24 Returning FU


Returning. Make an offering and you will succeed.
They go out and come in without affliction. Friends arrive without fault.
Reverse yourself and the Way will return. It comes on the seventh day.
Advantageous to have a direction to go.

Renew and renovate things. Re-establish relations. Don’t leave your secure place for now. Beware of aggression and pushing plans to premature completion. Be gentle and supportive. Explore new ideas.

The Image
The old character shows three footsteps leaving an ancient city.

Circle of Meanings
Renewal, rebirth, resurgence, renaissance; love and spirit return after a difficult time; renew, renovate, re-establish relationship; go back to the beginning, move from the city to the countryside, leave the complicated and return to the simple; return of the ancient past and the great sages. Heart Theme: 2 Field and the power of realization.


Spirit Helpers
Thunder in the Earth. Eldest Son and Mother, the Groundbreaker and the Midwife, are rousing energy that opens a new field. Leave the complicated and return to the simple. Find the purity of the original inspiration then turn and move in the opposite direction from your former path. Let things emerge without pressure. Join with others in mutual projects. People will suggest profitable projects now and it is not a mistake to join them. Your Way reverses and returns to you at the end of a completed period of time. This is the root of power and virtue. Mark yourself off from others and nurture the returning energy. Stir things up and work with the movement. In returning you see the heart of Heaven and Earth.

Voice of the Mothers
Rebirth and renewal. Go back to the source and meet the returning spirit. Let things emerge without pressure. Accepting the shock of inner enlightenment now brings you a deep faith in the overall processes of life. This is a time to establish your dwelling and clarify the relations within it (37). Do not focus on making a great sacrifice (41).

Return is one of the fundamental motifs in all the myths and philosophies of Change, the return to and of the Way and the eternal return of all things. It is the return of spirit after the first burial and stripping away the old. It is emergence from death and the underworld Ghost River, the incessant return of life and spirit. “Fu, return” is the root of power and virtue (de), the power to become who you are meant to be, discriminating the beings and giving birth to self-knowledge. The root of the term is a footstep, one step on the Way. It means starting at daybreak to cross the river to the Spring Festival and a renewal of spirit, joy and human community in the paradise place. It suggests the souls that return and the rituals to call them, the return to an original paradise time and death through which we all return to the source. Return is the image par excellence of the eternal going and coming (wang lai) on the river of time and the great flow of symbols that unfold the Way.

Spring (24): Rouse new growth through returning to your flow. Don’t just think about it, do something. Don’t go back to 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.
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.

Voice of the Fathers
This is a Realizing 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 release of tension that will begin a new cycle of achievement and progress.

Caring for Others: Treat this situation gently. Do not push growth or insist on ideas. Handle people carefully. Avoid over-planning. Let the natural process find its own way.

Setting Intentions: Do not interpret or push strategic goals. Be receptive. Let new ideas unfold naturally.

Communication and Interaction: Be positive, subtle and diplomatic. Matters will improve without special effort. Create a warm and open social atmosphere.

Change from the Inside Out: Be receptive and do your homework. Act with caution. Let new ideas find their feet before engaging resources. Test routines and wait until the way opens up.

  • Immediate Future: love and spirit return after a difficult time.
  • Personal Development: return to the original purity of motive in all you do.
  • Working within the Family: return people to themselves. 
  • Expanding the Circle: take care of your people. Do not force change.
  • Partnership: share your original hopes and dreams. Reshape your lives.

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 Realizing 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.
Not distancing the Return. No harm or cause for sorrow.
The Way to the Source is open.
You have stripped away the outmoded and found the new. Now take in the fruits of your actions. Do not go back to your old ways. Move on and carry it all away with you. You can connect with a deep source of energy. Be open and provide what is needed. (2 Field/Midwife)

Step 2 Inner Center: This inner re-organization leads to harmony with others.
Released and Returning. Let it go! Wise Words! The Way is open.
There is profit and fertility hidden in the stream of events now. Use these connections and trust your imagination. There is nothing that will not benefit from this. Connect yourself to the ideal of the Realizing Person who seeks to live life in accord with the flow. Be open and provide what is needed. (19 Nearing)

Step 3 Threshold: This inner re-balancing lets you make your way in life.
Returning from the brink, pressing and urgent.
Face the adversity, the hungry souls and angry ghosts. This is not a mistake.
You confront danger with its roots in the past. You have found the central illusion causing the disorder. This will free you from affliction, but you must act slowly and carefully to realize it. Pull back from your sense of crisis. Hide your light and accept the difficult task. These goings and comings release the energy now bound up in the past. Co-operate with the ongoing process of change. (36 Hiding Brightness)

Outer World

Step 4 Arrival: This inner preparation leads to what is greater.
The center is moving. Return alone.
Move with this even if you must go on alone. By taking decisive action you can renew yourself and all your relations. Strip away old limits and repressive ideas, for the bitter smoke that rises from them is smothering your heart. Take action. Step outside the norms and re-imagine the situation. Gather energy for the decisive new move. (51 Shake/Groundbreaker)

Step 5 Outer Center: This inner re-grouping lets your real purpose shine.
Generous Return. Returning from a triumph.
No cause for sorrow.
You have to confront basic questions of support and intimacy, the place where you feel at home. Strip away the old. Differentiate yourself from others and dissolve negative projections. You have the power to revitalize the dwelling now. Embrace the feminine. Reach back to the vital power of inner growth and circulate it to all. This is an omen of generosity and real joy. Be open and provide what is needed. (3 Sprouting)

Step 6 Culmination: This inner stripping leads to a breakthrough.
Delusion Returning. Calamities and blunders.
If you try to move the legions like this it will end in great destruction.
Trap! The Way closes for the city and its Leader.
This will end in ten years of uncontrolled chastisement.
You must confront basic questions of support and intimacy. Take a stand for change. Do not ignore the message. Decisively confront and overcome the seductive delusions of wealth, power and fear. Strip away the old and you will be nourished at the source. (27 Jaws/Nourishing)