Archetype 26: Power of the Great
And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”
This reading shows the strength of Jesus in confronting evil. But his strength is not a traditional strength. He doesn’t have big muscles. He doesn’t bully. He doesn’t have an army. His strength comes from a strong sense of purpose, restraint, and his readiness to care for others.
The top trigram is Stillness, and the bottom trigram, God. The attribute of God is Strength. The strength described by this archetype is a restrained strength, a combination of strength and stillness.
There is a time...
- To use one’s strength to hold back.
- To use one’s strength to hold together.
- To use one’s strength to nourish and care.
- To realize the need for one who is strong, firm, and honored by those in power.
- To use periods of rest to gather strength, renew faith, and cultivate character.
- To cultivate the right kind of power, a power that is Egoless, that is fully aligned with God’s will, and that is used purely to help others.
- To internalize lessons from the past, and, by applying those lessons, strengthen character.
Now is that time.
A moving line in the bottom position describes an obstacle that is preventing a desired advance. This is not the time to try to force an advance. This is the time to compose oneself and wait patiently until one’s energies can be used effectively.
A moving line in the second position describes a restraining force that is absolutely superior. Struggle is pointless. Now is the time for waiting, accumulating energy, building character, and preparing for a vigorous advance at a later time.
A moving line in the third position describes an obstacle that has been cleared away. A path has opened. Another has appeared who is also strong willed, and a partnership is possible. But danger still threatens. The wise one remains wary. This is the time to cultivate the skill needed to move forward and to protect oneself from unexpected attacks. One must have a clear goal for which one is striving.
A moving line in the fourth position counsels us that the best way to restrain wild force is to tame it while it is still young.
A moving line in the fifth position suggests that there is an impetuous force that must be restrained indirectly. If the power of one’s enemies poses a danger, don’t try to neutralize that power. Instead, eliminate it at its source.
A moving line in the top position is auspicious. It tells us the time of obstruction is past. The energy that has been restrained for so long has now burst forth and is able to achieve great success. This line points to one who is now honored and whose ideas shape the world.
Other interpretations of Archetype 26:
- Tom Christensen's interpretation [click here]
- Cafe Au Soul's interpretation [click here]
- LiSe's interpretation [click here]
- Richard Wilhelm's interpretation [click here]
- Return to the Hexagram Index Table [click here].
- Return to Consulting the Christian I Ching [click here].
- Purchase a printed copy of Wisdom's Way; The Christian I Ching [click here].
- Learn about our Online Christian I Ching Workshop [click here].
- Find out about personal consultations [click here].
Reproduced with permission from Wisdom's Way; The Christian I Ching copyright (c) 2015 Roger Sessions.