The Noble One: Marrying Sister

April 3, 2011

Hexagram 54, Marrying Sister, portrays a situation that is less-than-ideal. In the past, a younger sister was sometimes married to a popular ruler or chieftain along with her older sister. Naturally, the younger sister was subordinate, and sent along into a relationship not of her own choosing. There is also an allusion to being a concubine. Again, a woman is married in a subordinate and unfortunate situation. The Statement confirms this gloomy situation: “Advance: misfortune. No place will bring gain.”

Few of us will be in the literal situation of Marrying Sister, but there will be plenty of situations in which we find ourselves in similar oppressive circumstances. That’s when the Image becomes relevant and inspiring: The noble one pursues far-reaching goals while keeping aware of possible ruin.

This is one of the most valuable messages of the I Ching. When all seems against you, when you are put into the degrading situation of being a Marrying Sister, when any advancement brings misfortune and no place will bring gain, it is essential to remember that you still have your own inner determination. This you must not let go for any reason.

If you are hemmed in all around and there seems to be no advantage, then you should still have far-reaching goals. True, you have to be wary. Your situation is precarious and ruin is close at hand. Nevertheless, if you keep to your inner determination, you will be able to find the opening to your distant goals.

 

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