1. Determination, creation

Consisting of pure force, the first sign goes by many names. Force, creativity, determination, strong action, the Event. A great person is about to come into the picture, who through sheer force of determination moves things forward. Under this sign, great things will occur and heroes will be made.

As a mood, it is a rare yet important occurrence, often recognized only in retrospect as a particularly busy and active time. The first weeks of attending a university are filled with this mood – everything is new and exciting, and habits determining the shape of the years to come are laid. New friends are made, new ideas had, a whole new way of life comes into being.

This is also the mood of being so preoccupied with a project or creative endeavor that other things fade from view. The last home stretch of editing a book, the final couple of weeks of preparation before a play premieres, the intense preparation of a sports team before they play in the Olympics. Everyone knows what to do and how to do it – they are prepared and preparing to act with determination. The time for action is now; it’s showtime.

This can also be a slightly smaller mood, a sudden burst of inner strength allowing for actions that would otherwise be overthought and bring hesitation. Suddenly, the job application is sent in, the cute person is asked out on a date, the great mess in the attic is finally taken care of. Suddenly, courses of action that have been potentialities for a long time come to pass. Whatever impediment held these actions back have lifted, and great things have been set in motion.

It should be cautioned that this sudden burst of inspired determination is not a guarantee of success, and merely opens up the possibility of great outcomes. No sports team wins every game, date proposals get noped, job applications rejected. This is part of life. As the great sages were ever so fond of saying, however: the chances of being accepted increase significantly if you send in the application.

It should also be noted that this mood is not necessarily confrontational, or imply conflict of some sort. It merely moves things forward with a sudden yet sustained burst of energy. The thing that’s always been on the todo list? It’s happening, right now. That trip that’s been dreamt of for so long? The tickets are in the mail. The hobby that’s been a maybe for so many moons? The store had a sale and it’s time to get started.

When encountering others who are affected by this mood, the key thing to do is to realize that this mania is a rare and temporary state of things. If the endeavor they have embarked on seems like a worthwhile project, then by all means help them out in any way you can – you will be remembered as having been of help on that great day when things finally happened. If said endeavor seems less than wise, know that trying to stop the persons involved is (in the context of the I Ching quite literally) akin to trying to stop an unstoppable force. Stepping out of the way or redirecting the determined course of action is preferable.

An ideal situation under this sign is an academic conference where the participants, one after another, give well-prepared speeches and inspire each other to further sustained action. The contribution of each individual participant would suffice, but all together in one place adds up to a great momentous mood lift. The scientific work that follows from said conference may or may not be conducted in the same spirit of inspired determination, yet it was nevertheless set in motion that one point in time when this sign ruled supreme.

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