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I Ching Hexagram #17:

Following And Learning

How to interpret "Following And Learning"

NOTE: This is the "Love I-Ching" interpretation. For standard, non romance-specific I Ching interpretations please return to the reference page here.

The act of 'following' is often seen as a lesser state to 'leading'. This hexagram reminds us that this is not always the case. Through following at this time, we may acquire great knowledge. Accept new input and a relationship or romance will benefit. While it may not be your inclination to follow in this case, these lines remind us that through humility and patience we can become a willing learner . Cultivate wisdom. The lessons you learn will improve your self-esteem and romance will give you solid ground to stand on. Learn new ways to communicate and interact. With a willingness to follow and learn, a positive energy will develop at this time. A failure to listen, or observe others, will have negative results.

Changes in Line 1

"The Goal Shifts"

This is a time of positive change. This line signifies a shift in that which is followed. You may find yourself following a new philosophy on relationships or using a new communication style at this time. Or perhaps an old mentor is left for a new one.

Changes in Line 2

"Following the Youth"

This may be a time when you are drawn to someone younger or with less maturity than you. Don't resist this. There are lessons to learn and wisdom to gain. Association with someone younger can offer you new ideas and new outlooks on life.

Changes in Line 3

"Inner Strength"

This line indicates that love flourishes when inner strength is found. Be willing to follow and learn from others, but not at the expense of losing your inner strength.

Changes in Line 4

"Perseverance Brings Clarity"

This line indicates a paradox in matters of the heart: On the one hand, struggle has been forecasted. However, great clarity will be gained after failure, and thus failure is essential to success. The lesson: Persevere consciously and your love life will soon be back on track.

Changes in Line 5

"Sincere Leadership Brings Love"

This line is a positive indicator and suggests that good leadership (which is sincere and truthful) will dissolve differences with someone fast. A potential warning here is against leadership which deceives. Such leadership brings misfortune. Be real and you will be loved and rewarded.

Changes in Line 6

"The Winding Road Up the Path"

This line indicates a complex relationship may develop for you. Find balance between leading and following. Be willing to listen and speak in good measure. With such balance, the bond becomes sacred and lasts forever.


A note on iFate's I Ching translation: This is not a direct translation of the original "Book of Changes" from 1000 BC. While multiple translations of the original text are available, they include many archaic references and can be difficult to understand for 21st century readers. iFate uses our own modern rewritings (two different editions) of the "Book of Changes" which makes interpreting I Ching readings far simpler. For iFate's additional contemporary re-writing of the original text, see our "Love I Ching" translation.

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