Wood under water; a bucket in a well.



Wind (wood)




The town may change but the well stays the same.

It does not increase or decrease.

They come and go and draw the water.

If you get almost to the water but the rope is too short, or the bucket leaks, it brings misfortune.


Water above wood.

The well.

A wise man works with the people and encourages them to help each other.




This chapter compares your life to a well. A well is a basic and useful thing. Its structure is simple and complete. Wells are found in various places but they are all similar in the important details. People are like this too.

This chapter is about your life, and how to lead it. Whatever time and place you live in you will experience what it is like to be a human being.

The 'symbol tradition' suggests an attitude that will make your life fulfilled, and of use to others, like a well is.

The 'image' points out that even quite simple faults, if left uncorrected, can make your life useless and bring you misfortunes.




1) 6 at the start

a) The well is a bog.
No one drinks from it.
An ancient well; not even ducks visit.

b) Time passes it by.

This line represents the mud at the bottom of the well. This is like the weak-minded people who waste their time in low places. People like this gather together, to pass the time; in search of easy amusements. Other people, who are doing useful things, pass them by without much thought. This line represents someone who could do worthwhile things but, instead, they waste their life and they are no use to anyone.


2) 9 in 2nd throw

a) The well; a gap where fish are caught.
The bucket is cracked and leaking.

b) No one reaches in.

This line represents a person who is potentially strong and useful but who is not actually doing very much. There is a problem; the bucket needs fixing. If you attend to correcting your faults you can set yourself right.


3) 9 in 3rd throw

a) The well is cloudy.
No one drinks from it.
This makes my heart ache.
An enlightened king would have it cleaned then all can share this blessing.

b) Kingly wisdom accepts a blessing.

This line represents something that has a potential for doing good and useful work for people; but nobody bothers to repair it.
You should do it, if it needs doing, because there is no enlightened king available at the present time.


4) 6 in 4th throw

a) The well is being lined. No blame.

b) Renovating the well.

Time spent studying, or improving yourself, may mean that you cannot be much use to people for a while. It is a valuable investment for the future and is not a mistake.


5) 9 in 5th throw

a) The well; people drink clear, cool, spring-water.

b) Central and correct.

This line means that you have a good mind, and a correct attitude, and that you have the potential to do good work. It is up to you to make use of this potential.


6) 6 at the top

a) The well; open and constantly filling.
Correct and sincere.
Supreme good fortune.

b) This is great perfection.

This means that you are doing something useful with your life. This is supreme good fortune.