The two best-known methods for consulting the I Ching are the Yarrow Stalk method and the Coin Toss method. Both methods are authentic ways to generate the 64 I Ching hexagrams that provide insight based on archetypal situations, dilemmas and relationships.
That said, manipulating yarrow stalks is kind of a lot of work in this day and age — it involves dividing 49 yarrow stacks into random piles — so these days the most popular method of consulting the I Ching has become the three-coin toss method. Simply toss the three coins six times, once each for all six lines of the hexagram.
Perhaps now a day there would be millions of people all over the world consult I Ching Oracle; however, not too many people know the difference between them. They use the I Ching Tex to read them all in the same way. That is sad.
Yarrow Stalks Method:
The following instruction everybody should learn from any yarrow stalks divination book.
“One takes fifty yarrow stalks, of which only forty-nine are used. These forty-nine are first divided into two heaps (at random), and then a stalk from the right-hand heap is inserted between the ring finger and the little finger of the left hand. The left heap counted through by fours, and the remainder (four or less) inserted between the ring finger and the middle finger. The same thing done with the right heap, and the remainder inserted between the forefinger and the middle finger. This constitutes one change.
Now one is holding in one’s hand either five or nine stalks in all. The two remaining heaps are put together, and the same process is repeated twice. These second and third times, one obtains either four or eight stalks. The five stalks of the first counting and the four of each of the succeed countings are regarded as a unit having the numerical value three; the nine stalks of the first counting and the eight of the succeeding countings have the numerical value two.
When three successive changes produce the sum 3+3+3=9, this makes the old yang, i.e., a firm line that moves. The sum 2+2+2=6 makes old yin, a yielding line that moves. Seven is the young yang, and eight the young yin; they are not taken into account as individual lines”.
However, not too many people know the reason behind the ritual of the Yarrow Stalks Divination. Let us explain why the ritual of Yarrow Stalks based on the nature of this world and Lou Shu Diagram or the New I Ching Matrix System.
Using 50 stalks represent Earth 5 (5×10=50) is the number adopted from Lou Shu Diagram. Take out 1 and use only 49, for the reason 1 represent Thái Cực (Tai Chi) – Oneness, Wholeness. Take 49 stalks divide into 2 heaps, represent the Yin and Yang – Heaven and Earth after Thái Cực (Tai Chi) is already exist. Next, take 1 stalk from the right-hand heap and insert between the ring finger and the little finger of the left hand, represent Heaven, Earth, and Human, now 3 are existed. Then, the left heap count through by 4, represent the 4 Seasons of the year and the remainder of 4 or less inserted between the ring finger and the middle finger from the two heaps, represent the two leap months. Repeat 6 times to get 6 lines – to form the Hexagram. Hence, if one wants to use the text of I Ching the Book of Changes, should use the Yarrow Stalks. Using this method with sincere we should have a correct answer 70% easily. However, we could not tell what will happen and the time it will happen.
There are 7 rules regularly use when consulting Yarrow Stalks Oracle:
1. If only 1 line is changing just use the line of the original Hexagram for the reading
2. If 2 lines are changing then use both lines of the original Hexagram for the reading, but use the line on top for the main reading (top line more important)
3. If 3 lines are changing then use the Judgment of the original Hexagram and the Judgment of the changing Hexagram. However, the Judgment of the original Hexagram is more important for the reading
4. If 4 lines are changing then use the two unchanging lines of the changing Hexagram for the reading. Use the line at the bottom as the important line for the reading
5. If 5 lines are changing then use the unchanging line of the Changing Hexagram for the reading
6. If 6 lines are changing, then use the “Use of 9 line” at the end of Hexagram 1 and the “Use of 6 line” at the end of Hexagram 2 for the reading.
7. If no changing, line then use the Judgment of that Hexagram for the reading.
These 7 rules are what everybody needs to abide but there are exceptions sometimes. It is so sad that not many people know how the Creator of Yarrow Stalks Divination came up with these 7 steps. These are basic theory of Yin and yang, anybody who understand the basic Theory of I Ching would know.
Three Coins Method:
The Three Coins Method came a little over a thousand years after Yarrow Stalks Method to substitute the inconvenience of Yarrow Stalks Method. It is the quickest, easiest, and most popular by far, supplanted the Yarrow Stalks Method. Using 3 coins, represent Heaven Earth and Human, without 4 Seasons or month. Throw the Coins 6 times represent 6 lines of Hexagram. Because the 4 Seasons and month is not included in the Method; therefore, the creator of 3 Coins Method name Jing Fang (78-37 BC) use the 12 Chinese animals and 6 Stars of animals imbed into the 6 lines of a Hexagram. The Lunar Calendar of Month and Day using the 5 Elements of the branch of month and day must use to do the reading.