Introduction To I Ching & The 64 Hexagrams
The muse for both Confucian and Taoist philosophies comes from the Book of Wisdom or Yi Jing or Zhouyi. This book, which is considered to be over 3,000 years old, contains 64 hexagrams which represent a system of knowledge and ever-changing divination.
The I Ching is also called the Book of Changes because these symbols don’t have one set meaning but represent the universal characteristics of Yin and Yang and the ever-changing possibilities of the cosmos.
The 64 I Ching Hexagrams
The 64 I Ching Hexagrams are cast to understand present situations, but when studied individually, they can give wisdom to all phases of life. Some of the hexagrams of the Chinese Yi Jing are similar in meaning but give different variations of knowledge. It should be understood that several directions can be taken at any given point and some methods are better used over another.
What Is I Ching Hexagram?
It is said that 64 hexagrams symbols came into existence when the Chinese ruler Fu His copied them down from the back of a turtle while the meaning of each symbol was later given through divine visions received by Chinese philosopher-priests. The symbols have names such as Sojourning, Confining, Displacement, and Polarizing with vitiating forms of each word.
The hexagram meanings are part oracle with the influence of mythology from the period. The interpretation of these symbols represents a process but also shows the possibility for change. There is no regard for the past or the future but instead a cause and effect flow of events in an ever-changing universe.
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Yin & Yang
The understanding of the hexagram system is based on the balance of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang represent a dynamic where Yin complements Yang and vice versa. Popular examples of the Yin-Yang concept would be fire and water or light and darkness.
Together, Yin and Yang are more critical than their parts as they work together to bring balance to the universe. Too much Yin or Yang can often lead to problems or disasters. That is why traditional Chinese medicine focuses on the balance of the body’s Yin and Yang.
What Are Trigrams?
Each hexagram is made up of six lines that are either unbroken to represent Yin, or they are broken, to represent Yang. The number 64 is the exact possible combination of this system of lines consisting of both broken and unbroken. Each hexagram is read by reviewing the upper three lines, called the inner trigram, compared to the lower three lines, called the outer trigram.
These 64 combinations represent the eight parts of nature: Fire, Water, Mountain, Lake, Wind, Thunder, Heaven, and Earth. This system of divination is more powerful and more influential than any other form of future prediction as it is considered in the East for its wisdom and not just its oracle characteristics.
I Ching Prediction Methods
The universe is constantly in change, and Yin and Yang must change to create balance. To understand the philosophy of I Ching, the understanding of the hexagram must be made during its cast. There are a few ways this is done. Traditionally 50 yarrow stalks were used, but in modern times dice, beads, and coins are used to cast the hexagram symbols.
I Ching And Coins
In the West, coins are most commonly used to cast the symbols with a variation of I Ching predictions due to the heads and tails of a coin. Heads represent the number three while tails have a value of 2, so during each cast, the totals will always be either 6, 7, 8 or 9. These totals represent the type of line which can be a Young Yang, Young Yin, Old Yang, and Old Yin.
The three coins are flipped for a total of 6 times to gain the six lines. And from these six coin tosses, a hexagram will be calculated according to its number. If the hexagram contains any Old lines, a second hexagram can be read based on these moving lines.
It is important to understand that each symbol is neutral and has neither a good or bad meaning. Instead, the possibilities of events can be either favorable or unfavorable. Each 64 hexagram has a different meaning and sometimes can be difficult to read or to understand the divination.
I Ching Oracle
The powers of I Ching are known to many. It is the powerful Chinese oracle that has all the answers. The I Ching otherwise known as the Classic of Changes and Book of changes is unambiguously one of the oldest Chinese texts.
It helps people with personal questions which in turn give them insights into future events. This gives them a chance to do the needful to dodge the wrong things and enhance the right activities in their favor.
I Ching Oracle reading for the coming years subscribes to the idea of change. It also explains the concept of the relationship between the opposites. The relationship between what appears opposite is described by the conservative Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang are complementary forces that act as one.
In this combination, the importance of the whole system is stated as more important than the individuals forming the system. A broken line is representative of Yin and an unbroken line representative of Yang. Almost all mechanisms, living or nonliving can be represented by this concept of Yin and Yang.
Online IChing Reading
The Iching Oracle available here allows the user to ask any question and get to know the answer. The question could tell him or her about something that happened in the past or something that might happen in the future.
Using the tool is free and straightforward. First of all the user has to enter his or her name and the question that the said person intends to ask. After that, the person is asked to select an option that would toss the coin, virtually. The coin needs to be tossed six times.
Once this is done, the tool comes up with a detailed report. This report contains a judgment caption, a judgment text, and an image text. From all, this one could construe the answer of the asked question.
The system of I Ching is regarded as highly trustworthy and has gained popularity over time. This is because the predictions it makes have been known to be true. The system on which I Ching works is similar to some of the other ancient methods of divination.
Some of these methods are the Ifa system of Africa or the western geomancy. The use of I Ching is most popular in the western countries and modern East Asia. It is believed that the author of the traditional principles of I Ching is Fu-xi.
Thus undoubtedly because of its old history and trust, it has inculcated over the time it is regarded as one of the essential means of prophecy.
Summary Of The 64 Hexagrams
K’un is the Chinese name of the I Ching Hexagram 2. Hexagram 1 has straight yang lines that show movement into the pure yin lines of Hexagram 2. The Receptive is as powerful as the Force but carries a higher warning.
Meng is the Chinese name of the I Ching Hexagram 4. This Hexagram plays off of the Hexagram 3 or ‘difficult in the beginning.’ It shows that there is still much to discover and learn. It is much like a young person who needs to continue studying to progress into adulthood.
Hsu, the Hexagram 5 is a warning but also a promise of the benefits of waiting.
Shih is the Chinese name of the I Ching Hexagram 7. It symbolizes the need for high integrity within society.
Pi the Hexagram 8 represents the potential to bring together an alliance for one cause or meaning.
Lu or IChing Hexagram 10 symbolizes emotional readiness on how to conduct ourselves in certain situations.
T’ai is the Hexagram 11 that symbolizes a time of peace and success.
P’i is the Chinese name of the I Ching Hexagram 12. Life itself might have stopped, and the feeling of frailty might have filled our inner feelings. But Hexagram 12 shows us how to look at the people around us to move on from this still phase.
T’ung Jen or Hexagram 13 symbolizes the necessity to bring people together to achieve success.
Ch’ien or Hexagram 15 is a reminder that having too much pride can be counterproductive to success.
Yu or Hexagram 16 is the inspiration to celebrate to help others feel more energized.
Ku, Hexagram 18 symbolizes a time when progress has come to a halt because previous situations and problems have not been adequately dealt with.
Lin or IChing Hexagram 19 symbolizes a time when a great opportunity is at hand.
Kuan or Hexagram 20 symbolizes the need to move away from the constant and reconnect with society.
Pi or Hexagram 22 symbolizes beauty, but more importantly and particularly, inner beauty.
Po or Hexagram 23 shows the necessity for abandoning a situation to progress.
Fu or Hexagram 24 represents the natural progression of improvements over time.
Wu Wang or I Ching Hexagram 25 represents the need to be to be aware and focused on each moment in life.
Ta Ch’u or Hexagram 26 teaches to gather together all types of resources to succeed.
Ta Kuo Hexagram 28 is a clear warning. It shows the caster that a current situation has gone beyond a person’s control and damage has already been done.
Li or I Ching Hexagram 30 speaks on maintaining a level of enthusiasm to continuously succeed.
Heng or Hexagram 32 symbolizes the constant change in life and how being adaptive to constant change is the only way to ensure progression.
Tun or Hexagram 33 symbolizes the need to temporarily step back from a situation to rethink the conflict.
Ta Chuang or Hexagram 34 calls for a time to take hold of a situation to see it through to the end.
Chin or Hexagram 35 describes constant progress through both peaceful and trying times.
Ming I or Hexagram 36 is a clear warning to keep your head down and your inner feelings concealed.
K’uei or I-Ching Hexagram 38 resembles the lack of communication due to a conflict or problems.
Chien or Hexagram 39 shows how to deal with a temporary setback.
Hsieh or Hexagram 40 represents the passing of a difficult time that has left an individual with feelings of bitterness and blame.
I or Hexagram 42 represents a time to use wealth and resources wisely to help bring about a greater good.
Kuai or Hexagram 43 shows that opportunities are possible through the weakness in others.
Kou or Hexagram 44 shows how easy it can be to fall in line with the wrong type of people.
Ts’ui or Hexagram 45 represents the importance of any group to work together with a common goal in mind.
Sheng or Hexagram 46 represents a time of growth that must be met with patience.
K’un or Chinese Hexagram 47 represents a phase of life when a flow of difficulties have been passing through.
Ching or Hexagram 48 symbolizes the need to nourish and strengthen the soul continually as the flow of time is always moving and continuing.
Ting or Hexagram 50 represents the need to find harmony and nourish those things that bring balance into the world.
Chen or Hexagram 51 represents a phase in life when fear will strike to stir up the progression of life.
Chien or Hexagram 53 represents the need to be patient during a time of slow and steady progression.
Kuei Mei or Hexagram 54 can be the most difficult to understand. It represents a time when a previous hexagram has been ignored.
Feng or Hexagram 55 represents a time of great success that should not be taken lightly.
Sun or Hexagram 57 represents the need to be persistent in any progress but to be gentle instead of forceful.
Tui or Hexagram 58 symbolizes a time of great success that will bring much joy to life.
Huan or Chinese Hexagram 59 gives wisdom on how to progress by tearing down anything that might be blocking your way.
Hsaio Kup or Hexagram 62 shows the importance of taking one step at a time to gain success.
Chi Chi or Hexagram 63 represents the closing of one life chapter that leads to the opening of a new one.
And Wei Chi or Hexagram 64 represents the time right before a goal is complete, and success is obtained.
Many of the hexagrams are similar, but they all give enlightenment on proper ways to deal with each phase in life. Taking to heart the common elements of each hexagram and the wisdom they share will help bring harmony and success in your life.
Similar to Tarot cards, each symbol when cast must be understood not only for its meaning but also how it applies to life. To cast an unfavorable symbol does not necessarily mean the death of a person but instead an ending to a process. To cast for a hexagram will not explain the future or give meaning to the past.
It will instead prepare the reader for possible changes and current processes that are at work in the person’s life. So when casting for divine wisdom in your life, remember to ponder deeply about the meaning of the cast hexagram and see how it applies to your life.
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