54: Careful Affection

Affection is an important part of intimate relationships, but it must be handled carefully in order to both be satisfying and support the self-respect of both parties. For instance, a married person’s lover would have the conflicted feelings of affection that are coupled with insecurity. Relationships that are based on personal attraction — especially those that are unconventional — require special attention and a cautious measure of tactful reserve.

To overcome challenges, and for a relationship to achieve longevity, you need to remain mindful of extreme feelings of attraction and the transitory nature of most relationships. It is an irony of life — that the happiest people are the ones who already have what they want and who want what they already 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 invite 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. Boldly asserting yourself right now could bring misfortune, so do not attempt to be overly creative or to attract much favorable attention. At the same time, allowing yourself to drift aimlessly can be a mistake. Find balance in a middle way. The traditional analogy for this hexagram was the transition of a marrying maiden from girlhood to committed adult.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

This can be a time of accomplishment, even if you find yourself with less status than you desired or with more limited resources than you wish you had. If you accept your position and destiny, you may discover new secrets close to home and even come to feel happy in these circumstances. Being in the proximity of power is something to be appreciated in itself. This might be a time to undertake something, because good fortune is riding with you.

Line 2

A time of no advance is indicated by this line, but everything should turn out all right in the end. One image is of a disappointed girl who maintains her desirability in spite of her loneliness, and finds a new lover after a while.

Line 3

Excessive desire for forbidden or unobtainable fruits does not lower the branches of the fruit-bearing tree. Still, there is not much blame for you.

Line 4

Purity of intent supports the manifestation of your dreams. So, avoid overt manipulation of others when seeking their affection or support. Conscientiousness is rewarded with the fulfillment of your visions.

Line 5

When someone of superior qualities accepts a humble position with graciousness, good fortune follows for everyone. Just as an intelligent woman is more interested in a man’s character than his money or looks, you may find 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 will kill the magic that lies at the heart of a bond. Whether it’s happening now or you are contemplating it in the future, a union of the heart only works when both parties are as concerned about their mate’s happiness as they are about their own.