I Ching: the ancient Chinese divination text book

iching book

iching bookI Ching or the book of changes is an ancient divination text book. It’ the world’s oldest wisdom book, used to predict the future’s events and one of the greatest Chinese books ever written.

The I Ching has served for thousands of years as a guide to an ethical life, a manual for rulers, and a prediction of one’s future. In incident China and East Asia, I Ching has been the most consulted of all books, as it was believed that it can explain everything. It has been known for over three hundred years in the West and surely it is the most popularly recognized Chinese book. With its interpretations, there has never been a book like it anywhere.

I Ching is a philosophical matrix, a divination methodology, and it contains a lot of historical events which are hidden among the book’s hexagrams and lines. This book has influenced some of China’s greatest thinkers and has played extremely important role in Taoism and Confucianism. It is one of the “five ancient classics” and probably the oldest written form of known divination in the world.

This book has been offering people help and wise, and divine guidance for generations. The book is divided into 64 chapters or hexagram, each hexagram is a pile of six lines, either broken or solid.

Each inquiry will form a hexagram reading and a hexagram has six changing lines. Each hexagram is made up of two trigrams and there are eight possible trigrams. Each trigram is made up of three lines. Each line is either broken or solid, corresponding to the complementary Yin which is negative and Yang which is positive. Three Chinese coins are used for the throws. Each throw creates one line of the hexagram. Thus, six throws decide a hexagram. One side of the coin (head) represents a two and the other side (tail) represents a three. These numbers are added to determine the result of the throw as follows:

3 heads = 6 Broken = ——- ——
3 tails = 9 Continuous = —————-
2 heads + 1 tail = 7 Continuous = —————-
2 tails + 1 head = 8 Broken = ——- ——
2 tails + 1 head = 8 Broken = ——- ——
2 heads + 1 tail = 7 Continuous = —————-


I Ching

How to form a hexagram?

  • 6 (3 tails) is a changing yin and is drawn as a broken line with an X in the middle (broking changing line becomes solid)
  • 9 (3 heads) is a changing yang and is drawn as a solid line with a circle in the middle (solid changing line becomes broken)
  • 7 (2 tails, 1 head) is an unchanging yang, and is drawn as a solid line.
  • 8 (2 heads, 1 tail) is an unchanging yin and is drawn as a broken line.

How to interpret hexagrams?

On a piece of paper, ask your open-ending question and start toss your 3 coins 6 times and write the corresponding line whether broken or solid and once your first hexagram is formed, find the matching hexagram pattern from I Ching book and read the description of this hexagram pattern

If you don’t have a copy of I Ching book, you can go online and find a list of hexagram interpretations and search your hexagram pattern to see what the answer to your question is.

You can also use a hexagram calculator by inputting the result of each coins toss and once you finish up entering results for 6 lines, the calculator will locate the proper hexagram for you and give you the meaning.