48 The Well JING


You can alter the city, you cannot alter the Well.
Without loss, without gain, they go and they come in their order.
The Well is always the Well.
A muddy bottom, short well-rope or ruining the pitcher. Trap! The Way closes.

Interact with others. Work for the common good. Mutualize purposes. You don’t need to bite through obstacles. Beware of small-mindedness and failing to answer a real human need. Be inventive. Help people help each other. Contribute to providing means to put these ideas into the world.

The Image
The old character shows the well field system, eight family fields grouped around a central well shared by all.

Circle of Meanings
Underlying structure or network, resources held in common, source of life-water welling up from the depths; communicate, interact, return to common needs, strengths and feelings; life and community in good order, a norm, model, measure. Inner self-cultivation now gives you the ability to manage the flow and flux of life.  Heart Theme: 38 Turn conflict into creative tension by dealing with the shadow.

Spirit Helpers
Wood below Ghost River. Middle Daughter and Middle Son, the Matchmaker and the Navigator, are penetrating the inner ground. Connect with basic human strengths and needs and the natural strength that flows from them. You can change where you live but you cannot change the well. Losing and acquiring, coming and going the well is always the well. Go deep and have ideas adequate to handle this or you will be left open to danger. The Well shows an end to confinement. It signals free communication between people. It is the earth that grounds the Way. Stay where you are and clarify your ideas of what is right. Work for the common good at humble tasks. The Well nourishes all and is never exhausted. It is the field of power and virtue, a nipple of the Great Mother.

Voice of the Mothers
Return to common human needs, strengths and feelings. Join with others. Do not worry about winning or losing. Inner self-cultivation now gives you the ability to manage the flow and flux of life. Wait for the new spirit that is gradually drawing near (19). Do not simply follow the path of least resistance (17).

The secret connections made in a time of oppression return you to the common good and the common people, the source of strength and value. The Well represents the well field and the life-water that flows from it, an ancient unit of social order consisting of eight fields cultivated by eight families, surrounding a central well used by all. It represents the oldest levels of culture, a mother-world where heroic striving, individual ambition, the pressure of the ancestors, war and high ritual dissolve into fellow-feeling and common humanity. The root of the term jing, well is Two, the Two Protectors that permit life to exist and the Divine Couple, a manifestation of Earth and Heaven. The Well is a norm, a model of order that meets common needs, an endless and inexhaustible source of the water of life. It means us, all together, all of us. It is a way of life that allows access to the source, a moment when we understand our common origin and find what supports life without exhaustion. Philosophically, this is the field of power and virtue (de), eternally shifting yet abiding in place. It shows what is righteous. It is a tap into the subterranean flow of the Way, the breast of the Great Mother.

Winter (48): Find the seed of the new by emphasizing common human needs and strengths. Don’t strive for mastery. If you let yourself be led now, you can liberate the hidden potential.
Spring (5): Rouse new growth. Changes are coming. Follow your true desire and wait for new developments. Don’t plan, just listen.
Summer (9): Ripen the fruits by paying special attention to the smallest details. This is not a time to be timid. Clear away the confusion and return to your flow. Extend the possibilities.
Fall (57): Harvest the crop through dealing carefully with each thing you encounter. You can grow from your mistakes so don’t look back. Be happy with what is there. Don’t cover it up. Expect real harmony to develop.

Voice of the Fathers
This is a Realizing Figure. It is part of a Zone of Radical Transformation, a Great Transition when we confront the Ghost River and the shades of the past in order to fully emerge as an individual. It is a Mission of the stage of the Symbolic Life that confers higher levels of empowerment in culture and a new ritual status on the fully individualized being.

The Situation: A time to make common humanity and wisdom available to all as relief from the pain of need and isolation.

Caring for Others: Use your resources to bring a comprehensive understanding of real human needs and strengths to all activities. If your systems work they will be central to your success. Be sure they are comprehensive and not overly specialized. Question the basic assumptions on which social ties are usually built.

Setting Intentions: The best criterion is usefulness. Ask yourself: how much benefit will this bring to all involved?

Communication and Interaction: Positive but conditional. Convince people of your basic vision and you will find support on all levels.

Change from the Inside Out: Think in the long term. Seek wide appeal and strategies. Present ideas in widest application. Commit yourself. Take risks.

  • Immediate Future: your problems will dissolve if you seek fellow feeling.
  • Personal Development: go back to your real feeling connection with others.
  • Working within the Family: bring out a sense of the interconnection of all things.
  • Expanding the Circle: make sure your systems freely provide for all.
  • Partnership: create a center that is a source of life for you both.

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 47:48 Confining and the Well develops the strength to escape from oppression by re-connecting with real human values.

Outer to Inner: The process of the pair transforms the Mediator trigram in the outer world trigram of 47 into the Matchmaker trigram in the inner world of 48. This turns your need to influence the world around you into inner self-cultivation.

Inner to Outer: This interiorisation shifts the Navigator trigram from the inner world of 47 to the outer world of 48, turning inner self containment into the ability to manage the flow and flux of events.

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.
This Well is a bog. They do not drink here.
This old Well is a pitfall that no creatures come to.
The sources of life are muddy and bogged down. Clear your feelings about others. Seek the common good. If you sit around and lament then all you will hear is lamentation. Do the inner work even if the going is heavy. If you contest for mastery you will surely lose. Let yourself be led and you can realize the hidden potential. Co-operate with the ongoing process of change. (5 Attending) 

Step 2 Inner Center: This inner re-organization leads to harmony with others.
This Well is a gully where people shoot fish.
The jug is cracked and leaking.
The sources of life are not taken care of. Each seeks his own gain. Do you really want to act like this? Though you have been oppressed by a corrupt authority, let your bitter feelings dissolve. The endless difficulties you confront are not your fault. Prepare yourself through inner work and leave the past behind. These goings and comings will release the energy now bound up in the past. Gather energy for a decisive new move. (39 Limping/Difficulties) 

Step 3 Threshold: This inner re-balancing lets you make your way in life.
This Well is turbid. They do not drink here. This makes my heart ache.
If the King made a covenant, we could share this blessing together.
This is the sorrow of someone who is connected to the source of the common good but has no one with whom to share it. You are confined by a host of oppressive duties and burdensome thoughts. Do not be trapped in this pitfall. Move on. Sacrifice the old and let in the hidden connections to the new. Have no fear. Gather energy for the decisive new move. (29 Ghost River/Navigator) 

Outer World

Step 4 Arrival: This inner preparation leads to what is greater.
This Well is being lined with tiles.
This is a time for inner work and improvement. Do not beat yourself against impossible obstacles and grasp at things that can only hurt you. The structure of your life may buckle and fail, but if you do not add more to this painful situation it will soon be crowned anew. Have no fear. You are connected to a creative force. (28 Great Transition) 

Step 5 Outer Center: This inner re-grouping lets your real purpose shine.
This Well has cold, clear spring water to drink.
Your relations with others are a clear, pure source of life water for everyone to draw on. Use it and give thanks. Though you ostensibly have all you need you feel oppressed by lack of recognition. Do not worry. Help is on its way. Draw others in and make an offering to your common goals. Open your heart anew. If you let yourself be led you can realize the hidden potential. Co-operate with the ongoing process of change. (46 Ascending) 

Step 6 Culmination: This inner stripping leads to a breakthrough.
This Well receives and gives to all. Do not cover it.
There is a connection to the spirits that will carry you through.
Wise Words! The Way to the Source is open.
Receive and give freely. Do not hide this source of spiritual nourishment. You can accomplish great things. You may have been unfairly hurt or punished but do not retreat into melancholy darkness.  The time is changing and an opening draws near. Express yourself freely. Do not go any farther into the old dramas. Step outside the norms and re-imagine the situation. Co-operate with the ongoing process of change. (57 Subtle Penetration/Matchmaker)