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#34 大壯 Da Zhuang (Great Strength)

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Da Zhuang means excellent strength, and it suggests the power of nature.

What is this about?

Upon pulling back from seeking competent allies to help defeat the Shang, the Duke of Zhou, he has had time to gather his strength, arming himself with knowledge and determination. Like thunder's mighty clap, the Duke of Zhou gained momentum, fame, and respect. With such a stellar reputation, he was able to make manifest his ideas.


34.0 利貞

It is advantageous to be firm in correctness. You have a good reputation. Others have noticed your attention to detail, thoroughness, integrity, and grit. Institute your idea. Let your purpose carry you forward. Your admirers will support your effort.

34.1 初九壯于趾征。凶孚

Yang on Line 1: The strength is in the toes. It is not advantageous to conquer. Build sincerity. The Duke of Zhou understood he must build a solid support base before moving forward with the rebellion against the tyrant Shang King, Zhou Wang. You cannot advance to a higher level without gaining the trust and respect of your associates/clients. This is not a time to be modest. Display your talent.

34.2 九二貞吉

Yang on Line 2: It is fortunate to insist on correctness. Take a stand. Do not budge. Eventually, you will win.

34.3 九三小人用壯;君子用罔。貞厲。羝羊觸藩羸其角

Yang on Line 3: Common people misuse their strength. Honourable people will not. Using force unwisely is like a ram butting against a fence and getting his horns entangled. Do not waste your time and energy pursuing futile activities. Instead, focus on finding rewarding opportunities to lift your spirit, fortify your mind and energise your body.

34.4 九四貞吉—悔亡。藩決不羸,壯于大輿之輹

Yang on Line 4: It is fortunate to be firm with correctness. Regrettable moments will soon be forgotten. When the fence is broken, it will not entangle the ram's horns. The grand carriage can move forward if the wheel's axles are tied safely. Wait for the appropriate moment to proceed. Then, when there are no barriers, and you have gathered enough strength, make your move confidently.

34.5 六五喪羊于易。无悔

Yin on Line 5: A ram may be lost when luck turns. There is nothing to regret. Even though you may have great courage and mental and physical prowess, it does not mean you’re invincible. If you suffer a setback, it is not a big deal. Sometimes you must take one step back to take two steps forward.

34.6 上六羝羊觸藩。不能退。不能遂

Yin on Line 6: You cannot advance or retreat like a ram butting the fence with its horns entangled. There is no advantage. Realise there is difficulty ahead, and there will be a fortune. You are trapped between a rock and a hard place. No matter what you do, you cannot advance. Stay put. Patiently wait it out. You will realise a positive result eventually.

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