Archetype 9: Small Gathering
Then, majestically adorned, after invoking the aid of the all-seeing God and Savior, she took two maids with her; on one she leaned gently for support, while the other followed, carrying her train. She was radiant with perfect beauty, and she looked happy, as if beloved, but her heart was frozen with fear. When she had gone through all the doors, she stood before the king. He was seated on his royal throne, clothed in the full array of his majesty, all covered with gold and precious stones. He was most terrifying.
Lifting his face, flushed with splendor, he looked at her in fierce anger. The queen faltered, and turned pale and faint, and collapsed on the head of the maid who went in front of her.
Esther was the Jewish queen of the Persian king Achaemenid around 460 BCE. Her cousin had refused to bow down before Prince Haman because it would have violated his beliefs as a Jew. In retaliation, Haman ordered the killing of all the Jews in the Persian Empire. Esther was determined to save her people. She planned a series of banquets during which she would soften up the king and convince him to rescind the order. But first she had to convince the king to attend the banquets. This meant appearing before the king unbidden. Appearing before the king unbidden, as Esther well knew, was a crime punishable by death.
This hexagram consists of the Spirit above and its image of a Gentle Wind coupled with the strength of God below.
There is a time...
- To recognize than when in a position of weakness, only gentleness can restrain and subdue strength.
- To maintain the determination that will overcome the obstacles.
- To remain inwardly grounded in God, but to outwardly be as gentle and adaptable as a soft breeze.
Now is that time.
A moving line in the bottom position suggests that when strength is pressed, resistance is encountered. It is best to return to a way suited to the situation. This may be advance. This may be retreat. Call on Wisdom, not force, to bring about a positive outcome.
A moving line in the second position suggests that although one desires to press forward, by looking at others one can see that the way is blocked. Thus pressing forward will only result in rejection. This is the time to retreat with others who share convictions.
A moving line in the third position suggests the opposition is underestimated. Although the opposition is individually weak, collectively they are too strong to engage with. Because of sheer numbers, power lies with the weak. Their arguments are irrational and mean spirited, but even the wisest can make no headway under these circumstances. Trying to influence people who have turned their backs on Wisdom is pointless and undignified.
A moving line in the fourth position suggests how a counselor to a powerful leader should behave. The counselor should restrain the leader so that bloodshed is avoided. This is not an easy task. The way to accomplish this is to simply present the truth, dispassionately and honestly. The truth is enough; emotions will only get in the way of a peaceful outcome.
A moving line in the fifth position describes two partners bonded by loyalty. Each complements the other. For the weaker partner, loyalty consists of devotion. For the stronger partner, loyalty consists of trustworthiness. This relationship leads to the deepest kind of wealth. This wealth is not to be hoarded but is to be generously shared with friends and thus made even greater.
A moving line in the top position warns us about the fragile nature of success. Goals have been reached through the accumulation of small successes won because they were in accord with Wisdom’s way. But these successes are fragile because they have not yet been bound together. Nothing can be added without jeopardizing what has been won. Now is the time to be content with what has been accomplished, knowing greater successes will come in time.
Other interpretations of Archetype 9:
- 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.