Hexagram 28 – Lake over Wind – 10/25-10/30

Ta Kuo – Preponderance of the Great (Excess)
Purposelessness – Totality – Immortality .:. Codon Ring of Illusion

Lake is known as ‘the joyous’ and it is a deep, weighty energy. In this hexagram it is placed over Wind, ‘the gentle’ which is a light and flowing energy. This combination of forces makes for the lighter wind to be crushed underneath the blanketing energy of the Lake. While the Lake has a joyous energy, it is still immense. The gentle Wind is trapped under the Lake. The situation is not stable. The energies are out of balance, and something must give. The air will be crushed by the heaviness of the water in the depths of the Lake, or the air will find a way to wriggle its way to the surface. Either way something must change. The image is of a dam holding back massive pressure, or a support beam bowing under immense weight.

This hexagram is created with four inner yang lines bounded on the outside by yin lines. The strong nature of yang lines make too much inner pressure to be held by the weak external yin lines. Something must change or the energy will collapse under this great pressure. The temptation is to rush forth and force a rash outcome. However, reacting from the lower desires of the ego will only lead to collapse.

The iChing councils to be clear and direct with any actions surrounding this imbalance. Know that the time is now to make a change, but it is important to keep one’s inner principles intact. This moment has been building for quite some time and a movement toward resolution is imminent. The pressure is high and much care must be made in the way that this force is released. If one acts in haste, anger or frustration, the dam may burst and catastrophe will ensue. If one stays true to the inner principles of patience, balance, modesty and gentleness then the great pressure can be channeled into long term, sustainable success.

One needs to balance inner and outer strength. What is called for is a healthy grounded physical presence, balanced with a disciplined and principled inner expression of one’s mental, emotional, and spiritual nature. It is not only strength which is called for, gentleness and receptivity are also part of the balance needed. Only this intricate balance of inner and outer, strong and vulnerable, yin and yang, can lead to long-lasting prosperity.

At the bottom of the Lake, the pressure comes at us from all angles. This can feel as though the weight of the world will crush us no matter what we do. It brings up the primal fear which all humans face in life, the imminence of death. This crushing weight brings with it a feeling of Purposelessness. There is no air to breathe, it is dark and death feels imminent. But there is a gift hidden in the depths at the bottom of the Lake. One must be whole and balanced in order to survive the pressure.

What is called for is to face the fear of death, and all fears that lurk in the depths of our psyche. Once these fears are faced, we can get on with living, instead of constantly running mental games of delusion or distraction.

Mythically, it is not until we face the darkness underground that we can be born into the light. By embracing the shadows, we can walk side by side with our fears and embody the Totality of life which exists in every moment.

This is the subtle balance called for to release the great pressure of this hexagram. By making allies of our darkness, presencing the repressed pains of the subconscious and facing the shadows in our nature, we gain the Totality of being needed to attune to the ever-changing balance of the moment. In this way, all polarities may come into union in our presence, creating an archetype of wholeness, with the tools needed to survive this current pressure, and any eventual pressures of the future.

By strengthening our inner and outer nature in balance, some part of our consciousness may persevere indefinitely. All that is superfluous has been crushed beneath the great weight of the lake. All that remains is the pure essence of our refined consciousness which is all that lives on in Immortality.


This key holds the darkest of archetypes, all of which stem from the primal fear of death. When the presence of death darkens one’s door, it triggers a search for purpose. Death and Purpose go hand in hand. Most do not face fear with their whole being, the mind tries to protect us from fear and so we turn from the fear. All fear that is not faced grows in strength and size. Left unfaced, the fear has the power to sap all the life-force out of our sense of meaning and purpose. Like the Lake that bears a crushing weight behind a dam, the shadow of Purposelessness, threatens to steal our sense of legacy. So when death inevitably comes and we look back on our life, we fear that the life we lived was a Failure (32). This passage through time can be excruciating, fraught with apparent demons and disillusionment. I envision someone carrying a sacred treasure through the desert and in the dark night an illusion creeps in. The treasure dissolves into sand which slips through your fingers. There is a feeling that all is lost and the long journey comes to an end in miserable failure. In many Myths and shamanic teachings this deep pit of fear is where we must go to die and be reborn. This is the great collection of fear where all of our inner demons and delusions gain their power. If we surrender to the fear, and muster the courage to go into the underworld bringing our light and courage, only then can we be reborn, and with this rebirth, purpose rings clearly. It is deep in the unconscious darkness where we reclaim the lost fragments of our selves, that were left behind in childhood and trauma. If we never face this darkness, we may never become truly whole.

Repressive – Hollow repressed darkness dries out all the nectar from life. They often appear filled with love and light, but without embracing their totality, their words and presence don’t connect.

Reactive – Gambling they turn their fears outward in desperate attempts to find meaning in the rush of risk taking.

Dilemma of Avoidance

All of life exists in the present moment, so be present with everything as it rises and falls, success and failure, joy and terror, love and fear. Purpose exists only in the moment, but so often we project it into the future, or cling to our lost purpose in the past. Commit to staying present and the illusion of darkness and death will dissolve. Totality allows an embracing of all parts of self. This is the mythic path of self individuation, or awakening where all of the fragmented parts of soul are retrieved from the darkness. Totality allows for a deep trust in life to emerge. Even the darkest and most painful experiences lead you to the hidden purpose of life if we take the presence to see. Facing our own fear of death transforms our focus from Selfishness to service.

At the highest level, all of the illusionary aspects of self actually die, and all that is left is the eternal nature of the human spirit. All of the fear of darkness and death it turns out was just the fears of the ego, and once we integrate the Totality of our being, the illusion is crushed and the Immortal soul lives on. All of our individuality is crushed into oblivion and Selflessness emerges in Immortality. This siddhi carries the ability to clear energies, to cast out demons and illuminate the darkness. The way that Jesus lived his life is an example of the power to face the Darkness, cast out sin or inversion, and live on in Immortality.

This is the allegory of Lucifer, who was the highest and most perfect angel, closest to God, but it was destined that he was to fall from grace, to forget his true nature. In this fall all of the physical world was created and the realm of Illusion and duality. This is the realm of free will, where we must choose. Millions of choices are made everyday, but are they made consciously or unconsciously? This is the real duality of good and evil, what has been embraced and what has not? This Mythical war of good vs. evil, Michael vs. Lucifer, is not what it seems. Michael is not meant to slay Lucifer, but to embrace him. To reunite him back into the heavenly realms and into the light of union. When this happens, the physical realm will remain but it will be under the dominion of Gaia and the goddess.

Keys of the iChing .:. Jesse Chesnutt