Hexagram 49 – Lake over Fire – 2/8-2/12

Ko – Revolution
Reaction – Revolution – Rebirth .:. Codon Ring of the Whirlwind

Lake over Fire combines two elements naturally at odds. Each must be brought into proper balance so that neither element overpowers the other. Lake has a heavy settling energy, while Fire has a rising, spreading nature. Finding an intricate balance between these forces is crucial for their mutual benefit. Too much Lake energy can easily quench the vitality of the Fire, and too much Fire energy can dry up the Lake.

Such is also the way with elements of our human nature. A balanced inner Fire has the ability to illuminate the darkness within our own psyche. It is up to us to decide if we want to make a change or not. The mind often resists change, but learning how to embrace change is a Revolutionary act.

An outer Revolution is only possible when first there is a transformation of the inner way of being. Change in the world begins with a change of heart. By refining our inner nature in the alchemical fire of awareness, we begin the process of purification, making it easier to live according to higher ideals. A true Revolution begins within, as one matures gradually over time through continual change and renewal. Whether or not the fire of Revolution spreads to the culture at large is dependent upon a virtuous goal and proper timing.

The Fire of truth spreads far and wide when lived by a righteous individual. Allow benevolent ideals to light a Fire deep within, and a positive change will take place in your individual nature, and in time your whole society.


The shadow of the 49th Gene Key is Reaction, which is a very primal part of the genetic code. It was a necessary part of the evolution of our species, allowing us to channel the power of our emotional Reactions into the violence necessary to kill animals or even each other for survival. Now, this ancient Reactive gene leads to unconscious cruelty, argument and misunderstanding. Reaction acts as a catalyst in our genes, pressing our awareness toward higher consciousness. It is always stimulated by events in the external world, but the Reaction comes from within. There is a fiery energy that is released when someone is triggered by another’s action and unconsciously lashes out in Reaction. This often causes the other person to return a Reaction of their own, and a cycle is created very quickly, which often spirals out of control. What is called for is to draw our awareness inward to contemplate our triggers without projecting them out automatically. This shadow creates a polarity of Reactions. Some become Inert, deadening their emotional reactions, not reacting at all, or swallowing their anger, while others become hyper-reactive, Rejecting others before they can be rejected themselves.

In between these extremes lies the middle way, where the Gift is hidden in Shadow. By inwardly processing our Reactions instead of projecting them outward, a new way of handling change takes place. This is the gift of Revolution, which embodies the energy of massive change. Often in our past, Revolution has been expressed with the violence and anger of the Shadow state, looking much more like rebellion. True revolution can be seen as simply the natural turning of the wheel of time. There is a deep Understanding of what is necessary and what is not, as well as the natural cycles of time needed for the change to occur. A true Revolution is to live a good life.

The metaphor of Revolution as the turning of the wheel of time deserves deeper contemplation. The Shadow of Reaction acts as the point where the wheel meets the road. There is much heat and friction here, without which no traction or progress could be made. Revolution is the whole wheel, which naturally turns, bringing things forward with ease. In order for the journey to be smooth, the spokes of the Wheel must be balanced and equal. One short spoke creates a bumpy ride. Too many unbalanced spokes will lead to the breaking of the wheel. A perfectly balanced wheel evokes the image of the eightfold path, where multiple disciplines create holistic balance in one’s life. This leads to the perfection of the wheel of change. In this metaphor, the Siddhi sits at the center in the hub of the wheel. On the outer part of the wheel, the journey will have much rise and fall and continuous change. In the center there is a still point, unaffected by the bumps and details of the journey. This still hub holds the integrity for the equal spokes and radiates the perfect form to allow the wheel to Revolve with grace. This wheel can also be seen as the eye in the center of the whirlwind.

The leap from Shadow to Gift is large, but the leap from Gift to Siddhi is a full dimensional shift into hyperspace. In the eye of the whirlwind there is a quantum still point of ease and peace, surrounded by an intense vortex change. All of the old ways will crumble and be Reborn anew. If we can’t find the still center and keep the spokes of the wheel balanced, we may be crushed by the Fires of Revolution. If we submit to the whirlwind and center ourselves in the eye of the storm, we may be Reborn completely. Forgiveness, coming from the future, will move backward in time through our DNA, cleansing old patterns and leaving us Reborn as a new species.

Keys of the iChing .:. Jesse Chesnutt