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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

8: Holding Together

Holding Together

Holding together brings success. High-level teamwork is achieved when the right players, on the right team, share a clear goal at the right time. A team forms its relationships in a delicate manner; chemistry is brewed in the vat of shared experience. Latecomers cannot share the same depth of union as earlier members. Wholehearted commitment is required for team success.

All successful teams have a shared vision and a leader. If its leader can rise to the challenge, the team will prosper. In political and business affairs, just as in basketball, it is hard to win without a strong center.

Accept the structure of the team if you wish to receive its benefits; otherwise, go off on your own. In holding together with others, cling to your own principles, but be willing to subordinate personal desires for the good of the group. Perhaps you would like to become a leader; remember that to become the center of influence, binding people together is a serious challenge and responsibility. Assess yourself carefully to see if you qualify for such a role. If not, it would be better that the group not be formed than for you to lead it without proper preparation.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Sincerity is the foundation of all successful relationships. In a thirsty world, it is not the form of the water’s container that matters -- it’s the contents.

Line 2

When circumstances demand that you rise to the call to action and be a role-player for the good of the team and the respect of its leadership, the best way is to respond out of an innate sense that your work contributes to the greater good. This approach has dignity and leads to good fortune. On the other hand, you could visibly support those in a more powerful position, in order to ingratiate yourself and maneuver into a stronger competitive position. In this approach, however, you throw yourself away and lose dignity.

Line 3

People find themselves living inside various circles of friends and professional relations. It is critical to strike the right balance with each. Be open to your intimates, sociable with lesser friends, and cautious with all others. Developing strong relationships with weak or dishonest characters, however, will diminish your position.

Line 4

This is a time for loyalty. Show your support of those in leadership positions; they deserve your support, as long as you can provide it without compromising your integrity.

Line 5

A beneficial union is in the offing. There will be good fortune, as long as you are careful not to force things. Let people come and go, and when the right one arrives, you will know. It may be time to align yourself with someone at the center of things.

Line 6 (top line)

Difficulties arise when matters are not started properly. Even with a good beginning, problems are inevitable; however, without a sound beginning, the problems that come may be insurmountable within a short while. Once its head has been severed, no amount of “correction” can cause a frog to jump!