Hexagram 54 – Thunder over Lake – 1/6-1/10

Kuei Mei – The Marrying Maiden
Greed – Aspiration – Ascension .:. Codon Ring of Seeking

Thunder over Lake evokes the image of a forceful storm disturbing the surface of the joyous Lake. This reflects upon how our relationships often tend to disturb our mental state, abandon our inner calm, and even give up our dreams. Thunder represents the eldest son, while Lake is the youngest daughter. The story told by their interaction is one of an improper match, which leads to an unfulfilling marriage. We are cautioned not to rush into relationship, which is likened to running on ice. Instead, a cautious and patient approach allows for the match to deepen over time. The oldest son lusts after the youngest daughter, and she seeks to rise in status from the older man. This is the story of the concubine who sleeps her way to the top to become Empress. These are not solid foundations for a proper relationship, so caution is called for.

When entering relationship, it is essential to be rooted in proper principles so that we are not done in by our desires. This may be a  relationship of love, business, family, or friendship. In any case, it is easy to be led out of our center by desire: desire for love, power, success, or approval. Reaching outside ourselves in order to fulfill any of these desires leads to further imbalance, addiction, and eventual misfortune. Patience, balance, and self assurance are necessary elements to build any relationship gradually over time. Most importantly, it is essential to have a strong relationship with the divine instead of looking outside one’s self for completion.


There is a hunger in humans for acquiring power, status, or money. It is known as the shadow of Greed, and it runs through our world. There are few places that remain untouched by the dirty hands of Greed. There is a fixation on self, or one’s own family, business, or culture to the detriment of the whole. Material gain is the focus of the obsession and leads to unchecked hoarding and the misuse of power and manipulation. Often success becomes a game, where we climb on each other’s backs for survival or even just because we can. There is an exertion from this energy, which allows for much work to be done in the world, but the pit of this shadow is very deep and eats its own virtue in endless cycles. There is a trap built into Greed where it will compromise its ideals at the first temptation and never stop.

Repressive – Unambitious – they give up on their dreams in fear of never reaching their goals, so they never begin the journey. They become disillusioned and give up, repressing their ambition which often leads to depression. There is also a second type of repression which is the ascetic path where one denies their material needs in favor of their spiritual pursuits.

Reactive – Greedy – the greed for wealth, power and control becomes out of control and takes on a mind of it’s own, becoming possession. We become blinded and obsess about amassing more. People are seen as pawns and possessions.

A shift happens when awareness allows for us to learn from our prideful mistakes, often by hitting rock bottom. Instead of focusing on competition and accumulation at all costs, the hunger we feel deep inside is directed inwardly to higher Aspiration. There is still a voracious intensity, but it is directed at a higher ideal of the unity of culture. Emulating the way that nature works as one unified whole, all of the energy of greed is used to serve the whole. There is great potential in this gift to transform the nature of business from the profit driven motive to a holistic, sustainable model. Whereas Greed looks for a shortcut, or a way to cheat or conquer, this gift Aspires to raise all boats. The voracious hunger of Greed is channeled into an alchemical vortex, and a great amount of energy is used to transform the selfish, lower desires into an intense devotion of higher ideals.

This leads to the process of Ascension, a purification that can be painful and potentially maddening. Ascension transmutes all lower vibrational matter into spiritual essence. It takes a very grounded practice to contain the whole of the experience. There can be no skipped steps or bypassed aspects. Everything in the cauldron must be met and accepted, refined and released. It is by attending to the lower nature that the path of Ascension is initiated. This is a path of hard work done over lifetimes, modeled by the path of yoga. This is one of the many paths to God. Here lies the power of the serpent, the kundalini energy that uncoils and rises through one’s being, bringing Ascension for those who have prepared.

Both the 53rd and 54th Gene Keys represent the Path of Yoga, of effort, the 52nd and 58th Gene Keys represent the yin path to realisation, just sitting, watching, allowing the energy to move wherever it wishes. This is a very different path from active seeking. We then have the 15th and the 39th Gene Keys. The 15th is the Way of Service and Love – to serve humanity, to follow one’s heart. The 39th is the Zen or non dual approach that uses awareness to cut right through the illusion. These are all very different paths with much scope for confusion among seekers of Truth.

Keys of the iChing .:. Jesse Chesnutt