䷈ Xiao Xu

Xiao Xu I Ching Gua Meaning

小畜 Xiao Xu ䷈ hexagram meanings:

Little Accumulation, Small Livestock , Taming Power of the Small, the Lesser Nourisher

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The ninth gua, Xiao Xü, is directly translated to “Little Accumulation”, and may sometimes be referred to as a lesser nourisher, or a small taming power. Xiao Xü is associated with the fourth month in the lunar year, or May in the solar calendar. Once a union is made by people, they may begin to store things up—things such as food or other necessary resources. This gua originates from the observation of clouds gathering before a storm. These clouds cover the sky and yet no rain falls because only a small amount of water has accumulated in them. Therefore, the gua Xiao Xü represents this image of storm clouds gathering.

The character Xü can refer to the raising of livestock, or storing supplies of things such as strength, nourishment, or virtue. For Xiao Xü, the yang energies vastly outnumber the yin and therefore it struggles to completely nourish itself for the task at hand. In order for it to have enough energy to complete its journey, it needs time to gather its strength or it will fail miserably. This does not mean that all progress is halted. On the contrary, the time taken to build energy is part of the journey’s progress. Fulfillment may not be reached before the necessary energy has been accumulated. Thus, the main theme of the gua is taking a temporary break to store up energy.

Xiao Xü illustrates clouds with no rain to express the moment when one’s present strength is not enough to complete the journey. It is a time to pause, not to carry on the path. Strength and energy must accumulate before you can continue further. It could be that you are carrying on in an unsustainable way. Or, there may be an obstacle that you are not ready to face, that you lack the proper experience at the present. Xiao Xü has two lessons for situations when one does not have enough strength to continue. First, it teaches us that we must be able to store up our strength, knowledge, and virtue before we can help others. The second lesson it teaches us is that we must be truthful and sincere when we support others. Xiao Xü believes in the power of working together.

There is an aspect of division present in the first character, Xiao, because things generally become smaller after they have been divided. When King Wen returned home after his imprisonment, he took time to build strength and organize people to overthrow the Tyrant of Shang. When he began working with others, he noticed different opinions dividing the people in his group. He expressed that they must band together despite these little divisions between them so they could overthrow the tyrant. Through his sincerity for the cause, he gained allyship with neighboring clans as well as his own.

䷈ Xiao Xu hexagram

Xiao Xu ䷈ Xiao Xu hexagram Illustration

䷈ Xiao Xu hexagram meaning

Setting by stores for hard times brings calm.
The rain-bearing clouds gather to the west.

Bottom Line

Xiao Xu Bottom Line Illustration

Bottom Line meaning

Leaving by one road
And coming back the same way
Seems dull, but augurs well.

Line Two

Xiao Xu Line Two Illustration

Line Two meaning

To be guided home by a friend
Is a promising sign.

Line Three

Xiao Xu Line Three Illustration

Line Three meaning

Whose fault is it?
The wheels have come off the carriage,
And husband and wife have fallen out.

Line Four

Xiao Xu Line Four Illustration

Line Four meaning

When your enemies are behind bars
You can let down your guard and relax.
No worries, no wariness, no war.

Line Five

Xiao Xu Line Five Illustration

Line Five meaning

Taking prisoners of war as slaves, 
You might give some to your neighbors
To earn their love.

Top Line

Xiao Xu Top Line Illustration

Top Line meaning

The sweet rainfall has greened the fields
But turned the roads to mud.
Only now can a cart bring supplies.
The women sense danger
And tell their husbands
To set out when the moon is full
And their luck will be good.

Comments: I Ching Illustrated Book of Changes

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