23 Stripping BO


Stripping. It is not advantageous to have a place to go.

Eliminate old habits, patterns and structures. Use your power quietly and be generous with those who look to you for leadership. Beware of seeking personal gain or insisting on control. Adapt to the time by giving up personal desires and supporting those who look up to you.

The Image
The old character shows an inscribed oracle bone, the knife used to carve the characters that express the meaning and a winch used to draw water for irrigation.

Circle of Meanings
Strip away old ideas and habits, eliminate the outmoded or worn out; remove, uncover, take off, cut into; wound, diminish, reduce to essentials; rituals of second burial, exposing and stripping the corpse. Heart Theme: 2 Field/Yielding, the primal power of realization.


Spirit Helpers
Mountain limits Earth. Youngest Son and Mother, the Gatekeeper and the Midwife, are stripping away the old cycle. Eliminate habits, ideas and structures that are outmoded and obsolete. Cut into the problem without thought of immediate gain or purpose. You will find your direction and have a real place to go. Do not make plans. Deal with what is at hand. This is the end of an old cycle and the preparation for the new. Re-establish creative balance by stripping away outmoded embellishments. Take action. Give generously to what is below you to stabilize your position. Do not impose your will. Adapt to what is coming. Concentrate on the symbolic value of things. The old structure is dissolving so that new energy can emerge. This is where Heaven is moving.

Voice of the Mothers
Strip away old ideas and patterns. Reduce things to the essential. Inner devotion now opens the patterns that mark real ends and beginnings. This is a time when you must endure in what is right (32). Do not focus on augmenting your involvements (42).

The root of “bo, stripping” is knife. It represents stripping off rotting skin and flesh, slicing into the body to reveal the bones, uncovering the meats offered in sacrifice, eliminating the outmoded and decadent in preparation for the return of the new. There is deprivation and loss of direction involved in this, imaged as a period of time spent in the grave or the ritual of death and re-birth in the Mourning Hut. Literally, stripping represents the first burial or exposure of the corpse to animals and elements, when the flesh is rotted or stripped away. During this liminal period the soul must be fed and guided in the underworld, a job for the Wu or Spirit-Intermediaries who would talk to the ghost of the newly deceased, persuading it to return to the tomb rather than exorcising it as a bad influence. After the exposure or burial, the bones were gathered or disinterred, rubbed with red ocher and put into a vase or urn that served as the spirit-home. The liberated spirit-soul would then re-enter the human community and act as a guide and benefactor to the community of the living. Its name could be used again. The palace women in this figure are attendants on the Queen Mother of the West, the Queen of the Dead. The character shows the knife used to carve the oracle bones that record the words of the departed spirit once it is enshrined as an ancestor.

Fall (23): Harvest the crop by changing the way you think and your approach.  Let new results show you what to do next. Make real changes. Don’t just switch the way you present things.
Winter (2): Find the seed of the new. The situation will stabilize gradually. Be receptive and follow its lead.
Spring (24): Rouse new growth through returning to your flow. Don’t just think about it, do something. Do not go back to your old ways.
Summer (27): Ripen the fruits by clearing the channels of communication. Use your imagination and don’t fall into self-pity. Any cause for sorrow will soon disappear.

Voice of the Fathers
This is an Inspiring Figure, a Heart Theme of Change. It is part of a Zone of Radical Transformation when we pass through the Tiger’s Mouth to connect with the Realizing Power of Earth. It is an Approach to centers of power in the stage of the Symbolic Life that centers on initiation, finding a relation to culture and the search for an image of the deeper self.

The Situation: A time of breakdown in which resources must be spread evenly throughout the existing structure if it is to survive.

Stewardship: This is a crucial situation in which resources must be re-allocated from top to bottom. The current situation cannot be sustained. The strong must give to the weak. Support your family members by redirecting resources and stripping away unnecessary expenses. Beware of personal outbursts. Say calm.

Setting Intentions: All fundamental assumptions need radical review. If adequate resources are not brought to bear immediately the family will suffer.

Communication and Interaction: Very poor. Seek a common ground. Cooperation is critical. Seek new input from within or face disaster. Listen!

Change from the Inside Out: No possibilities without major internal change. Take no risks.

  • Immediate Future: loss of direction and confrontation with old problems.
  • Personal Development: do not act out! Eliminate old patterns.
  • Working within the Family: peel away outmoded thoughts that cause confusion.
  • Expanding the Circle: spread resources and benefits to all. 
  • Partnership: strip away what covers your core connection.

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 23:24 Stripping and Returning develops the determination to eliminate compulsions and nurture the spirit of the new.

Outer to Inner: The process transforms the Gatekeeper trigram in the outer world of 23 into the Groundbreaker trigram in the inner world of 24. This turns your abstract awareness of patterns into real inner enlightenment.

Inner to Outer: This interiorisation shifts the Midwife trigram from the inner world of 23 to the outer world of 24. This turns inner devotion into a deep faith in the overall processes of life.

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.
Change the bed by using the stand.
Ignoring the Trial: Trap! The Way closes.
Change your base and what supports you. Confront the old delusions. Do not ignore the challenge. You must overcome the seductive delusions of wealth and power or all you care for will be destroyed. This is a time of radical transformation. Strip away your old ideas. Be open and provide what is needed. (27 Jaws/Nourishing)

Step 2 Inner Center: This inner re-organization leads to harmony with others.
Change the bed by marking things off.
Ignoring the Trial: Trap! The Way closes.
Differentiate yourself from others and dissolve negative projections. You have the power to revitalize the dwelling now. Embrace the feminine and work through the small. Find the vital power of inner growth and circulate it to all. As the time renews itself give with open arms. Be open and provide what is needed. (4 Enveloping)

Step 3 Threshold: This inner re-balancing lets you make your way in life.
Strip it away! This is not a mistake.
Take decisive action now.  It is imperative you strip away old limits and outmoded, repressive ideas for the bitter smoke that arises from them is smothering your heart. Co-operate with the ongoing process of change. (52 Bound/Gatekeeper)

Outer World

Step 4 Arrival: This inner preparation leads to what is greater.
Changing the bed, cutting close to the flesh.
Trap! The Way closes.
You are carried away with the renovation of your life, about to do serious harm. Pull back from the crisis. Do not overreact to your previous timidity and fear. You have found the central illusion causing the disorder that troubles you. This will free you from affliction but you must act slowly and carefully to realize it. Accept the difficult task. These comings and goings will release bound energy. Co-operate with the ongoing process of change. (35 Flourishing)

Step 5 Outer Center: This inner re-grouping lets your real purpose shine.
Thread the fish by the gills. You obtain the favor of the palace women.
Nothing not advantageous.
Use your connections and trust your imagination, for the spirit is re-emerging. There is profit and fertility hidden in the stream of events. Watch for the signs of its emergence. Connect yourself to the ideal of the Realizing Person who seeks to live life in accord with the flow and you will make no mistakes. Something important is returning now. Be open and provide what is needed. (20 Viewing)

Step 6 Culmination: This inner stripping leads to a breakthrough.
A ripe fruit not eaten. The Realizing Person acquires a cart.
Small People merely Strip their faces.
This is a time of radical transformation. Step out to meet it. Take in the fruits of your actions, move on and carry them away. You may have been keeping at a distance because of pain or isolation but now is the time to let it go. Proceed step by step. Be open and provide what is needed. (2 Field/Midwife)