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I ching

Jie (Liberation)

I Ching Hexagram 40
Jie (Liberation)

Action: Untangle

Hu Gua (hidden influence) 63 After Completion: Renew

Zong Gua (underlying cause) 37 Family: Support

There is no real difficulty that requires outward movement.

Within yourself deliverance must be searched for,
because each man makes his own prison. –Sir Edwin Arnold

Reading at a Glance: Thunder over the Abysmal water shows a sudden storm meant to release tension. This type of natural phenomena happens when the leaves need to be removed from the trees during autumn and again when the protective husks sheltering spring’s rebirth are also removed. In either case something is being loosened so that rebirth is Liberated. Whatever is blocking your ability to move effortlessly and joyfully through the world of events will be no match for the situations that unfold to help you let go. The hidden influence of After Completion also underscores a need for renewal. The underlying cause of Family suggested a time of nurturing and protection. Defensive ideas meant to protect anger or a lifestyle of hiding will be brought out into the open so that you can find Deliverance from yourself. Forgiveness is not something we offer others but something which leads to our freedom. The upper trigram of Arousing hits like a bolt out of the blue to lead us from the Abysmal danger. Whatever is transpiring will bring renewal and calm to the inner landscape. It is important that you return to a place of calm and renewal. Jie releases tension and stress and is a time of letting go so that you don’t drown in your own quagmire of negativity.

leaves with shadow on wall

To arrive -


without going.

Find the medicine

of forgiveness.

“Things cannot remain permanently obstructed, therefore follows deliverance and the release of tension.” The Arousing Thunder stirs over the Abysmal Water presenting the idea of a sudden storm, which relieves atmospheric pressure.

Jie is the image of a sharp instrument, which loosens knots. You can be “worn and newly made,” when you release the unproductive energy that remains connected to anger. Anger becomes a stone upon the measure of tomorrow; if you cannot let something go, you are forced to carry it with you. Jie is another principle of movement in stillness, where you can find deliverance in the liberation that comes from releasing your hold on the past. In the case of forgiveness, you give nothing away, that you really needed anyway.

By holding onto anger, it becomes your burden and dissipates as unproductive energy. "There is no real difficulty that requires outward movement." All of the principles of movement in stillness teach how there is no real difficulty that requires action ‘out there,’ only a shift of awareness ‘in here.’ It is said that change only happens when the pain of holding on is greater than the fear of letting go.

Through forgiveness, you can move freely, unhampered by unnecessary baggage. This is how anger becomes a shackle on the pathway of your freedom. Liberation is how life moves to free us - even when we unwittingly become stuck in complicated dynamics.

As clouds gather, electricity generates moisture, and you can feel the unproductive heaviness accumulating in the air. The ensuing storm releases the tension and cleanses the earth, where all things can breathe freely again.

Forgiveness releases you from the burden that keeps you a prisoner to the past. “When Thunder and rain set in, the seed pods of all fruits, plants, and trees break open.” The deliverance that comes from pardoning mistakes and forgiving misdeeds, allows new life to flourish. Whatever the storm, it has the sole purpose of ensuring wellness below.


Abundance or scarcity = you create your world from the inside out. In its unchanging form you may be so stuck in your own negativity and anger that you don’t realize the life of scarcity you are creating for yourself. Any type of behavior or addiction that is unhealthy must be released so that you can return to abundance and optimism. Events on the outside continually challenge us to let go and find the freedom to open within. If your own mental energy is consuming your attention in a negative way, events will continue to challenge you until you let go. You think life is pushing back against you but it is pushing you out of your prison. This is the way of nature as it seeks growth and freedom at every level. Liberation unchanging can show a major breakthrough or release of what had previously been a strong barrier.

Line 1:

Without blame = there is no error. Changes to (54) Propriety. In the course of human affairs Propriety is how we judge whether something is correct or not and can be based on incorrect assumptions. However, seeing something as wrong when it isn’t can lead to disagreements. No error has occurred and nobody is to blame. Let it go and return a sense of freedom of movement to the situation.

Line 2:

Killing three foxes and receiving a yellow arrow = perseverance brings good fortune. Changes to (16) Enthusiasm. Deceptive obstacles appear and your suspicions need to be investigated as truth or illusion. The yellow arrow is discernment and you must uncover the truth so that you can clear the way and succeed. You may be using force in an innocent situation because your Enthusiasm has run away with you. If others are not demonstrating the same level of integrity as you, it may be wise to move on.

Line 3:

Carrying a burden and riding in a carriage encourages robbers = perseverance leads to humiliation. Changes to (32) Duration. One is in a situation that doesn't match who they are or who they are becoming. It is difficult to move forward freely if you are holding onto ideas meant to protect your ideas of the past. Liberation from pretending to be who you are not, and dealing with the trials this entails actually cultivates an ability to move deeper into intimacy or to make a commitment. Life is what you make of it so you can either be in the present or allow a bag full of weapons to make every moment an improper response to the situation in front of you. Through liberation, you discover there is no need to fight your way into a world that is right for you.

Line 4:

Deliver yourself from your big toe and the companion will come = it is someone you can trust. Changes to (7) Army. The big toe can relate to the need to always put your foot down or behave defensively as suggested by Army. If you release any attitude of mistrust you will find companionship. While you may feel the need to be wary of persons or situations, there is no need. Lao tzu said: “if one doesn’t trust how can they be trusted?

Line 5:

Delivering yourself from yourself brings good fortune = you prove your earnestness. Changes to (47) Oppression/Exhaustion. If you can release yourself from the ideas that are binding you to an agitated outlook and the distrust of others, you will find liberation from yourself. An attitude of defensiveness will always attract you to situations that seem Oppressive as life mirrors your mindset. Earnestness is how you show depth and sincerity. If you believe others aren’t sincere it may be because you aren’t being sincere. Clear your mind of negativity.

Line 6:

Shooting the hawk on the high wall, killing it = everything serves to further. Changes to (64) Before Completion. Kung fu tzu saw the hawk as the promoter of rebellion or undisciplined and dangerous thinking. By eliminating this defensive guardian from the high walls that serve to protect you from intimacy – the way becomes open for more joy in your life. To resolve difficulty begin with your own ideas.

*This page provides insight on the following combinations: Hexagram 40 unchanging Hexagram 40.1 Hexagram 40.1.2 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 40.2 Hexagram 40.2.3 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 40.3 Hexagram 40.3.4 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 40.4 Hexagram 40.4.5 Hexagram Hexagram 40.5 Hexagram 40.5.6 Hexagram 40.6