I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

54: Careful Affection

Careful Affection

Affection is the basis of all lasting relationships, but must be channeled properly in order to bring satisfaction and support the self-esteem of both parties. For example, a married person’s lover would have the conflicted feelings of affection coupled with insecurity.

Relationships based mainly on personal attraction, especially those that are outside the mainstream, require special caution, attention and tactful reserve.

To overcome any relationship difficulties and achieve longevity, remain mindful of the possible extremes of such an attraction and the transitory nature of the relationship. Such is an irony of life — that the happiest people are the ones who have what they want and who want what they have.

It is never easier to make disastrous mistakes than when you venture outside the bounds of propriety. If you assert yourself too much, or try to make yourself indispensable, you will incur misfortune. If you are in doubt as to whether you should follow your heart or your head, allow for some time to pass, and perhaps the answer will become clear. Initiating action right now could bring misfortune, so do not attempt to be too creative or to attract favorable attention. At the same time, allowing yourself to drift aimlessly is also a mistake. The traditional analogy for this hexagram was the delicate situation of the marrying maiden, making the transition from girl to woman.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

This is a time of achievement -- even though you may find yourself in a disadvantageous position with limited resources. If you accept your status, and your destiny, you may discover new secrets close to home and feel most happy in these circumstances. Being in the proximity of power is something to be appreciated. The time has come to play the wild card. Luck is riding with you.

Line 2

A time of no advance is indicated here, but everything will be all right in the end. The image is of a disappointed girl who maintains her desirability in spite of her loneliness, and finds a lover after a time.

Line 3

Excessive desire for forbidden or unobtainable fruits does not lower the branches of the fruit-bearing tree. Still, no blame.

Line 4

Purity of intention supports the effortless manifestation of dreams. Avoid overt manipulation of others when seeking their affection or support. Here, conscientiousness is rewarded with the manifestation of one’s dreams.

Line 5

When someone of superior qualities accepts a humble position with graciousness, good fortune follows for all involved. Just as an intelligent woman is far more interested in a man's character than in his money or looks, you may find deep satisfaction and value in what appear to be limited circumstances. Fulfillment and satisfaction are indicated.

Line 6 (top line)

Within an intimate relationship, irreverence and cynicism kill the magic that lies at the heart of a bond. Whether bonded now or contemplating it in the future, remember that a union of the heart only works when both parties are as concerned about their mate's happiness as they are about their own.