I-ching Methods and Meaning
 

 

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What is I-ching
Everything you need to know about I-ching - history, philosophy, structure, content and method of consultation

Oracle of Changes
Oracle or tool of predicting future events

I-ching Online
Free online reading device

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Learn about hexagrams, meaning and methods

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I-ching resources: sites, texts, versions and more...

Year 2012
Read what I-ching has to say about year 2012.

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Hexagrams, coins and more...

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I-ching programs for your desktop
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What is I-ching (Book of Changes)?

I-ching is one of the classical (ching) Chinese books dating back to Fu Hsi and the Yin Dynasty, about 2900 BC. It was used as oracle consulted by the ancient sovereigns and princes.

The Book escaped the arson of books ordered by the first Chinese emperor in 213 AD because it was consulted by him. This proves its great popularity and recognition.

Known initially as the Chou-I (the Changes of Chou), the name "I-ching" may be also translated as Book of Changes, that is, a work dealing with the permanent changes in nature and human society as well.

  • Content of the Book

I-ching is a collection of short essays assigned to 64 lineal figures consisting in six continuous (____) and/or broken (__  __) lines. These figures are called Hexagrams.

Hexagram 31 picture 

Each Hexagram has a title and offers a prognostication and/or advice in order to avoid difficult life events or human interaction.

  • I-ching in the West

Richard Wilhelm picture
Richard Wilhelm, the famous German translator and commentator of the Book.
One of the first translations of the I-ching in English was made by James Legge.

Richard Wilhelm, a Protestant missionary in China, translated the book into German under the direct guidance of a Confucian master.

This is the most known and referred  version.

The Wilhelm/Baynes version is made upon the suggestion of Carl Jung, the well-known Swiss psychiatrist. Jung himself used the oracle and wrote a valuable introduction to the English version explaining how it works and the method of interpreting its answers.

  • I-ching Today

We have a lot of English versions of I-ching. Most of them follow the Wilhelm's translation style - others are free adaptations. There are also a few versions which don't follow Wilhelm's or Legge's directions, but draw from the scientific interest in the book history and meaning.

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