How to Consult the I Ching

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Consult the I Ching

Where to start?

Discover the secrets of the I Ching with the following steps. Whether seeking advice on a current issue or simply searching for general guidance, this ancient text has the answers you seek. Some practitioners cast a hexagram each morning for a daily dose of direction. There are no strict guidelines on how often or how little you should consult the I Ching, but it’s essential to approach it with an open mind to gain the maximum benefit. By doing so, you are embarking on a transformative journey towards a better life.

The Sage

Throughout this text, you’ll encounter mentions of ‘the Sage,’ Depending on your belief system, this phrase might align with ‘God,’ ‘Allah,’ ‘my higher self,’ ‘the universe,’ or another term that feels fitting. Replace them with the terminology that you feel most comfortable using.

Using the App

A hexagram consists of 6 lines. Line 1 is the bottom line and progressively moves up to the top, line 6. A line can be either changing or non-changing. The app will randomly generate six lines based on the traditional coin method. The first Hexagram will contain the primary message; if it consists of changing lines, read the associated lines. For example, in the Hexagram below.

1st line is closed, 2nd is open but is grey, which means it is a changing line, 3rd line is closed, 4th line is open, 5th line is closed but also grey and is a changing line, and the 6th is closed.

This combination makes up Hexagram 63. By clicking on the Hexagram, the app will take you to the meanings and interpretations of Hexagram 63. Please read all the passages and their associated lines. In this case, the app will display lines 2 and 5. You will read these for additional guidance.

Since there are changing lines, we convert this Hexagram to its opposite. Read the text of the second Hexagram to illuminate the instruction of the first Hexagram. In this case, we change lines 2 to closed and 5 to open. This combination produces hexagram 11.

Using your own coins

It is worth learning how to do this yourself. Learn how rolling the three coins produces a line. Build your hexagram and use the key below to determine your hexagram.

Step 1 Toss three coins with a shake of your cupped hands, and let them fall.

Step 2 Count heads as three and tails as two, and add the value of all three coins.

  • Three heads equals 9
  • Two heads and one tail equals 8
  • One head and two tails equals 7
  • Three tails equals 6

Step 3 Generate the second line of your Hexagram by giving the coins another toss. Then, place this line above the initial line.

Step 4 Continue the process until you have 6 lines.

Step 5 As an example, let’s assume the following was rolled.

Note 6 and 9 are changing lines. Even numbers 6,8 are drawn as open. Odd numbers 7,9 are drawn as closed.

Step 6 Determine your Hexagram by cross-referencing with the hexagram key. The bottom trio of lines forms the lower trigram, while the upper trio constitutes the upper trigram. The Hexagram can be identified by the number where the lower and upper trigrams intersect. In this case it is Hexagram 63.

Step 7 Read the text for that Hexagram up to the section that says ‘First Line.’ Beyond that, read only the sections for those lines which ‘changed’ in your Hexagram. Changing lines are those with a value of 6 or 9. In the example above, lines 2 and 5 are changing lines.

Step 8 Now that you’ve read the Hexagram’s meaning and corresponding changing lines, it’s time to switch them to their counterparts.

Step 9 In the example above. Line 2 now becomes closed, and line 5 becomes open. Find where the new lower and upper trigram intersects using the key—Hexagram 11. To deepen the understanding of the initial Hexagram, one should delve into the text of the second Hexagram. However, it’s crucial to focus solely on the introductory sections. Do not read the text for any lines. Ignore reading lines 1 to 6. We only focus on the appropriate lines in the first Hexagram.

Useful Links

  1. Revolutionary I Ching App Harness ChatGPT for Hexagram Insights, Apple App Store – Google Play Store
  2. Collection of engaging and enlightening stories for children that explore the principles of Taoism. Download on Amazon
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