What Does the I Ching Say about the US Presidential Race?


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I wanted to see what the I Ching had to say about the US Presidential race. It’s a crazy one this time around, that’s for sure! If you hadn’t guessed, my vote would definitely be with Hillary.

For the first hexagram, I got #15 – which is called Humility. This is represented by Earth over Mountain. In Ni’s exact words (P. 297 of Book of Changes) it says, “Guidance: Egolessness. The developed one reaches his (or her – my addition) goal. Benefit goes to the humble while failure awaits the arrogant.”


#15 – Humility

I am sure that both candidates would have to agree, whether they admitted it publicly or privately, that this race has been very humbling. Both parties have gone through multiple accusations of scandalous behavior and, in this day of transparency, I can’t imagine what they both must be going through personally because of that. But Hillary has not only had to deal with comments of the things that she has done, but she has had to deal with the onslaught of insults from being a pioneer, the first woman to run for the highest office in the nation. To me, this is the ultimate humility. She has had to deal with an opponent who has said some very inappropriate, misogynistic things. A man who creeps behind her as she speaks on stage. What would have it looked like if she had been a man and he had done that? We need to ask ourselves these questions. We need to start looking at how we are treating her and ask ourselves if she deserves the level of hatred she is getting or is this more about our hatred of women and of ourselves? Just as Obama had to deal with the hatred that was demonstrative of our ancestral pain of dealing with slavery and centuries of abuse. All of it is coming up for us to heal our nation.

In the hexagram of Humility, Earth is over the Mountain. Normally, it is the other way around, but in this case, it is reversed. The mountain is strong bold and confident, but its been covered up here. I think that both candidates have done a pretty good job of staying strong in the midst of all that is being said about them but it is difficult to see their strengths when all around us we see weakness. The election coverage has not been focused on our first woman president and the glory of that! It has instead been about the disgusting public displays, demonstrating how we should NOT be acting as human beings towards each other. Yet another example of the humble plight of women in the ULTIMATE mansplaining. But in the case, the man is wrong. SO wrong.

One thing that is important to note about this hexagram is that the humility is voluntary. The mountain willingly takes the lower ground. As women, we know this route. We’ve been there many times before. We are used to taking a back seat because it is the way it’s always been.

I know that a lot of people have been very stressed from this election period. Trump’s whole campaign seems as if it is based on stirring up feelings of hatred and I really try not to participate in the discussion. It’s trying. The hatred baits us on a daily basis and we just cannot help but swipe out at times in anger from it. Friendships are being tested as people are scoring their relationships based on which party is supported. Families are torn. It’s a tough time. We all feel as if we are right. Ni says, “A person of self-cultivation does not flaunt his achievements or bemoan his difficulties.” I must admit, I feel proud that I am of the “higher ground” of not being a Trump supporter. The only thing I can do is work on myself. I definitely have some work to do here! I need to recognize the pain that Trump supporters are going through. Change is not easy.

Line 3 (Changing Line): The third line relates to how we approach difficult tasks. It suggests that we put forth our best effort when the tasks are difficult. (Ni, P. 299 of Book of Changes). Hillary is doing something momentous here. She is breaking down barriers that have been in place for centuries. You may not like everything that she stands for, but we can look beyond those things to the greater purpose here: advancing the status of women in this country and throughout the world.

The second hexagram is the phase we are moving into and it was this…


If you are at all familiar with yin and yang, you may know that yin is often associated with women and this is the all yin lines! This is hexagram #2, which again points to being submissive and humble. It is interesting to think of a US President as a humble character, but I think that, after this race is over, no matter who wins, our country has been humbled. The world has watched with anticipation to see how we will vote in this election. A woman president will be all new ground for us and I, for one, am excited to see how it plays out.


I would be very curious to know what you think of this outcome? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments area below.


  1. Personally I think that we as a country cant take another president like Obama. Thats what you are getting with Hillary. He has destroyed our country in so many ways, made us 19 trillion in debt made “obamacare” insurance cost double for people and on top of that getting fined for not having it. Hillary is for keeping all that around. She’s also for letting everybody in the U.S. without background checks which will take American Jobs and let terrorists in. Shes for forced vaccination and GMO food (she holds stock in Monsanto). At least Trump wants to abolish Obama care and Keep American Jobs here and not let just anyone in our country. He has made himself a billionaire, so he knows how to manage a large amount of money to help get us out of Debt.It really doesn’t matter what he said about women 1o years ago. It matters how he would run the country and thats what we need to think about.

  2. What an interesting take. I agree that the coverage has been angled to get the most eyeballs, which means tabloid-ish. It’s a sad time and I can only hope for a good outcome in the election. I”m a little bent out of shape these days.

    • I was thinking of you when I wrote this, Carol. I think that it was you who wrote a piece about Hillary back when Sanders was still in the race. At the time, I had bought into the rhetoric around Hillary. And, I still believe, compared to Sanders, she does represent some practices that I do not wish for our government to continue. That being said, she is not any different than 99% of the candidates that have gone through this race in years past, so (outside of Sanders), I think that her financial contributions and influence from big business are a wash for any other candidate. I think that Hillary has been given unfair treatment considering that she is being punished for many things that have been practiced for a long time and accepted as “normal”. After seeing how Obama was treated, and now Hillary, I think its time that we really start looking at how we are treating people based on biases that are subtle and long-standing.
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  3. Amy, this is certainly an interesting hexagram in answer to your question. I have had a flood of thoughts after considering the hexagram for a few minutes, but I will spare you most of them because I believe that the election is essentially over. I think the media is trying to make it seem that things are still close, though in reality Mr. Trump no longer has a real chance to win (if he ever did).

    The first thought I had in looking at the hexagram was of the Himalayas. My son is currently teaching at a school in northern India, run by Tibetan Buddhists, at which most of the students are immigrants from Nepal who had to leave their country after the devastating earthquakes. I haven’t met any of them, but as Michael (my son) describes them, they are humble and grateful for the opportunity to continue their lives in a civilized setting.

    There has been a lot of talk about immigration during this campaign, and maybe we could learn something from our Indian and Tibetan friends – where an immigrant population is reaching out to help a new group of refugees.

    Anyway, the I Ching seems to have spoken – “failure awaits the arrogant.” Sorry about that, Mr. Trump.
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    • Hi Louis,

      Yeah, it was, wasn’t it? I thought that quote by Ni was hilarious.

      So, if I am to understand you correctly, you were saying that the first hexagram, Humility, reminded you of the plight of the immigrants – as represented by the plight of the Tibetans that your son knows? I think that it would be wonderful if our country took on more of the Syrians, if that is what you are saying. Not quite sure! 😉
      amy recently posted…What Does the I Ching Say about the US Presidential Race?My Profile

      • I’m afraid that what I wrote in the comment was the last step of some weird stream of consciousness thinking. That thinking sort of went like this:

        – I have an old friend from high school named Dave Keefer, who is a geologist and a Senior Scientist at USGS. A few years ago he received a prestigious award from the European Geosciences Union because his work “has defined the study of earthquake-induced landslides for more than a quarter century.”

        – Perhaps because I have read several of his papers over the years, as I looked at the hexagram I envisioned not the humility of a mountain under the earth, but the earth moving down the mountain in a landslide. (I know that Hexagram 51, and to some extent Hexagram 24, are traditionally associated with earthquakes; but yesterday that association was with this one, for me.)

        – As I mentioned, my son is teaching Nepalese refugees at a Tibetan Buddhist school in India. The Nepalese are there because their homes were destroyed in the devastating earthquakes that occurred in 2015, and their land is pretty much a rubble.

        – I think it is admirable that the Tibetans came to India as refugees after the Chinese invaded their homeland and they are now assisting the new refugees.

        – Treatment of refugees, and of immigrants in general, has been a major issue in this year’s presidential election, which was the subject of your question to the I Ching. I don’t want to go into all of that here, except to say that I feel Trump’s “solutions” are not acceptable.

        – I should have just left it at “failure awaits the arrogant,” but I felt somehow compelled to mention the immigrant situation. I believe that President Clinton II is going to have to give that issue her attention immediately after the election.
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        • Hexagram #23 is Mountain over Earth, and is often called “Disintegration” because the people underneath a leader are not of strong virtue and undermine the leader. To me, that is similar to earthquakes which literally undermine our security of the ground below us. But then, one could also look at that as fire under the earth? With the I Ching, there is always so much to learn. I feel like such a beginner studying this. I at least can feel somewhat consoled by the fact that Confucius did not start studying it until late in life. I’ve studied it loosely throughout my life, but making a more intense jab at it these last few years.

          As for the refugees, I think there is a lot to be learned about ourselves as human beings based on how we treat each other. If I focus on my own behavior, I already have plenty of work to do in not getting swept up in the hatred that surrounds me sometimes. I only have so much energy in each day and how do I want to spend it? I want to help. I want to be inspired. I want to work together in community to improve the disposition of not just my own life, but for all those who have been disadvantaged along the way. Call me a sucker for being an optimist, but I really believe that we CAN change things if we work together and if we keep our mental state out of the rubble.
          amy recently posted…What Does the I Ching Say about the US Presidential Race?My Profile

  4. No comment as long as they will become a good ruler in their country. That’s all.
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  5. If I vote for a woman, it will not be Hillary Clinton, it will be Dr. Jill Stein. The reason being is that I don’t want Hillary’s hands in my pockets all the time! Whereas Dr. Stein is a knowledgeable candidate too. She has a wisdom and openness about her, some great ideas, with a quiet strength that would project reason before attitude, that is appealing to me; All tho Bill and Gary are a mixture of Democrat and Republican, also with good ideas, their base being Republican is a draw while the responsible legalization of Pot is also on their agenda (bravo!), their record is excellent in their respective states as Governor(s), I feel that this team is great but should be reversed. That is Gary should be Vice President and Bill should be running for President. Just my opinion. Remember, u are not limited to one or the other but have a choice of all.

  6. Never thought about the hexagram and I Ching in regards to the election. How interesting, indeed!
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  7. Here it is the day before Election Day, so I thought I would ask the I Ching to see what it had to say to me about the presidential race. Interestingly, my result was also Hexagram #15.

    I, too, had one moving line, but this time it was the bottom line. I was looking at a translation by Richard Gill, which said, “If you act with extreme humility, a major move will not be impeded and will lead to good fortune.”

    I then went to James Legge’s translation, which is: “The first six, divided shows us the superior man who adds humility to humility. (Even) the great stream may be crossed with this, and there will be good fortune.”

    So, the importance of humility is again emphasized and your comments are reaffirmed.

    Of course, with a different moving line, my subsequent hexagram was different from yours. Mine was Hexagram #36, which depicts Earth over Fire. For the judgment, Gill says, “In great darkness, remain true. Dawn will come again.” I interpreted that to mean that things will improve after the bitter and seemingly endless campaign.

    However, Legge’s translation shows that this hexagram “indicates that (in the circumstances which it denotes) it will be advantageous to realise the difficulty (of the position), and maintain firm correctness.” The Confucian commentaries emphasize the brightness of a leader being obscured by an emperor who who is weak and unsympathizing.

    That does not sound good for the country, but I have chosen to interpret it differently. I see Earth over Fire as sunset, and the second hexagram telling us that the campaign is indeed over — and that is certainly a good thing. Also, throwing dirt on a flame will quench the flame, so we can finally move away from the fiery rhetoric and acrimony.
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    • I should know better than to ignore what Confucius has to say. It is summed up in Legge’s footnote to Hexagram #36:

      “In this hexagram we have the representation of a good and intelligent minister or officer going forward in the service of his country, notwithstanding the occupancy of the throne by a weak and unsympathising sovereign. Hence comes its name of Ming Î, or ‘Intelligence Wounded,’ that is, injured and repressed. The treatment of the subject shows how such an officer will conduct himself, and maintain his purpose. The symbolism of the figure is treated of in the same way in the first and second Appendixes. Appendix VI merely says that the advance set forth in 35 is sure to meet with wounding, and hence Žin is followed by Ming Î.”

      It doesn’t sound that great for the country, but I assume we will muddle through.
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  8. You had me at “but its not about me, its about the I, Ching”, you lost me at “but Hillary has had to…”. Be objective, or don’t. Don’t say you will, and then are not. True objectivity is hard. As evidenced by CNN & Fox. If they were ‘news’ networks, and not ‘opinion’ networks their names would not evoke thoughts of ‘left’ or ‘right’ ideology. If you look to something for answers, empty your cup and let it give you answers, just don’t pour your cup on the answers before looking at them.

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