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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

37: Extended Family

A family that thrives is one where healthy interdependence is supported. Respect for different roles is essential, especially between a wife and a husband whose shared authority is critical. In fact, strong and harmonious kinship is dependent upon every member of the clan. Trust, shared responsibilities, and good communication are essential. Each person must be encouraged to find his or her position and appropriate contribution.

The functional family is a team that symbolizes the ideal of human interdependence, and has long provided a firm foundation for society. The healthy family is an embryo of society and the native soil in which ethical values take root and grow. Fertilize this soil, and the whole of society benefits.

The forces that bind a family are a balance of feminine and masculine — nurturing and receptivity combined with leadership and responsibility. In other words, good parenting. The parents’ words should be consistent, have meaning and power. Siblings’ relationships between themselves and the parents carry variations of feminine and masculine energies too. Relations on all kinds of teams are improved through cultivation of the yin/yang, receptive/responsible balance. Learn to listen and receive help from others, and be willing to assume an appropriate role in any group you are part of or join. A good team player is supremely valuable.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Every group must establish strict guidelines in order to succeed. When beginning any activity or project that requires the exercise of authority, it is vital to exercise power firmly and evenly. This may cause problems in the beginning, but it is the only way to create a stable situation to produce positive results. Dissatisfaction soon vanishes, and things start to go well, particularly if kindness remains an element of authority. Remember that training or leading others requires that you embody both integrity and consistency. Another aspect of this changing line has to do with not spoiling children. Structure the family sensibly, and all will be well. Within either a family or a team, you owe it to those for whom you are responsible to respond appropriately to their egos -- including temper tantrums and other emotional demands -- while maintaining a state of inner calm. If you are lenient with a child who puts marks on the furniture one time, can you blame the child for doing it again? If you have spoiled someone by yielding to childish demands, you are faced sooner or later with having to reform an errant rascal and this is not an easy task.

Line 2

It serves you to attend to the needs of your team. Manage your brood like attentive housewife. Your perseverance in caring will compound to the benefit of the whole group. Now is a time to quietly confine yourself to duties at hand. In this way, everyone prospers.

Line 3

Corrective measures should be firm but not excessive -- although it is better to be too firm than too lax. While it is important not to overindulge those in your charge, it’s also important not to come down too hard on them when things go awry. Excessive severity will cause regret. The best thing is to set up firm limits within which group members are allowed total freedom of movement. An unwillingness on the part of those in authority to tolerate bad habits brings good fortune.

Line 4

Successful bonding is aided by the moderation within the group. Balancing income and expenditures over time brings vast good fortune.

Line 5

When in a position of authority, it furthers one to be loving and trustworthy rather than bold and inconsistent. For instance, when parents choose love as the true center of family life, the whole world is ready to respond with goodwill.

Line 6 (top line)

You are confident, and your efforts command respect. This is a time of reward and recognition. Remember that the leader of a circle of influence -- a group of friends, teammates or family -- has a responsibility to set a good example. It is only through developing your own character that you can influence others and create order.