Nothing seems to be going right for the European Union at present.

Hubris among the statesmen and women of the EU in the 1990s resulted in two major errors of judgement.

1. The introduction of a common currency, the euro.
2. An expansion from the then existing 15 western European member nations to 25 in 2004 and 28 by 2013.
3. The United Kingdom stands a reasonable chance of withdrawing from EU membership.

The euro did bring with it greater ease in intra-EU trade, but it locked nations with totally different economies and ideologies into a ‘one solution fits all’ situation, ultimately leading to serious strains on the ‘Club Med’ economies, primarily Spain, Portugal, Italy and of course Greece. These difficulties are far from being resolved as yet.

The expansion from 15 to 25 members in 2004 (Romania and Bulgaria were added in 2007 and Croatia in 2013) was even less wise. Most of the new members were ex-Soviet block nations, with societies which are to this day very different in outlook to those of the older West European members.

This has become clear with the attitude of the new member nations to the seemingly ceaseless stream of refugees entering the EU from the Middle East, central Asia and Africa. The old EU countries have grudgingly accepted their humanitarian responsibilities, particularly towards those fleeing civil war in Syria, whereas the former East-block nations regard the refugees as a threat to their comparatively new prosperity. Hungary exemplifies the new members’ attitude, almost immediately building a fence around its own national borders to keep refugees from entering the country on foot.

So, the question for the I Ching is: Is the EU going to fall apart in 2016?

Here’s its answer:


Hexagram 28 Ta Kuo/Preponderance of the Great consists of four strong yang lines in its middle, and two weak yin lines at either end. It gives the image of the ridge-pole of a building, supporting the roof. But with the minority weak lines providing support to the ridge-pole, there is a real danger it will collapse, bringing down the roof with it. Compare it to a supportive wooden beam with partly rotted ends.

The two moving lines are the third (counting from the bottom) and the fifth. All the weight, then, is borne by the middle of the beam, and it should be no surprise that the reading for the 3rd line is:

The ridge-pole sags to the breaking point.
Misfortune.

The 5th line is hardly better, reading:

A withered poplar puts forth flowers.
An older woman takes a husband.
No blame. No praise.

As is common in nature, a dying plant or tree often gives out copious new blossom in order to propagate the next generation of its sort. Equally, in terms of human propagation, an older woman may marry, but she is unlikely to bear children. The picture is of barrenness despite appearances to the contrary.

This reading makes it absolutely clear that the EU is on course for collapse, showing that Europe is not yet ready for unity but will prefer to choose for diversity and division. Let’s remember that the foundation of what later became the EU was based on a determination to prevent yet more war between European states – after France and Germany, at Europe’s heart – had fought no less than three times between 1870 and 1945.

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