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hex. 54 (Memorizing the I Ching)

rosada

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54. Kuei Mei / The Marrying Maiden

__ __
__ __ above CHEN THE AROUSING, THUNDER
_____
__ __
_____ below TUI THE JOYOUS, LAKE
_____

Above we have Chen, the eldest son, and below, Tui, the youngest daughter. The man leads and the girl follows him in gladness. The picture is that of the entrance of the girl into her husband's house. In all, there are four hexagrams depicting the relationship between husband and wife.
Heisn, INFLUENCE (31) describes the attraction that a young couple have for each other.
Heng, DURATION (32), portrays the permanent relationship of marriage;
Chien, DEVELOPMENT (53), reflects the protracted ceremonious procedures attending the arrangement of a proper marriage; finally
Kuei Mei, MARRYING MAIDEN, shows a young girl under the guidance of an older man who marries her.
-Wilhelm
 
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rosada

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Curiosity..
I'm finding I have been dragging my feet as we have been coming to this hexagram. I think it is triggering in me memories of past experiences - experiences where I handled things by going along with rules and habits that I did not agree with. I think of the wedding of Charles and Diana and how later she said she felt like a sheep being led to the slaughter. While The Marrying Maiden is supposed to be joyous, she's still going to be living in someone else's world.
54. The "Drop everything and do what someone else orders you to do." Experience.
 
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sparhawk

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I

i2k7

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"While The Marrying Maiden is supposed to be joyous, she's still going to be living in someone else's world."

Ouch........ that hits the nail right on the head...... thanks (seriously)
 

rosada

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Thanks for the validation, i2k7. In a a moment (or a couple of hours, or when i get around to it..) I'm going to post Wilhelm's further comments on 54 where he says the sequence shows that "through progress [53] one is sure to reach the place WHERE ONE BELONGS. Hence there follows the hexagram of THE MARRYING MAIDEN." This sounds rather benign, however i think of the expression, "One rises to their level of incompetence," that is, I think Gradual Progress leading to The Marrying Maiden indicates while we may think we're successfully progressing under our own initiative we will inevitably recognize there are forces at work we cannot control, and that initiating things ourselves - going too far out on a limb - inevitably puts us under someone else's control.
 

rosada

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The hexagram of THE MARRYING MAIDEN is based on the idea that the girl is marrying on her own initiative. Her character is not good, therefore the Commentary on the Decision says: "'Nothing that would further.' The yielding rests upon the hard." This refers to the six in the third place and to the six at the top, which are thus the constituting rulers of the hexagram. The six in the fifth place, on the other hand, is in the place of honor and associates with those below; thus it changes what is not good into good and transforms misfortune into good fortune. Because of this the six in the fifth place is the governing ruler of the hexagram.

THE SEQUENCE

Through progress one is sure to reach the place where one belongs. Hence there follows the hexagram of THE MARRYING MAIDEN.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES

THE MARRYING MAIDEN shows the end of maidenhood.

This hexagram is judged in very different ways. In later times it was considered immoral for a girl to marry on her own initiative. The mores demanded that the girl wait for the man to take the lead, as set forth in the preceding hexagram. This goes back to patriarchal times. But the present hexagram has also so to speak a cosmic meaning. For, according to the arrangement of the eight trigrams by King Wen [Inner World Arrangement], the upper trigram Chen belongs in the east and denotes spring, the beginning of life; the lower trigram Tui belongs in the west and denotes autumn, the end of life, and the two nuclear trigrams K'an and Li represent the north (winter) and the south (summer) respectively. Consequently the whole cycle of life is contained in this hexagram.
-Wilhelm
 
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rosada

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"The whole cycle of life is contained in this hexagram."
When I look at the whole sequence of the hexagrams I see a pattern emerging that seems to outline the evolution of man over thousands of life times. You know how when we look at the development of a fetus in the womb it seems to repeat evolution from the tadpole stage to eventually becoming a human being that can come out into the world and walk and breathe air? Well, I see the hexagrams as being sort of like that, they seem to review our earlier progress, lifetimes, showing how far we were able to progress before we got knocked out of the game, lost consciousness and died, only to come back and get a teensy bit further the next time. For example:

Hex. 1 Be strong and untiring.
Hex. 2 Fall asleep. GONG! Game over.

Next life..
Hex. 1 Be strong and untiring.
Hex. 2 Take a nap but don't lose consciousness entirely.
Hex. 3 Am I awake or asleep? What is real? Totally confused. Give up. GONG! Game over.

Next life..
Hex. 1 Be strong and untiring.
Hex. 2 Take nap but don't lose consciousness.
Hex. 3 Am I awake or asleep? What is real? Totally confused.
Hex. 4 Accept being confused. Call a friend, poll the audience, use up all your lifelines. GONG! Game over.

And so forth, with each hexagram showing how consciousness can evolve a little bit further, we can stay conscious a little bit longer, until finally we reach this all important hexagram 54 where one has no influence in the outer world at all, but does not lose consciousness - thus an ability to walk through this world without forgetting who we are, where we come from and where we're going.
 
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Trojina

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The hexagram of THE MARRYING MAIDEN is based on the idea that the girl is marrying on her own initiative. Her character is not good, therefore the Commentary on the Decision says: "'Nothing that would further.' The yielding rests upon the hard." This refers to the six in the third place and to the six at the top, which are thus the constituting rulers of the hexagram. The six in the fifth place, on the other hand, is in the place of honor and associates with those below; thus it changes what is not good into good and transforms misfortune into good fortune. Because of this the six in the fifth place is the governing ruler of the hexagram.



This hexagram is judged in very different ways. In later times it was considered immoral for a girl to marry on her own initiative. The mores demanded that the girl wait for the man to take the lead, as set forth in the preceding hexagram. This goes back to patriarchal times. But the present hexagram has also so to speak a cosmic meaning. For, according to the arrangement of the eight trigrams by King Wen [Inner World Arrangement], the upper trigram Chen belongs in the east and denotes spring, the beginning of life; the lower trigram Tui belongs in the west and denotes autumn, the end of life, and the two nuclear trigrams K'an and Li represent the north (winter) and the south (summer) respectively. Consequently the whole cycle of life is contained in this hexagram.
-Wilhelm
Hey isn't this part generally pretty much overlooked or is it just me ? I see 54, my auto associations are being secondary, being used, just being plain unimportant in the situation at worst.... to stepping into a wider environment one is unused to where one has to learn to fit in at best. Frankly my experience has never been the latter..but its the maiden who initiated this marriage ? Wonder if thats just Wilhelms idea because Karcher says re 54 "You are not the one who has chosen. The force involved is larger than you are. The way to deal with it is to accept it and let yourself be led. You cannot escape the situation " ( Hmm theres Karcher being optimistic about being led into slavery..) but the point I'm wondering about is how come Wilhelm makes out the marriage is the girls initiative whereas Karcher says the girl is not the one doing the choosing
 

rosada

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Jumping a head a bit to what Wilhelm says about THE IMAGE may give a clue as to his interpretation that the girl is choosing this marriage, "Thunder stirs the water of the lake, which follows it in shimmering waves. This symbolizes the girl who follows the man of her choice." Also, as TUI means THE JOYOUS this could indicate the girl is happily following. However, this all kinda opens the door to asking what is free will really? If thunder is stirring up the water can the lake resist?
Anyway, perhaps after the long march through Gradual Progress I should know better than to skip ahead here with The Maiden so I'm going to go back to posting Wilhelm in order.
 
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rosada

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THE JUDGEMENT

THE MARRYING MAIDEN.
Undertakings bring misfortune.
Nothing that would further.

A girl who is taken into the family, but not as the chief wife, must behave with special caution and reserve. She must not take it upon herself to supplant the mistress of the house, for that would mean disorder and lead to untenable relationships.

The same is true of all voluntary relationships between human beings. While legally regulated relationships evince a fixed connection between duties and rights, relationships based on personal inclination depend in the long run entirely on tactful reserve.

Affection as the essential principle of relatedness is of the greatest importance in all relationships in the world. For the union of heaven and earth is the origin of the whole of nature. Among human beings likewise, spontaneous affection is the all-inclusive principle of union.
-Wilhelm
 

my_key

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HI Trojan
Hey isn't this part generally pretty much overlooked or is it just me ? I see 54, my auto associations are being secondary, being used, just being plain unimportant in the situation at worst.... to stepping into a wider environment one is unused to where one has to learn to fit in at best. Frankly my experience has never been the latter..but its the maiden who initiated this marriage ? Wonder if thats just Wilhelms idea because Karcher says re 54 "You are not the one who has chosen. The force involved is larger than you are. The way to deal with it is to accept it and let yourself be led. You cannot escape the situation " ( Hmm theres Karcher being optimistic about being led into slavery..) but the point I'm wondering about is how come Wilhelm makes out the marriage is the girls initiative whereas Karcher says the girl is not the one doing the choosing
It may not be just you, as the Karcher / Wilhelm translations are something that I found confusing as well. If we see the Hex 53 as a gradual development we reach the top of the hex being in some sort of new state of awareness. So in Hex 54 we are stepping into the situation out of our own choice, it's the best thing to do with our new awarness, but with everything being new here, the character of the marrying maiden is not good and we have to tread very carefully. But the maiden is being taken into the family - the rules and existing relationships are all forces larger than she is, so by sitting back and allowing the new rules to shape her she can become reborn and accepted into the family. Then she can become herself.

Richmond sees the "maiden" as feelings that have now been recognised internally, and want to be expressed but the time is not right for the feelngs to be expressed outwardly as actions. The time for this challange has not yet arrived. He states that there is contradiction in the hexagram structure and perhaps this explains the possible confusion in Karcher /Wilhlem words.

Mike
 

rosada

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What would you say indicates the character of the maiden "is not good"? I'm thinking it's like a person trying to better their situation by marrying into money rather than earning it themselves. I think of the joke about the airhead student trying to woo the strict professor,
Airhead : Oh Professor, I would do just anything for an A.
Professor: Anything?
Airhead: Yes, ANYTHING...
Professor: Then study!
 

ravenstar

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I'm thinking it's like a person trying to better their situation by marrying into money rather than earning it themselves. I think of the joke about the airhead student trying to woo the strict professor,
Airhead : Oh Professor, I would do just anything for an A.
Professor: Anything?
Airhead: Yes, ANYTHING...
Professor: Then study!
I agree with you rosada. I think the marrying maiden has envisioned a future that looks prosperous and she strives to meet people whose support she 'thinks' can assure it.

ravenstar
 

rosada

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Or at least i think this is how things start. I think The Marrying Maiden will be giving us guidance for how to travel this harrowing phase in our consciousness development. We may start out as a woman who is perceived as being too assertive, of "bad character", but as we progress in our understanding of who we are and the role we have been cast to play we come to see how we can fit in more smoothly - particularly so as to align without creating disturbance [Lesson One. When perceiving a new situation be a hidden dragon, do not act.], and ultimately getting to be both the show and the audience symulteniously { 54.5 all equal}

Hoping to come back later with more clarity.
Thanx.
Rosada
 

frank_r

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"The whole cycle of life is contained in this hexagram."
Hexagram 54 is the karmick hexagram of the kidneys. The kidneys are part of element water. And the kidneys are the beginning of life. The kidneys are together with the heart the deepest axis there is. Where the heart is the more finer part(yang) there the kidneys are the more denser(yin) part. The nucleur trigrams are also water on top and fire below. The axis North South in King Wen and East west in Fu Shi. And the trigrams thunder and lake are also the the East west in King Wen. So here is a double connection on the level of King Wen. A connection that is especially felt with our ethereal and corpural soul on the level of life on Earth. The nucleur hexagram is 63, the hexagram that is the end of the proces, in a way the proces is finished and cannot be changed anymore.

In water, kidney life is starting. The kidneys are connected with element water the element where the power of life is contracted in the seed. The kidneys are the will to live, connected with our existential fears.

There is not a stronger force on Earth than water. Water is always finding the shortest way. It is always looking for flexibility. Only when Water is standing still than it start to smell.

When looking to numerology 53 is 9 (1+2+3...53=1431=9) and 54 (1+2+3...54=1485=9) is also 9. Both spiritual numbers. So we have twice a hexagram that counts to 9. So with both hexagrams we come to the top of the triade 3-6-9. This before we can go to the centre in 55. Because 55 counts op to 1.
Where in 52(1+2+3...52=1378=1) we have learned to know what it is to be on the top, in 53 and 54 we go a step further and then we live it.
Was 53 a spring connection where we saw all new things ahead of us here in 54 we have a autumn winter connection. Here we are seeing what this gradual proces has brought us.
In which we have to adept because we can't change it anymore.
Only after doing this we come in a new centre in 55. There we get a new oversight again.
In 54 we have to balance with the knowdlege what happened. Here we see everything in full colour, everything will be very visible but visible in a way we cannot change. After this period we can decide what will survive further on and what we will not feed anymore.

Frank
 
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rosada

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THE JUDGEMENT

THE MARRYING MAIDEN
Undertakings bring misfortune.
Nothing that would further.

Commentary on the Decision

THE MARRYING MAIDEN describes the great meaning of heaven and earth. If heaven and earth do not unite, all creatures fail to prosper.
THE MARRYING MAIDEN means the end and the beginning of humanity.
Joyousness in movement: she who marries is the young girl.
"Undertakings bring misfortune." The places are not the appropriate ones.
"Nothing that would further." The yielding rests upon the hard.
-Wilhelm
 

rosada

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In the sequence of the trigrams in the Primal Arrangement, which corresponds with the world of ideas, Ch'ien is in the south and K'un in the north; Li is in the east as the sun and K'an in the west as the moon. In the Inner-World Arrangement, which corresponds with the phenomenal world, the action is transferred to the four trigrams Chen (east). Li (south), Tui (west). and K'an (north). Sun and moon here take the place of heaven and earth as active forces. Heaven, Ch'ien, has withdrawn to the northwest, and the eldest son, Chen, in the east, is the originator of life. The earth, K'un, has withdrawn to the southwest, and the youngest daughter, Tui, in the west presides over harvest and birth. Thus the present hexagram indicates the cosmic order of the relations of the sexes and the cycle of life.
-Wilhelm
 

rosada

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The interpretation given by Liu Yuan in the Chou I Heng Chieh is significant. He sees in the hexagram not the maiden (Tui) following an older man (Chen). but the elder brother (Chen) leading his younger sister to her husband. A certain basis for this view is afforded by the words accompanying the fifth line. We are dealing here with reminiscences of matriarchal times disseminated in popular romance by the story of how Chung Kuei gave his sister in marriage.
-Wilhelm
 

my_key

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Hexagram 54 is the karmick hexagram of the kidneys. The kidneys are part of element water. And the kidneys are the beginning of life...........
Was 53 a spring connection where we saw all new things ahead of us here in 54 we have a autumn winter connection. Here we are seeing what this gradual proces has brought us.
In which we have to adept because we can't change it anymore.
Only after doing this we come in a new centre in 55. There we get a new oversight again.
In 54 we have to balance with the knowdlege what happened. Here we see everything in full colour, everything will be very visible but visible in a way we cannot change. After this period we can decide what will survive further on and what we will not feed anymore. As we arrive at the entry gate of 55, we have a greater inner knowing that can be spread out into our outer world.

Frank
Hi Frank
This is nicely put. Love the nimbers and karmic ideas tying the 53,54,55 micro process together. I'm thinking out loud again here
53 and 54 are linked - hand in glove. The gradual growth of awareness of how things have been and how things could be in the future. The new awareness manifests and transition to see things for what they really are. The rituals of the courtship... the games that have had to be played are no longer taking the upper position. Perhaps some of them still want to be in dominant position, but we see them for what they are. 54 allows a new life, a new way of being to step in, we are in it and we see it for what it is ( we may even not like what it is we now see about what was). We have no control over the new way of seeing / feeling about things - it is going to happen whatever we do. There is a chance for us to discard what was, old behaviours, attitudes, ways of speaking, ways of thinking and transform (marry) into a new life. In 54 we walk the tightrope between old and new. A precarious place to be walking - the new realisations can be a bitter pill to swallow. Sometimes the pill goes down easily , sometimes it get caught in the mouth and throat leaving a nasty taste. Sometimes we choose a long pole and sometimes an umbrella to help us balance. We may even decide to throw away the umbrella and the pole. Sometimes we can walk across hopping and skipping and doing somersaults and even walking backwards. We become more adept at walking the tightrope the further we go along it. By the time we reach the other end we have found what best works for us and doesn't work for us. We take one step at a time, we forget the tightrope, savouring the full pleasure of that step with all our being. After all it is just a step. And we at some point arrive at the gateway of 55.

Mike
 

rosada

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Okay, talking about 55 is kinda skipping ahead here, but I think knowing where we're headed is probably a good thing for navigating 54. So I'm going to post the reassuring judgement of 55, "Be not sad. Be like the sun at midday." I think this "be not sad" can be read as a reference to the hard times endured being the powerless second wife, and "Be like the sun at midday" suggests being able to see everything and not needing to keep anything secret. I see this as meaning that if one can enter quietly, seamlessly into a new situation - be like 1.1 the hidden dragon who does not act - then eventually one sees it all. By being as silent as a member of an audience, those on stage will eventually reveal everything. Further, the image of 55 promises, "The superior man decides lawsuits and carries out punishments." Thus the one who has quietly gotten along, knows everyone and the history, will ultimately be trusted to decide the future.

But anyway, that's skipping across the tight rope so back to 54 and how we ever got into this situation, and just what this situation is. Wilhelm points out that the young girl is either following an older man who marries her or perhaps it is that she is following her older brother who introduces her to the man who will marry her. In either case it is a situation where a new person is brought into an established situation. I think a modern day example would be someone being hired to work for a large company. They may really impress the boss, but once they are hired they are reporting to someone else who may not be interested in their ideas at all. So the person has to just go a long and keep their head down and try to fit in.
 

rosada

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THE MARRYING MAIDEN means the beginning and end of humanity, as Chen in the east means spring, ascent, and Tui in the west means autumn, decline.

The commentary then explains the name of the hexagram by citing the attributes of the two trigrams - Tui, joyousness, and Chen, movement.

The judgement on the hexagram, "Undertakings bring misfortune," is derived from the position of the four middle lines, none of which are in its proper place {!}.

"Nothing that would further" results from the position of the six in the third place (one of the rulers of the hexagram), which is over the hard nine in the second place, and from the positions of the other two rulers, the six in the fifth place and the six at the top, both over the hard nine in the fourth place.
-Wilhelm
 

my_key

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I think a modern day example would be someone being hired to work for a large company. They may really impress the boss, but once they are hired they are reporting to someone else who may not be interested in their ideas at all. So the person has to just go a long and keep their head down and try to fit in.
Hi Rosada
This made me wander to a 1970's sit com in UK called "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin". A tale of someone escaping the corporate rat race by faking his suicide - leaving his clothes on a beach in Dorset and running into the sea. He finds an idyll as a farm worker, but eventually missed parts of his old life. Coming back to his old life in disguise, his wife recognises him, they get back together and he sets up an anti-company (just for a bit of amusement), selling items that nobody would want, but everyone wants them and he becomes an huge success, eventually buying up his old company. He is now the boss of his old boss. Eventually life becomes too much for him again and he and his wife fake their suicides. They re-emerge and decide to set up a self help commune for the disillusioned former employees until, you guessed it, they contemplate another exodus. Something akin to
THE MARRYING MAIDEN means the beginning and end of humanity, as Chen in the east means spring, ascent, and Tui in the west means autumn, decline.
Mike
 
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rosada

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I thought it was interesting what Wilhelm has pointed out about all the inner lines being in the wrong places. A real feeling of damned if you do and damned if you don't. Nothing you do or say will be appropriate. I see their is an article in the news today nattering about Michelle Obama breaking protocol by reaching out to shake hands with the Queen before the Queen reached out to shake hands with her first. Well excuuuse me!
 

rosada

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Update - I guess the negative headlines about Ms. Obama didn't sell cause now all the headlines are pitching the disrupted protocol story as evidence she and the Queen really really like each other. The Marrying Maiden at first can't do anything right and yet by simply not responding to the negativity ultimately she reaches 55 and can be like the sun at mid-day?
 

rosada

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THE IMAGE

Thunder over the lake:
The image of THE MARRYING MAIDEN.
Thus the superior man
Understands the transitory
In light of the eternity at the end.

Thunder stirs the water of the lake, which follows it in shimmering waves. This symbolizes the girl who follows the man of her choice. But every relationship between individuals bears within it the danger that wrong turns may be taken. leading to endless misunderstandings and disagreements. Therefore it is necessary constantly to remain mindful of the end. If we permit ourselves to drift along, we come together and are parted again as the day may determine. If on the other hand a man fixes his mind on an end that endures, he will succeed in avoiding the reefs that confront the closer relationships of people.
-Wilhelm
 

charly

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What would you say indicates the character of the maiden "is not good"? I'm thinking it's like a person trying to better their situation by marrying into money rather than earning it themselves. I think of the joke about the airhead student trying to woo the strict professor,
Airhead : Oh Professor, I would do just anything for an A.
Professor: Anything?
Airhead: Yes, ANYTHING...
Professor: Then study!
Hi, Ros:

In Chinese History was no unusual that concubines became favourites or even Empresses.

As marriages were arranged by state reasons or by familly interests, and given that the main wives always were the elder daughters, the main wife could be beautiful or could be uggly, no freedom for choosing better.

The companion brides, mainly younger sisters or cousins from the female line for Zhou rulers, were of course more selected, thus, tey were more beautiful or with better character.

The main bride became principal wife and she had the control of the familiar brothel (gynaeceum) as absolute mistress, tyrannizing the other women, concubines, servants, slaves, maybe her character had tendency to be harsh.

Concubines instead needed to be more friendly and established affective bonds with the master even with the other women.

Tehy assured acceptable amount of YIN energy in an otherwise isoportable athmosphere.

«MEI MEI» was an affectionate way of calling girls of the family, maybe almost synonym of «LOVED».

Of course, women studied, principal wives learned to give commands and to control the harem, secondary wives or concubines learned music, poetry, arts and how to be agreable. Sexual favours didn't assure nothing by itself because ALL WOMEN, wives, concubines, servants, slaves, ought to give sexual favours to the Master when he wanted.

For scaling higher places women needed to give something added to their normal duties (sexual included).

In Chinese History much concubines became favourites, even Empresses, but they needed to know how.

Yours,

Charly
 

charly

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The Little MEI at the Peony Pavillion, in the House of the Flying Daggers:



See the SLEEVE of Little MEI:



The Dance of Little MEI:


(sorry, Trojan!)

Little MEI as girl of war:



People that have seen the film know that to be egaged in war was not fortunate for Little Mei:

Charly
 

diamanda

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A totally gorgeous film!

And 54, no matter what way one looks at it:
one is not, and can never become, the "only one" for the other person.
This is not a hexagram which describes a one-to-one relationship.
No matter how important the concubine, or the empress, there will always be others.

In any case, 54 bodes "misfortune". Being secondary. One can't do anything.
Not a good answer, no matter how much one can try to gloss over it.
 

rosada

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Whoa, my gosh, my golly, she is beautiful. The heck with being the first wife. Where do I sign up for class?

r.
 

rosada

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In the autumn everything comes to its end. When thunder is over the lake, this end is near. The eternity of the end is suggested by the trigram Chen, which comes forth in the east (spring) and reaches the end of its activity in the west (autumn), in accordance with fixed laws. At that moment the death-dealing power of autumn, which destroys all transient beings, becomes active.

Through knowledge of these laws, one reaches those regions which are beyond beginning and end, birth and death.
-Wilhelm
 

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