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Love Interpretation of Hexagram #4

Also called "Play and Innocence"

I Ching Hexagram #4

Hexagram #4: Mountain over Water

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NOTE: This is the romance-related, Love I Ching version of I Ching Hexagram #4: "Mountain over Water".   Click here for the traditional I Ching meaning of hexagram #4.

I Ching Hexagram #4

Hexagram number 4 is reminder of the power that playfulness has to grow relationships. This is a time to put your seriousness aside and make 'fun' your highest priority. Current relationship challenges will disappear with a simple prescription of playfulness. If a special someone in your life suddenly acts a lot younger than their years, smile a big inner smile. And if you are confronted with a challenge or a serious situation — don't forget that the best response is sometimes laughter. Recapture a younger mindset and the love you desire will awaken inside you. A youthful attitude will prove all-important at this time.

Changing Lines in Hexagram #4

Changes in Line 1


I Ching hexagram 4 shown with changing-line #1 highlighted


Changes in Line 2

"Show tolerance to the Fool"

I Ching hexagram 4 shown with changing-line #2 highlighted

If a special person starts acting stubbornly or stupidly, show patience. Act with gentle tolerance and the issues at hand will be resolved. When others act emotionally it will fall to you to keep a cool head.

Changes in Line 3

"Stay True to Your Self"

I Ching hexagram 4 shown with changing-line #3 highlighted

This line references strength of character and resolve within relationships. One should stay true to one's commitments and not waiver. Be faithful to yourself and others will mirror this quality back to you.

Changes in Line 4

"Letting go of Assumptions"

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

Don't let love fall apart through ignorance. If you want to know something about someone, ask. Ask with innocence and childlike curiosity and you will get a good response. Making assumptions impedes love at this time.

Changes in Line 5

"Youthful Inexperience Brings Luck"

I Ching hexagram 4 shown with changing-line #5 highlighted

A shift in attitude makes you very lucky in love at this time. The wise person will cultivate a beginners' mindset. Beginners often make up for their lack of wisdom with enthusiasm and new ideas. A young person you happen to encounter has a lesson to teach you.

Changes in Line 6

"Stay Genuine"

I Ching hexagram 4 shown with changing-line #6 highlighted

There comes a time when you realize deeply that foolish games no longer help. If you are going to play, play fair and square. Be real and intimacy will deepen.

The Two Trigrams Inside Hexagram #4

Hexagram #4 is built out of two 3-line trigrams mounted over and under one another. The lower three lines of hexagram #4 make up the trigram for Water, while the upper three lines make up the trigram for Mountain.

Vector image of lower trigram Water in hexagram #4
Lower Trigram of Water
Vector image of upper trigram Mountain in hexagram #4
Upper Trigram of Mountain

NOTE: An easy way to think about the two trigrams is that the upper trigram references external forces, while the lower trigram references internal forces.

Hexagram #4's Lower Trigram of Water

Image of hexagram #4 with lower trigram highlighted

The formless and ever-changing trigram of water is also known as the trigram of the 'Abysmal' or the 'Gorge'. Water by its nature is transitory and fluid — representing changing circumstances and unpredictability. This ever-shifting trigram is often an indicator of uncertainty and dangerous motion. The water trigram is often correlated with the moon's cycles and the compass-direction north.

Hexagram #4's Upper Trigram of Mountain

Image of hexagram #4 with upper trigram highlighted

The silent and majestic trigram for mountain represents both stillness and something permanent. The mountain is full of might, silent and unchanging. Simultaneously, its effect is calming and non-combative. The mountain trigram may also reference a 'third-born son' or the map direction of northeast.

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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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