I Ching , the Book of Changes

12th December 2016  is the 64th year of my existence having born in year of the Chinese Water Dragon, month of black rat, the day of the black dragon, and the time of the black tiger. Dragon sign runs in the family. My mother was born 1928 under earth dragon sign while a grandson is a water dragon born in the year 2012.  Chinese tradition says,  to be born  a dragon ,  hold the beneficial power of heaven. Dragon is the only fictitious and deified animal that doesn’t exist in the world.  It is one of the four most revered animals of ancient China.

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I refer to the old treatise of the ancient Chinese art of divination to predict the next move  or  at least have a glimpse of the next event in my life.  Many people are using this art as practical guide to decide important issues, to gain deeper insights and to widen their mental horizons about  life status and relationship.  This was the first Chinese metaphysical studies  I’ve learned thirty years ago together with the different branches of chinese astrology, Ming Shu, Zi Wei Dou Shu or the Purple Star Astrology  of the great bear constellation.

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The I Ching  or Classic of Changes, is an ancient divination text and the oldest of the Chinese classics. Possessing a history of more than two and a half millennia of commentary and interpretation, the I Ching is an influential text read throughout the world, providing inspiration to the worlds of religion, psychoanalysis, business, literature,  art , and understanding Eastern thought.

The I Ching uses a type of divination called cleromancy, which produces apparently random numbers. Four numbers, 6, 7, 8 & 9  are turned into a hexagram, which can then be looked up in the I Ching book, arranged in an order known as the King Wen sequence.

There are two methods to conduct the I Ching, the simple and easy method is the 3 coin method, while the yarrow stalk counting is a little bit complex  but have an accurate reading for beginner.


Table of Hexagram

The Coin Method

1. Hold the coins loosely in your hands, shake them briefly, and then toss them, all the while contemplating your query. The line you record is determined by assigning numerical values to heads and tails, then adding the total. Each head is a 3, and each tail is a 2.  So, if you cast one head and two tails (3+2+2), your starting line would be = 7

2. Collect the coins and toss another five times, recording the numerical values and the corresponding line each time, building your six-line hexagram from the bottom up.

The hexagram you’ve just created can be called your “present hexagram.” In order to produce a “future hexagram,” just change all the lines marked with an ‘x’ or an ‘o’ into their opposite. Any broken lines (Yin) marked with an ‘x’ flip into their opposite—a solid line (Yang)—and solid Yang lines marked with an ‘o’ turn into the broken Yin lines.

The Yarrow Stalk Method

1 – Take a single stalk from the bundle of 50 and lay it crossways in front of you. This symbolizes the Wu Chi – the unchanging ground of being.2 – Divide the remaining stalks into two piles. Set down the pile in your right hand.3 – Take one stalk from that right-hand pile and place it between the 4th and little fingers of your left hand (while still holding the left pile in your left hand)4 – Count off the left pile by fours, setting the fours in a pile separate from the right-hand pile. When you have 4 or fewer left from the original left pile, tuck them between the 3rd and 4th fingers of your left hand.

5 – Now put the right-hand pile into your left hand and also count it off by fours until four or fewer sticks remain.

6 – If you counted correctly (ie. got fours not threes or fives each time you removed stalks) you now have a total either 5 or 9 sticks in your left hand. Think of 5 as a small number, equivalent to heads or yang in the coin method, and think of 9 as a large number, equivalent to tails or yin in the coin method.

7 – Lay these 5 or 9 stalks across the one you removed in step #1.

8 – Repeat steps 2 through 7 twice more. You will get either 4 or 8 stalks each time (not 5 or 9 as in the first time).Here 4 is small, yang or heads; 8 is big, yin or tails.

9 – Now look at the three piles that are lying across the single stalk. There are only four possibilities:

All are small (4 or 5 stalks) — This is a changing yang line — solid becomes broken
All are big (8 or 9 stalks) — This is a changing yin line — broken becomes solid
Two are small and one is big — This is an unchanging yin line — broken
Two are big and one is small — This is an unchanging yang line — solid

This is the first (bottom) of the six lines in your hexagram – remember it or write it down.

10 – Pick up all the stalks except the single one from step #1, then repeat steps 2 through 9 five more times.

Example of the reading using the 3 Coins Method

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After tossing the 3 coins six times, here’s the reading of Hexagram 23 – Unstable Foundations


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Then changing the broken yin line to yang solid becomes:  Hexagram 52- Keeping Calm

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