787877Hexagram 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.

Nuclear HexagramHexagram 64

Incomplete change.

Line image

Here the personal self has withdrawn from both inner and outer activity (lines 4 and 6) and we are in the peace of inactive feeling (lines 2 and 5). This uninvolvement and quiet feeling comes at the end of a cycle of involvement and the common name of the hexagram is “before completion”.

Trigram image

In this flow the energy is hesitant in our outer expression and inner being (both Li) so we will be unsure how to express in a situation that is somewhat empty and confusing. The emerging energy is low (K’an) and so is the energy in our identity (also K’an) which pictures our situation at the end of something we have been involved in, the energy has run out but it is not all completed yet and we are hesitant to invest more energy in it.

The Chinese Oracle

Before completion.
Little fox. Crossing the ice. Tail in the water.
No chosen direction is favourable now.


No chosen direction means not starting something new—for to do that we choose. The tail is in the water because the crossing is not yet complete and it is by keeping our choosing mind frozen that we can complete what we have been engaged in (when this becomes liquid the tail gets wet). So the success is in completing (the crossing) and the little fox is he who is learning to take advantage of his circumstances.


The pattern
Change is not complete.
Only part is changed.
Change is still to come.
For humans
He starts out into opposition.
He is so changed
he opposes no more.
In nature
Water enters fire,
leaving fire.
In forms we make
When existing orders
change their challengers
partial change occurs.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

Here we are not moving sufficiently with the tao we are in; the drive in the tao diminishes before we have completed our transition out of a habit-reality.

The Chinese Image
The little fox gets his tail wet.

We are in transition so it is essential to keep moving, if we stop to consider our position we get submerged in where we are and the transition ceases.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

With our intuitive feelings active we are more aware, and to be more aware when in transition means witnessing, not being involved in action; we just feel our situation.

The Chinese Image
He brakes the wheels of his carriage.
Continuance in the way brings good fortune.

We stop our outer movement; it is this that carries us in the world and so is our carriage. Transition continues here while the old way of moving is stopped, so continuing with this is the way through.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

If we stop movement during transition we may start off in a new direction to save ourselves the effort of inner change.

The Chinese Image
The movement is not complete.
New directions are unfortunate.
The advantage comes in crossing the great water.

Change in our mode of being is not complete so to start any new movement now will be moving from our old motivations and endanger the change that is nearly complete.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

When a change is happening in our identifying pattern our old motivations turn up all sorts of new activities to keep themselves in being; these are the stumbling blocks to change.

The Chinese Image
Continuance in the way brings good fortune.
Subduing the land of Kuei (the land of the devils) took three years and great rewards were gained.

We have to continue through the change (three years symbolically is a cycle of change) continually preventing old and habitual ways from keeping their footholds. Before completion means that we are on our way in a process of change and to complete the transition we must persist.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

Our intuitive feeling is quiet in this tao; we have needed to accept this quietness also so that new action did not arise. Now we are further along the path of change and do not need this vigilance.

The Chinese Image
Continuance in the way brings reward.
No regret.
The attraction of the superior man has effect.
Good fortune.

The transition has passed its doubting phase where we were subject to going back to the old ways. We now have confidence in the wider experience which is the reward of transition.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

The life energy of this tao moves to create change, and here we go with the movement, identifying in it. We need to be careful of this identifying.

The Chinese Image
Confidence and feasting is no error.
If his head gets wet confidence is lost.

Confidence and over-confidence; in the first we trust providence and in the second we trust our heads.