Hexagram 30 – Fire over Fire – 2/13-2/18

Li – The Clinging Fire
Desire – Lightness – Rapture .:. Codon Ring of Purification

This hexagram is the apex of Fire in the Fire season. Here the fire is total, with all consuming warmth and lightness. Fire is dependent upon the wood that it burns. So while it is a rising and spreading energy, it also clings to whatever it burns. This is a model of how we should cling to higher truths, especially in dark times.

Fire symbolizes illumination, warmth and beauty. Fire over Fire accentuates these traits. The element of Fire is difficult to control and can also symbolize an overactive mental state. It is connected to the Fire of our desires and the challenge of containing them.

Humans have many needs for survival: air, water, food, warmth, shelter, love, and companionship, but there are other needs as well. When the night is dark, the season is cold, and challenge abounds, we need somewhere to turn for solace and support. This hexagram shows us that we must cling to higher truth as fire clings to its fuel. To embody the essence of fire takes great balance, but when maintained, warmth radiates generously in all directions.


The fire of Desire feeds upon experience. It pushes us to experiment, to evolve by grasping for whatever we don’t have. It burns hot, and when properly channeled can lead us to great achievement, but unless it is balanced, it may lead to disappointment and addiction. Desire is not a negative force as many of the religions would have us believe, but it drives the mind mad. Desire cannot be exterminated; it is eternal. It is simply an inner drive that seeks expression. Suppressing Desire only leads to its fire raging hotter. The trick is to feel the Desire without automatically acting it out. In time, the urge moves on. The mind is what causes the trouble. It clings to the Desire and creates obsession. Desire creates two aspects of Shadow: one is Over-Serious, where the inner fire is so repressed it dies out, and the other state is Flippant, where one has no control over their Desire and is eventually consumed by it.

In the still place between these extremes, we find the Gift hidden in Shadow. When the endless pursuit of Desire or the struggle against it comes to pause, the heat of this energy is allowed to kindle and burn bright in our being without burning us up, and Lightness emerges. This creates a great freedom to face the darkness within, and therefore in the world. People with this gift have great warmth and a luminous spirit with little fear of the darkness. They have learned to be present with their Desires and surrender them to a higher purpose. This Lightness burns all the Desires into a single flame of purification, where there is only one Desire left: to end suffering.

When one surrenders fully to the divine fire, this Lightness of being leads to ecstatic Rapture. The lower Desires are burned in an intense alchemical Fire refining the 2nd Astral Body and convecting it into the 5th Buddhic Body. This transforms the DNA and the endocrine system, leading to what looks like Divine madness in the west. Rapture leads to intoxication of the Divine, offering all burning desires to the infinite creator. This is the path of the ecstatic, the path of Bhakti yoga where the fire builds energy from the ground up, reaching ever higher, consumed in Rapturous devotion.

Keys of the iChing .:. Jesse Chesnutt