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I Ching - Hexagram #03 - Sprouting (Difficulty at the Beginning)

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

The Book of Changes, also known as the I Ching, is a 3,000-year-old Chinese text that has been used for divination, philosophy, and self-improvement. The I Ching is composed of 64 hexagrams, each representing a different state of being or situation. Hexagram 3 - Sprouting (Difficulty at the Beginning) is a symbol of the initial challenges and obstacles that one may encounter in a new endeavor. This hexagram is composed of the upper trigram of water and the lower trigram of thunder, representing the power of determination and the force of change.

In this blog post, we will explore the wisdom of Hexagram 3 - Sprouting, and how it can guide us through the difficulties and challenges we may face at the beginning of a new journey. We will also offer advice from a friend on how to stay grounded and focused during these challenging times.

Understanding Hexagram 3 - Sprouting

Hexagram 3 - Sprouting is a symbol of the initial difficulties and challenges that may arise when embarking on a new journey. The upper trigram of water represents the power of determination and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, while the lower trigram of thunder represents the force of change and the need to overcome obstacles. Together, these two trigrams represent the power of perseverance and the ability to overcome adversity.

At the beginning of any new journey, it is common to face challenges and obstacles that may seem insurmountable. These challenges may take the form of external factors, such as lack of resources or support, or internal factors, such as self-doubt or fear of failure. However, the message of Hexagram 3 - Sprouting is that these challenges are not insurmountable, and that with determination and perseverance, we can overcome them.

Advice from a Friend

When facing difficulties and challenges at the beginning of a new journey, it can be helpful to seek guidance and support from others. Here are some pieces of advice from a friend to keep in mind:

  1. Embrace the journey, not just the destination: When starting something new, it's easy to get caught up in the end goal and lose sight of the journey itself. Remember that every step of the journey is important and has something to teach you.

  2. Stay focused on your vision: When faced with obstacles and challenges, it's easy to get discouraged and lose sight of your vision. Keep your vision in mind and stay focused on what you want to achieve.

  3. Be patient and persistent: Success rarely comes overnight. It takes patience, persistence, and a willingness to keep going even when things get tough.

  4. Seek guidance and support: Don't be afraid to seek guidance and support from others who have been through similar experiences. Surround yourself with people who will encourage and support you.

  5. Believe in yourself: You have the power to overcome any obstacle or challenge. Believe in yourself and your ability to succeed.

Finding Parallels: Hexagram 3 and The Fool Tarot Card

Hexagram 3, Sprouting, can be seen as a parallel to the Tarot card, The Fool. The Fool represents a new beginning, a leap of faith into the unknown, and the courage to take risks. Similarly, the Sprouting hexagram also represents a new beginning, but with the added challenge of facing difficulties and obstacles at the start of the journey.

In both the Tarot and the I Ching, there is a sense of adventure and uncertainty that comes with new beginnings. The Fool and the Sprouting hexagram both encourage us to embrace the unknown with courage and optimism, and to trust that we have the inner strength to overcome any challenges that may arise.


Hexagram 3 - Sprouting is a symbol of the initial challenges and obstacles that may arise when embarking on a new journey. This hexagram reminds us that with determination, perseverance, and the power of adaptation, we can overcome any challenge and succeed in our endeavors. When facing difficulties and challenges, it's important to stay focused on our vision, be patient and persistent, and seek guidance and support from others. Remember that the journey is just as important as the destination, and that every step of the way has something to teach us.


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