Upper trigram: Tui The Joyous, Lake
Lower trigram: K'un The Receptive, Earth
Gathering Together. Success.
The king approaches his temple.
It furthers one to see the great man.
This brings success. Perseverance furthers.
To bring great offerings creates good fortune.
It furthers one to undertake something.
Over the earth, the lake:
The image of Gathering Together.
Thus the superior man renews his weapons
In order to meet the unforseen.
These texts apply only for the lines that were marked, when the hexagram was cast. Note that the lines are counted from the bottom up.
The bottom line marked means:
If you are sincere, but not to the end,
There will sometimes be confusion, sometimes gathering together.
If you call out,
Then after one grasp of the hand you can laugh again.
Regret not. Going is without blame.
The 2nd line marked means:
Letting oneself be drawn
Brings good fortune and remains blameless.
If one is sincere,
It furthers one to bring even a small offering.
The 3rd line marked means:
Gathering together amid sighs.
Nothing that would not further.
Going is without blame.
The 4th line marked means:
Great good fortune. No blame.
The 5th line marked means:
If in gathering together one has position,
This brings no blame.
If there are some who are not yet sincere in the work,
Sublime and enduring perseverance is needed.
Then remorse disappears.
The top line marked means:
Lamenting and sighing, floods of tears.
The interpretations above and comments below are from Richard Wilhelm's version of the I CHING.
Comments on the Hexagram
This hexagram is related in form and meaning to Pi, HOLDING TOGETHER
(8). In the latter, water is over the earth; here a lake is over the earth. But
since the lake is a place where water collects, the idea of gathering together is
even more strongly expressed here than in the other hexagram. The same
idea also arises from the fact that in the present case it is two strong lines (the
fourth and the fifth) that bring about the gather together, whereas in the
former case one strong line (the fifth) stands in the midst of weak lines.
The gathering together of people in large communities is either a natural
occurrence, as in the case of the family, or an artificial one, as in the case of
the state. The family gathers about the father as its head. The perpetuation of
this gathering in groups is achieved through the sacrifice to the ancestors, at
which the whole clan is gathered together. Through the collective piety of
the living members of the family, the ancestors become so integrated in the
spiritual life of the family that it cannot be dispersed or dissolved.
Where men are to be gathered together, religious forces are needed. But
there must also be a human leader to serve as the center of the group. In
order to be able to bring others together, this leader must first of all be
collected within himself. Only collective moral force can unite the world.
Such great times of unification will leave great achievements behind them.
This is the significance of the great offerings that are made. In the secular
sphere likewise there is no need of great deeds in the time of GATHERING
If the water in the lake gathers until it rises above the earth, there is danger of
a break-through. Precautions must be taken to prevent this. Similarly where
men gather together in great numbers, strife is likely to arise; where
possessions are collected, robbery is likely to occur. Thus in the time of
GATHERING TOGETHER we must arm promptly to ward off the unexpected.
Human woes usually come as a result of unexpected events against which we
are not forearmed. If we are prepared, they can be prevented.
The bottom line marked
The situation is this: People desire to gather around a leader to whom they
look up. But they are in a large group, by which they allow themselves to be
influenced, so that they waver in their decision. Thus they lack a firm center
around which to gather. But if expression is given to this need, and if they
call for help, one grasp of the hand from the leader is enough to turn away all
distress. Therefore they must not allow themselves to be led astray. It is
undoubtedly right that they should attach themselves to this leader.
The 2nd line from the bottom marked
In the time of GATHERING TOGETHER, we should make no arbitrary choice
of the way. There are secret forces at work, leading together those who belong
together. We must yield to this attraction; then we make no mistakes.
Where inner relationships exist, no great preparations and formalities are
necessary. People understand one another forthwith, just as the Divinity
graciously accepts a small offering if it comes from the heart.
The 3rd line from the bottom marked
Often a man feels an urge to unite with others, but the individuals around
him have already formed themselves into a group, so that he remains
isolated. The whole situation proves untenable. Then he ought to choose
the way of progress, resolutely allying himself with a man who stands nearer
to the center of the group, and can help him to gain admission to the closed
circle. This is not a mistake, even though at first his position as an outsider is
The 4th line from the bottom marked
This describes a man who gathers people around him in the name of his
ruler. Since he is not striving for any special advantages for himself but is
working unselfishly to bring about general unity, his work is crowned with
success, and everything becomes as it should be.
The 5th line from the bottom marked
When people spontaneously gather around a man, it is only a good. It gives
him a certain influence that can be altogether useful.. But of course there is
also the possibility that many may gather around him not because of a feeling
of confidence but merely because of his influential position. This is certainly
to be regretted. The only means of dealing with such people is to gain their
confidence through steadfastness an intensified, unswerving devotion to
duty. In this way secret mistrust will gradually be overcome, and there will be
no occasion for regret.
The top line marked
It may happen that an individual would like to ally himself with another, but
his good intentions are misunderstood. Then he becomes sad and laments.
But this is the right course. For it may cause the other person to come to his
senses, so that the alliance that has been sought and so painfully missed is
after all achieved.
Here I add some perspectives on this hexagram, as well as other methods to read its meaning, in additon to what Richard Wilhelm derives from it above.
Meaning of the Trigrams Combined
Each hexagram combines two trigrams, making one the upper and the other the lower. The meaning of the hexagram is mainly derived from that combination. Here's what it means for this hexagram:
Lake upon Earth
This part of the text is being edited. It will be added shortly.
Compare to the Reversed Trigrams
It's common to compare a hexagram to the one where the lines are the opposite: a full line is broken and a broken line full. But I find it much more interesting to compare hexagrams with the trigrams reversed: the upper trigram becomes the lower, and the lower trigram becomes the upper. That deepens the understanding of the trigrams at work - when they're not identical. Click the image to see what it means for the two trigrams of this hexagram:
The hexagram with the trigrams reversed
Compare to the Reversed Lines
You can also compare this hexagram to its opposite according to the six lines, where each broken line is full, and vice versa. In some cases it leads to the same hexagram as the one where the trigrams are switched. Here is the hexagram with reversed lines (click it to get to its webpage):
Hexagram with opposite lines
Click the header to read more about the eight trigrams that are combined into the 64 hexagrams.
The 64 I Ching Hexagrams
An I Ching hexagram is composed of two trigrams. Each of the 64 hexagrams has its own name, meaning, and divinatory text. Here they all are, in the traditional order. Click on the image of an I Ching hexagram to get to its webpage.
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