|There were "old" features in your gua (hexagram). It means that you have two hexagrams. The first one — is something that the Book tells you at the moment, the second is something it warns you about.
54. Converting The Maiden (guī mèi). The Marrying Maiden
Becoming a victim of circumstances, try to save yourself from inside. Everyone has something that nobody else can infringe, regardless of power they possess.
Inital text of I Ching
The Marrying Maiden. Undertakings bring misfortune. Nothing that would further.
Thunder over the lake:
The image of the Marrying Maiden. Thus the superior man understands the transitory in the light of the eternity of the end.
- The marrying maiden as a concubine. A lame man who is able to tread. Undertakings bring good fortune.
- A one-eyed man who is able to see. The perseverance of a solitary man furthers.
- The marrying maiden as a slave. She marries as a concubine.
- The marrying maiden draws out the allotted time. A late marriage comes in due course.
- The sovereign I gave his daughter in marriage. The embroidered garments of the princess were not as gorgeous as those of the servingmaid. The moon that is nearly full brings good fortune.
- The woman holds the basket, but there are no fruits in it. The man stabs the sheep, but no blood flows. Nothing that acts to further. A late marriage comes in due course.
It is not the happiest period of your life. Circumstances dictate the terms. There is no freedom of action - no joy and satisfaction. You'll have to sacrifice your desires for the sake of duty, or simply follow someone else's will. To a large extent, the situation is determined by social status. Perhaps the turning point of the situation comes to a full moon. Anyway, do not let trample your soul, otherwise you get in captivity for a long time.
Above we have Chên, the eldest son, and below, Tui, the youngest daughter.
The man leads and the girl follows him in gladness. The picture is that of the
entrance of the girl into her husband's house. In all, there are four
hexagrams depicting the relationship between husband and wife. Hsien,
INFLUENCE, (31), describes the attraction that a young couple have for each
other; Hêng, DURATION (32), portrays the permanent relationships of
marriage; Chien, DEVELOPMENT (53), reflects the protracted, ceremonious
procedures attending THE MARRYING MAIDEN, shows a young girl under
the guidance of an older man who marries her.
A girl who is taken into the family, but not as the chief wife, must behave
with special caution and reserve. She must not take it upon herself to
supplant the mistress of the house, for that would mean disorder and lead to
The same is true of all voluntary relationships between human beings.
While legally regulated relationships based on personal inclination depend in
the long run entirely on tactful reserve.
Affection as the essential principle of relatedness is of the greatest
importance in all relationships in the world. For the union of heaven and
earth is the origin of the whole of nature. Among human beings likewise,
spontaneous affection is the all-inclusive principle of union.
Thunder stirs the water of the lake, which follows it in shimmering waves.
This symbolizes the girl who follows the man of her choice. But every
relationship between individuals bears within it the danger that wrong turns
may be taken, leading to endless misunderstandings and disagreements.
Therefore it is necessary constantly to remain mindful of the end. If we
permit ourselves to drift along, we come together and are parted again as the
day may determine. If on the other hand a man fixes his mind on an end that
endures, he will succeed in avoiding the reefs that confront the closer
relationships of people.
The princess of ancient China maintained a fixed order of rank among the
court ladies, who were subordinated to the queen as are younger sisters to the
eldest. Frequently they came from the family of the queen, who herself led
them to her husband.
The meaning is that a girl entering a family with the consent of the wife
will not rank outwardly as the equal of the latter but will withdraw modestly
into the background. However, if she understands how to fit herself into the
pattern of things, her position will be entirely satisfactory, and she will feel
sheltered in the love of the husband to whom she bears children.
The same meaning is brought out in the relationships between officials. A
man may enjoy the personal friendship of a prince and be taken into his
confidence. Outwardly this man must keep tactfully in the background
behind the official ministers of state, but, although he is hampered by this
status, as if he were lame, he can nevertheless accomplish something through
the kindliness of his nature.
Here the situation is that of a girl married to a man who has disappointed
her. Man and wife ought to work together like a pair of eyes. Here the girl is
left behind in loneliness; the man of her choice either has become unfaithful
or has died. But she does not lost the inner light of loyalty. Thought the
other eye is gone, she maintains her loyalty even in loneliness.
A girl who is in a lowly position and finds no husband may, in some
circumstances, still win shelter as a concubine.
This pictures the situation of a person who longs too much for joys that
cannot be obtained in the usual way. He enters upon a situation not
altogether compatible with self-esteem. Neither judgment nor warning is
added to this line; it merely lays bare the actual situation, so that everyone
may draw a lesson from it.
The girl is virtuous. She does not wish to throw herself away, and allows the
customary time for marriage to slip by. However, there is no harm in this;
she is rewarded for her purity and, even though belatedly, finds the husband
intended for her.
The sovereign I is T'ang the Completer. This ruler decreed that the imperial
princesses should be subordinated to their husbands in the same manner as
other women (cf. Hexagram 11, six in the fifth place). The emperor does not
wait for a suitor to woo his daughter but gives her in marriage when he sees
fit. Therefore it is in accord with custom for the girl's family to take the
We see here a girl of aristocratic birth who marries a man of modest
circumstances and understands how to adapt herself with grace to the new
situation. She is free of all vanity of outer adornment, and forgetting her rank
in her marriage, takes a place below that of her husband, just as the moon,
before it is quite full, does not directly face the sun.
At the sacrifice to the ancestors, the woman had to present harvest offerings
in a basket, while the man slaughtered the sacrificial animal with his own
hand. Here the ritual is only superficially fulfilled; the woman takes an
empty basket and the man stabs a sheep slaughtered beforehand-solely to
preserve the forms. This impious, irreverent attitude bodes no good for a
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
It is necessary for you always and in all to be cautious, especially in affairs love. Try to perceive all event easy and coolly, differently you can get in very unpleasant position. Execution of desires is delayed. It is not necessary vanities. Now for you such time when it is better to wait and think. And at the same time it is the period when incomes exceed charges. Any more behind mountains more positive stage, and the nearest weeks it is necessary to devote itself to its preparation.
12. Obstruction (pǐ). Standstill
Learn how to overcome difficulties. Seek harmony in the relationship, while not neglecting.
Inital text of I Ching
Standstill. Evil people do not further the perseverance of the superior man. The great departs; the small approaches.
Heaven and earth do not unite:
The image of Standstill. Thus the superior man falls back upon his inner worth in order to escape the difficulties. He does not permit himself to be honored with revenue.
- When ribbon grass is pulled up, the sod comes with it. Each according to his kind. Perseverance brings good fortune and success.
- They bear and endure; This means good fortune for inferior people. The standstill serves to help the great man to attain success.
- They bear shame.
- He who acts at the command of the highest remains without blame. Those of like mind partake of the blessing.
- Standstill is giving way. Good fortune for the great man. What if it should fail, what if it should fail? In this way he ties it to a cluster of mulberry shoots.
- Nine at the top means: the standstill comes to an end.
First standstill, then good fortune.
The great leaves and the little will come. State of affairs is deplorable, relations are violated. Dissatisfaction of senior takes place. There are illusion and delusion. But everything is temporary. The future will bring change. Accumulate experience, watch out - what happens now will affect the future. Do not waste your strength of mind, take the trouble with dignity. Pay attention to people, do push off supporters.
This hexagram is the opposite of the preceding one. Heaven is above,
drawing farther and farther away, while the earth below sinks farther into the
depths. The creative powers are not in relation. It is a time of standstill and
decline. This hexagram is linked with the seventh month (August-
September), when the year has passed its zenith and autumnal decay is setting
Heaven and earth are out of communion and all things are benumbed. What
is above has no relation to what is below, and on earth confusion and
disorder prevail. The dark power is within, the light power is without.
Weakness is within, harshness without. Within are the inferior, and
without are the superior. The way of inferior people is in ascent; the way of
superior people is one the decline. But the superior people do not allow
themselves to be turned from their principles. If the possibility of exerting
influence is closed to them, they nevertheless remain faithful to their
principles and withdraw into seclusion.
When, owing to the influence of inferior men, mutual mistrust prevails in
public life, fruitful activity is rendered impossible, because the fundaments
are wrong. Therefore the superior man knows what he must do under such
circumstances; he does not allow himself to be tempted by dazzling offers to
take part in public activities. This would only expose him to danger, since he
cannot assent to the meanness of the others. He therefore hides his worth
and withdraws into seclusion.
The text is almost the same as that of the first line of the preceding hexagram,
but with a contrary meaning. In the latter a man is drawing another along
with him on the road to an official career; here a man is drawing another
with him into retirement form public life. This is why the text says here,
"Perseverance brings good fortune and success," and not "Undertakings bring
good fortune." If it becomes impossible to make our influence count, it is
only by retirement that we spare ourselves humiliation. Success in a higher
sense can be ours, because we know how to safeguard the value of our
Inferior people are ready to flatter their superiors in a servile way. They
would also endure the superior man if he would put an end to their
confusion. This is fortunate for them. But the great man calmly bears the
consequences of the standstill. He does not mingle with the crowd of the
inferior; that is not his place. By his willingness to suffer personally he
insures the success of his fundamental principles.
Inferior people who have risen to power illegitimately do not feel equal to the
responsibility they have taken upon themselves. In their hearts they begin to
be ashamed, although at first they do not show it outwardly. This marks a
turn for the better.
The time of standstill is nearing the point of change into its opposite.
Whoever wishes to restore order must feel himself called to the task and
have the necessary authority. A man who sets himself up a capable of
creating order according to his own judgment could make mistakes and end
in failure. But the man who is truly called to the task is favored by the
conditions of the time, and all those of like mind will share in his blessing.
The time undergoes a change. The right man, able to restore order, has
arrived. Hence "good fortune." But such periods of transition are the very
times in which we must fear and tremble. Success is assured only through
greatest caution, which asks always, "What if it should fail?" When a
mulberry bush is cut down, a number of unusually strong shoots sprout from
the roots. Hence the image of tying something to a cluster of mulberry shoots
is used to symbolize the way of making success certain. Confucius says about
Danger arises when a man feels secure in his position. Destruction threatens
when a man seeks to preserve his worldly estate. Confusion develops when a
man has put everything in order. Therefore the superior man does not forget
danger in his security, not ruin when he is well established, nor confusion
when his affairs are in order. In this way he gains personal safety and is able
to protect the empire.
The standstill does not last forever. However, it does not cease of its own
accord; the right man is needed to end it. This is the difference between a
state of peace and a state of stagnation. Continuous effort is necessary to
maintain peace: left to itself it would change into stagnation and
disintegration. The time of disintegration, however, does not change back
automatically to a condition of peace and prosperity; effort must be put forth
in order to end it. This shows the creative attitude that man must take if the
world is to be put in order.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You are not indifferent to that happens around, much to you is not clear. To you the people unworthy you last. Try to be vigilant and provident, it is not necessary to begin now any serious affairs. You often do not understand; quarrel with one of your friends, and even without the sufficient bases is probable on that. Your desires in the majority will be executed, but not at once. The State of affairs will soon change; try to listen to advice of the heads, but decisions accept under own discretion.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary