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A bonfire at dusk under a deep blue sky
Fire Flaming Up to Heaven, the Image of Fellowship with People

Fire (below) flaming up to Heaven (above) gave the ancients the idea of fellowship among people, gathering out in nature, around a fire, under the stars, communing with each other, with nature, with all of creation.


Fire means Clarity within; Heaven means strength without – together this is the symbol of a peaceful union of people.


Fire (the Clinging) has the attribute of clarity – clarity of mind, clarity of vision. Fire also represents the eye, seeing clearly.


Heaven (the Creative) represents strength – not the false idea of strength of someone forcing, fighting, or resisting – but true strength that emanates from within, from true power.


There are four attributes that make up the Creative (Heaven): sublimity, potentiality of success, power to further and perseverance. These also can be described as humanity, morals, justice, and wisdom. These qualities are what gives Heaven its power to move, to create, to bring life.


The weak Yin line among five strong lines rules this hexagram. One who seeks to achieve harmony and fellowship among people – especially among so many strong people – needs to have a yielding nature.


Beginning this month the I Ching tells us to seek out fellowship with people, strengthen, and grow, our relationships with them. If we follow the guidance of the I Ching, we will meet with success in our endeavors.

Two I Ching Hexagrams
Fellowship with People I Ching #13 Changes to #30 Fire (The Clinging)




Fellowship with others in the open.


It furthers one to cross the great water.

The perseverance of a superior person furthers.


Think of the ancients sitting around a campfire, the image of Fellowship With People. Under Heaven, under the stars, they gather, all with a common bond, a common purpose, common goals.


This month the I Ching tells us to find and nurture strong fellowships. With shared ideas and shared intentions, united together, they will succeed. The time is ripe!


Confucius wrote of this hexagram:


The Creative acts. Order combined with clarity, combined with strength. Central and correct in relationships, the correctness of the Superior Person unites all under Heaven.


When the I Ching says “It furthers one to cross the great water,” it means it is time to act, to undertake a great project, a great journey. This could be an inner journey or a new direction in life.


Perhaps it’s time to move. Perhaps to start a business or enter a new relationship.


Hexagram #13 also says that it is time to examine our inner attitudes and to apply spiritual principles to correct them. Are we selfish? Egotistical? Judgmental?


Noticing a problem or character flaw is the first step toward change. We want serenity, more loving relationships, to be more patient, more tolerant, more joyful. Notice where we fall short in our behaviors with others and correct them.


Confucius said: Fellowship With People finds love.


When the I Ching says, “The perseverance of the Superior Person furthers” it is telling us to not give up. Don’t be discouraged when we fall short. To cultivate qualities of the Spirit, we must persevere. We get up, dust ourselves off, and start again. Over and over, repeatedly.


Start to notice difficult interactions in your relationships. If someone pushes your buttons, it is not wrong to avoid them – with sincerity, detachment, and humility – not anger and resentment.


When people inspire you and make you feel good about yourself, spend more time with them.


Simple, but not easy!


Fellowship With People is all about raising our vibration and finding success, achievements through our relationships with others.




Heaven together with Fire

The image of Fellowship With People

Thus, the Superior Person organizes fraternities and clans.

And make distinctions between things.


This image holds deep meaning. Clarify our goals, gather like-minded people, and organize things in ways that make sense. Bring order out of diversity and chaos.


Hilary in her amazing I Ching website, I Ching With Clarity calls this hexagram, “People in Harmony.”


Now is time to look at all the diverse aspects of our lives – inner as well as outer life – and put things that relate in order.


If you’re like most people, you have a lot of diverse thing going on in your family life, career, health, learning/educational opportunities, friendships, spiritual life, emotional balance, financial affairs, recreational activities, social activities, etc.


Hilary writes:


In readings about relationships of all kinds, this is a hexagram for co-operation. In romantic relationships, think of building friendship and enjoying one another’s company; in business readings, think of joint ventures, and getting out of the competitive, win-lose mindset.

Once in a while, this hexagram refers to the relationships within people as well as those between people. They can be relationships between inner voices (adult and child, for instance), or between different traditions and ways of knowing. Then [Hexagram #13] would involve bringing all of these together in inner conversation.


Listen to the I Ching’s advice. People in Harmony tells us to take advantage of the movement of the Tao this January. Then everything will run easily and effortlessly.


We are “merrily, merrily” flowing down the stream – flowing with the current, rather than struggling against it.




People bound in fellowship first weep and lament,

But afterwards they laugh.

After great struggles they succeed in meeting.


This line can refer to a few different possibilities. It could be two people who are separated by situations in life but are united in their hearts. The obstructions cause them grief, but they remain true to their true nature and eventually succeed.


Coming together, sadness changes to joy.


This line recalls Psalm 30: Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.


The line can also point to any victory after a great struggle. People in 12-Step programs will easily recognize the phenomenon of struggling for what may seem like an eternity over an addiction. By persevering with sincerity, they eventually achieve a breakthrough.


In 12-Step meetings, they regularly meet with their fellows. Together in a common purpose they are unified and they meet with success.


Study any prosperous person, and you will see how success was not dropped into their laps. They almost universally have stories of tragedy, failure, discouragement, and setbacks. Their success appears easy in hindsight, but their path was certainly strewn with obstacles to be overcome.


This month, in fellowship with people, recognize that you are bound for success. The times are ripe, the Tao is flowing in your direction. For one who heeds the wisdom of the Oracle, success is certain.


Persevere with sincerity and act in harmony with others! That is the message of the I Ching for you this month.


30 Fire (The Clinging)


Fire doubled. This hexagram means to rest on something. It also means “brightness.”


The empty space, the Yin line between two strong Yang lines makes them bright.




The Clinging. Perseverance furthers.

It brings success.

Care of the cow brings good fortune.


The image of fire is that of a power that must stay connected to its source, or it will quickly fade. A flame cannot leave its candle; a fire cannot be separated from the wood that fuels it.


The fire of our spirit, of our Innermost Self cannot be separated from its Source, which is our Higher Power, the Universe, Great Spirit, God – whatever you call it. We must cling to our Source or soon perish.


The ancients saw that sun and moon cling to Heaven. They saw that grass and trees cling to the Earth.


They saw that humans must accept the limitations of being dependent on Heaven for rain and Earth for food. But these dependencies are beneficial and life-giving.


The cow in the I Ching is the symbol of ultimate docility and humility. It is willing to be led. When we can cultivate this attitude of extreme compliance and voluntary dependence on God, we are filled with all the good that the Universe has to offer.




That which is bright rises twice.

The image of Fire.

Thus, the great person, by perpetuating their brightness,

Illuminates the four corners of the world.


The Clinging is directed upwards. Our inner light shines brighter and brighter this month.


January is a month when the sun in the northern hemisphere grows brighter each day. By following the advice of the Sage, we constantly “brighten our bright virtue” and grow in strength, power and purpose.


We can count on help from our friends, colleagues, acquaintances and even total strangers. We have help in the visible realm and from those spirits, guides, ancestors, and angels in the invisible realms.


Fellowship with People moving to Fire (The Clinging) tells us to expect success if we gather in unity of purpose with those with whom we agree, who share our vision. Recognize and celebrate our sincere and voluntary dependance on the Higher Power, the Source and be willing to be led where it will take us. Then we will be completely in the flow of the Tao, in the flow of our good.


This is a bright and hopeful start to 2024. The world needs our light to shine brightly, to bring hope and inspiration, healing and love to all.


Happy New Year!



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