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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

45: Gathering Together

The power of gathering together is represented by a rally, where each individual’s strength is magnified by the power of the community. History has shown that mass movements can bring about stable, ordered and durable conditions for the better. This reading may be pointing to an auspicious time for large undertakings. The guiding force of a shared vision is essential to align the forces of unity and keep them advancing toward a common goal.

Another image is that of a lake filling with water. Just as the fullness of the lake can bring good fortune to all in its realm, it can also overflow, leading to calamity. In a time of gathering together, it is essential that precautions against unforeseen danger be considered along with efforts to advance the common good along a clearly charted course. Much of human misfortune comes from unexpected events for which we are ill prepared. When gathered together with others, we are more powerful and, in some ways, also more vulnerable.

Any time of gathering together in unity is a time of potential greatness, which can be positive and negative. Everything is magnified when masses of people join together for a single purpose. When many people unite behind a single goal or strong vision, it is wise to take personal precautions, and to protect your reasonable self-interests, because these can easily be lost in the melee of the crowd.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

The group needs to recognize its need for help, for strong leadership. Finding the right leader brings good fortune. A suitable person who is a potential center of strength and purpose is already present in the group. Such a gifted individual should be approached and asked to take a leadership position. As soon as such an overture to the right person is made, distress will disappear.

Line 2

During times of gathering together, secret forces are often at work beneath the surface. These strong, magnetic forces are best understood by asking the question: what is it that is drawing people together? Before joining in, it is best that you learn the answer. One need not have grand designs to achieve a gathering. Those involved need only understand each other intuitively. Any heartfelt offer should be enough.

Line 3

If unity within a certain group is desirable, but you are an outsider, the first step is to align yourself with the leader of the group. Even if this at first feels awkward or humiliating, take the initiative. Consider the development of a relationship with the leader a strategic necessity, and take direct action to achieve it.

Line 4

When one takes on a temporary or subordinate leadership role in service to an even more qualified leader, supreme good fortune results! To play such a role properly is a sign of maturity and balance, and bodes well for you in the future, providing you can play the part with discretion and respect.

Line 5

When people rally around a person because of their confidence in him or her, that is a very good thing. However, if they rally because of the leader’s raw power and influence, it can be reason for regret. Few situations provide a better opportunity for combining personal advancement with contributions to the general welfare than that moment when others look to you for guidance and direction. Beware of the possibility that they are not so much attracted by your competence as they are by what they perceive to be your potential for power over others. This kind of sycophancy is regrettable, so be on the lookout for it. The only sustainable way to gain the confidence of people is to intensify your own commitment to competence and high performance standards. In this way you renounce the role of petty influence and make greater progress in the long run.

Line 6 (top line)

When a person’s good intentions toward others are rebuffed, it is only natural that sadness and regret result. Expressing your true feelings may bring others to their senses, resulting in good fortune after all. Then again, it may not.