䷧ Xie
💧
Zhen-Thunder
Kan-Water

Xie I Ching Gua Meaning

解 Xie ䷧ hexagram meanings:

Relief, Release, Deliverance, Relieve Pain or Distress

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The fortieth gua is called Jie—Relief—and is the inverse of the previous gua, Jian. This gua is associated with the second month of the lunar year, or March in the solar calendar. Jie has several translations, originally meaning to separate or to remove. Later, Jie’s definition expanded to include release, deliverance, and relief. All translations of Jie express similar connotations of letting go, setting free, or unfastening which make it an ideal complement to Jian. When one experiences hardship, there comes a point where one must feel relief. When one feels relief, one can experience pleasure again.

Jie warns against overindulgence during a period of relief. If one becomes too concerned with self-satisfaction, they will bring suffering back into their life. This gua reminds one to cultivate a sense of balance, of pain and pleasure, to avoid more hardship. One should not suffer needlessly, but they should also not indulge in pleasure needlessly. This is the lesson Jie teaches.

The ideograph representing Jie originally meant to separate or remove and has three parts. A horn sits on the left next to an ox drawn in the lower right. On top of the ox is a knife, showing the horn being separated from its head. This image expresses the cyclical nature of hardship. When one feels relief from pain, they will indulge in their pleasures. Unfortunately, one tends to indulge without restraint and brings more hardship in the end. This gua explores the many situations one may find relief in and how we can maintain a healthy balance of pain and pleasure. When one is able to remain level and does not overindulge, they will experience good fortune.

Jie is Thunder above Water, creating the image of a thunderstorm. Thunder represents motion in this dynamic, rolling across the sky. Water represents the darkness of the clouds and heavy rain. No matter how violent the storm gets, the clouds will eventually break and the sun will shine again. When the storm is over, we are relieved to have made it safely. Jie reminds us, however, that one will experience many storms in their lives just as they will experience many hardships. They must remember the difficult times during the times of relief or risk facing another obstacle unprepared.

Those who fled the Shang dynasty to join the Kingdom of Zhou found relief under a more competent ruler. Jie indicates a time where suffering is relieved, but it does not indicate a permanent end. One’s life journey will involve many hardships, though as long as one takes the advice of the oracle, it is possible to minimize the amount of suffering. One must remain cautious as King Wen did at this time. He continued to work to relieve and prevent more misfortune from happening. The fortieth gua also refers to an able subordinate and his wise leader. Together these two must work to relieve the suffering of their followers just as King Wen and his subordinates did.

䷧ Xie hexagram

Xie ䷧ Xie hexagram Illustration

䷧ Xie hexagram meaning

Seeking solutions to your problems,
Only the Southwest is promising.
Even in that direction,
It is best not to linger,
But to return to your starting point.
If your troubles force you to travel again,
You will have more luck in the morning. 

Bottom Line

Xie Bottom Line Illustration

Bottom Line meaning


Lying in indolence,
No mistakes were made.
Nothing else was made, either.

Line Two

Xie Line Two Illustration

Line Two meaning


Your arrows found three foxes - 
You found the bronze tip in each.
You can revel in this sign of your good luck.

Line Three

Xie Line Three Illustration

Line Three meaning


You hauled a cart of trade goods
Unprotected in your cart.
Highwaymen took notice and lay in wait for you.
This attack and plunder is a sign for you,
Portending future troubles unimagined.

Line Four

Xie Line Four Illustration

Line Four meaning


The bandits took your treasure,
But after, set you free.

Line Five

Xie Line Five Illustration

Line Five meaning


The noble who was bound was freed,
Good fortune came upon him.
Now, in anger he captured a bandit - 
Bad fortune for the villain.

Top Line

Xie Top Line Illustration

Top Line meaning


From the city wall, 
The general took his shot,
Hitting a distant eagle,
Who tumbled from the sky.
Such prowess bodes well for the future.

Comments: I Ching Illustrated Book of Changes

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