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Love Interpretation of Hexagram #8

Also called "Soul Union"

I Ching Hexagram #8

Hexagram #8: Water over Earth

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NOTE: This is the romance-related, Love I Ching interpretation of I Ching Hexagram #8: "Earth below Water".   Click here for the traditional I Ching meaning of hexagram #8.

I Ching Hexagram #8

Hexagram number 8 represents the binding force, the spiritual union, and the strength of commitments that exist between two people. Through a loving union we become more powerful. Don't let yourself get trapped by a union which is impure, or saps one's energy. This is a time to stretch oneself — to try new things and expand horizons. Strong commitment keeps a union alive, but it is a willingness to embrace newness that keeps the sparks, the passion, and the music alive. Be grateful for every new twist and turn in a relationship. Union of the heart is an agreement and a blessing. Love is a force for strength, but it must also be nurtured and protected. A union that is not defended will eventually shatter. This hexagram carries both a positive message and a warning: protect the union in its purest form, and avoid those things which threaten its health.

Changing Lines in Hexagram #8

Changes in Line 1

"An Overflowing Bowl"

I Ching hexagram 8 shown with changing-line #1 highlighted

This line points to the most basic elements of relationships. Fill your bowl with kindness, acceptance, and caring. Do not hide its contents. Fill it until it overflows.

Changes in Line 2

"Perseverance Brings Good Fortune"

I Ching hexagram 8 shown with changing-line #2 highlighted

Perseverance in personal relationships brings great luck at this time. What you are doing is working. Stay on this path. This is a time to stand by someone and you will both succeed. Those who move between friends and lovers as if they are disposable will find ruin and heartache.

Changes in Line 3

"Bound Together with Young Souls"

I Ching hexagram 8 shown with changing-line #3 highlighted

You may find yourself associating with someone slightly immature. This person is a young soul, simply wanting love. This line is a reminder to be patient with someone less experienced than you.

Changes in Line 4

"Being Seen"

I Ching hexagram 8 shown with changing-line #4 highlighted

Whether you are single or in a relationship, this is a time to go out and be seen. You have grown stronger and purer, and it will serve you and others well to be visible. Loyalties become stronger when they are visible.

Changes in Line 5

"Three Sides Only"

I Ching hexagram 8 shown with changing-line #5 highlighted

The symbolism here is that three of four possible sides are bound tightly, but a fourth side is intentionally left open

Changes in Line 6

"A Union Without a Head"

I Ching hexagram 8 shown with changing-line #6 highlighted

This changing line at the top of the hexagram is a warning that relationships and loyalties may have been entered without prior thoughtfulness. Challenges are possible. Fools rush in. Try to make amends.

The Trigrams Within Hexagram #8

I Ching hexagram #8 is structured out of two 3-line trigrams stacked on top of one another. The lower 3 lines of hexagram #8 form the trigram for Earth, while the upper 3 lines form the trigram for Water.

Vector image of lower trigram Earth in hexagram #8
Lower Trigram of Earth
Vector image of upper trigram Water in hexagram #8
Upper Trigram of Water

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

Hexagram #8's Lower Trigram of Earth

Image of hexagram #8 with lower trigram highlighted

The evenly split trigram of Earth is also referred to as the trigram of the Receptive. Its characteristic traits are a loving devotion and a resilient bowing to applied energies. It may also represent 'motherhood' or powerful feminine energies. The unbroken lines of the hexagram of Earth may also reference the direction 'southwest'

Hexagram #8's Upper Trigram of Water

Image of hexagram #8 with upper 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.

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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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