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The Meaning of Hexagram #39

Also called "Obstruction"

I Ching Hexagram #39

Hexagram #39: Water over Mountain

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I Ching Hexagram #39

This foreboding hexagram is a telltale sign of great difficulty and adversity. This is a time to seek guidance and counsel from a wise person, an elder or an entire team. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness. This may be a time to seek support and break free of isolation. Perseverance brings good fortune. Stay put for a while if you think it wise. Though you may be stopped in your path on an outer level, let your inner purpose stay true to its course.

NOTE: Want to know how I Ching hexagram #39, "Mountain below Water", can be applied to questions about dating, marriage and romantic issues? See our special Hexagram #39 Love I Ching interpretation.


Changing Lines in Hexagram #39

Changes in Line 1

"The Power of Waiting"

I Ching hexagram 39 shown with changing-line #1 highlighted

To advance at this time will create further strife. Wait for now. This is not a suitable time to find new work or new romance. Be still for the time being.

Changes in Line 2

"Accepting the Higher Cause"

I Ching hexagram 39 shown with changing-line #2 highlighted

Take actions that support your entire network of friends, relatives and co

Changes in Line 3

"Biding Time"

I Ching hexagram 39 shown with changing-line #3 highlighted

To advance at this time will prove difficult. There will be safe passage only if you wait things out

Changes in Line 4

"Accepting Alliances"

I Ching hexagram 39 shown with changing-line #4 highlighted

Only the indirect way will bring progress. Don't look for a shortcut. Find an assistant. For an employer, this is a good time to hire someone new.

Changes in Line 5

"Handling Emergencies"

I Ching hexagram 39 shown with changing-line #5 highlighted

If confronted by extreme challenge or emergency, your inner will and Spirit will cut like swords through any obstacles. Rest assured you will be taken care of and all will be fine

Changes in Line 6

"Befriending the Turmoil"

I Ching hexagram 39 shown with changing-line #6 highlighted

Due to past hardships, you have grown wiser and stronger. You have traveled far and are ready to handle the adversity which lies ahead. Nevertheless, it is wise to seek counsel first before going back into the storm



The Two Trigrams Within Hexagram #39

Hexagram #39 is structured out of two 3-line trigrams layered over and under each other. The bottom 3 lines of hexagram #39 make up the trigram for Mountain, while the top 3 lines make up the trigram for Water.

Vector image of lower trigram Mountain in hexagram #39
Lower Trigram of Mountain
Vector image of upper trigram Water in hexagram #39
Upper Trigram of Water

NOTE: Generally speaking, the upper trigram symbolizes external forces, while the lower trigram symbolizes internal forces.

Hexagram #39's Lower Trigram of Mountain

Image of hexagram #39 with lower 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.

Hexagram #39's Upper Trigram of Water

Image of hexagram #39 with upper trigram highlighted

The fluid and forever-changing trigram of water is also sometimes called the trigram of the 'Gorge' or of the 'Abysmal'. Water itself is shapeless and liquid — symbolizing shifting realities and random outcomes. This fluid trigram is often an indication of uncertainty or sudden shifts. The water trigram is associated with the moon's cycles and with the direction north.

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List of all possible changes for hexagram #39

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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