I-ching Methods and Meaning header

About the I-ching Oracle

I-ching has been used since the ancient times as oracle to find the outcome of a project, business or the general meaning of a certain life situation.

In fact, the oracle was used in any field of life without limits or prejudices.

The answers of the oracle may be given in terms of "yes" or "no", or may add more precious indications as to what to do further in order to succeed.

The consulting services were provided by experienced priests for both the consulting procedure and the interpretation of the answers.

Since the Confucius era, the oracle has also acquired another quality, namely of book of wisdom. Taking into account that the Confucian moral and ethical approach of social life was based on rites, the Book of Changes was thus translated and interpreted to suggest a Confucian-inspired behavior. Therefore, one must be aware of this fact when he/she interpret the oracle's answers in order to reject the moral approach!

The divinatory structure of the oracle is based on 64 hexagrams describing typical situations.

Questions asked should be phrased in few words and point to the actual fact or life situation in order to receive a clear answer.

  • Example of Consulting

For example, if someone intends to move to another city and asks the oracle if it is beneficial to do so, he might receive the Hexagram 48 - Ching, The Well - that says in textual terms:

Hexagram 48 picture

    The town may be changed,
    But the well cannot be changed.
    It neither decreases nor increases.

That is, one can change the place but the problem (depicted as a well) that forced him/her to head the new place will not be solved.


The I-ching oracle is widely used today, all over the world, but above all by resorting to the moralizing interpretations inspired by Confucius.

Wilhelm's German translation went on the same path and added elements from the Protestantism. This is why many scholars who have studied I-ching have complained about this moralizing feature that alters the prophetic value of the oracle.

  • Methods of Consulting

There are two different methods of consulting the oracle: the yarrow stalks and the coin method.

The first method is the most accurate but also more complicated and requires more time.

Fortunately, there are online applications that can do the entire job of consulting for us though they are less accurate.

The most important thing after choosing the method of consultation and phrasing the question is the interpretation of the oracle's response.

In the majority of cases, the answers use a symbolism that is difficult to decipher, or alludes to events and old sayings of ancient China, which are no longer current and therefore difficult to grasp.

  • I-ching and the Jungian Archetypes

Carl Jung , the famous Swiss psychiatrist, has studied the oracle himself, interested in finding confirmation of his synchronicity concept created by him.

Jung also showed that hexagrams can be compared to the archetypes as they are approached in his theory of the collective unconscious.


Examples of interpretation:

Introductory articles:

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Updated:   17 decembrie 2022

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