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The Meaning of Hexagram #23

Also called "Splitting Apart"

I Ching Hexagram #23

Hexagram #23: Mountain over Earth

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I Ching Hexagram #23

Peeling away, implosion and crumbling down are indicated in this serious hexagram. It is not a time to take new actions or purposely change course. Instead, let change happen through surrender. When the Earth's energy erupts, all one can do is get out of the way and accept this force. Stay alert and conscious. The wise person sees this as an opportunity to shed outdated thoughts, feelings and concerns. Destruction sometimes has value.

NOTE: Want to know how I Ching hexagram #23, "Mountain over Earth", can be applied to questions about your relationship? See our special Hexagram #23 Love I Ching interpretation.

Changing Lines in Hexagram #23

Changes in Line 1

"Tolerating Disaster"

I Ching hexagram 23 shown with changing-line #1 highlighted

This line implies misfortune. If a bed topples over during sleep, all one can do is ride it out.

Changes in Line 2

"Avoiding Danger"

I Ching hexagram 23 shown with changing-line #2 highlighted

The bed frame is crumbling and the solutions have not presented themselves yet. Act if you can, but you may not have the proper foothold or foundation yet.

Changes in Line 3

"Letting Go of Attachment"

I Ching hexagram 23 shown with changing-line #3 highlighted

This line implies that stability is apparently lost. But it is not truly gone. Stability is found from the ground within. Steer clear of others who cause trouble. Detach and try to find new opportunities.

Changes in Line 4

"Entering Destruction"

I Ching hexagram 23 shown with changing-line #4 highlighted

Chaos, corruption and destruction can no longer be warded off. Let go of those things/people/situations that do not serve your good.

Changes in Line 5

"Finding Favor"

I Ching hexagram 23 shown with changing-line #5 highlighted

This line indicates a successful transformation of obstacles into stepping stones. Dark forces and people undergo a change and serve to enhance good all around. There will be advantage in every way.

Changes in Line 6

"Beginning Anew"

I Ching hexagram 23 shown with changing-line #6 highlighted

Here, the wise person regains successes that were once lost. The destruction has ended and a wonderful road lies ahead.

The Two Trigrams Within Hexagram #23

Hexagram #23 is structured out of two 3-line trigrams mounted over and under one another. The lower three lines of hexagram #23 form the trigram for Earth, while the upper three lines form the trigram for Mountain.

Vector image of lower trigram Earth in hexagram #23
Lower Trigram of Earth
Vector image of upper trigram Mountain in hexagram #23
Upper Trigram of Mountain

NOTE: A simple way to think about trigrams is that the hexagram's upper trigram references external energies, while the bottom trigram references internal energies.

Hexagram #23's Lower Trigram of Earth

Image of hexagram #23 with lower trigram highlighted

The evenly divided trigram of Earth sometimes known as the trigram of the Receptive. Its characteristic traits are powerful devotion and a resilient bowing to external forces. The trigram of Earth may also reference the state of 'motherhood' or traditional female forces. The three unbroken lines may also indicate the direction of southwest

Hexagram #23's Upper Trigram of Mountain

Image of hexagram #23 with upper trigram highlighted

The looming and majestic trigram of the mountain represents stillness and something immobile. The trigram of mountain is powerful, silent and eternal. Simultaneously, its effect is calming and non-combative. The trigram of mountain may also represent a 'third son' or the direction of northeast.

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List of all possible changes for hexagram #23

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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