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The Meaning of Hexagram #36

Also called "Darkening of the Light"

I Ching Hexagram #36

Hexagram #36: Earth over Fire

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I Ching Hexagram #36

Hexagram number 36 symbolizes a diminishing of one's brightness and spirit. Its meaning is literally "The Wounding of the Bright." Your life may feel out of control or under a dark spell for a time. This too shall pass. A veil of untruth makes things dark, but all hope is not lost. Yield to the darkness for a time, but be cautious of it. As the light dims your inner light grows more visible. You are light. Light is love. The Sun still shines behind its veil of clouds. It is the light inside that is ultimately important. With this knowledge you can survive any darkness outside.

NOTE: Want to know how I Ching hexagram #36, "Fire below Earth", is interpreted for questions about dating, marriage and romantic issues? See iFate's popular Hexagram #36 Love I Ching interpretation.

Changing Lines in Hexagram #36

Changes in Line 1

"Drooping of Wings""Drooping of Wings"

I Ching hexagram 36 shown with changing-line #1 highlighted

Sad and disconnected from inner light, you may feel you are flying aimlessly for a while. But no matter how dark it may get, inner light cannot be extinguished. Your task is to unveil it, not make it shine.

Changes in Line 2

"Injury to the Leg"

I Ching hexagram 36 shown with changing-line #2 highlighted

Forward motion is halted. But your horse is still by your side and so are your friends. Let others help you. Be altruistic and your progress will continue.

Changes in Line 3

"Confronting Oppressors"

I Ching hexagram 36 shown with changing-line #3 highlighted

This line is a reminder to stand up to intruders. Be willing to fight and you will regain compassion and peace.

Changes in Line 4

"Wounding of the Belly"

I Ching hexagram 36 shown with changing-line #4 highlighted

When you fight your enemy, sometimes you do succeed in gaining the upper hand. But the wise person also knows when to stop fighting. A wound to the belly is a sign to turn the other cheek. If someone is conspiring against you, remove yourself from the battle ground. Peace will ensue.

Changes in Line 5

"Perseverance of Brightness"

I Ching hexagram 36 shown with changing-line #5 highlighted

When opposed by others, you can feel stripped of your joy and light. But this is only true from one perspective. Your inner light and spirit are eternal and they still shine. Joy resides deep within you, it has just been covered by a layer of fear. It will re

Changes in Line 6

"Seeing Light in the Darkness"

I Ching hexagram 36 shown with changing-line #6 highlighted

As the Yin and the Yang interpenetrate, so too do the dark and the Light. Evil eventually consumes itself and brings itself to its own demise. Current difficulties will subside if you remember that your inner most nature is light/love.

The Two Trigrams Inside Hexagram #36

I Ching hexagram #36 is composed of two 3-line trigrams layered above one another. The lower 3 lines of hexagram #36 form the trigram for Fire, while the top 3 lines form the trigram for Earth.

Vector image of lower trigram Fire in hexagram #36
Lower Trigram of Fire
Vector image of upper trigram Earth in hexagram #36
Upper Trigram of Earth

NOTE: Generally speaking, the upper trigram references external forces or energies, while the lower trigram references internal forces or energies.

Hexagram #36's Lower Trigram of Fire

Image of hexagram #36 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 #36's Upper Trigram of Earth

Image of hexagram #36 with upper 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

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List of all possible changes for hexagram #36

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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