|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.
39. Limping (jiǎn). Obstruction
Happy is one who knows when to stop and change direction. It is impossible for a person to argue with a will of Heaven.
Inital text of I Ching
Obstruction. The southwest furthers. The northeast does not further. It furthers one to see the great man. Perseverance brings good fortune.
Water on the mountain:
The image of Obstruction. Thus the superior man turns his attention to himself and molds his character.
- Going leads to obstructions, coming meets with praise.
- The king's servant is beset by obstruction upon obstruction, but it is not his own fault.
- Going leads to obstructions; Hence he comes back.
- Going leads to obstructions, coming leads to union.
- In the midst of the greatest obstructions, friends come.
- Going leads to obstructions, coming leads to great good fortune. It furthers one to see the great man.
The situation creates an obstacle for further progress. It can be overcome after an unfortunate situation is resolved. If you try to get around it now – you will wastee energy, expose yourselves to more danger. Your advantage is to anticipate the danger and stop. Beware the wiles of enemies, do not enter a fight. Ask for help from a great man. Be firm. Accept the will of Heaven, and everything will change.
The hexagram pictures a dangerous abyss lying before us and a steep,
inaccessible mountain rising behind us. We are surrounded by obstacles; at
the same time, since the mountain has the attribute of keeping still, there is
implicit a hint as to how we can extricate ourselves. The hexagram represents
obstructions that appear in the course of time but that can and should be
overcome. Therefore all the instruction given is directed to overcoming
The southwest is the region of retreat, the northeast that of advance. Here an
individual is confronted by obstacles that cannot be overcome directly. In
such a situation it is wise to pause in view of the danger and to retreat.
However, this is merely a preparation for overcoming the obstructions. One
must join forces with friends of like mind and put himself under the
leadership of a man equal to the situation: then one will succeed in
removing the obstacles. This requires the will to persevere just when one
apparently must do something that leads away from his goal. This
unswerving inner purpose brings good fortune in the end. An obstruction
that lasts only for a time is useful for self-development. This is the value of
Difficulties and obstructions throw a man back upon himself. While the
inferior man seeks to put the blame on other persons, bewailing his fate, the
superior man seeks the error within himself, and through this introspection
the external obstacle becomes for him an occasion for inner enrichment and
When one encounters an obstruction, the important thing is to reflect on
how best to deal with it. When threatened with danger, one should not strive
blindly to go ahead, for this only leads to complications. The correct thing is,
on the contrary, to retreat for the time being, not in order to give up the
struggle but to await the right moment for action.
Ordinarily it is best to go around an obstacle and try to overcome it along the
line of least resistance. But there is one instance in which a man must go out
to meet the trouble, even though difficulty piles upon difficulty: this is when
the path of duty leads directly to it-in other words, when he cannot act of his
own volition but is duty bound to go and seek out danger in the service of a
higher cause. Then he may do it without compunction, because it is not
through any fault of his that he is putting himself in this difficult situation.
While the preceding line shows the official compelled by duty to follow the
way of danger, this line shows the man who must act as father of a family or
as head of his kin. If he were to plunge recklessly in to danger, it would be a
useless act, because those entrusted to his care cannot get along by themselves.
But if he withdraws and turns back to his own, they welcome him with great
This too describes a situation that cannot be managed single-handed. In such
a case the direct way is not the shortest. If a person were to forge ahead on his
own strength and without the necessary preparations, he would not find the
support he needs and would realize too late that he has been mistaken in his
calculations, inasmuch as the conditions on which he hoped he could rely
would prove to be inadequate. In this case it is better, therefore, to hold back
for the time being and to gather together trustworthy companions who can be
counted upon for help in overcoming the obstructions.
Here we see a man who is called to help in an emergency. He should not seek
to evade the obstructions, no matter how dangerously they pile up before
him. But because he is really called to the task, the power of his spirit is strong
enough to attract helpers whom he can effectively organize, so that through
the well-directed co-operation of all participants the obstruction is overcome.
This refers to a man who has already left the world and its tumult behind
him. When the time of obstructions arrives, it might seem that the simplest
thing for him to do would be to turn his back upon the world and take refuge
in the beyond. But this road is barred to him. He must not seek his own
salvation and abandon the world to its adversity. Duty calls him back once
more into the turmoil of life. Precisely because of his experience and inner
freedom, he is able to create something both great and complete that brings
good fortune. And it is favorable to see the great man in alliance with whom
one can achieve the work of rescue.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Alas, but this one of the worst hexagrams. The more efforts you apply, the appear rejected back further. It is difficult to tell, why, but at present fate your destiny does not interest. Is better to plunge now into study, reading, scientific activity, it is simple in whirlpool of house affairs, and in them to find calm. Probably, that a little your friends will support to you. Try to track the charges: during this bad period you can remain without means.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary