Hexagram 33 – Heaven over Mountain – 7/31-8/5

Tun – Retreat
Forgetting – Mindfulness – Revelation .:. Codon Ring of Trials

Heaven over Mountain is known as Retreat. The interpretation is of the creative yang energy of Heaven retreating above the still Mountain. The hexagram is formed by two yin lines on the bottom with four yang lines on the top. These yang lines rise and pull away from the yin lines.

This comes as a reminder that times of darkness and disorder are part of the natural cycles of life. The iChing councils that one can navigate these times of darkness without harm, by Retreating into stillness. Resisting these natural cycles of dark and light is foolish, but knowing how and when to respond to them contains great wisdom.

It is a beneficial time to follow the energy of this archetype and withdraw your energy. The image evoked is to Retreat within the safety of a cave, high up on the mountain. To exert much energy, or try to force progress in the outer world is to fight against the natural ebb and flow of the life force. Instead at this time, retreat into the stillness within, and restore your chi to use another time when the creative energy returns. Any struggle against the flow of energy at this time will only add fuel to the fire of negativity.

This marks the culmination of Mountain season and the beginning of Water season, meaning that the next 8 hexagrams in the calendar order have Water as the lower trigram. In this way the iChing divides the year into 8 seasons, one for each lower trigram.


Retreat comes as a reminder that we have lost parts of ourselves to Forgetting, and we must use the power of the still mountain to create pockets of presence where the veil of Forgetting can be penetrated. This is in the Ring of Trials, and the first trial is to remember. Where we place our attention is the dilemma of this key. Forgetting is part of incarnation, which separates our many lives from each other, giving us the opportunity to learn lessons from a fresh perspective. But all of our past experience is stored in the subtle bodies as samskaras, which shape our subconscious reality. Through life we then create more and more of these deposits in our subtle bodies which seem to direct the destiny of our lives. These are the greatest opportunities to unwind the wounds of our past because they are patterns which arise from the subconscious. Once we can open our heart to these forgotten wounds, we are able to learn lessons from the long forgotten past and awaken into a higher frequency reality in the present. In this way, all the pains and frictions that enter our life are calls to pause and remember that our presence has the power to transform any trial with grace and ease. It is in resisting that our suffering is expanded. Allow the practice of pausing to transform our relationship to the movement of life. Cherish the delights of the past, be Mindful of gratitude and the small things to keep them alive in our awareness.

Repressive – Reserved these people have fallen into stuck silence and have often been forgotten by the world. They are stuck in a shell and have forgotten their true nature and how to share it with the world.

Reactive – Censorious  Deep anger creates an invasive behavior where they provoke others fears and emotional pain so that they are not alone in their suffering. Misery loves company.

The gift of mindfulness is refined and cherished in moments of retreat. This gift allows for one to rise from the subconscious maze of desire, fear and reaction. It is a journey, a practice and an art. Like a magnifying glass of consciousness, it doesn’t solve problems by making things go away. Rather it brings them into focus so that they can be seen instead of lurking in the subconscious. Mindfulness allows the subconscious forms a way into conscious awareness so that we may have choice in the life that we create now into the future. This gift allows for great change to be made, but gradually over time. It allows a subtle shift in the moments we create in life. We gain the Discrimination (12) to choose experiences that bring Enrichment (56) our spirit rather than to the desires of our five senses. Mindfulness is the organic flowering of self-awareness or self-remembering. Insight may come in leaps, but the process must follow natural timing, like seeds develop into flowers and eventually fruit. It is a life process of refinement, where our subconscious patterns are first seen, then we make choices to change them. Eventually these desires of self can be transformed into the desires of the divine. Part of this process it to realize that all of life is a myth with characters and arcs coming and going through life, all with major themes running behind the action. To engage with the twists and turns of our own life as a living myth is much of the art of Mindfulness. The closer we get to releasing these patterns, often the more intense they become. The looking glass of consciousness is becoming more and more refined so that eventually we may be clear as the diamond mind itself.

At the highest level the ego is forced to relinquish all control, and Revelation comes in a flood of stillness and silence. Here we are no longer identified with the past, our stories and self, but are released into the full potential of life and its highest limitless expression. Evolution carries us beyond human incarnation to the next phase of awareness, the collective expression of the angelic kingdoms. There is a great end to the limited, separate reality of modern humans, and with this ending comes a great beginning of the next phase of consciousness. Our human DNA is transformed through the process of Mindfulness as we live the trials of divine embodiment. At this final phase the pause expands to touch the whole of creation and we are delivered into the higher Revelation of our eternal nature. There is no death, consciousness goes on, so all worry, doubt, fear and suffering is able to be released. The veil of Forgetting is undone and we become one with consciousness itself, we unite with the whole, and the heavenly realms open to accept us to take our place around the great council fire. Here in the holy eternal realm of light we join all souls, ascended masters, angels, guides, elemental spirits, devas and deities in the great Crystalline City of light, all notes in the one symphony of the divine soul. This is a great clearing in the path of life.

The three trials work backward and forward in time. The Calendar order progresses from 12 – 56 – 33, but the trials open in reverse order – 33 – 56 – 12. Forgetting – Distraction – Vanity. But the trials may be seen also to follow this flow of time. Vanity may be the final shadow to be released, but Purity opens the way for Intoxication into Revelation.

Keys of the iChing .:. Jesse Chesnutt