Hexagram Thirty-seven—Family

Hexagram Thirty-seven signifies the roles of family members. The home will be peaceful if each member—parents, children, and extended family members—act according to their position. Through order and open communication, troubles can be resolved.

The first line, yang, shows one who restores order to their own home. This can also refer to reestablishing one's position in life.

The second line, yin, shows a woman who tends to her own business, not minding the business of others. This change will bring good fortune.

The third line, yang, shows the head of a household who is strict and unyielding. Although this brings short term results, there will also be sorrow and little love. Eventually, the wife and children will lose respect for him.

The fourth line, yin, shows a family member who increases the love within the family.

The fifth line, yang, shows a family member who brings worldly prestige and influence to the family. There is no reason to fear, for this will bring good fortune.

The sixth line, yang, shows a family member who is sincere and truthful. After self-examination, this person will make the needed changes to attain good fortune.

Hexagram Thirty-seven Commentary

This hexagram offers lessons on how to maintain peace in a family. The principles are similar to contemporary notions of family therapy. The introduction encourages open communication to resolve problems, and for family members to embrace their roles in the family. In other words, the parents must lead the family, extended family play supporting roles, and the children should be protected, not made to fill in for negligent parents.

The subject of the first line, yang, steps up to his or her duty after a period of neglect. Through reestablishing their own position in life, the subject manages to also restore order within the family.

The subject of the second line, yin, learns to attend to her own life, thus setting a good example for others. The line hints that for a time, she had neglected her duty to herself, and spent all her energy trying to fix everyone else's lives. Now that she is centered, it allows others to be their own selves.

The subject of the third line, yang, shows the most negative situation possible in family life. The head of the family is a tyrant who may get obedience, but it comes at the expense of genuine love and trust. The line predicts in a situation like this, the wife and children will lose respect for him, leading to sorrow and resentment.

The subject of the fourth line, yin, "increases the love with in the family." This line confirms the primary purpose of a family, and that is to provide a loving home where everyone feels accepted for who they are.

The subject of the fifth line, yang, brings honor and influence to the family. This is also welcome.

The sixth line, yang, shows how love can hold a family together. The subject of this line is a reasonable, honest, and thoughtful family member. Perhaps for a time he or she went through doubts, for example in adolescence, they may pull away from the family for a time. However, after self-examination, this person will make needed changes their attitude to reestablish their bonds with the family.

To the reader: Most of the hexagrams have at least one line that predicts bad results, but that does NOT mean you are fated to that result. The hexagrams illustrate different attitudes, so study the actions and reactions to learn the attitudes that will lead to better outcomes.

The I Ching teaches you to flow with changes and create positive change from the inside through conscious living. Your future is in your hands. Consult the I Ching for ideas that lead to clear thinking and positive mental attitude. Reading the I Ching helps you take the time to reflect on your attitudes and ideas. Continue asking until you feel positive about your course.

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A note about this interpretation of the I Ching: Nori Muster wrote this version of the I Ching in 1994 and put it online at in 2000. It is also available at Amazon: