53 Gradual Advance JIAN


Gradual Advance. The Marrying Woman.
Wise Words! The Way is open. Advantageous Trial.

Reside in your inner power and use it to help others. Do not expect radical changes. Beware of greed and egotistical ambitions. Concentrate on steady long-term goals with a focus on real values.

The Image
The old character shows the sign for a river, a waterwheel that brings the water up and a channel through which it flows.

Circle of Meanings
Advance step by step, penetrate to the core slowly and surely; smooth, adaptable, inevitable progress; flexible, supple, submissive; infiltrate, permeate, influence, affect indirectly; the channels in which water flows, the soul’s  journey, ceremonies leading to a formal marriage. Inner self-restraint now leads you to a position where you can influence the world you live in. Heart Theme: 64 Preparing the decisive new move.  

Spirit Helpers
Wood/Wind over Mountain. Eldest Daughter and Youngest Son, the Matchmaker and the Gatekeeper, generate an inner limit that supports outer penetration. Move through the receptive and the feminine now. Advance step by step through subtle penetration. Do not try to dominate the situation. You will ultimately achieve mastery and find the place where you belong. The model here is the marriage of the oldest daughter that proceeds slowly and ceremoniously. Wait for the proper signs and signals to go forward. You will find the place where you belong and achieve mastery. A whole new world will open to you. Depend on your own moral strength and your connection to the Way to change the situation. Stabilize your desires, adapt and gently penetrate to the heart of things.

Voice of the Mothers
Advance slowly and steadily. Proceed step by step with grace and elegance. Do not try to dominate the situation. Inner self-restraint now leads you to a position where you can influence the world you live in. This is a time to joyously follow the new spirit (17). Do not focus on protecting yourself from institutional corruption (12).

Jian, Gradual Advance is a model of a particular kind of change, a formal ritual progression that leads to union and establishment in the symbolic world. This change occurs step by step, a subtle, gradual and sure advance crossing thresholds in the advance to union and its celebration in dance, festival and marriage. The root is water and the term suggests leading water in channels, the course of a river and the watercourse way. This figure portrays a gradual advance to marriage as image for the soul’s journey and its goal: the sacred dances that connect the couple, their feelings and their lineage to the spirit or symbolic world. The Wild Goose presented at the marriage ceremony is a symbol of this journey that includes the melancholy of separation, the risks that surround love and the vow or bond that founds an enduring union. The migrations of the wild geese imaged great movements of the soul: the Spring and Autumn festivals, the Wu or spirit-mediums dancing with feathers in front of the Ancestral Temple, the men taken away to war following King Wu into the Mu wilderness, the bird dances that invoke spirit energies and the Hidden Temple where unions are made, symbolized as red threads that bind a man and woman in a fated relation. Here we see souls transformed to birds and life as their flight, skimming, gliding and settling at each stage in their journey.

Fall (53): Harvest the crop through slow and sure moves.  Seek advice from those important to you. You are in the right position to achieve what you have aimed at.
Winter (39): Find the seed of the new by opening yourself to new ideas. Take your time. Let the old dissolve. Everything will benefit.
Spring (63): Rouse new growth by co-operating with the ongoing process. Do not fall into the traps of the past. You have all you need to go on. It will bring you all you hope for.
Summer (37): Ripen the fruits by securing your family first, and then seek new alliances. Do not follow the old ways.

Voice of the Fathers
This is an Inspiring Figure, a Heart Theme of Change and a site of intense mediating activity that connects the primary powers to personal life. It is an Approach to Centers of Power in the stage of the Symbolic Life when we must deal with power and our responsibilities to the human community.

The Situation: A time in which calm and sure progress can be made by being receptive and finding the midpoint in all conflicts.

Caring for Others: Make your fundamental goal to enhance and improve inner and outer relationships.  Be calm and caring. See achievement of your goals as a by-product of this process.

Setting Intentions: Focus on long-term objectives. Create enduring connections through adaptable balance. Focus on real values. Think of this as the backbone of the future.

Communication and Interaction: Follow established routines in a cooperative spirit. Use your creative spirit in a moral and proper way.

Change from the Inside Out: Look for ideas and activities that mark a new trend of development that can become solid and well-established. Be modest. Let new ideas take hold gradually.

  • Immediate Future: slow and sure progress towards your goal.
  • Personal Development: release yourself from compulsive emotions.
  • Working with Others: penetrate to the hidden cause of emotional distress.  Working with Organizations: create an atmosphere of trust.
  • Relationships: imagine the ideal relationship. See the changes as already complete.

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 53:54 Gradual Advance and Marrying Maiden develops the patience to wait on events and the ability to let yourself be led at a critical moment.

Outer to Inner: The process of the pair transforms the Matchmaker trigram in the outer world of 53 into the Mediator trigram in the inner world of 54. This turns your concern with social position into inner self-reflection.

Inner to Outer: This interiorisation transforms the Gatekeeper trigram in the inner world of 53 into the Groundbreaker trigram in the outer world of 54. This turns your 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.
Wild geese settle on the riverbank.
Small Son encounters adversity.
There are words. Nothing is lacking.
You encounter danger from the past but the creative energy to deal with it is there. Stay firmly enclosed in what supports you. Those who approach you now are not outlaws. Seek an alliance. Gather energy for a decisive new move. (37 Dwelling People) 

Step 2 Inner Center: This inner re-organization leads to harmony with other.
Wild geese settle on the stone.
Eating and drinking, feasting! feasting! The Way opens.
You find a secure place and a warm connection. Free yourself from all the old dramas. Acting things out now would be a trap. This is an omen of future happiness. Step outside the norms. These goings and comings will release the energy now bound up in the past. Co-operate with the on-going process of change. (57 Subtle Penetration/Matchmaker) 

Step 3 Threshold: This inner re-balancing lets you make your way in life.
Wild geese glide over the high plateau.
The husband goes on campaign and does not return.
The wife is pregnant and does not nurture a child.
Trap! The Way closes. Advantageous to resist becoming an outlaw.
You have taken a wrong turn on the path to union. Things are falling apart in mutual recrimination. Firmly resist the temptation to become violent or withholding. Let everything come into view. Look at the origins and let that decide whether you will advance or withdraw.  Draw out the time and delay the hasty decision. Strip away your old ideas. Something important is returning. (20 Viewing) 

Outer World

Step 4 Arrival: This inner preparation leads to what is greater.
Wild geese settle on the trees.
Someone gives you a branch to rest on, the rafters of the house.
This is not a mistake.
This is a resting-place after a great transition, a portent of future happiness. Retreat to rekindle the real love you feel for others. You are confronting a troublesome past experience. If you use force now you will only be entangled. Have patience. Open your heart anew. You will reverse what looks like a subservient position. You are coupled with a creative force. (33 Retiring/Retreat) 

Step 5 Outer Center: This inner re-grouping lets your real purpose shine.
Wild geese settle on the grave mounds.
The wife is not pregnant for three years.
Complete this and absolutely nothing can stop you. The Way is open.
Restrain and reflect on your words. Take an independent perspective.  Do not pursue what you feel is lost. It will return of itself when this is complete. These goings and comings release the energy now bound up in the past. Co-operate with the on-going process of change. (52 Bound/Gatekeeper) 

Step 6 Culmination: This inner stripping leads to a breakthrough.
Wild geese glide over the high plateau and the ancient forest.
Their feathers can be used in the great spirit-dances.
The Way opens.
Difficulties are going, ripeness and abundance are coming. See those who can put you in touch with the great in yourself. You are in the right position to free yourself from the past and enter the new city. Step outside the norms. Gather energy for a decisive new move. (39 Limping/Difficulties)