15 Humbling QIAN


Humbling. The Grey Rat. Make an offering and you will succeed.
The Realizing Person brings things to completion.

Balance and adjust things by cutting through pride and complication.  Reduce what is overdeveloped. Don’t try to advance yourself. Beware of conceit and arrogance. Be consistent and resilient. Don’t follow policy, do the right thing.

The Image
The old character shows an open mouth, words that bring speaker and listener together and a hand offering bundles of grain or arrows.

Circle of Meanings
Balance and adjust yourself by cutting through pride and complication; stay close to fundamentals, think and act in a modest way; an inner readjustment of yin and yang, male and female, that leads to the activation of inner animal powers in your favor. Heart Theme: 40 Deliverance from the suffering of the past.


Spirit Helpers
Mountain in the Earth.  Youngest Son and Mother, the Gatekeeper and the Midwife, find the treasure hidden in ordinary events. Keep your words and thoughts connected to fundamental things. By yielding and re-balancing the energies within, you acquire the power to realize things. Be clear about this then act directly. Your actions will open new possibilities. This is a time to be humble and stay close to fundamental things. In this way you free yourself and can use an opponent’s strength against him. You can bring your ideas to completion. Be clear about this. Setting inner limits will connect you to the power of earth. This releases you from outer constraint and makes you agile and alert. Balance things carefully and make the hidden connection. Heaven moves below to bring clarity. Earth’s power moves what is above. It is the way of all things to lessen what is full and help the humble. Through humbling you can accomplish and complete things.

Voice of the Mothers
Balance and adjust yourself by cutting through pride and complication to mobilize hidden powers. Take the lower position. Think of yourself in a modest way. Inner self-restraint now brings you a deep faith in the overall processes of life. Pour in more energy and involvement (42). Do not focus on founding a noble house and creating a new image of spirit (50).

This figure, rooted in ritual announcements and oracular response, presents a dream-animal or omen animal that is the sign of the activation of numinous animal powers. The literal animal is the great gray rat-headed hamster (Cricetelus triton nestor Thomas), a large, silver-gray rodent, solitary and untamable. It lives in an extensive system of burrows that suggest the underworld and will attack and eat other rodents. It appears suddenly and ominously, standing on its hind legs with forepaws folded in what looks like a fighting stance. The figure links this omen animal to the quality of humbling or equalizing, the moment when a lack is filled through activation of unconscious powers moving in underworld ways. This “qian, humbling” cuts through the pride and complication of an over-developed ego. It breeds an agile, extremely effective personal power connected with the Noble One or ideal of the Realizing Person (junzi). This quality is considered to be the handle of the power and virtue (de) that allows you to become an effective person and take your place in the struggles of the greater world. The souls and spirits extend blessing through it and the people love it. Heaven augments it and earth diffuses it.

Winter (15): Find the seed of the new by keeping your pride out of the way. Master your words to influence people. Work quietly to prepare the future.
Spring (36): Rouse new growth by hiding your talents. Though you feel held back, have no fear. You are connected to others through a network of spiritual beliefs. Be clear and simple. The dark time is ending.
Summer (22): Ripen the fruits by letting outer appearance reflect inner worth. Be brave and independent. Don’t run after impossible desires. Do the inner work. Don’t take the easy way.
Fall (52): Harvest the crop by being generous and careful. Cut through pride and complication. Lead by example. Learn from the past.

Voice of the Fathers
This is an Inspiring Figure, part of the Sacred Sickness Pathways that connect personal disorders and cultural change. It is part of a Zone of Radical Transformation where the power of realizing power of Earth manifests as words that can carry to a new generation. It is an experience of the Centers of Power in the stage of the Symbolic Life when we confront the problems of individual identity, sexuality and personal destiny or mission.

The Situation: Conscientious hidden work is recognized and rewarded.

Caring for Others: There is great potential here that must be realized over time, a chance to turn scarcity to abundance.  Focus on those for whom you are a leader. Review people’s abilities and reward conscientious work. Eliminate pretentiousness and incompetence.

Setting Intentions: Review key goals and change priorities. Bring forward new ideas and get rid of unproductive ways of being and doing. Make imaginative changes. Things that have been hidden will become visible. Be cautious and objective. There is a reversal coming. Move with it and you can transform future prosperity.

Communication and Interaction: Do not seek feedback. Do not do more than you are able. If you have been ignored, the position is about to be reversed. Can you rise to the challenge?

Change from the Inside Out: Be careful with new initiatives and resources. Be prepared to move with a changing situation. Present ideas and proposals in a simple and non-pretentious way. Over-exposure leads to downfall now.

  • Immediate Future: act without pride and you can accomplish many tasks.
  • Personal Development: create an inner balance of male-female powers.
  • Working within the Family: cut through defences to balance energies.
  • Expanding the Circle: review objectives and reward people who do the work.
  • Partnership: make way for your partner. Try saying yes first instead of no.

Pairing: Bringing Change to Life
Each hexagram is part of a Pair that that activates hidden paths of transformative energy through the interaction of the trigrams or Spirit Helpers, connecting phases of Inspiration and Realization. You are in the Inspiring phase of this Pair.

The transformative process of the Pair 15:16 Humbling and Providing For develops the inner balance to cut through pride and complication and the patience to wait for a real call to action.

Outer to Inner: The process shifts the power of the Midwife trigram from the outer world of 15 to the inner world of 16. This turns your abstract faith in the processes of life into a deep inner devotion.

Inner to Outer: This interiorisation transforms the Gatekeeper trigram in the inner world of 15 into the Groundbreaker trigram in the outer world of 16. This turns inner self-restraint into a liberating awareness of the whole.

Transforming Lines

Mothering Change presents Transforming Lines as Steps of Change that show you where and how to focus your energy. Click on the links to connect with the Relating Figure generated by each line.

Inner World

Step 1 Beginnings: This return of the spirit attracts a new fate.
Humbling bites through.
The Realizing Person uses this to step into the Great Stream.
Wise Words! The Way opens.
Work hard at this. Keep your pride out of the way. This is the difficult journey that brings deliverance. Work on in the dark to prepare the future. Master your words and you can influence people. These goings and comings release energy bound up in the past. Co-operate with the ongoing process of change. (36 Hiding Brightness)

Step 2 Inner Center: This inner re-organization leads to harmony with others.
Humbling signals to others.
Trial: Wise Words! The Way opens.
The inner work you are doing calls out to others. This can be an ever-flowing source of energy and inspiration. Gather people in ranks and give them positions. Provide for what has been hurt. Give this an enduring place in your heart. If you let yourself be led now you can realize the hidden potential. Co-operate with the ongoing process of change. (46 Ascending)

Step 3 Threshold: This inner re-balancing lets you make your way in life.
The Realizing Person, toiling, toiling through Humbling,
brings what he desires to completion. Wise Words! The Way opens.
Humbly work at this. You do not need to advertise. Unconscious powers are working for you. This is a containing beauty that empowers you. Everything is bundled in the bag. Do not doubt. You will soon gather friends like a hair clasp gathers the hair and acquire whatever you need. (2 Field/Midwife)

Outer World

Step 4 Arrival: This inner preparation leads to what is greater.
Demonstrate Humbling. Seize the moment.
There is nothing for which this will not be advantageous.
Seize the moment. Cut through pride and complications. Do not be attached to your ideas. Let the adversity that is going now be a warning. Do not carry on in the old ways. Do not be skeptical. Do not hold back. You are connected to a creative force. (62 Small Traverses/Flying Bird)

Step 5 Outer Center: This inner re-grouping lets your real purpose shine.
If you are not affluent, use your neighbor’s wealth.
Advantageous to attack and subjugate them.
There is nothing for which this will not be advantageous.
You have a real purpose. Be aggressive and take what you need. Everything will benefit. In the greatest difficulties, partners will come. You can catch the hidden negative influences and acquire the power to act directly. The limits you have set yourself are turning you to stone so do not even complete the day like this. Step outside the norms. These goings and comings will release the energy now bound up in the past. Gather energy for the decisive new move. (39 Diverging)

Step 6 Culmination: This inner stripping leads to a breakthrough.
Humbling signals to others.
Advantageous to move the legions and chastise the capital city.
Focus your energy, marshal your forces and attack. You can set things right now. Be generous. Act with a clear heart. Let your actions call others, not your words. Be generous at this boundary and you will release the revitalizing energy. Co-operate with the ongoing process of change. (52 Bound/Gatekeeper)