888778Hexagram 45

Out of gestation.

Line image

The two lines which relate to our identity responses, lines 4 and 5, are yang, so we are not involved with either our intuitive feeling (line 2) or our outer world (line 3) both of which are active. Our inner being (line 6) is, however, aware and active with the energy of the emerging life force (line 1). So in this structure our being is involved with the emerging life force and not with our feelings nor our outer activity.

As life energy manifests in time from the inner to the outer the above means that we are involved with inner activity which will present itself in the world later on. The common name of the hexagram is “gathering together”, as clouds will gather before there is rain.

Trigram image

There is free activity of the life force (K’un) which is stilled in the outer world (Kên) by the structured nature of identity (Sun); however it produces a new activity in our inner being (Tui). This shows a mature identity in preparation for new changes.

The trigram Sun in the place of identity also shows a maturing of our conscious self which is another aspect of gathering together.

The Chinese Oracle

Gathering together.
The king approaches the temple.
To see the great man is an advantage,
ensuring success.
Continuance in the way is rewarded.
Great sacrifice. Good fortune.
Movement is helpful.


The success of gathering together is the whole that is made. A temple is for sacrificing the part to whole reality and the king (our identifying mode of being) is approaching this as our differing aspects gather together. To see the great man is to see the whole man, or to see that man is whole if he does not identify himself as separate parts.

The great sacrifice here is separateness, the ownership of a part of reality as “me”, or on a smaller scale the ownership of reality by a facet of me, some desire syndrome in me. Good fortune comes from movement from our present position, which is sacrificing what we are.


The pattern
New life being formed in seclusion.
Gathering together,
preparing for a birth.
For humans
Idea gathers in mind’s womb
impregnated with experience.
Human form in the female
aroused by the male.
In secret its soul enters,
The essence of its total.
In nature
In an egg, when a bird.
In a womb, when a mammal.
In the sky, when a storm gathering.
In forms we make
Forming form is delicate,
taking its own time hidden.
To intrude endangers it.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

If the life force appears to falter here it is a temporary swing; gathering together is the prevailing movement and it will certainly manifest itself. If we feel insecure due to lack of present support we can gain confidence by looking overall, where gathering together has strength and confidence.

The Chinese Image
When confidence does not last
there is sometimes gathering and sometimes scattering.
One cry, one clasp of a hand, and he laughs again.
Do not regret, the movement is without blame.

Gathering together has its ups and downs and if we have our being too acutely in the present this appears as gathering and scattering.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

The change occurring in us is an inner gathering together and feeling turns inwards and becomes quiet. This moves with the tao, we await the change, we nurture it, but do not try to distinguish it even with feeling—we are allowing it to be itself.

The Chinese Image
Allowing oneself to be gathered in is an advantage.
No error.
A sacrifice furthers it.

Allowing involves the sacrifice of separate will, without this sacrifice feeling remains a feeling “about” experience and not a feeling from within it.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

Although gathering together is internal, identity still needs a flow and action itself is not against the tao; a rhythm of activity, little things, keeps structure in place and feelings secure. Here we need to act but not to focus our being in the act.

The Chinese Image
Gathering with sad feelings.
Aim is unfortunate yet moving
is no error.
There is some regret.

The regret comes from the focusing, for the activity is a necessary part of our situation but will not carry our life flow.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

Our outer reality (line 3) is in an active state and by identifying in this while the inner strength is gathering together we interfere less with the process; also we are then in the right place when the new energy is manifest.

The Chinese Image
Great good fortune.
No error.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

Here we are identifying with active feeling which centres identity and gathers its elements together.

The Chinese Image
The position of gathering together is no error.
If there are some not yet in this position they need great continuance in the way, then regret disappears.

The regret we have is that some parts are unworthy, untrustworthy, wrong. Without acceptance of these parts we cannot be gathered together.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

Our being is now less involved in the process of gathering together. We are not yet ready to accept the consequences of sacrificing our separateness (or what we think are the consequences).

The Chinese Image
Sighs and tears, but no error.

It is not an error to continue in identity, it only means that we are not experienced enough yet to leave it; despite its problematic nature, its sighs and tears, we choose it.

Nuclear HexagramHexagram 53


Line image

The active emerging life force (line 1) leaves our inner being unchanged (line 6); our active intuitive feeling is ignored by our identity (lines 2 and 5), while we accept an inactive outer world (lines 4 and 3). This is not a structure to carry much flow or achievement but rather a stubborn, almost perverse, obstruction to outer change. An attitude of patience and continuation of effort is required to produce results; with this is a desire to find a place to rest from the continuing effort, shown by line 4.

Trigram image

As the life force emerges it is stilled in the image of Kên and has little flow outside (K’an). We are hesitant to act (Li) and our structured inner being is difficult to change (Sun). This unflowing tao is most usefully experienced in a docile manner; it is strong and we do best to comply with it, moving where and how it will allow. We can learn from it the strength of necessity and also that our own necessities have the strength to make progress without our forcing them. Its common name is “gradual progress”.

The Chinese Oracle

Gradual progress.
Like a maiden’s marriage,
bringing good fortune.
Continuance in the way
brings advantage.


Circumstances are too stubborn for much movement to take place, but feeling is active and is a movement we can benefit from if we can become one with it, hence the symbol of a maiden’s marriage; this will serve us better than continually reassessing our situation. Continuance is of course necessary to harvest the fruits of gradual progress.

The image common to all the lines which move is the progress of a wild goose. The goose migrates over great distances and the various images show the vicissitudes of his arrival—our own arrival in wholeness where flow is neither resisted nor pressured and so is harmonious.


The pattern
Clinging to the firm
avoids being swept away;
allows progress
where there is opposition.
For humans
Endurance gives time
for achieving ends.
A presence continued
acquires influence.
Amongst uncertainty
he remains calm and firm.
In nature
The tree on the mountain
grows tenaciously,
refusing to be uprooted.
In forms we make
That which continues
while changing
to meet circumstances
has the art of endurance.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

Here the life force comes to a state of rest, so activities that we are just beginning may run into difficulties as their energy peters out. If we do not push forward we may seem weak to those who do not recognize the situation but we do best to go at the pace that circumstances allow.

The Chinese Image
The wild goose
gradually approaches the shore.
The son has difficulties.
There is criticism but no error.

The wild goose approaches land and so a place to rest; renewal, however, (the son) has difficulties, young or new efforts are not supported by the life force. The lack of progress towards any completion leads to criticism but it is not our fault, it is time for gradually finishing a journey, not starting a new one.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

Here our feelings become stilled by the tao and we can relax efforts towards activity. There is no need and no profit to be gained from pushing forward towards what we desire, there is enough nourishment here in our present situation to rest and renew us.

The Chinese Image
The wild goose gradually approaches rock.
Contented eating and drinking.
Good fortune.

Rock is what underlies the surface and so is symbolic of underlying truth. The truth of our situation is that we can relax and enjoy what nourishment our circumstances provide—there is no need to continue the journey at present.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

In a tao that has so little flow it is not an advantage to set out on new activity because it is not supported by the life energy and will not reach completion. Identity’s need for activity tempts us to move, activity is its food, but here it will lead us astray.

The Chinese Image
The wild goose approaches a dry land.
The man goes out and does not return.
The woman is with child but does not give forth.
It is time to ward off evil.

The goose has gone too far, its natural habitat is near water and here it approaches dry land; we identify too far into a defined world where values are fixed, dry so unflowing, so the defining element in us (the man) is projected into our circumstances and is lost there. The flowing and feeling element in us could give birth to new experience but cannot bring it forth because we identify our outer self as the source of action and ignore the womb where growth occurs “of itself”. The evil is this narrow attitude.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

In this line we are less interested in holding off activity, we allow it to be what comes, so we may find that there is a way, in which case we can take advantage of it, or we may find that there is not and we must be prepared to carry on. Persisting in this mode of being we ride life, allowing it to take us on its way, and we learn lessons about our desire for security.

The Chinese Image
The wild goose approaches a tree.
It may find a branch to land on.
No error.

Geese do not live in trees; identity may visit identified places but they are not its home either. This visiting is not an error but neither is it a home-coming.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

As our intuitive state is active (line 2) this recognition of it restores the flow of feeling to our conscious self.

The Chinese Image
The wild goose approaches the crest of a hill.
Three years the woman has no child, then success comes.
Good fortune.

For a goose the crest of a hill does not mean home, it is something to rise over. This images an effort and then success and the three years the woman waits for her child is a period of change, change to new feeling which allows the natural processes to complete themselves.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

By accepting the tao in our inner being we give up trying to force the pace and so we become part of this phase of gradual progress. In our bodies if a part calls attention to itself it is taken as a sign that something is wrong, it is no longer part of the organic whole but has become separate. Similarly identity is part of our whole being and the being is healthy when identity is not demonstrating its separateness.

The Chinese Image
The wild goose gradually
approaches the heights.
Its feathers are used in ritual.
Good fortune.

Heaven and spirituality are imaged as “above” so the heights are towards heaven or the inner whole reality, the state of wholeness. The goose (our identifying) disappears into this unmanifest reality leaving just an outer appearance, the feathers, as indicators of where it has gone.