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I ching

Chia Jen (Family)

I Ching Hexagram 37
Chia Jen (Family)

Action: Support

Hu Gua (hidden influence) 64 Before Completion: Prepare

Zong Gua (underlying cause) 40 Liberation: Untangle

In the contrast of the family,
life reveals your deeper color.

To put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life;
and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right. –Kung fu tzu

Reading at a Glance: When facing any type of difficulty, returning to the family allows us to feel unconditional love and acceptance. Sometimes the family is nothing more than the circle of friends who ‘get us’ and offer unconditional support. When we return to a place in which we relax into our authenticity, we discover that part of us that is unchanging over time. Perhaps a period of battles must give way to a period of rest and sharing meals with loved ones. The Judgment says it is the care of the woman that brings good fortune. Men and women alike must nurture their sensitivity and need for comfort. When all the people sharing a household understand their roles the family thrives. When all the characters and aspects of the psyche are functioning without repression, the individual thrives. However, just as evolution ensures that each offspring is a unique variation of the strengths and weaknesses of the parent our siblings will not be like us. This means that the family will not be without some stresses of non compatibility. Accept your differences with gratitude because the family is a perfect place to see your real face in their mirror. The wind excites the flame and we see the hearth fire stoking one’s individual nature. The hidden influence of Before Completion also underscores the idea of incompletion even in what appears to be a safe environment. The home can be any structure where each individual is supported in their unique needs. While it remains a platform for growth, it is a home. When it becomes a prison the walls will never hold us. The underlying cause is Liberation which is something that sets us free. Therefore, while the family of any type including work and friendships creates a communal space we must never forget that life will continue to prod our authenticity forward. Only when our heart is right can we enjoy the communal space we share with others. We fall into our roles because of our strengths and gifts, not because of other’s expectations.

Rabbits on field

You seek a haven

and find a stone.

But the stone will shape you

of your own likeness.

“During times of adversity, we turn back to the family.” The Gentle Wind stirs above the Clinging Fire, fanning it and sustaining illumination. Chia Jen is the hearth fire, kept burning during times of trouble. It is a place where we find safety and nourishment during difficult times.

the master said. "Know the male, but keep to the role of the female and be a valley to the empire." Where the father may inspire children toward conformity and placement in society, the mother recognizes a child's uniqueness and loves them unconditionally.

The Clinging Fire reveals how you are shaped by the family in this way. Within this small circle, you can observe your character active in the larger aspect of society. You may think you are only different in family dynamics, but this is not true. Heat creates energy. The Wind stirs it up and is excited by it. The truthfulness of the family circle simply has a way of activating dynamics more quickly.

All things that your family holds sacred endure for you throughout life. Chia Jen is the image of a pig and a dog, protected under a dwelling, while someone prays. The pig represents what you value while the dog is your faithfulness. Even as the Winds of experience continue to shape your character, the root of your inner light emerged when you were young. Chia Jen suggests the dwelling, which protects all that you hold sacred.

Natural selection drives divergence in character traits because the more diversified we are, the better will be our chance for survival. Even among family members within a particular species, each are endowed with variations. This ensures that competition for short supply in a shared environment is always minimized.

The master said: "There is no greater joy than to examine oneself and be sincere." There is no other pathway than to cultivate what is real for you. You often seek encouragement from the family and do not find it. You believe that they will provide a haven and instead, they offer a stone. Yet, this stone becomes your gift, because it will shape you in your own likeness.

The family can be a source of support, even while their dynamics shape you in the same way that the wind carves a mountain. In the contrast of your differences, they often reveal your deepest color. You stand in the present as life’s best example of one variation of the line you carry forward. As the Wind and the Flame glow brightest near the hearth, you will discover just how unique you are.

As a message about supporting others in a team dynamic, open communication is necessary. Everyone should understand the role they play and each should be encouraged to achieve their highest potential.


Establish structures = define roles. Chia Jen unchanging shows the illumination of Clarity rising from careful penetration. As we move from neediness, we discover what we are seeking is actually our unique gift to give. Establishing structure and defining roles may be the key in ensuring a situation remains stable. Without ground rules in the communal space, it loses its effectiveness in ensuring all parties are supported. Liberation is only a response when a situation becomes like a prison. Since the hexagram is unchanging it can indicate that the situation has or will achieve this stability as long as everyone is free to have their needs met. If stability is lacking, a return to being more receptive and offering support is required.

Line 1:

Firm seclusion within the family = remorse disappears. Changes to (53) Development. When forming relationships with others there is a need to define roles so that each understands what is expected. In this way we offset conflict, confusion and arguments because the ground rules are established in the beginning. This Gradual Development of expectations and observances is required when union of any type is being considered.

Line 2:

Constancy in providing nourishment = perseverance brings good fortune. Changes to (9) Small Restraint. Gentle submissiveness in fulfilling the basic needs of the group prior to establishing larger goals brings good fortune. It may be necessary to not step outside the bounds of propriety in the situation. Before the group can achieve its higher aims, its most basic needs must be addressed. If the foundation isn’t created at a basic level, the welfare of all suffers.

Line 3:

Deliberating punishment or over obliging is exhausting = good fortune nonetheless. Changes to (42) Increase. In close quarters dynamics can turn into the exhaustion of real growth when the focus is based on judgments and expectations. Sweeping issues under the rug or being overly bearing leads to distress. If you can transform any conversation that begins with ‘I want’ or ‘you should’ to ‘we can both benefit if..’ the relationship prospers.

Line 4:

Providing care for all = good fortune. Changes to (13) Fellowship. Family and Fellowship are both aspects of a relationship that transcends emotional neediness. Both focus on how people best interact by fulfilling roles while finding support at the same time. Working toward common goals is the only way good fortune manifests for all.

Line 5:

The sovereign's benevolence extends to the household = worry not, auspicious. Changes to (22) Grace. Nature corrects deficiencies to achieve balance. While it shows no favoritism, it might be observed as benevolence. Because the one who guides the gathering can be trusted, all prosper. While there are things that at first appear out of place, the situation has the proper foundation for successful union. Grace, which shows its benevolence over time, extends to those within the household like a blessing.

Line 6:

Relationship founded on mutual respect = in the end comes good fortune. Changes to (63) After Completion. If you lead others by example, everyone does their part and the entire team prospers because nothing artificial exists. A relationship will always be a reflection of your inner world. When you have done the work in achieving authenticity and are complete in yourself, self respect leads others to respect you. Your heart and mind reflect your sincerity and it shows itself to others.

*This page provides insight on the following combinations: Hexagram 37 unchanging Hexagram 37.1 Hexagram 37.1.2 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 37.2 Hexagram 37.2.3 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 37.3 Hexagram 37.3.4 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 37.4 Hexagram 37.4.5 Hexagram Hexagram 37.5 Hexagram 37.5.6 Hexagram 37.6