Sunday, 30 September 2012

Staking out New Ground (I Ching, 3 — zhun)

3. zhun — water/thunder

The original meaning of zhun is of a sprouting seedling, but it is also associated with gathering, either of grain or of men. Its earliest meaning might be military - an army encampment or garrison. For more, see here.

Difficulty. The risks are high, but the omens are good. Do not act. You do not have a direction. Appoint noble princes.

   1.    Stone pillars. Favourable sign for a dwelling. Appoint noble princes.

   2.    As if stuck, as if blocked, if chariots and horses come teeming like bandits trying to steal a marriage match, let them hear the female fortune: she will not marry, for ten years she will not bear children.

    3.    If you stalk deer without vigilance, you end up straying into the centre of the forest. The noble person is subtle. He returns home, not letting on that he is lost. Going on will bring bad luck.

    4.    If chariots and horses come teeming, seeking a marriage match, then auspicious that you should go. Nothing unfavourable will come of it.

    5.    Saving the deer fat, if there is little, the omens are good; but hoarding much, the omens are bad.

    6.    If chariots and horses come teeming, shedding floods of tears, then the blood of the relatives has flowed.

Commentary: Staking out new territory, it is often better not to have a pre-conceived purpose because you are not in a position to have one, just as a plant sends out roots in all directions. When French settlers colonized America, they came with big projects, the British with none. The French settlements quickly collapsed, the British thrived, adapting better to the conditions around them. The meaning of this hexagram is perseverance in non-action while staking out new territory.

Both translation and commentary are my interpretation from various sources, and probably my last post on the I Ching. I wish you all good luck in your new encampments!

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.
—Rainer Maria Rilke

Painting: by Adèle Aldridge from
Video: 'Any Road' by George Harrison. Lyrics here.


  1. I hope to see you around Okei. Take care. Namaste.

  2. Hi Roddy! Good to see you back online. You too!