Preview image for "The Psychedelic I Ching: Hexagram 12, Pi. Heaven over Earth. ©2013 Sacred Square Art and Design.

The Psychedelic I Ching: Hexagram 12, Pi. Thoughts and Opinions on Meaning and Interpretation. Art, Play and Intuition on the Road to Insight.

Let’s start with the disclaimer… I’m not an “expert” on the I Ching. I have not devoted years of study to this amazing oracle book. I have however, been totally entranced by it, as it always seems to deliver insights that are perfect for my situation at the time.

The subject for this edition of The Psychedelic I Ching is hexagram 12, Pi. Formed by the combination of the two trigrams Heaven over Earth, Pi stands for stagnation. And to my mind stagnation can appear in many forms from the self induced variety when we know we aren’t doing what needs to be done to be walking the path we claim to wish to walk to situational stagnation, which is also self induced, or at the least the product of choices we’ve made.

The art work for this hexagram was derived from one of my early spray blast pieces and certainly has that psychedelic abstract feel born of the many elements of randomness that is inherent in the process. And that randomness, that opportunity for synchronicity is also at the core of the I Ching. And it is also fueled by intention. In the case of the art, the intention is to create something. In the case of accessing an oracle like the I Ching (or tarot or gummi bears) the intention is an answer or an insight into a question. The I Ching does not foretell the future, but rather gives you insight and perhaps a different way to consider events and paths. At it’s best, perhaps the art work can do the same.

At the end of this post I’ll give you some links to some popular sites for more traditional and concise interpretations of hexagram 12. For now, we’ll get to the art and then some of my thoughts, for what they’re worth on meaning.



I do love the color variations in this one along with the textures. The piece certainly leans to the “hot” side of the color spectrum for the most part.

When considering stagnation in my own life, I can certainly see areas that I have allowed to stagnate whether through neglect or simply procrastination or a waning interest. I can also see that stagnation is often the doorway to growth and change. That when I get to a place where I can smell my own rot, well then, I am often moved to make some tough but proper choices for moving on.

Sometimes those situations are relationships, sometimes they are jobs. In the case of the later, I have had the experience of staying too long at a job that was not my path, that did not bring me any sense of fulfillment beyond the weekly paycheck Demerol. That’s not to say one can’t be at a job simply for the money and perhaps the sense of a job well done. But it is a steep price to pay for creature comfort and perceived security. I was quite stagnant in that situation. And the stagnation spread out from the job into other areas of my life until, at one point, I found myself in a deep, deep rut of my own making.

Sometimes we spend time with friends we’ve known for a long time who are not living in a positive manner. In fact, they tend to be toxic. But we can live in that toxicity for quite some time. It has the perverse comfort of the known. We become used to it. We stagnate. The same can be said for romantic relationships, that were once vital and loving, but somehow have become dull and disempowering.

There is a positive side to stagnation, as it is the doorway to change and new. Often it is in stagnation that we reflect, ponder, pray for a sign or a breakthrough, or anything. And in those times is where we have our greatest opportunities for growth.

So when I draw hexagram 12 I know it is time to look at all the areas in my life and see where there is falsehood in the way I am living and the way I say I want to live. I know it is time to examine myself and my self created situations and change the things I no longer find useful and to spend the time, just as importantly, to strengthen that which are most important.

Here are those links I promised…

Concise interpretation of I Ching Hexagram 12, Pi

Classic Wilhelm interpretation of I Ching hexagram 12, Pi

As always, your comments, opinions and thoughts matter and are appreciated. So share your love and share your mind…

Yours in considering the options…

P.S. To my beloved Zengirl who brought me to The Book of Changes, all my love, all my gratitude…


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