Archetype 48: The Well
But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?”
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”
In the ancient regions of Israel, water was a precious resource. The idea that there could be an eternal well of water was a powerful metaphor for the nourishment that can only come from God.
This hexagram consists of the trigram Spirit guiding Chaos. The image for Spirit is Gentle Wind, and for Chaos, Water. Thus we have a gentle wind pushing the water up to the earth, where it provides an ever flowing source of nourishment.
There is a time...
- To see the well as a symbol for what remains constant in life.
- To realize that even the greatest accomplishments are worth nothing if they do not satisfy our deepest needs.
- To strengthen the foundations for religious institutions, social structures, and individual character for the good of all.
- To see that the well is freely provided by God, and that God wants all to drink deeply.
- To understand that knowledge without Wisdom is as dangerous as ignorance.
Now is that time.
A moving line in the bottom position describes one who is wallowing in Ego. Such a person offers nothing of value and is ultimately forgotten.
A moving line in the second position describes one who has some Wisdom but does not bother to cultivate it. The quest for Wisdom’s way is never ending and requires dedication and commitment. Without dedication and commitment, what Wisdom one has accumulated becomes cloudy. Over time, the Wisdom becomes overshadowed by Ego. Those who are Ego driven associate with others who are Ego driven. Folks like these have nothing to contribute to the Kingdom of God.
A moving line in the third position describes one who is wise and able to help but ignored by those in power. Those who understand are sorry, and wish those who need help could recognize the Wisdom that is available. All would benefit from this.
A moving line in the fourth position describes a time when Wisdom is being accumulated and a wise one is still in preparation. The wise one is not ready to offer help, but this time is important because it allows time for prayer, meditation, and inner development. This leaves the wise one in a better position to accomplish what is needed.
A moving line in the fifth position describes a natural leader and savior who offers the gift of living water. But living water can only be offered; one cannot force others to drink. It is up to each individual to choose to accept this gift and use it to facilitate the Kingdom of God.
A moving line in the top position describes the source of the living water. It is inexhaustible. It is available for all. It is a blessing for all. A fully actualized wise one is like this; the more people take, the more is available.
Other interpretations of Archetype 48:
- Tom Christensen's interpretation [click here]
- Cafe Au Soul's interpretation [click here]
- LiSe's interpretation [click here]
- Richard Wilhelm's interpretation [click here]
- Return to the Hexagram Index Table [click here].
- Return to Consulting the Christian I Ching [click here].
- Purchase a printed copy of Wisdom's Way; The Christian I Ching [click here].
- Learn about our Online Christian I Ching Workshop [click here].
- Find out about personal consultations [click here].
Reproduced with permission from Wisdom's Way; The Christian I Ching copyright (c) 2015 Roger Sessions.