䷞ Xian
🌀
🗻
Dui-Lake
Gen-Mountain

Xian I Ching Gua Meaning

咸 Xian ䷞ hexagram meanings:

Mutual Influence, Sensation, Influence, Wooing, Attraction

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The thirty-first gua, Xian, has many translations: all, influence, together, sensation, attraction, or Mutual Influence. Xian is associated with the fifth month of the lunar calendar, or June in the solar calendar. This is the first gua of the Lower Canon which deals with human affairs. It begins with a marriage between husband and wife which is represented by Xian. This gua also teaches us that we should strive to enter any type of relationship with sincerity and without judgment. Accepting others without judgment or selfish motives is difficult but necessary to establish harmonious relationships.

Two ideographs picturing a close relationship xian and gan represent Xian. Underneath xian is xin, meaning heart. When xian and xin are combined, they form gan, which means influence. Gan implies moving the heart. This led Confucius to believe this was the better name for the thirty-first gua. Xian relates to marriage between two people whose hearts have been moved by each other. Gan is important in this ideograph because a mutual influence sought without sincerity results in failure. It represents the honest and caring relationship between husband and wife or any other mutual relationship.

Xian is Lake above Mountain, combining two opposing forces. Lake represents the youngest daughter, and Mountain represents the youngest son in the I Ching. This creates an image of young love between a young man and a young woman. The Lake sinks downward with the weight of the water while the mountain reaches upward to the sky. Because Lake is positioned above Mountain in this gua, they reach toward each other. The mountain pushes up and holds the lake and the lake nourishes the mountain with water. They are opposing forces with youthful energy, making their energy sincere and powerful. They influence each other and form a perfect complement and therefore create a mutual influence. This mutual influence must be pursued without selfishness, or else the union will suffer. A relationship developed purely for self-satisfaction is doomed from the start to be a failure.

This gua refers to King Wen encouraging the people of the newly formed Zhou dynasty to settle into homes and find careers. During this campaign, the Duke of Zhou created etiquette for people to follow and music to influence their culture. He did this to bring stability to everyone’s lives which therefore brought stability to the kingdom. This demonstrates the influence he had on the people as well as the influence they had on the rulers. By approaching mutual influence with pure intention, stability could be fostered by both parties. Xian understands that seeking this mutual influence with the lack of selfishness exhibited by this administration is not an easy task. Personal biases are difficult to overcome, but it is necessary for the relationship to be truly mutual and not parasitic. King Wen acknowledged this tendency in other leaders and warned against it. By overcoming selfishness, a prosperous kingdom was made possible.

䷞ Xian hexagram

Xian ䷞ Xian hexagram Illustration

䷞ Xian hexagram meaning

When a man and a woman
Thrill to a chaste and fleeting touch,
The future looks bright for their marriage.

Bottom Line

Xian Bottom Line Illustration

Bottom Line meaning


He dared to touch her toes.
She did not pull away. 

Line Two

Xian Line Two Illustration

Line Two meaning


He touched her calf.
A small fire has been kindled.
Better to put it out.

Line Three

Xian Line Three Illustration

Line Three meaning


He fondled her feet and her thighs.
Now the conflagration of desire
Engulfs them as they make love.

Line Four

Xian Line Four Illustration

Line Four meaning


You feel hopeful and hesitant,
You put aside regrets.
You waver, but your partner
Sweeps you away. 

Line Five

Xian Line Five Illustration

Line Five meaning


You touched her velvety cheeks
And tasted the tip of her tongue.

Top Line

Xian Top Line Illustration

Top Line meaning


Your hand slides down her back,
And you abandon regret.

Comments: I Ching Illustrated Book of Changes

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