50 The Vessel DING


The Way to the Source is open.
Wise Words! Make an offering and you will succeed.

See your problems symbolically. Correct your situation to stabilize your destiny. Don’t confront problems directly. Beware of neglecting wider cultural and social needs. Pay attention to art, education and inner work.

The Image
The old character shows the vessel used for the sacred meal that joins spirits and humans and a head filled with spirit.

Circle of Meanings
Symbolic imagination; hold, contain, transform, transmute; new spiritual paradigm and sign of blessing; establish, found, consecrate, found a noble house; secure, well-grounded. Inner self-cultivation now lets you find real directions in life. Heart Theme: 43 Deciding and Parting from the past.

Spirit Helpers
Wood below Fire. Eldest Daughter and Middle Daughter, the Matchmaker and the Visionary, bring inner penetration that feeds outer illumination. You are involved in a profound shift in the way we imagine things, a shift of deep values. You need to see into what this means. Contain and transform your problems through the symbols of change. Security and a new beginning come from this awareness, the origin of great good fortune and meaningful events. This is a time of transformation and connection to the invisible world of the spirits. Be resolute and break through old habits of thought. Cooking things in the Vessel  means using the great symbols and becoming aware of their power. This will let you grasp renewal. It will brighten your understanding. The sages used this power to nourish people of wisdom and worth.

Voice of the Mothers
Open to the spirit world. Contain and transform your problems things through symbols. Open yourself to the spirits. Inner self-cultivation now leads to finding real directions in life. This is a time to step out to meet a new destiny (10). Do not focus on inner balance and modesty now (15).

Ding is a ritual vessel that signifies connection with the spirit world and the Ancestors as the foundation of a dynasty or noble house. It means divination, divinatory incantations and submitting a question to the oracle, as well as the right moment to act (shi). Ding is an emblem of power, an alchemical cauldron suggesting cooking in a literal and spiritual sense. It offers nourishment to the warriors and sages and the sage-mind in all of us, brightening the eye and ear. It suggests a destiny conferred by Heaven that is also a duty – becoming a true and responsible individual. The Ding has roots in Neolithic worship of the dead. It is a symbol for the oracle itself, the Change. It is a part of high culture, a skillfully and magically crafted ritual tool that releases the spirit, nourishing the sage-mind, imagination. It opens the world of myth and the omen-animals, synonymous with the Dragon of creative energy and transformation, through the act of high divination and the rites at the Ancestral Temple that it sponsors. In ancient times Yu the Great received the metals from the Nine Provinces and the magical animal symbols (xiang) from the Shepherds of the people. He cast the first Ding-Vessels at the foot of Jingshan, a sacred mountain. The Vessels showed which spirits were beneficent spirits and which were noxious, what opened the Way and what closed it. They united all the provinces, connecting the Above and the Below in the Mandate of Heaven.

Fall (50): Harvest the crop by articulating images that change people’s awareness. You have the perfect plan. Give it an enduring form and you can change the world.
Winter (32): Find the seed of the new by waiting patiently. Do not try to organize people. Act gradually and persistently.
Spring (34): Rouse new growth by learning from your past mistakes. Accept the hard work. Make a clean break from the past. Everything you want is waiting for you. Invigorate your great idea and push on.
Summer (14): Ripen the fruits. Your motives and aims are good. Gather your team around your central idea. Work hard to clear the channels of communication. Success is assured.

Voice of the Fathers
This is a Realizing Figure, a key site on the Sacred Sickness Pathways that connect personal disorders with cultural change. It is a Transition from our empowerment in ritual and culture to the stage of the Symbolic Life when we must deal with the proper exercise of power and our responsibilities to the human community.

The Situation: A flowering of creative ideas that leads to family and cultural change.

Caring for Others: Concentrate on cultural and creative output, the expression of ideas that cultivate natural creativity and shape basic social values. Encourage your partner and family members to develop this side of their interests.

Setting Intentions: The accent is on innovation, change and imagination. Give form to large culture-based ideas and communicate them. Accumulate knowledge and experience that builds available ideas for the future.

Communication and Interaction: Encourage plans that express cultural heritage and involve individual creativity. Encourage the spread of new ideas and give them time to percolate. Provide consistent positive feedback.

Change from the Inside Out: Emphasize plans that express cultural ideas and projects that will attract support and interest. Make your central theme the cross-fertilization of cultures and development of far reaching alliances. Connect your strategies for presentation and persuasion to the dissemination of art and culture.  Seek support both from within and outside your family.

  • Immediate Future: expect a profound change in spiritual awareness.
  • Personal Development: transform your problems into gifts from the spirits.
  • Working within the Family: waken people to their spiritual nature.
  • Expanding the Circle: concentrate on the cultural and creative. Emphasize innovation and imagination on all levels.
  • Partnership: let your relationship connect you. Unify yourselves and dissolve the old.

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 49:50 Skinning and the Vessel develops the freedom to let old grief depart and the courage to grasp renewal.

Outer to Inner: The process transforms the Mediator, the outer world trigram of 49 into the Matchmaker in the inner world of 50. This turns your need for public expression into inner self cultivation.

Inner to Outer: This interiorisation shifts the awareness and clarity of the Visionary trigram from the inner world of 49 to the outer world of 50. It turns accepting inner guidance into the ability to find real directions in 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.
The Vessel’s overturned foot.
Advantageous for clearing the obstruction. Harvesting.
Acquiring a concubine for the sake of a son. This is not a mistake.
Turn things on their head to clear obstructions to communication. Mingle with the new spirit and accept the drudgery it entails. Gather the people to welcome what is emerging.  Be resolute and part from the past. These goings and comings release the energy now bound up in the past.  You are connected with a creative force. (14 Great Being) 

Step 2 Inner Center: This inner re-organization leads to harmony with others.
There is food in the Vessel.
My companion is afflicted but cannot approach me.
Wise Words! The Way is open.
You have something real cooking within you. Those around you are full of criticism and distrust but they cannot harm you. When the time comes to change, change with it quickly. This is a transformation in the core of your being. Step outside the norms. These comings and goings release energy bound in the past. You are connected to a creative force. (56 Sojourning) 

Step 3 Threshold: This inner re-balancing lets you make your way in life.
The Vessel’s ears are skinned and movement hindered.
The pheasant fat is not eaten.
We are changing the Mandate of Heaven.
Rain comes on all sides and lessens the cause of sorrow.
Wise Words! Completing this change opens the Way.
Everything feels clogged up now but have no fear. This is the great change, the time to eliminate all the old negativity. The rain will come to wash away your sorrows. Act and have no doubts. You will soon have something great to celebrate. Strip away the old. Gather energy for the decisive new move. (64 Not Yet Crossing) 

Outer World

Step 4 Arrival: This inner preparation leads to what is greater.
The Vessel’s stand is severed.
The prince’s meal is overthrown. His form soiled.
The penalty will be death in chambers. Trap! The Way closes.
You are caught in a false position but inner work can change it. Let the new ideas go round three times before you act, then follow the new spirit joyously. Release the power of your experience. Do not simply adapt. If you co-operate with corrupt authorities now you will be swept away with them when the great change comes. Let yourself be led and you can realize the hidden potential. Co-operate with the ongoing process of change. (18 Corruption/Renovating) 

Step 5 Outer Center: This inner re-grouping lets your real purpose shine.
The Vessel has golden ears and bronze rings. Advantageous Trial.
This is a great vision of the new. Announce it. Find a way to bring it into the world. Take vigorous action to clear the way, even in the midst of adversity. Your new destiny will simply tumble down from above. You are coupled with a creative force. (44 Coupling) 

Step 6 Culmination: This inner stripping leads to a breakthrough.
The Vessel has jade rings. Wise Words! The Great Way opens.
There is nothing for which this is not advantageous.
This can transform your life and be of real benefit to others. You experience the beginning of a great change in awareness and nothing can tear it away. Give this an enduring place in your heart and part from the past. You are connected to a creative force. (32 Persevering)