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I ching

Cui (Gathering Together)

I Ching Hexagram 45

Cui (Gathering Together)

Action: Network

Hu Gua (hidden influence) 53 Development: Flower

Zong Gua (underlying cause) 26 Controlled Power: Amplify

Success is allowing your lot
to reach its highest degree.

It is while you are patiently toiling at the little tasks of life
that the meaning and shape
of the great whole of life dawns on you. – Phillips Brooks

Reading at a Glance: Gathering Together is a hexagram that shows interdependency and people coming together because of a shared ideal. The hidden influence of Development reveals the natural exuberance generated in grass root efforts where people of like mind network and become a strong voice. It can appear when there will be meetings or events where you find people with common interests. Where the underlying cause of Controlled Power was a time of fortification of vision, the time has come for increased social interaction. The image of grass multiplying in nature shows how the individual root is strengthened and multiplies because other roots are joined to its cause. There is great magnetism created in this situation which brings others to share your vision. In business it is important to network in whatever way allows you to expose your product or services to others. In relationships, Gathering Together is more about shared interests and enthusiasm rather than romance and intimacy. In this situation it is not as important to focus on outer events as it is to keep fortifying your vision in a way that others understand and can participate in it. There is a cliquish quality to this hexagram that focuses more on similarities rather than differences. By fortifying order the group assembles around a shared goal and this gives the situation a shared sense of purpose.

hard rain on leaves


a cloak

of woven grass,

become a rainmaker

for the living.

“When creatures meet one another, they mass together. Hence, follows the principle of gathering together.” Over the Earth, is the Joyous Lake in the image of crowds drawing together. “The strong stands in the middle, therefore others mass around it.” The nuclear trigrams suggest a character that emulates the movement and influence of the Wind, while remaining steadfast like a Mountain. “When you have in your hold the great image, the empire will come to you.”

The mind forever travels in search of success to be achieved 'out there.’ Yet, to be still, while “in silent harmony with one’s ultimate capacity, means allowing one’s lot to reach its highest degree.” This is using each moment as an opportunity to blossom. The master said: “Nothing exists but the present. If one cannot live there, one cannot live anywhere.” You must not make where you are going more important than where you are. “If one allows their nature to follow its own course, there will be no place for joy and sorrow.”

“Only when you stop liking and disliking will all be understood.” Your journey is not in the pursuit of perfection; seek only the authenticity that unfurls from within. Like the performer who discovers self-consciousness as a barrier to their craft, being authentically yourself is what draws others to you. “This is why the sage puts themselves last and finds that they are in the forefront; treats the self as extraneous and it is preserved. Is it not because one is without personal desires that one is able to fulfill one’s desires?” Discard the extraneous and open to the cultivation of your real essence.

Te is not a virtue that develops from moral rectitude; it is the creative power of authenticity that comes from spontaneous and natural expression. If the character is authentic, one becomes, quite naturally, effective. “Because this power is most true, within it there is confidence.” This confidence creates the magnetism that draws others to you.

As the image of grass growing and multiplying, life drives the strength of the individual through interdependency. The strength of the one root relies upon the growing strength of the collective root, while the collective thrives on the power of the individual. You may gather in places because of the ways that you are like others, but your Te is revealed in the ways that you are different. This contrast allows you to hear your drummer on the pathway to your destiny.

Authentic in the moment, you can detect the greater shape and the larger meaning of life’s interdependency. “That is why the sage concentrates on the core of things and not the husk. They let go of the ‘that’ to lay hold of the ‘this." When you remove your outer covering that brings you together with others, you discover that 'this' is the person you are meant to be.

In life, you take your part in the group by serving others with your unique way of giving. In this way, you are not taking but giving; and through giving, you will strengthen the core of who you are.


To find your clan = open the door. If you are spending too much time alone, Gathering Together unchanging can be a message that it is time to become more sociable. There is great potential to expand and even achieve greater happiness, which is something that cannot occur until you open the door and go outside. Often when people feel listless or depressed, joining some type of activity can work wonders in invigorating enthusiasm or inspiration. You may be part of a group and feel out of place when this hexagram appears unchanging. The focus is on finding similarities and shared interests. In relationships there can be stark differences in social standing that must be considered. In business, the message can be to network in a way that allows others to find you, such as creating an identifiable brand or social media presence. You can only remain an outcast if you keep hiding. Your clan is out there. You need only go in search of it.

Line 1:

Seeking union with confusion and indecision = without sincerity to the end and alone. Regret not, offer the hand again and re-establish joy. Changes to (17) Following. Initially there can be confusion which can create difficulties in achieving union. Yet by offering a handshake and moving deeper in understanding the situation leads to joy. Following is a message about making your intentions clear so that others can follow. In order to re-establish union, you may need to reach out your hand.

Line 2:

Letting oneself be drawn brings good fortune and remains blameless = if one is sincere it furthers one to bring even a small offering. Changes to (47) Oppression/Exhaustion. The situation is not what you expected and you are drawn to those you do not understand. Even while you feel you do not belong, be open to the differences of others because providence is at play. If you sincerely want union, you may need to sacrifice the known and open to the unknown. One can only be exhausted through giving if there are strings attached. Trust where the situation is leading you and how it will change you.

Line 3:

Gathering together amid sighs does not further = leaving is an option though does not satisfy. Changes to (31) Influence/Wooing. In a gathering of many differences, the situation is highly charged and may leave you feeling frustrated. Communication may be suffering and you feel that leaving is the only option. However, Wooing is a message that shows attraction and the desire to achieve union. You may need to work through the difficulties rather than abandon the situation. Wooing can also be a message that you get more bees with honey. Strive to listen rather than to just be heard.

Line 4:

Great good fortune = no blame. Changes to (8) Union. The situation is moving forward favorably and will lead to a meeting of the minds. Union is achieved after meeting and gathering in discussion. There is nothing wrong in this situation and all are in accord.

Line 5:

Established position over a gathering = yet others are still unclear so persevere to gain trust. Changes to (16) Enthusiasm. You have achieved a connection with others yet there still may be issues related to trust. It is important to persevere in enthusiasm so that others recognize your loyalty. Don’t take the union for granted because it can only continue on a foundation of mutual trust and the enthusiasm to continue.

Line 6:

Lamenting and sighing, floods of tears = no blame. Changes to (12) Standstill. Gathering together under difficult conditions can lead to frustration because the situation comes to an impasse. There is nothing wrong with voicing your frustration if you are sincere in achieving a meeting of the minds. Simply being critical can only lead to further obstruction. The sense of loss in losing this connection may be what it takes to reveal its importance to you.

*This page provides insight on the following combinations: Hexagram 45 unchanging Hexagram 45.1 Hexagram 45.1.2 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 45.2 Hexagram 45.2.3 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 45.3 Hexagram 45.3.4 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 45.4 Hexagram 45.4.5 Hexagram Hexagram 45.5 Hexagram 45.5.6 Hexagram 45.6