I Ching, or Book of Changes
The I Ching was used for many thousands of years as a book of enlightenment and wisdom, long before its use in divination.
Eight trigrams of alternating solid and broken lines combine to form 64 hexagrams. As each trigram has its own image and meaning, the hexagrams are combinations of these images.
By studying these combinations over many hundreds of years, many wise men developed interpretations of the hexagram and each of the six lines within.
In addition, some lines are 'changing.’ One seeks to understand not only one set of hexagrams, but also the one that is produced by the evolution of the changing lines within it. Even the position of the changing lines are meaningful.
Clearly, the I Ching is the most complex of all the oracles. Their study can be most compelling and challenging.
There are two basic methods for developing hexagrams. Both are designed to build the hexagram from the bottom (1st) line to the top (6th) line. Both are basically mathematical in structure.
The oldest technique is counting through 49 yarrow stalks. This method takes longer and the repetitive nature of the counting produces a calm, meditative state.
A quicker method uses three of the same type of coin. Each side is arbitrarily assigned to be yin or yang, which each have a numerical value of 2 or three.
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By Gerry Starnes All rights reserved.