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I Ching 201.1.1: Alternative interpretation for Chien

Let’s have a little fun with the Hexagrams, shall we? In addition to their excellent use for Divination, they also tell stories. We shall start with Hexagram Number One. The Text is in Bold Face, this writer's story in Italics.


The Dragon is hidden. Take no action.

There was once a village, Named Ch'üjen, which, in former Times, had always been very prosperous. Whenever danger or disaster threatened, a magnificent Dragon named Nu-Wa had always appeared to warn them. However, One Year, Summer had been one long drought, the Autumn Harvest was a total disaster, and Nu-Wa was nowhere to be seen. They were afraid to make any decisions until the Dragon returned.

The Dragon appears in the field. It is Time to consult with the Sage.

In the First Month of Winter, a farmer Named Po-Ch’eng Tzu-Kao saw the Dragon in one of his fields. He immediately ran to the village Sage, a man Named Lao Tan, and reported this to him.

All day long the Sage is active and vigilant. By nightfall the Sage’s Mind becomes careful and apprehensive. Although there is danger, error has been avoided.

The Sage sat in the field and meditated until late in the Evening. Finally, the Dragon appeared.

The Dragon begins to rise from the Depths. Error has been avoided.

Nu-Wa was overjoyed to see Lao Tan. The Sage questioned her at length. She revealed that she had a wonderful secret to share with the Sage.

The Dragon flies across Heaven. It is Time to consult with the Sage.

Lao Tan returned to the village, and summoned all the citizens for a meeting.

The Dragon arrogantly exceeds its own limits, and must repent.

The Sage shared with all of the villagers what the Dragon had told him; Nu-Wa was now a mother! She had laid a total of Sixty-Four eggs, and they were about to hatch.

A flying flock of headless Dragons appears. Expect good fortune.

On the coldest Day of Winter, Lao Tan and the entire village of Ch'üjen came to the field to watch as the eggs began to hatch, one by one. At First, Nu-Wa flew proudly above the field. As each baby dragon emerged, however, Nu-Wa appeared to visibly weaken. She landed, and marched proudly around the nest. After a while, she sat down next to the nest, and then lay down. Lao Tan held her head, and patted it. The villagers began to cry. Lao Tan explained that this was the Way of all dragons, indeed, of all living creatures, that new Life replaces old. When the last egg hatched, Nu-Wa passed. Much to the horror of some of the villagers, the newly-hatched baby dragons devoured their mother, and then flew away. Lao Tan, however, understood that One of them would soon return, when a Sign was needed. The following Year was very prosperous for the village.

The above Legend is purely out of this writer’s imagination, and not based on anything else, other than the Hexagram Chien. Feel free to invent your own story. If you like, you may share it with this writer at

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