778777Hexagram 10

Becoming real.

Line image

Here, the only yin or active line is in the place of the outer world (line 3). Our response shown by line 4 is inactive which both means that we are not manipulating it and that we are not very aware of its nature. This unawareness is accentuated by the other yang lines in the top half of the hexagram to make a situation where we have to learn by experience of what happens, to handle the unexpected. The common name for the hexagram are “treading” and “conduct”.

Trigram image

In this flow the life force is tentative (Tui), our activity hesitant (Li), and our personality reactions are structured (Sun); so we are using our previously acquired experience to deal with new forms of experience and so we treat warily. This is an outer learning tao and the inner being (Ch’ien) is not affected.

The Chinese Oracle

Treading upon the tail of the tiger.
It does not bite him. Success.


Walking into new situations. Wondering if it will turn out all right. All this is necessary to gain outer experience, and it is only by treading on the tiger’s tail that we can discover that it does not bite us. Without risk there is no success, everything is a foregone conclusion; so outer success is here as part and parcel of risk, not because in all cases we shall achieve it. Our personal self has success anyway because it increases its experience.


The pattern
Life force shines through,
linking the outer with inner.
For humans
A knowing of inner knowing
gives a realization.
Making this firm in ourselves
increases potential.
Each realization takes a liberty
with the reality of the one,
but is also a link with it.
In nature
The fire of heaven
draws the water in the earth.
In forms we make
To enter where power is
can easily be confused
with being that power.
To enter gently is not dangerous.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

The top three lines of the hexagram, being yang, show that our responses are withheld, so this return of activity in the emerging life force is not our anticipation but the natural turn of events.

The Chinese Image
Simple energy.
going forward blamelessly.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

Here we open our awareness to a quiet inner energy (line 1), we feel quiet and in tune with the tao. In general it is more difficult for our acutely identified form of identity to feel something inactive, for the quieter it gets the less there is for identity to do, but here it is beneficial to learn about this quietness and to persevere with these feelings.

The Chinese Image
Treading a smooth level path.
A dark man perseveres and brings good fortune.

In an inner interpretation the dark man is an unconscious element in us, a feeling (as this is the line of feeling) that has not been defined in consciousness.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

The way in which we are ignorant of outer activity in this tao (line 4 is yang) leads to its decrease; in a sense, we are controlling outer activity and miss-seeing the tao, which is to learn from the tao rather than manipulate it. We may think that we are awake but our ignorance makes it more like dream-walking and this not-quite-seeing in the outer world leads to mistaking our situation; we learn, but through making mistakes.

The Chinese Image
With one eye he can still see.
With one leg he can still walk.
He treads upon the tail of the tiger and it bites him.
Warriors act thus in service of their overlord.

This is symbolic of identity out there on the battlefield of the outer world to learn the lessons needed by his greater self (the overlord). In this greater sense our errors are inevitable and so no error at all.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

In this tao the outer state has the only manifest activity. As we become more absorbed in outer activity we lose sight within (insight) and are liable to lose contact with the tao. The third line is yin and to accept the natural activity of the tao is in keeping with it, but to accept it as our activity is to lose the experience that the tao can give us.

The Chinese Image
Great caution is required when treading on the tiger’s tail but the outcome (of treading with caution) is fortunate.

The distinction between action and self-involved action is not always easy to make while we are in activity; here we need the caution.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

Our direct knowing is inactive in this tao and being aware of this quietness is different to being involved in it and making it our way of being; there is no dividing line to make this difference distinct so we need to be very wary of being absorbed in the quietness until we lose the witnessing of events and also of stimulating feeling into activity.

The Chinese Image
Treading with care and attention to danger. There may be trouble.

The trouble would arise if we were not attentive enough and think we were being bold or if we become afraid and fail to tread at all.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

Inner change is not yet manifesting in this tao, so it is about being with quietness inside and activity outside. In this moving line we accept learning this by a balance of witnessing with participation which provides a very effective living technique. The balance is dynamic, it is constantly modified and never made into rules to live by. This becomes the art of riding life, responding to its every movement yet never falling into the role of mastering it.

The Chinese Image
Watch your conduct and be alert to signs and great good fortune will follow.

Riding life, never adrift and never entangled is the greatest good fortune.

Nuclear HexagramHexagram 37

Nourishing relationships.

Line image

The activity here is in our intuitive feeling (line 2) and acceptance of an inactive outer world (line 4), so spontaneous feeling will be evident and it will be somewhat enclosed or protected. The common name of the hexagram is “the family” and it may refer to an enclosed unit of the external family or to our internal unit of different identifying parts in our personal self.

Trigram image

In the trigrams forming “the family” it is not surprising to find Li and K’an alternating and maturing at the top in Sun (Li is elemental female surrounded by elemental male and K’an is the converse). The energy flow is hesitant and with doubt as different elements try to merge together while keeping their separate identities, eventually maturing into a structure as a family does and also as our personal identity does.

The Chinese Oracle

The family.
The importance of the woman develops.


The central value of the female element is both growing and causing development in the whole, the family. It is the female attributes that become important, the feeling mode that creates the family as a unit, although of course the wife is central in the family also.


The pattern
Opposites alternate in harmony,
gently maturing.
For humans
The taming of fire made home.
The fire of opposites dancing together
becomes life rhythm.
The young and hesitant grow mature.
The fluid pattern of family life
grows firm, even rigid.
In nature
Sun and rain.
nature grows and ripens.
In forms we make
The ordering of things
so each plays its part
establishes order in the whole.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

Activity from within is the essence and harmony in relationship, it comes from the shared reality and so is not in contest. Here it is activity that is shared and so helps to develop relationship.

The Chinese Image
The family is enclosed (regulated).
Regret disappears.

Enclosure separates the unit from the “other”, it creates the unit. The search for “the other” is satisfied so regret disappears in the relationship of complementary parts.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

We are not looking for new feeling from the life force, not making feeling out of it but attending to daily matters.

The Chinese Image
She does not attend to separate matters
but to the preparation of food.
Continuance in this brings good fortune.

If intuitive feeling is active it is interpreting the life force to guide the growth of identity but here identity has all it requires within it (within the family) and attending to this brings the good fortune.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

Forming the whole, whether in family or personal self, requires activity to be within an enclosed structure. Here the activity tends to go outside.

The Chinese Image
When family members are at variance the confrontation may bring regret and danger but then good fortune.
If the woman and children do not take this seriously there is regret.

Confrontation comes when partners in relationship strengthen their separate role and relate outside. Only the separate can relate yet relating brings separate parts together, so confrontation is a basic need in relating; if, however, feeling does not take this fact seriously the structure of relationship is no longer enclosed and for the “family” this causes regret.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

Here we are becoming less concerned with a lack of outer activity, we are not looking for nourishment there because it already exists inside. This is to be centred.

The Chinese Image
Enriching the family.
Great good fortune.

The enrichment is from turning inwards so it is not about external wealth but the flow of internal relationships in feeling.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

Our intuitive feeling attracts our attention. There is a looking around for new identification which is threatening to the family.

The Chinese Image
The king’s influence comes to his family.
Do not be troubled.
Good fortune.

The king rules and holds the kingdom together, so here the worry of independent parts breaking up the unit of interrelationship is unfounded.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

The life force emerging into relationship (line 1) is yang, which is to say undefined energy, and here we are trusting in this, basing our being upon it. We trust the bonds which make the parts whole without questioning how or why, which lays the foundation for sound sharing of outer experience and makes it possible to share within ourself. It is necessary for sharing parts to recognize their common root—their part in it.

The Chinese Image
Arrayed like a king.
Good fortune in the end.

Sincerity being within the family it grows an identity, we identify within it, and this is like a king because it rules the way we are; when the parts identify in the whole (in this case the family) they no longer need to be stating their separateness and this is the good fortune at the end of the formation of the family.