Archetype 36: Darkening

CR P02 C36 A01

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole cohort around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on his head. They put a reed in his right hand and knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head. After mocking him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

—Matthew 27:26–31

The Reading

Jesus has been beaten, mocked, and humiliated. He has been deserted by his followers. He is alone and facing a terrifying death. The light that he has brought seems about to be snuffed by the darkness and oppression of the Roman Empire.

The Hexagram

CR P02 C36 A02

The image of the lower trigram is Fire. The image of the upper trigram is Earth. The light of the fire has been buried under the earth. Darkness reigns.

The Archetype

There is a time...

  • To recognize that evil has taken power.
  • To accept that it is the nature of evil to do harm to those who follow Wisdom.
  • To not be swept away by evil but remain inwardly committed to the truth.
  • To be flexible on the outside while holding to the light on the inside.
  • To be willing to hide one’s light in the short term to achieve one’s goals in the long term.
  • To avoid provoking hostility through careless behavior.
  • To embrace humility in social interactions.

Now is that time.

Moving Lines

Moving Line in the First (Bottom) Position

A moving line in the bottom position describes a difficult time. The hero has attempted to soar and has encountered a hostile fate. The hero tries to retreat and hide from the issue, but hiding is not an option. The hero is in turmoil and has no resting place. Ego will not allow compromises, and deprivation is the result. The hero remains true to principle, though with little support from others.

Moving Line in the Second Position

A moving line in the second position describes the situation when the light bearer is temporarily wounded by the Evil One. The injury is not serious and the time is not hopeless. The light bearer thinks only of others and does everything possible to save those who are also in danger. This is acting according to God’s laws.

Moving Line in the Third Position

A moving line in the third position describes the situation where a good, strong, and loyal person is trying to create something worthwhile. In doing so, the opponent, the creator of disorder, by chance falls into the hands of one who is pursuing good. This chance event seems lucky, but there is danger. The past has brought many abuses. It is tempting to eliminate these abuses once and for all. But such a hasty act is risky because the abuses have become so institutionalized.

Moving Line in the Fourth Position

A moving line in the fourth position suggests that the hero has come close to the dark one, so close that the dark one’s thoughts are obvious. This confirms there is no hope for improving the situation and the only thing to be done is to leave before things get worse.

Moving Line in the Fifth Position

A moving line in the fifth position counsels those who, because of responsibility, cannot leave their posts even though the times are dangerous. This line suggests that they show great caution in dealing with the adversaries, even if it means hiding their true sentiments. But the difficulties of the time must not impede the gathering of great internal strength.

Moving Line in the Sixth (Top) Position

A moving line in the top position suggests that the height of darkness has been reached. It is horrible that so many who followed the light were hurt, but we are consoled knowing that the time of darkness has climaxed. In the end, evil always consumes itself.

Other interpretations of Archetype 36:

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Reproduced with permission from Wisdom's Way; The Christian I Ching copyright (c) 2015 Roger Sessions.