54 Marrying Maiden GUI MEI


Marrying Maiden.
Chastising closes the Way and leaves no advantageous direction.

Hold onto what is enduring and complete and use it to determine what is flawed. Don’t think of this as a gradual buildup. Beware of imposing ideas and misconstruing the situation. Express yourself and connect through real feeling. 

The Image
The old characters show a luxuriant tree, a marriage procession with tasseled pennants and a kneeling woman whose head is filled with spirit.

Circle of Meanings
Radical shift, return to where you belong; yield to the force of the spirit, fulfill your true destiny or hidden potential; passionate, irregular relationships, desire, compulsion; a marriage brought about by forces beyond your control. Inner self-reflection now brings you a liberating awareness of the whole.  Heart Theme: 63 the ongoing process of change.  

Spirit Helpers
Thunder over the Lake. Youngest Son and Youngest Daughter, the Groundbreaker and the Mediator, are rousing energy that converts inner ideas. This is a sudden and radical change you must go through. The force involved is larger than you are. Accept it. Let yourself be led. It is moving you towards the place where you belong. Do not try to discipline people or take control of the situation. Focus on what endures. This can lead to great success. The image is the marriage of the younger sister, sent along in a dynastic marriage as a servant or concubine, or an irregular relationship driven by passion that proceeds in fits and starts. This process is already underway. It reflects a deep and unacknowledged need. Be receptive and adaptable. Act through the woman and the yin. If Heaven and Earth did not mingle like this the myriad beings would never emerge.

Voice of the Mothers
A radical change brought about by forces beyond your control. Let yourself be led and you can realize your hidden potential. Inner self-reflection now brings you a liberating awareness of the whole. Gather the energy for a decisive new move (64). Do not focus on spreading the blessings to all (11).

Marrying the Maiden is a model of a change imaged by the marriage of the Younger Sister, a dramatic, uncontrollable and unexpected change of state that paradoxically lets you fulfill your innate destiny or virtue. The root of the word suggests both calming or tranquilizing and arriving at the fulfillment. This figure is based on a specific historical incident in the story of the Change of the Mandate of Heaven. Di Yi, the Great Ancestor and Shang Ruler, gave his daughters in marriage to King Wen, spiritual father of the Zhou Dynasty when the Zhou were just emerging as major vassals to the Shang. The oldest daughter went to the marriage as principal wife, followed by her younger sisters. When the Leading Wife produced no offspring, one of the sororal brides, the Lady of Shu, was raised to be principal wife. She is the “marrying maiden” who became mother of King Wu and the Duke of Zhou, the great heroes who obtained the Mandate of Heaven, established the Zhou as a ruling dynasty and renewed the time, creating a new Golden Age. The name of this figure combines the image of a girl sent to her husband’s house to marry with the idea of returning to your own country, returning to yourself or your home. It is the spontaneous movement of a being who, by yielding to the overwhelming force of the spirit, fulfills its true destiny.  The term was used to describe all relations outside the norms, unions based on passion that lead to major changes.

Spring (54): Rouse new growth by leaving the old ways behind.  Seek real alliances. Let yourself be led. Things may look dangerous, but have no fear. Everything you want is there.
Summer (38): Ripen the fruits. Do not worry over what seems gone. Don’t take chances. Stay clear and connected.
Fall (64): Harvest the crop by letting the past dissolve. Celebrate your accomplishments. Start slowly and join with others. This can begin a great new time.
Winter (40): Find the seed of the new by freeing creative energy from past patterns. Be vigorous. Talk to your trusted advisors. You are in exactly the right position. Put things in order even if you have to move slowly.

Voice of the Fathers
This is a Realizing 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 to cultivate relationships based on personal and voluntary connections.

Caring for Others: Take care not to confuse position and identity. Understand all agreements in terms of greater ideas and mutual understanding.  Success is possible only through true perspectives and deeply shared values. Emphasize mutual understanding, empathetic resonance and personal initiative. Though terms of agreement must be clear, they are not the real basis of loyalty and trust.

Setting Intentions: Do not over-plan. The rule book will not work. Consider relations between people as the ground of success.

Communication and Interaction: If communication and feedback are spontaneous, trust them. If they are calculated, don’t count on much.

Change from the Inside Out: Basically a period of contraction. The time is not right for organized activity. Transformation will arrive in unexpected and unplanned ways.

  • Immediate Future: a major change over which you have no control.
  • Personal Development: follow the path set out before you.
  • Working within the Family: see through events to the hidden blessings.
  • Expanding the Circle: base relationships on real resonance.
  • Partnership: face the truth about yourselves. Embrace the change.

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 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.
The Marrying Maiden with her sister-brides marries as a junior sister.
A halting gait lets you tread. Chastising opens the Way.
You are in the junior position. Put yourself in order and correct the situation. Difficulties are going and abundance is coming. See those who can put you in touch with the great. These goings and comings release the energy now bound up in the past. Co-operate with the on-going process of change. (40 Deliverance/Liberating) 

Step 2 Inner Center: This inner re-organization leads to harmony with others.
Those who squint can see.
The Way opens to the mountain people hidden in the shadow.
Look at things from an independent perspective. This is the penultimate step. When this is complete nothing can stop you. You feel you have lost something precious but do not pursue it. It will return of itself. These goings and comings release the energy now bound up in the past. Step outside the norms. Gather energy for a decisive new move. (51 Shake/Groundbreaker)

Step 3 Threshold: This inner re-balancing lets you make your way in life.
The Marrying Maiden as a servant.
Watching her hair grow.
She reverses this and marries as a companion bride.
You are in a subservient place. Have patience. In the end you will reverse things and gain the strategic position. You are confronting a troublesome past experience. Retreat to rekindle your love for people. This is a resting-place and a portent of future happiness. If you use force now you will only be entangled. You are coupled with a creative force. (34 Great Invigorating)

Outer World

Step 4 Arrival: This inner preparation leads to what is greater.
The Marrying Maiden draws out the time.
Delaying the marriage lets her find the right moment.
Forget about deadlines. You have taken a wrong turn. Resist the temptation to become violent or withholding. Let everything come into view. You must release yourself from old fixations by truly confronting the past. Look at the origins and let them decide whether you will advance or withdraw. Something important is returning. Be open and provide what is needed. (19 Nearing) 

Step 5 Outer Center: This inner re-grouping lets your real purpose shine.
Great Ancestor gives the Maidens in Marriage.
Leading Wife’s sleeves were not as fine as Junior Sister’s sleeves.
Changes are coming. The Way opens.
This is a secure place on the path to union. Use it to find the hidden source of the old story full of sexual intrigue and domestic violence and free yourself from its grasp. Re-imagine the situation. You will find supportive friends. Gather energy for a decisive new move. (58 Opening/Mediator) 

Step 6 Culmination: This inner stripping leads to a breakthrough.
A woman carried a basket with nothing in it.
A noble sacrificed a goat with no blood.
No advantageous direction.
This situation is a barren womb. Leave this all behind you.  You will encounter danger from the past, but have no fear. The creative energy to deal with it is there. Those who approach you now are not outlaws. Seek an alliance. These goings and comings release the energy bound in the past. Co-operate with the on-going process of change. (38 Diverging)