Hexagram Thirty Nine

Chien (Pro: Jee-en) – Obstacles


Problems are evident. Certain directions you cannot take. Moves toward those unsympathetic or offering difficulties are not recommended.

Obstacles, even danger, beset this enquiry. It may feel like being caught between choices none of which offer any way out. The difficulties are not sudden or out of context, but are a part of the attitudes and habitual ways of doing things connected with the question.

Deep feelings may be involved, all the more entrenched because of the apparent immovability of the obstacles. Such feelings only strengthen the obstacles.

The situation calls for a temporary retreat, a cessation of progressive activity. This may be difficult as one needs to walk away from ones goal for a while. But this is not an abandoning of ones aims, only a necessary pause.

It will aid to join with those who are of like mind in order to tackle the difficulty. And do not give up ones aim because of this set-back. Perseverance is called for even in this temporary retreat.

It is important to avoid blaming. This refers to self blame, but particularly to blaming others for the situation. Blaming others removes the possibility of finding the personal sources of the obstacle, and learning from the difficulty. The obstacle then enriches.

The change must come from within. Then good fortune can arise out of this, of a sort that can be of great benefit to many.

Key words: Obstacles appear immovable. Seek the causes within and cooperate with friends. Perseverance brings good fortune.

The Moving Lines


1.Frantic action to deal with the obstacle is not advisable in this issue. It will only compound the difficulty. Remain without action until it is clear what can be done. This brings reward.

2.Difficulties pile one upon another. Do not blame yourself for what is happening. Others depend upon you to see the process through. Be committed to confronting the problems.

3.Do not meet the problem by actively assaulting it. Only trouble can emerge that way and dependants would suffer. In withdrawing from danger happiness can arise.

4.Do not tackle this problem alone. To do so would lead to misfortune. Be patient and others will arrive to give aid through connections with a wider group. Inform them of the situation to gain their help.

5.At the very height of difficulty friends arise to help. They see the effort being made and are ready to support in this endeavour.

6. Although you are capable of finding within yourself a place of retreat, away from this problem, that direction is barred. Others need your experience. Seek alliance with a powerful figure in order to create the great work and rescue.


-Ulyana 2016-05-23 0:09:27

Hello Tony, I’m new to the I ching. If you don’t mind me asking how might this answer apply to a relationship issue… My question being “will I be happy if I continue with so-and-so?”

-JK23 2014-05-07 8:41:44

This is my birth hexagram, I admit most of this interpretation is true. I’m not a lucky person and there are always problems around me. I really hope that I could be borned in a different time!

    -Tony Crisp 2014-05-08 8:29:00

    JK23 – If hexagram 23 was what you referred to, it says at the end, “Even so there is a great power of abiding and receptivity evident. Perhaps this receptive longing is threatening. But it has the power to attract new life and change. This waiting receptiveness may feel like idleness, or loss of power, and cause one to be a prey to fearful urges.”

    That in fact is a very powerful place to be. So do not be tempted to “be a prey to fearful urges.” For change and help is so near at hand. So please see http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/lifes-little-secrets/


-Laura 2013-08-13 0:39:43

This was the result for the questons – What would be the outcome of living at this specific place? It’s outisde of my budget though I like it. I’m very afraid to not have a place to go. Please help me interpret. Blessings.

    -Tony Crisp 2013-08-18 10:11:15

    Laura – As far as I can tell the suggestion is that this is only a temporary hold up, and if you allow a new state of mind it will change. Also it suggest you persevere.

    How about approaching what you search for from a different angle and ask again.


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