10 of Cups – Love
In the background of the 10 of Cups, a house sits in an open field dotted with trees and a river that meanders into the horizon. In the foreground, two children are playing. Their parents are standing together, holding each other at the waist with one arm while the other is raised high in the air. It is as though they are saying “Look at what we have! How wonderful it is!” Above them, a rainbow filled with ten cups stretches across a clear blue sky. At first glance, this scene looks like the last page of a fairy tale where the caption reads, “…and they lived happily ever after.”
But this isn’t a fairy tale. The people depicted aren’t beautiful princes and princesses but common folks in plain clothes. The house in the background isn’t a grand castle but a humble piece of property out in the countryside.
And, yet, this is definitely an image of love.
The 10 of Cups does not depict love as exciting romances filled with heroes and beauties, unicorns and dragons. Rather, it shows us that love is experienced through the appreciation of what we have, be it grand palaces or small cottages in an uneventful countryside. It is also rejoicing and sharing what we have with others.
As captivating as fairy tales and poetry may be, they do not capture the entire essence of what love is. Yes, it can be exciting and achingly beautiful, but it is so much more than that. If anything, it’s the plain and mundane things that make up the bulk of what love is. Anyone can be swept away by a beautiful story, but when the story ends, there must be something more substantial to keep the love alive.
Love isn’t just about beauty; it is also seeing and accepting the ugliest parts of someone else and allowing our vulnerable parts to be seen. It is not just the good times, but also the arguments and the pain. Most of all, it is everything in between that are neither good nor bad, but things experienced together. Those who can only think of love as fantastic stories will never find true love because that is only one fraction of all that love is. To truly experience love, we must accept it and appreciate it in all is forms.
Hexagram 32 – Long Lasting
Just as Heaven and Earth makes a perfect pair, so do Thunder and Wind. Each yang line in one trigram corresponds with a yin line in the other trigram. This perfect harmony is like the succession of the sun and moon and the procession of the four seasons. From studying the eternal constancy of nature, the wise learn the art of enduring through the tests of time.
This lesson is applied and exemplified through marriage. For a marriage to be long lasting, it should follow the examples set forth by nature as demonstrated by the pairing of Thunder and Wind. One should be inwardly consistent by remaining faithful to truth and correctness. Outwardly, however, one should be flexible enough to adapt to the ever changing external world. To be ever-lasting, one must not be rigid and still because growth is facilitated by movement. That which ceases to grow cannot last because it is already in its decay cycle.
Six on line 1:
Determination and effort are important factors at every stage of an endeavour and key qualities to make anything last. However, over zealousness, especially in the beginning, may backfire by pushing things beyond their limit. Great things take time to build and cannot be rushed. Proceed gradually in order to learn from our actions each step of the way.
Nine on line 2:
Everyone experiences misfortunes and setbacks. When these unfortunate events occur, the ability to hold onto our faith is called for. Firmly holding onto who we are and what is important to us, not letting our happiness and faith slip away, is the key to long lasting. This is how we progress without regrets.
Nine on line 3:
Those who are not in control of their emotions but are subject to pleasures and fears stimulated by the external world will never experience true joy and peace. For such people, misfortune is the natural consequence of their weak character.
Remain consistent and true. That is long lasting.
Nine on line 4:
Persistence alone is not enough. For it to produce results, the object of persistence must be obtainable in the first place. Know when your efforts are in vain.
Six on line 5:
Harmony is when yang leads and yin follows. To produce long lasting relationships and lasting results in any endeavour, we must understand the other parties involved and the situation. Sometimes the situation will demand us to lead and other times, harmony will require us to follow. Understand that this is not about superiority versus inferiority.
Six on line 6:
Restlessness is one of the greatest opponents of endurance. It is not enthusiasm, but an inability to properly channel energy. Inner composure is mandatory when creating long lasting commitments.
There are many idioms and common sayings that speak about the importance of love. Love is all you need, love makes the world go ‘round, etc. Indeed, even the I Ching compares it to the progression of the seasons. This is because love is the quality and the basis of endurance.
To endure is to make happiness last as well as holding onto our faith during difficult times. It is also the ability to be strong and true to ourselves. And love is what enables endurance.