Crossing the Great Waters

This week I am reposting one of the most read posts of this blog site, fro 2015, because it is quite relevant to our focus on the Life Them of TRAVEL this month. Enjoy!



From the I-Ching (Taoist Book of Changes):

Hexagram 5:

“Perseverance brings good fortune.

It furthers one to cross the great water.”

Water; cross the great water

Central notion of the traditional interpretation of the I Ching. Meaning: to finish the old (and take final leave of it) and to address the new.


Crossing the Great Waters is a mode of Crossing the Threshold referred to frequently in the Taoist I Ching, or the Book of Changes. Crossing the Great Waters is about a major departure by which you leave behind that which no longer suits your life and venture forth into what might even be uncharted waters in order to arrive at a greater life destination.  Water is an important element (literally!) for this sort of transition because it is fluid and flexible. Your destination might change in the process of casting yourself upon the Ocean of possibilities and challenge. A Sea Voyage can be transformative; ergo the expression of a Sea Change to refer to a major shift in life potentials and outlook.

Viking Ship

Gandalf collecting Frodo and Bilbo at the end of Return of the King to usher them onto an elvish boat that heads out over the waters is an apt conclusion to Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings cycle because after their heroic adventures have transformed Bilbo and Frodo, how can they remain contented in their life at the Shire? They are heroic adventurers; they must go where the winds and the waters call them!


What about you? Have you ever crossed the great waters? What did that action require? What have been the results?

Or is there a calling for you to yet cross the great waters that could transport you to the fulfillment of your life purpose and the realization of your Life Dream?

Pebble stack

Some departures are ready made adventures, built into a committed course of action. Graduation from high school or college ends one state of preparatory training so that you are ready to embark upon a life changing process that often involves relocating and taking on new responsibilities and relationships.

Other Crossings require foresight and visioning. Take the time you need to contemplate deeply about life’s possibilities. Envision the best direction to take if you would aim to achieve a yet unrealized goal. How then can you cross the great waters to arrive at this destination?

Death itself can be considered a matter of Crossing the Great Waters, but any true departure is like a death and rebirth into another mode of Being. You do not have to wait for this lifetime to be completed before venturing forth.


I welcome your insights and stories!

10 thoughts on “Crossing the Great Waters

  1. Thanks for this piece! I used the phrase “Crossing The Great Water” in my astrology article for my newsletter today. I wanted to link the phrase to a commentary based on the I Ching and when I googled it, your piece seemed just right! Wonderful writing, keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And Intercept it does!
    I wrote a piece in July 2013 that you have read about crossing the waters of knowledge, and here I am reading yours, wordpress suggested for me to read it! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I once consulted the I Ching before a major life decision and got this hexagram; my path literally involved crossing a great body of water and leaving a life behind. That was almost twenty years ago and I don’t regret it one bit. Now the funny, typically synchronistic bit: I just finished typing a post somewhere else that got me thinking about that decision, and I decided to quickly google the hexagram to read a copy of it. In that post I had made, I mentioned Gandalf dangling on a ledge. And here was this page just moments later, mentioning the same LOTR character! Priceless. Also, the image of the cairn on the beach next to “Life Dream” is another little nod from the universe, but I’m keeping that one to myself.


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