Archetype 53: Gradual Progress

CR P02 C53 A01

And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

—Romans 5:2–5

The Reading

The reading is from Paul’s letters to the Romans. This is not an easy time for Christians. Paul wants to ensure the Christians in Rome understand that the road ahead will be one of slow but consistent progress. They must persevere and not lose hope. The future of the world depends on this.

The Hexagram

CR P02 C53 A02

The hexagram consists of the lower trigram Stillness and the upper trigram Spirit. This conveys the picture of slow movement of Spirit. Further, the attribute of Spirit is Penetrating, and that of Stillness is Resting. Again we see a slow progress, a gentle penetrating of Spirit grounded in Stillness.

The Archetype

There is a time...

  • To move forward slowly, deliberately, step by step.
  • To seek safe resting places for rejuvenation.
  • To cultivate internal tranquility.
  • To accept that progress will occur, but that it will happen gradually.
  • To influence others by the gentle determination of one’s character.

Now is that time.

Moving Lines

Moving Line in the First (Bottom) Position

A moving line in the bottom position describes a lonely young person who is just starting life. Without help, progress is slow and hesitant. Danger is all around, and criticism is frequent. The net result of this is a natural impediment to rapid progress. The only way forward is slow and deliberate, but ultimately, this is more likely to lead to success.

Moving Line in the Second Position

A moving line in the second position is the next stage from a moving line in the first position. Now a position of safety has been found, and one’s basic needs are being met. The first signs of success bring great relief, and one’s path is now more certain. It is a good time to share one’s fortune with others.

Moving Line in the Third Position

A moving line in the third position warns against moving too quickly. Things need to progress slowly. Rushing results in strife, and this can threaten not only one’s goals but even one’s life. The important point is to follow not Ego, which wants to confront opposition, but Wisdom’s way, which tells us to remain centered and resolute. This is not a time for passivity; if one is attacked, these attacks must be repelled. But it is not a time for aggressive expansion. Let things happen in their own time.

Moving Line in the Fourth Position

A moving line in the fourth position describes one who is in an inappropriate situation. It is a time in which maintaining one’s position is difficult. The best recourse is to be realistic and yield to the opposing strength. This is not a time for making progress. It is a time for finding a new safe place from whence one can better withstand the dangers.

Moving Line in the Fifth Position

A moving line in the fifth position warns that we have become isolated from those whose support is critical. Misunderstandings are getting in the way of relationships. These relationships are foundational, and now that these relationships have been poisoned, everything is moribund. The problem is not in the relationships; the problem is that others with their own agendas have manipulated the situation. This is not a serious situation. Misunderstandings will soon be cleared up, and the relationships will be returned to their natural wholeness.

Moving Line in the Sixth (Top) Position

A moving line in the top position describes a goal that has been achieved, a work that has been completed, a life that has achieved its purpose. Now a new phase begins in which this life serves as an example to others.

Other interpretations of Archetype 53:

Internal Links:

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