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The Meaning of Hexagram #13

Also called "Fellowship"

I Ching Hexagram #13

Hexagram #13: Heaven over Fire

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I Ching Hexagram #13

A social framework is at issue in hexagram number 13, which references groups of friends and the ties that bind them. Trust is important here, but also a willingness to put others before oneself. As in all fellowships, there is a pecking order -- some are higher and some are lower. When this order is threatened, the entire fellowship can be threatened as well. Also referenced here is the concept of those who are inside the fellowship vs. those that are outside.

NOTE: Want to know how I Ching hexagram #13, "Heaven over Fire", is interpreted for questions about love, marriage and dating? See iFate's popular Hexagram #13 Love I Ching interpretation.

Changing Lines in Hexagram #13

Changes in Line 1

"The Men at the Gate"

I Ching hexagram 13 shown with changing-line #1 highlighted

A change in this line at the bottom of this hexagram represents the beginning of a new fellowship. The "men at the gate" represent those who will soon be trusted allies. Secrets and secret agendas bring misfortune at this time. Openness and friendliness bring success.

Changes in Line 2

"Fellowship within the Fellowship"

I Ching hexagram 13 shown with changing-line #2 highlighted

This changing line is a warning against creating factions within existing groups. To fracture a group with separate or distinct interests is to bring bad luck not only on oneself but on the entire group as a whole.

Changes in Line 3

"Weapons Hidden in the Bushes"

I Ching hexagram 13 shown with changing-line #3 highlighted

A lack of trust and communication has led some within a fellowship to prepare for the fellowship's end. Weapons are stashed securely for a dark day in the future when those who now call themselves friends may turn against one another. The fellowship is in danger.

Changes in Line 4

"Upon the Wall, Attack is Impossible"

I Ching hexagram 13 shown with changing-line #4 highlighted

Friends and members of your fellowship are worried that the fellowship may have turned against them. Walls have been erected. Communications breaks down. No attack occurs yet however. For now the costs of turning against a friend are too high. But the day of conflict looms on the horizon.

Changes in Line 5

"After Great Conflict, A Meeting"

I Ching hexagram 13 shown with changing-line #5 highlighted

As time passes, those who were once enemies are becoming friends. Often those things which seem to be opposite are fundamentally similar, and fit well together. A one time enemy may re-enter the scene. Do not cling to preconceptions about this person. At this time you may become friends.

Changes in Line 6

"The Men in the Meadow"

I Ching hexagram 13 shown with changing-line #6 highlighted

There comes a time when one must exit a fellowship -- or at least to leave them behind for a time. New bonds will be forged with people from far away. The "Men in the Meadow" represent new faces who will soon become important. As fellowships break apart, new ones are created.

The Trigrams Inside Hexagram #13

Hexagram #13 is composed of two 3-line trigrams mounted over and under one another. The bottom three lines of hexagram #13 form the trigram for Fire, while the upper three lines form the trigram for Heaven.

Vector image of lower trigram Fire in hexagram #13
Lower Trigram of Fire
Vector image of upper trigram Heaven in hexagram #13
Upper Trigram of Heaven

NOTE: In general terms, the upper trigram represents external energies, and the bottom trigram represents internal energies.

Hexagram #13's Lower Trigram of Fire

Image of hexagram #13 with lower trigram highlighted

The warming trigram representing fire is sometimes known by the more classical names, 'Attachment' or 'Dependence'. The fire trigram is associated with illumination and something that is both adapted and a source of warmth and security. Fire may also point to a 'second daughter' or possibly the compass direction of 'south'.

Hexagram #13's Upper Trigram of Heaven

Image of hexagram #13 with upper trigram highlighted

The supreme trigram of Heaven is also sometimes known as the the Creative. It is a trigram of unadulterated, perfect creative force. The trigram for Heaven is a representation of pure truth and power. The trigram may also point to a father figure — or the direction of the northwest.

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List of all possible changes for hexagram #13

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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