The Visionary I Ching Mobile App:

I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

13: Fellowship


When communal or tribal bonds unite a group of people, great success is possible. But such bonding can only develop when personal interests are subjugated to goals incorporating the essential virtues of humanity. The broader the basis for action, the greater is the good that can be achieved. And the greater the potential good, the more powerful is the support behind it. A spirit of cooperation steadies the boat, but it does help to have a beautiful island to row toward!

Learn to respect the strength in diversity, for a community’s true power lies not in its numbers, but in the diverse skills and collective resources of its members. Just as the stoutest walls are reinforced with many different materials, so the strongest groups allow differences to coexist inside the whole.

With a unified group solidly behind you, even very difficult enterprises can be attempted without great risk.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

When guests gather at the door, enthusiasm is high, and divergent agendae are not yet apparent. Such are the beginnings of fellowship. Use these moments carefully … they are opportunities not to be missed. To foster goodwill among a group at the outset of an enterprise or consortium, avoid secret agreements; goodwill is a shrub that blooms in the light.

Line 2

Fellowship within an exclusive group brings regret or humiliation. If social contacts are elitist, snobbishness and unhealthy quarreling will result. This creates limitations for everyone. Avoid pettiness and shallow discrimination. Be open to others. Serious loss is unlikely, but hard feelings created by an attempt to gain a temporary advantage are almost always troublesome down the road.

Line 3

Those who mistrust their allies, spying on them and planning surprise maneuvers, usually become trapped in their own nets. Avoid unnecessary plotting and scheming, for it is a sure sign of the disintegration of community. When such a pattern has begun, put a stop to it immediately! Things will only get worse if you continue to play games.

Line 4

Quarrels and misunderstandings among associates often have a way of settling themselves, and this brings good fortune. Let a natural resolution happen, because at this time, fighting openly is not a good idea. The image is of the man who, through a small mistake, comes to see the error of his ways before it is too late. Only by allowing for open disagreement can a community find its way. Along that way, each of us must be allowed to make a few missteps in order to triumph in the end.

Line 5

The strongest bond is the one between two human hearts that have come to know and share each other’s innermost thoughts and desires. Though separated by circumstances or fate; though divided by differences of opinion; though angered by each other’s behavior -- if the bond is true, nothing can break it. This type of union may on occasion experience sadness and difficulty, but in the end it will brings the sweetest joy known to humankind.

Line 6 (top line)

There is fellowship with convenient associates, but heartfelt warmth is lacking. The image is a group of people who live beside a lake; though they are cordial enough, but no great purpose unites them. But that’s okay; civility may be the lowest form of community, but there is nothing wrong with it. The situation is not terribly satisfying, but neither is it a cause for regret.