Da Zhuang (Great Power)

I Ching Hexagram 34
Da Zhuang (Great Power)

Action: Invigorate

Hu Gua (hidden influence) 43 Determination: Breakthrough

Zong Gua (underlying cause) 20 Contemplation: View

When you are steadfast in your power, you cannot be thrown from your center.

A suppressed resolve will betray itself in the eyes. – George Elliot

Reading at a Glance: The Creative moves below the Thunder in an image of one who has achieved great power but does not move until certain that events call for movement. Even while you know you are in a position of superiority, don’t be arrogant or pushy. When exerting force, we find resistance but power shows a willingness to adapt with being centered and firm. Therefore the Power of the Great is activated for those who know that the greatest strength is the ability to overcome themselves and their insecurities. Persisting in this outlook will lead to success. The hidden influence of Determination shows that a breakthrough in thinking has changed a landscape of obstacles into opportunities to prove the strength of your inner character. The underlying cause of Contemplation shows that after a period of surveying the playing field, you are ready to move forward. Invigorate your sense of resolve because success is in sight. By restraining emotions and instincts the Power of the Great is similar to the concentration of force necessary to chop a block of wood with the hand. One remains calm and focused. The inner certainty of knowing that the hand will go through the wood without any doubt allows it to happen. Align the intention to succeed with the certainty that you will and nothing can stop you.

The thunder

startles wakefulness.

A vigorous stroke


in the sleeping seed.

“Things cannot retreat forever. Hence follows the idea of the power of the great.” Firm in openness and character, you expand inward and develop your power. This leads to greater outward movement or an opportunity to shine. The Creative is strong as it pushes upward, toward the Arousing Thunder. This union of movement and power reveals how stillness and not aggressiveness activates the power of the great.

The master said: “The meaning of the power of the great shows itself in the fact that one pauses.” Ta Chuang is another aspect of movement in stillness, where one steadfast in Te is never thrown from their center when confronting events. This is the ‘constant virtue’ that ensures that you will act benevolently. “Mysterious virtue is far reaching, but when things turn back, it turns back with them.” What cannot be accomplished through force will be fortified through stillness.

Many myths describe a hero, abandoned or separated from the parents, and forced to grow up as an ordinary child. You too, can feel abandoned and thrown into a world that does not understand you. Heeding a call from within, you embark on a great journey and ultimately discover your real identity. Although you travel across dangerous terrains in the journey of a lifetime, once you arrive, you realize that this discovery could have taken place in our backyard. Yet, the actual journey ‘out there’ had the effect of changing you ‘in here.’ It opens you to the understanding that ‘your way’ was only one way.

“If you are a valley to the empire, then the constant virtue will be sufficient.” To be a valley to the empire is to be composed and willing to bow down in every situation. Your constant virtue does not require that you defend it: it is just so.

When strength surpasses the turning point, there is a danger that one may rely on power heedless of what is right, yet “without rightness, there can be no greatness.” You are always activating the power of attraction. Sincerity keeps your experiences real so that you have no need to defend. One willing to bow down or concede in the face of opposition is demonstrating ultimate power. Vigilant in te, you will find yourself on a pathway where nothing needs to be undone. “Lay hold of this truth and you can be master of your present existence.”

The germinal nature of Te blossoms from the foundation of sincerity and benevolence. “The penetration of germinal thought into the mind promotes the workings of the mind. When this working furthers and brings peace to life, it elevates one’s nature. Whatever goes beyond this indeed transcends all knowledge. When one comprehends nature and understands the transformations, one lifts the character to the level of the miraculous.” One who is on the pathway of greatness has no need to demonstrate force. Great success is how benevolence allows you to transform the obstacle into an opportunity to fortify your authentic power.

Movement in stillness becomes the image of bowing down with the knowledge of a power that cannot be threatened. This is the Power of the Great. This power does not need to be demonstrated or proven; it is always sufficient. Just as you gather and tame your passions for productive use, you compose your Te in the same way. Doing nothing out of the ordinary, you again achieve great movement. Success happens naturally by virtue of applying your constant Te, or character.

Unchanging: Limitations that nourish = respect the time. You can stand your ground in an effort to succeed but you must also respect the customs and rituals that have historically worked. Respecting the limitations or expectations of others might be key to getting beyond any barriers you face in communication. You may need to tone it down a notch. Like a weight lifter, you can’t just press heavy weights without starting small and your aggressiveness isn’t winning you friends. You can feel like you have the energy to achieve something but the timing may not be right. There are established rules or needs of others that you may have to work within. This would be similar to a race car that must wait for the signal to go. Moving too soon or too late would only lead to failure. It doesn’t matter how fast or powerful your car is. You still need to act with propriety and at the right time. Unchanging, the Power of the Great is about more than exerting your will although you may be tempted to act aggressively. In fact, not considering another’s perspective may be the obstacle currently keeping you in a holding pattern. Obstacles can also be helping you to develop your resolve to succeed. Check arrogance and frustration with a willingness to develop your inner strength. In this case the strength to control your aggression.

Line 1 Strength in the toes = undertakings bring misfortune. Changes to (32) Duration. While you may feel you are ready to proceed, it is not time. There is not enough of a foundation yet in this situation so don’t jump to conclusions. A strong urge to act is meaningless if the time is not right to do so.

Line 2 Persevering brings good fortune = moderation leads to lasting success. Changes to (55) Abundance. The way is clear to achieve growth and progress. A lack of resistance should not make you overly confident. Proceed, but be moderate in all you do.

Line 3 Weak people use force while the strong do nothing = a ram butts against a hedge entangling its horns, danger. Changes to (54) Subordinate. When you have the power to bring about change you can meet resistance, entangling your horns. It is better to conceal your power and work quietly so you are not forced into danger, even if it appears that you are in an inferior or Subordinate position. Don’t force anything but allow events to develop.

Line 4 Power like axle mounts, the fence breaks = remorse disappears, good fortune. Changes to (11) Peace. The persistence of pushing forward and attracting others to your cause leads to success. Obstacles are no match for your inner strength and persistence. Leveraging Great Power with repetitive action allows you to break through what seemed stuck. There are no regrets because you know your course of action is correct. Peace shows how events can begin to flow easily again.

Line 5 Losing the goat while using force = no remorse but not appropriate. Changes to (43) Determination. While trying to change the situation with force you lose what you were seeking. You can’t push too hard because the situation may call for a period that allows others to reflect and come to your way of thinking. You may have been out of place with your actions because your idea of how things must happen isn’t flexible enough. Rather than have regrets, find a less excessive approach while remaining Determined.

Line 6 A ram butts against the fence and cannot go forward or back away = nothing furthers until the difficulty is identified, then good fortune. Changes to (14) Great Possessing. A different approach is required because what worked in the past has now led you to become stuck. Stop pushing and reflect on the impasse because all further action will only complicate the situation. Compose yourself and allow your inner light to shine with an attitude of abundance and acceptance. What cannot be gained through force may succumb through gentle penetration.

*This page provides insight on the following combinations: Hexagram 34 unchanging Hexagram 34.1 Hexagram 34.1.2 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 34.2 Hexagram 34.2.3 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 34.3 Hexagram 34.3.4 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 34.4 Hexagram 34.4.5 Hexagram Hexagram 34.5 Hexagram 34.5.6 Hexagram 34.6