Thursday, November 15, 2018
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I Ching Hexagram 15: 謙 “Humbling” – Ch’ien

What Is Hexagram 15: “Humbling” ?

Ch’ien is the Chinese name of the I Ching Hexagram 15. With inner and outer trigrams forming Earth over mountain, this Hexagram is called ‘humbling’ or alternatively named ‘modesty’ or ‘humility’.

Hexagram 15 is a reminder that having too much pride can be counterproductive to success. Taking pride in our work is different than having so much pride then you are unable to see others for what they really are. By humbling ourselves, we are then able to look at others that are shy or in a shell and help them to blossom.

Interpretation & Meaning of IChing Hexagram 15: 謙 "Humbling" - Ch’ien

Interpretation & Meaning of Hexagram 15:

Hexagram 15 says that there is no harm in having pride. It is nice to feel good about our accomplishments and success. When we are able to see the finishing point of a plan that took a lot of hard work, it sparks pride in the time it took to complete the task. When we take pride in something, it’s also important to humble ourselves in order to prevent pride from turning problematic.

Humbling one’s self means to give thanks for the run of good luck and great success and remain on a steady level. This is done by accepting to feel pride, but only in small amounts in shorts spurts of time. To be prideful all the time will only bind the mind and obscure the perspective of reality. Having too much pride can cause a pleasant person to become very arrogant.

Pride can often blind a person from taking the next step in life. It is hard to leave a time of success behind in order to start again when the feeling of pride takes over. People who have accomplished very little, take pride in what has been completed but then are arrogant to those who continue to develop and continue on with life.

I Ching Hexagram 15 – Personal Goals:

There are things besides work that we can take pride in such as organizations we are a part of or in other people that we care about who also succeed. Pride can help spark the ability to bond with others who have the same kind of pride.

I Ching Hexagram 15 – Love:

Having humility allows us to work with others who might have a hard time with low self-esteem. Encourage a loved one to be more spontaneous and be willing to take chances in order to be successful. If we remain in one phase without change, then there can be no progression.

Sometimes it takes small risks in order to become successful or to try something new. We can take pride in helping those who need a little bit of encouragement in order to progress.

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I Ching Hexagram 15 – Career & Business:

There are people in the world that take pride in their accomplishments but never let the pride go in order to progress. These people often recall their success in conversation but only seem to talk about that one particular time. It brings to question if that person is capable of completing any other projects or starting any new plans.

When we can safely take pride in our work, we can then encourage others to become accomplished by breaking through a personal shell of shyness. It is often the quite worker who goes unnoticed or unrecognized when in reality they deserve the most praise.


MODESTY creates success.
The superior man carries things through.


Within the earth, a mountain:
The image of MODESTY.
Thus the superior man reduces that which is too much,
And augments that which is too little.
He weighs things and makes them equal.


Hexagram 15 is a great reminder of the benefits of having pride but also warns against the harm it can cause. This hexagram influences the continuation of completing projects in order to gain pride but inspires us to help others to find the same feeling.

Having too much pride will not allow a person to progress, but will only keep a person bound in till they can humble themselves enough to move on. It is not our place to try to humble someone but instead use our time wisely to help those who might need a little inspiration and direction in order to come out of their ‘box’.

The 64 Hexagrams

1乾 Force Ch’ien2坤 Field K’un
3屯 Difficult in the Beginning Chun4蒙 Youthful Folly Meng
5需 Waiting Hsu6訟 Conflict Sung
7師 Integrity Shih8比 Holding Together Pi
9小畜 Attention To Detail Hsiao Ch’u10履 Correct Conduct Lu
11泰 Peace T’ai12否 Stagnation P’i
13同人 Fellowship T’ung Jen14大有 Abundance Ta Yu
15謙 Humbling Ch’ien16豫 Enthusiasm Yu
17隨 Following Sui18蠱 Correcting Ku
19臨 Nearing Lin20觀 Observation Kuan
21噬嗑 Biting Through Shih Ho22賁 Grace Pi
23剝 Splitting Apart Po24復 Returning Fu
25無妄 Innocence Wu Wang26大畜 Great Accumulating Ta Ch’u
27頤 Nourishment I28大過 Preponderance of the Great Ta Kuo
29坎The Abysmal K’an30離Radiance Li
31咸Courtship Hsien32恆Constancy Heng
33遯 Retreat Tun34大壯 Great Invigorating Ta Chuang
35晉 Progress Chin36明夷 Darkening of the Light Ming I
37家人 The Family Chai Jen38睽 Opposition K’uei
39蹇 Obstruction Chien40解 Deliverance Hsieh
41損 Decrease Sun42益 Increase I
43夬 Displacement Kuai44姤 Coming to Meet Kou
45萃 Gathering Together Ts’ui46升 Ascending Sheng
47困 Exhaustion K’un48井 The Well Ching
49革 Revolution Ko50鼎 The Cauldron Ting
51震 The Arousing Chen52艮 Stilling Ken
53漸 Gradual Progress Chien54歸 妹 The Marrying Maiden Kuei Mei
55豐 Abundance Feng56旅 The Wanderer Lu
57巽 Ground Sun58兌 Open Tui
59渙 Dispersion Huan60節 Limitation Chieh
61中孚 Center Returning Chung Fu62小 過 Small Surpassing Hsaio Kup
63既 濟 After Completion Chi Chi64未 濟 Before Completion Wei Chi
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