Archetype 50: The Breadbasket

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Give us this day our daily bread.

—Matthew 6:11

The Reading

In the original Greek, the word that became the English daily was ἐπιούσιος, or epiousios. Surprisingly, this word appears nowhere else in the entire Bible. Even more surprisingly, it appears nowhere else in all of Greek literature up to that date. The reality is we don’t know what the word means. It is not likely that the word means daily, since there were other words used in the Bible for that.

We can only assume that the adjective that modifies the word bread had a very special meaning to the writers of Matthew and Mark, who both used that highly unusual word in their recommended prayer form. We will probably never know what the word meant to them. What does the word mean to you?

The Hexagram

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This hexagram consists of the lower trigram Spirit and the upper trigram Christ. The image of Spirit is Gentle Wind. The image of Christ is Fire. Thus we have a gentle wind fanning the fire. This provides the heat to transform the raw ingredients into nourishment.

The Archetype

There is a time...

  • To see God in those who hold true to Wisdom’s way.
  • To accept the will of God as revealed by the wise.
  • To nourish society through its weakest members.
  • To help others grow into their divine potential.
  • To understand that both spiritual and physical nourishment are needed.
  • To be sure that the need for nourishment has been met.
  • To offer sacrifices that will hasten God’s Kingdom.
  • To find the harmony in God’s will and one’s own interest.
  • To remember that nourishment is necessary for both physical and spiritual growth.
  • To find the harmony in fate and life.

Now is that time.

Moving Lines

Moving Line in the First (Bottom) Position

A moving line in the bottom position describes a breadbasket turned upside down. This is not bad. It is how the crumbs are removed. Everything has importance, even the lowliest. It is not one’s position in life that determines one’s value; it is one’s willingness to be consecrated to the will of God.

Moving Line in the Second Position

A moving line in the second position describes a breadbasket that is filled with bread. This suggests the importance of achieving something of significance. Each person is tasked by God with a purpose. If we are able to discern our calling and focus our energy on what God wants from us, we can accomplish great things. But this line also warns us not to claim undue credit, which only provokes the jealousy of others.

Moving Line in the Third Position

A moving line in the third position describes a bread basket with a broken handle. When the handle is broken, the basket cannot be lifted, and it is no longer useful. It still contains food, but the food cannot be eaten. This also describes one who goes unrecognized. Without recognition, it is difficult to be effective. What a waste. The unrecognized one is counseled to focus on developing spiritual strengths and biding one’s time. If one does this, the current tension will be resolved.

Moving Line in the Fourth Position

A moving line in the fourth position describes a breadbasket with broken legs. When the legs are broken, the contents spill out. This also describes one who has a difficult task and is not equal to it. Part of the problem is that one has not devoted all of one’s strength to the task. Even worse, one is affiliated with inferior people. When one is not dedicated to what must be done and hangs with others who are similarly uninterested, little of value can be accomplished.

Moving Line in the Fifth Position

A moving line in the fifth position describes a breadbasket with gold handles. Gold signifies strength. This also describes one who is modest and approachable. Such a person will easily attract able helpers. But it is important to be ever diligent against the corrosive effects of Ego.

Moving Line in the Sixth (Top) Position

A moving line in the top position describes a breadbasket with jade handles. Jade represents something that is hard but with a soft luster. This line therefore suggests that hardness must be combined with softness. One is to give strong counsel, but that counsel is to be delivered delicately and softly.

Other interpretations of Archetype 50:

Internal Links:

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