Archetype 46:Perseverance

CR P02 C46 A01

Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

—Matthew 15:21–28

The Reading

The Canaanites were the traditional enemies of Israel. In this reading, we have a Canaanite woman asking Jesus, a Jew, to heal her Gentile daughter. She is met with disdain. Jesus won’t even answer. His disciples want to send her away. She will not be put off. She comes and kneels before Jesus. Again Jesus rebuffs her, this time even more harshly. He calls her and her people “dogs.” But she persists, and then Jesus sees her no longer as a Canaanite, but as a mother. Even Jesus can learn something about love from a mother.

The Hexagram

CR P02 C46 A02

This hexagram consists of two trigrams: Wisdom and Spirit. The hexagram has two strong lines in the lower trigram pushing upward into the upper trigram. These lines are strong. They will get there, but they still have a ways to go.

The Archetype

There is a time...

  • To remember that success sometimes takes perseverance and will.
  • To not be intimidated by a power imbalance.
  • To take advantage of a favorable alignment.
  • To gather one’s strength and push forward.
  • To not resort to violence and force, but engage with modesty and love.
  • To adapt one’s approach to the needs of the situation.
  • To directly approach those with influence.
  • To understand that only with persistent effort can a breakthrough occur.

Now is that time.

Moving Lines

Moving Line in the First (Bottom) Position

 A moving line in the bottom position describes the relationship between the lowest and highest places of power. The strength for the perseverance comes from the lowly. But there is a spiritual connection between the low and the high. This synergy gives the lowly the confidence to move forward. As long as humility is shown, success is likely.

Moving Line in the Second Position

A moving line in the second position describes one who is strong but a bit of an oddball. This oddball pays little attention to social niceties and calls it like it is. Still, this oddball has a good character, and people respond positively.

Moving Line in the Third Position

A moving line in the third position describes a time when obstructions are falling away and things are moving forward with little apparent effort. It is wise to move forward and build on recent successes. There is no guarantee that progress will continue, but one should take advantage of the momentum while it lasts.

Moving Line in the Fourth Position

A moving line in the fourth position brings good news. The advocate that has persisted is finally successful and wins well-deserved honor. The advocate is elevated to the level of a spiritual leader, thereby achieving a form of immortality.

Moving Line in the Fifth Position

A moving line in the fifth position warns the successful advocate not to get anxious and skip necessary steps. Each step is important and must be taken slowly and deliberately. Such deliberation will lead to success.

Moving Line in the Sixth (Top) Position

 A moving line in the top position warns the advocate not to continue pushing blindly. Unless persistence is balanced with rest and perhaps even retreat, exhaustion results. One must take the time to cultivate Wisdom, the only antidote to blind impulse.

Other interpretations of Archetype 46:

Internal Links:

  • Return to the Hexagram Index Table [click here].
  • Return to Consulting the Christian I Ching [click here].
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Reproduced with permission from Wisdom's Way; The Christian I Ching copyright (c) 2015 Roger Sessions.