Editor: This line does not lend itself to the usual gender symbolism. The rock is often a symbol of eternity, and is seen as a dwelling place for spiritual beings, hence: a transcendental reality or "eternal verity." In fairy tales a barrier of thorns is often created by an evil witch or other negative magnetic force -- the feminine principle in its destructive aspect. This barrier is usually what separates the hero from the sleeping maiden, his unconscious anima or feminine soul. A house or palace is the whole psyche. ("In my father's house are many mansions." -- John 14:2) The wife of course, is the contra-sexual correlate: in a man, the anima, or emotional-feeling component of his psyche. (A woman receiving this line should just reverse the symbolism and see it as the animus, or logical-thinking component of her psyche.) Putting all these symbols together we receive an image of a situation which is somehow contrary to "the laws of nature." Both the frowning rock (yang) and the thorns (yin) are opposed to the situation, so no union can possibly take place: "He does not see his wife." If this is the only changing line, the new hexagram created is number twenty-eight, Critical Mass, with a corresponding line which indicates a position of extreme vulnerability to danger. This line is an unambiguous warning that your situation is untenable -- both dynamic and magnetic forces are against you. Ritsema/Karcher translate "pitfall" as: "Leads away from the experience of meaning; stuck and exposed to danger, unable to take in the situation; flow of life and spirit is blocked..." Wilhelm alludes to "immanent death," which, of course, should be interpreted symbolically in most cases.


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