The Visionary I Ching Mobile App:

I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

27: Nourishment


Nourishment refers to more than a healthy diet. It is the care-giving function. Eating properly implies care for oneself; providing healthy meals in the home is one way of caring for the family. The writer of a great book or composer of an inspiring piece of music also provides nourishment — to humanity in general — by caring deeply about his or her work and offering the fruits of it to the world.

You can know people by observing what they nourish in their own lives. Do they feed and take care of their bodies? Do they cultivate their spirits, their intellects, their moral values? Do they nourish and care for those around them? If so, to whom do they devote their energies? The most successful people are temperate in eating and drinking, thinking and dreaming. They strengthen the world by nurturing the higher nature in man.

Pay heed to your inner thoughts and impulses, ignoring thoughts that undermine a healthy and persevering attitude. A wise person is temperate in the consumption of food and drink, because to be otherwise only leads to discomfort; the fact that temporary pleasure may precede the discomfort does not influence the person of mature character. In the same way, be discriminating in your words and actions, lest a desire for temporary advantage lead you to cause pain for yourself or others. Enrich your character, and you will naturally nourish everyone around you.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Envy is the dark underside of the rock of healthy ambition. A deep covetousness, the kind fed by self-pity, always brings misfortune. To counter a tendency toward envy, practice self-reliance; take control of yourself.

Line 2

Those who earn their daily bread are much happier than those who subsist on the charity of others. Continuing to be over reliant on the generosity of others brings misfortune. They who chop their own firewood are twice warmed.

Line 3

When real nourishment is rejected in favor of “junk food” of the body or mind, natural strength wanes quickly and significant achievement becomes difficult.

Line 4

When seeking help for a worthy cause, one must be as zealous as a hungry tiger. To the degree the enterprise serves the common good, others will honor your determination. Only by generating a strong head of steam can the train’s engine scale the mountain pass. Good fortune.

Line 5

Learning to listen brings success! Personal advice, especially from the wise and perceptive, must be heeded when you are facing difficult tasks. But when someone’s advice helps you through a critical situation, you must not delude yourself into thinking that you succeeded on your own. You must recognize some dependence upon the other, or face misfortune when undertaking your next assignment.

Line 6 (top line)

A burden is borne by those in exalted positions, for the influence of such people is great, and they are responsible in some way for the nourishment of those below them. Awareness of this should not inhibit action; the general must feed his troops daily, regardless. A continuing awareness of the responsibility that comes with power is often the best means of preventing its dissipation, for responsible attitudes lead to good fortune, steadfast leadership and smart decisions.