wishes for your happiness and well-being, you cease to be influenced by misfortunes and injustices and attempts to break your spirit. Taking wing amid the field of immortal spirit warriors, you learn to meet need with benefit everywhere it exists.

Intent  | The longer that beneficial intent is held in check by coercive and oppressive forces, the more momentous its release—when dark forces predominate, they eventually reveal their malicious intent, thereby creating among otherwise compliant people a constructive backlash. In this way, individuals who do not think of themselves as daring find themselves thrown forward into the very vanguard of change. Resist wrong-doing without doing wrong: Without attacking or defending, do not give an inch. This is a battle of wills whereby you will be transformed into a stronger and wiser warrior. This is an especially auspicious time to take up the discipline of creating yourself as you have always wished to be, rather than allowing others to define you. It is going to be exciting to the degree that you seek to take wing into the future—but unnerving to the degree that you seek the safety and security of the past. Above all, avoid becoming either restless or paralyzed by the pace of change: Have faith in the beneficial intent of metamorphosis going on within the cocoon. If you step back into your shadow-half and gaze unblinking upon the countenance of your light-half, this is a time in which all your inner obstacles are spontaneously changed into their opposites.

Summary  | You are entering a time of profound transformation. In order to advance, give up something in the past that has been holding you back. In order to give up something in the past, see yourself in the future. Consider what you will be like when your inner obstacles are no more. It is best to fashion a period of solitude in which you can crystallize your vision and solidify your intent.

The Line Changes

1st Uncertainty is part of benefiting others. Does this person need words or food right now, am I helping someone who doesn't need help, can confrontation be as beneficial as encouragement? Just make all the mistakes you can helping others—when you run out of mistakes, keep helping.
2nd If you benefit others outside the home while ignoring those within, you will lose what you value most. If you strive to improve your social standing but ignore those closest to you, you will lose what you value most. Reserve the best and most of yourself to share with those dearest to you.
3rd The window of opportunity closes—there will not be another warning. The manner you have adopted with your peers and superiors threatens your position—continue like this and you bring long-term harm on yourself. Admit your mistake and become absolutely flexible and pleasant.
4th Starting out easygoing and polite, you become assertive and confrontational—your frustration is justified. Those who hold the purse strings do not care about those below—you do what you must to help those you serve. Remember to temper the self-righteousness when things improve, though.
5th When people reach levels of leadership for which they have no innate strengths, they are dependent on their advisors. Advisors, however, cannot be trusted to make great decisions—you must limit the scope of their concerns. Do not venture outside the range of your responsibilities.
6th When people look up to you for guidance, there is no cause for celebration—it is a great sorrow that they do not yet trust their own greatness. Be trustworthy—guiding them to self-sufficiency is good, guiding them to depend on you is evil. With such care, all concerned reach the destination.