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I Ching Hexagram #53:

Gradual Progress

How to interpret "Gradual Progress"

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

Like a young sapling slowly reaching toward the sky, this hexagram portends an incremental process towards greater love. This is a time to "cool the engines" and purposely take things slowly. Old wounds of the heart are healing little by little. Your receptivity to a fulfilling relationship is growing deeper and deeper. But don't rush things. This is a time to put all your energy and attention directly on the step you are currently on. Take practical action, but do it with intense focus. Pay attention to where you are and who you are with, here and now. Let each step be its own adventure and its own goal. Love is found only in the present moment. Think about the "now" and the future will take shape perfectly.

Changes in Line 1

"Swimming Toward Shore"

In matters of the heart, you may feel overly sensitive right now. This is natural. Be all right with where you are. Take a breather. This is a time of new beginnings. The shore is only the first goal to reach while heading down the river.

Changes in Line 2

"Landing on Rock"

Like a swan that lands on a rock, you are on solid ground with someone at this time. This is a symbol of security in the middle of your long journey.

Changes in Line 3

"Landing on Dry Land"

This line is a sign that you have taken an incorrect turn. A wild swan needs marsh land, not dry land. You may need to set stronger boundaries with someone, clear up a misunderstanding, or let them go entirely.

Changes in Line 4

"Wild Swan Landing in the Woods"

This is a time to be wise about who you are with. You have not totally lost your way; however, the woodland is not suitable for a swan. Proceed slowly and let your instincts tell you what to do.

Changes in Line 5

"Swan Landing on High Ground"

This is a sign of good fortune and that love is strong in your life. However, you have not reached the ultimate destination. Travel onward, lest you become isolated. Love has no limits.

Changes in Line 6

"Flying Above the Clouds"

This is a sign of heightened love and clear vision. You've come a long way and opened your heart wide. But the wise person does not lose their inspiration for more. Continue aspiring to greater and greater heights of love and clarity.


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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