I Ching Reading: A Step-by-Step Guide

yin (+) and yang (-) provide the basis for I Ching readings
yin (+) and yang (-) provide the basis for I Ching readings

The I Ching (or Yi Jing, with Mandarin pronunciation) is an ancient Chinese text meaning The Book of Changes. It dates back more than 3000 years, to the Zhou Dynasty in China (the book provided the inspiration for the Zhou dynasty to overthrow the Shang Dynasty in 1070 BC). The book is a foundation for both Confucianism and Taoism (despite how different these two philosophies are).

Call me what you want, but the I Ching divination has given me remarkably good advice over the years. I started in mid-2002 and do a reading for myself every month or so. A reading involves tossing 3 coins six times, and recording the number of heads and tails. The pattern gives you an answer to your question.

I've been maintaining my I Ching journal since 2002
I've been maintaining my I Ching journal since 2002

What do I need to start?

If you want to use the traditional (non-electronic) method, you'll need:

  • 3 coins, preferably those that have some meaning to you
  • paper and pen
  • a guidebook

I personally use 3 Dutch guilder coins, since my time in Netherlands has special significance to me, and with the advent of the euro, these coins are out of circulation. For my parents, I bought pennies off eBay minted on the years of their birth, of their immigration to the US, and of their marriage.

I keep the coins in a simple, small Chinese silk coin holder. As long as you don't accidentally use the coins to pay for something, you can store them however you like.

Another alternative, popular among I Ching purists, are Chinese coins. These are also available via eBay for about $5 a set (or less). You'll probably have extras to share with friends who are also interesting in trying out I Ching.

For a guidebook, I've used plenty, and strongly prefer The Everyday I Ching by Sarah Dening. It provides clear, easy-to-understand explanations of the readings in contemporary English.

(You can also do simple readings online nowadays. At the end of this Hub, I'll provide some links.)

Step 1: Ask your question

Ask an open-ended question (not a yes-or-no question), and if you want to reflect on it later, record it in your notebook.

The question should be something that you're currently preoccupied with, to make sure your "official question" and your "real question" (the one that you're thinking about) are one and the same. If you ask a question that's different from what you're really thinking about, the I Ching will often answer the question that's at top of mind, not the one you wrote in your notebook.

The timeframe should be over the next few weeks or months.

Sample questions:

  • What will my love life look like over the next few months?
  • What should I be doing in order to get my career on track?
  • How should I be balancing my work and family commitments with my need for fun and self-fulfillment?

Step 2: Toss the coins six times

Toss your coins, while thinking about your question, six times. Record the pattern of heads and tails according to the key below. The pattern of lines should go from bottom to top in your notebook. For example:

--------- X --------- = 6th/final toss; 3 tails

----------O--------- = 5th toss; 3 heads

--------- . --------- = 4th toss; 1 tail, 2 heads

--------- . --------- = 3rd toss; 1 tail, 2 heads

-------------------- = 2nd toss; 2 tails, 1 head

-------------------- = 1st toss; 2 tails, 1 head

This gives you a hexagram (6-lines).

You can also cut the hexagram in half to yield two trigrams (3-line patterns): an upper (4th through 6th toss) and lower (1st through 3rd toss).

Any changing signs?

If there are any changing signs, that means you have two readings. The first reading tells how things currently are, while the second reading tells you how they will be after the period of change/flux is over.

Let's say that all of your coin tosses yield Yin or Yang, except your fourth toss yields a "changing Yin". This means the first reading (before-change), this line is Yin, while in the second (after-change) reading, the line is Yang.

Step 3: Get numbered readings

First, see if your resulting hexagram has any changing signs--any 3 heads or 3 tails tosses. If it does, it means you have two readings - see the note to the right on how to interpret.

Interpretation: Break up your resulting hexagram into two trigrams -- your lower trigram (your first 3 tosses) and your upper trigram (your last 3 tosses). Then, find the number for the match in the grid below:

Step 4: Your hexagram's reading

Hexagram 1 Ch'ien - The Creative

Heaven over Heaven

Be true to yourself and the creative forces of the universe will be at your disposal. Trust that fate works in ways that are sometimes difficult to understand, but that you are learning lessons that will serve you well in life.

Hexagram 2 K'un - The Receptive

Earth over Earth

Try to remain open-minded and open to criticism and feedback; they will allow you to grow and become wise. This is your time to follow since there you do not have enough experience to lead or initiate change. Maintain and develop your inner strength for when you'll need it in the future.

Hexagram 3 Chun - Initial Difficulty

Water over Thunder

You're facing a period of potential growth and a fresh start, maybe with some initial difficulty. The new situation can develop in any direction. Accept any help that is offered to you and stick to your plan. Allow the situation to resolve itself.

Hexagram 4 Meng - Innocence/Inexperience

Mountain over Water

Beginner's luck will run out. Seek support and guidance from an experienced teacher and be prepared to learn from your mistakes. (This divination sometimes comes when you keep on asking the same question again and again)

Hexagram 5 Hsu - Waiting

Water over Heaven

Now is the time to wait and have faith in the natural order of things. Take stock of yourself and your situation, and work on any insecurities that cause internal imbalance.

Hexagram 6 Sung - Contention Conflict

Heaven over Water

By forcing your viewpoint instead of accepting what comes, you've brought on opposition. Let go of your fears, doubts and impatience, and communicate with others to develop an understanding that will resolve conflict. Accept and respect the advice of someone wiser than you are.

Hexagram 7 Shih - The Army

Earth over Water

Be steadfast in your purpose and resolve, and exemplary in your actions. Be an inspiration to others, and enjoy their support towards achieving a worthy goal.

Hexagram 8 Pi - Union Holding Together

Water over Earth

Examination of your own actions and words for their sincerity will lead to stronger bonds with others. Be steadfast in your principles; don't give in to temptations and difficulties. Be true and sincere, and you'll achieve a lot.

Hexagram 9 Hsiao Ch'u - Taming Force

Wind over Heaven

Forcing your way will only bring misfortune. Remain focused on your plan and surpass obstacles with gentleness and decorum. Stay focused on the long term. Plant the seeds for success now, and reap a bountiful harvest in the future. Cultivate tolerance, patience, detachment and adaptability. Understand that all you have the power to change is yourself.

Hexagram 10 Lu - Treading Carefully

Heaven over Lake

Be careful not to step on others' toes and offend. Do not be subservient to those above you nor domineering to those below you. This will give you the confidence you need to succeed.

Hexagram 11 T'ai - Tranquility/Peace

Earth over Heaven

Now is a time of growing potential. It is possible to grow to great heights but keep your inner balance that has brought you here. Do not become complacent now.

Hexagram 12 P'i - Stagnation/Standstill

Heaven over Earth

A difficult period is approaching. Your run of good fortune has begun to wane. Retreat into yourself and have faith that things will improve sooner if you stick to your plans and don't give up.

Hexagram 13 T'ung Jen - Companionship

Heaven over Fire

You will work together with others towards a common goal. Deal with reservations and dissent earlier, to head off problems down the road.

Hexagram 14 Ta Yu - Great Possession

Fire over Heaven

By being to yourself and honest, you will enter a period of great abundance. Now is an opportunity for you to shine, but don't forget to keep your humility and integrity. If you abuse your strength, you will lose it.

Hexagram 15 Ch'ien - Humility

Modesty Earth over Mountain

Try to stay modest. You can deal with any challenge if you remain modest and don't lose sight of what's right.

Hexagram 16: Yu - Happiness/Enthusiasm

Thunder over Earth

Now is a good time to begin a new undertaking, but make sure your inner foundation is strong. You have the momentum and energy to see plans through. Avoid egocentricity.

Hexagram 17 Sui - Following

Lake over Thunder

Accept the way things are and stay steady in response to events. Inner truth and acceptance will lead to contagious happiness.

Hexagram 18 Ku - Disruption/Work on Corruption

Mountain over Wind

There is disorder. There is an opportunity to fix the situation by righting wrong ideas and attitudes. You need strength of character and decisive action, but first figure out where the source of disorder is. When you've identified it, work quickly.

Hexagram 19 Lin - Approach

Earth over Lake

Good times are approaching. Your undertakings will meet with success. People above you will offer help and support. Don't lose sight of what brought you here.

Hexagram 20 Kuan - Observing/Contemplation

Wind over Earth

You are receptive to the wisdom of the universe; assess yourself and the situation and see things the way they are, instead of the way you want them to be. The creative power of the universe works in mysterious ways, influencing situations and people.

Hexagram 21 Shih Ho - Biting Through

Fire over Thunder

There is an obstacle here, possibly an incorrect attitude that needs to be dealt with. Try to see the problem clearly. Forcefulness will bring misfortune. Use your inner strength to withdraw.

Hexagram 22 Pi - Adornment/Grace

Mountain over Fire

A person who does not try too hard to be attractive, but cultivates devotion to the simplicity of the inner truth possesses a grace and beauty that is obvious to everyone.

Hexagram 23: Po - Stripping Away/Splitting apart

Mountain over Earth

Everything seems to be going wrong. Attempting to influence the situation will only prolong it. Withdraw now, wait patiently, and allow everything to settle.

Hexagram 24 Fu - Returning

Earth over Thunder

Now is a time of increasing fortune. Watch and wait as things progress on their own. Consolidate your strength and energy for the time of growth that is coming soon.

Hexagram 25 Wu Wang - Correctness/Innocence

Heaven over Thunder

Do not anticipate the future or hold on to the past at this point. Nip cynicism in the bud, so intuition can flow and so that you can be receptive to the advice of a wiser adult.

Hexagram 26 Ta Ch'u - Taming Force

Mountain over Heaven

Remain calm and detached in the face of hostile provocations from others who seek to undermine your resolve. Your character is being tested. Hold on to your inner truth. Use these difficulties as opportunities to understand the situation better. Some people may be afraid and jealous of your spiritual progress. Ignore them and stay focused.

Hexagram 27 I - Nourishment

Mountain over Thunder

By feeding the desires of the ego, we encourage the growth of inferior spiritual qualities such as envy, self-pity, and distrust. Through meditation we cultivate tranquility and receptiveness that allows wisdom to flow in.

Hexagram 28 Ta Kuo - Excess

Lake over Wind

You are under unbearable stress. It is likely you'll give in. You understandably want to escape the situation, but that will only delay the inevitable. Constantly running weakens your resolve and worsens your problems. A time to stand firm. You are ready. Rely on your inner truth and integrity and you will emerge stronger. This might require a sacrifice, but you will see the fruits of your efforts if you persevere.

Hexagram 29 K'an - The Deep/The Abyss

Water over Water

Be at peace with the forces of change in life instead of struggling against them. Open your heart and adopt a detached, receptive state that will allow the universe to work everything out.

Hexagram 30 Li - Fire/The Clinging

Fire over Fire

Sticking to the right principles will give you the strength to live a joyful and fulfilling life, able to face difficulties with equanimity and attain independence.

Hexagram 31 Hsein - Sensitivity/Influence

Lake over Mountain

Following the right plan will bring about a happy union that is mutually beneficial to both parties involved. Be open-minded and diplomatic to receive benefits from external influences. To have a beneficial influence on others you need to maintain inner independence and integrity, acting from a position of quiet inner truth and humility.

Hexagram 32 Heng - Persistence/Duration

Thunder over Wind

You're facing a time of endurance, which requires perseverance and stamina. Be calm and sincere and be careful to stay true to your path and you will succeed. Remain steadfast. Do not yearn or hope for better things, and do not give in to pessimism, but remain constant and unwavering. Do what needs to be done with calmness, detachment and integrity.

Hexagram 33 Tun - Withdrawal/Retreat

Heaven over Mountain

Accept the fact that you are faced with unfavorable odds. Withdraw in order to set a strategy in place for a more favorable time to move forward.

Hexagram 34 Ta Chuang - The Power of Greatness

Thunder over Heaven

You're gaining power and strength, but beware complacency. Maintain patience, humility, calmness and detachment. Wait for the appropriate time to act and stay balanced. Avoid misguided beliefs in your power to influence things to your own benefit as the resulting misfortune will be great.

Hexagram 35: Chin - Advancement/Progress

Fire over Earth

Great progress. Keep your actions pure and simple, or your judgment will become impaired. Work on progress for its own sake rather than in the pursuit of selfish goals.

Hexagram 36 Ming I - Darkening of the Light

Earth over Fire

When surrounded by difficult circumstances, keep your inner light burning to help guide you through difficulties. Giving in to weakness or feelings of despair when progress stalls dims the brightness within. Set aside distracting emotions, and continue to work hard at maintaining your inner truth. You will enjoy slow but steady progress, so have faith in the creative power of the universe.

Hexagram 37 Chia Jen - Family

Wind over Fire

Cultivate the acceptance, humility, modesty and gentleness to attract and develop healthy relationships.

Hexagram 38 K'uei - Opposition

Fire over Lake

Resisting the flow of creative energy compounds negative attitudes inside us, which in turn increases resistance in a vicious circle. Everything we experience gives us an opportunity to learn and grow, but we must be willing to scratch beneath the surface.

Hexagram 39 Chien - Halting/Obstruction

Water over Mountain

Take a break from the situation and examine yourself for attitudes that need correcting. Seek the advice of someone whose judgment you trust.

Hexagram 40 Hsieh - Liberation/Deliverance

Thunder over Water

When faced with obstacles, look within yourself and see if there any negative attitudes that are presenting difficulties. Correcting them will bring relief. The work you have done on yourself will bring release, presenting the way clear for steady progress. Now is a time to step forward with confidence and balance. Don't brood on what has gone; just forgive and forget the past. They were lessons you needed to reach this point.

Hexagram 41 Sun - Decrease

Mountain over Lake

A period is coming which requires a return to simplicity. Restrict the demands of the ego to strive for success and the achievement of your goals. Your power is limited but by retreating inward and exercising self-discipline it is possible to rely on inner strength to get through this lean period.

Hexagram 42 I - Increase

Wind over Thunder

Great progress can be made at this time. Beware of complacency and remember the source of your good fortune. Be generous and share with others in a humble and sincere way.

Hexagram 43 Kuai - Breakthrough

Lake over Heaven

Resist egotistical influences in order to make a breakthrough. By resisting emotional overreactions, it is possible to defuse the situation before it causes problems.

Hexagram 44 Kou - Meeting

Heaven over Wind

There is a warning here that ignoring problems or dealing with them in a half-hearted manner allows them to fester and multiply. Listen to your intuition and examine any suspicions you have closely.

Hexagram 45 Ts'ui - Gathering Together

Lake over Earth

When a group acts together in a spirit of peace and harmony, its strength is magnified making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. This needs a strong leader and a need to deal with the outside world in a calm manner.

Hexagram 46 Sheng - Ascending/Pushing upwards

Earth over Wind

Great progress can be made at this time by continuing along with the right set of plans. Ask help from those willing to give it. Nothing can stand in your way if you push steadily towards completion.

Hexagram 47 K'un - Repression/Oppression

Lake over Water

These are trying times with seemingly intractable problems and little progress. Face this time of adversity with calmness and equanimity. Take the time to self-assess.

Hexagram 48 Ching - The Well

Water over Wind

The I Ching as a wellspring of spiritual sustenance that is available to anyone who wishes to draw from it. But is also a reminder to treat that deep wisdom with respect and not to muddy its waters with frivolous queries or indifference.

Hexagram 49 Ko - Change/Revolution

Lake over Fire

Changes are underway. Analyze your motives and instill the necessary change of heart that will set things in motion. By acting selflessly, success is assured.

Hexagram 50 Ting - The Cauldron

Fire over Wind

Nourish what is good within yourself for the benefit of society at large.

Hexagram 51 Chen - Thunder/The arousing

Thunder over Thunder

Do not be shaken off course by externalities; if you are, take a long, hard look at yourself and correct any deficiencies you see. The truly powerful person is unmoved by such occurrences, being in complete harmony with the laws of the universe.

Hexagram 52 Ken - Mountain/Keeping still

Mountain over Mountain

What is needed is a calm observation. It is not possible to be still with strong emotions, so abandon them. Know when to lie still, and when to act.

Hexagram 53 Chien - Growth/Development

Wind over Mountain

Your goal may seem a long way off but with patience and diligence you will achieve it. Keep at it.

Hexagram 54 Kuei Mei - Marrying Maiden

Thunder over Lake

To act on desires is to fail to follow the right principles. There will always be desires and problems in relationships but by following proper conduct their effects will be minimal.

Hexagram 55 Feng - Abundance

Thunder over Fire

Live for the present, and make the most of this time of abundance and influence to achieve great gains.

Hexagram 56 Lu - Travel/The Wanderer

Fire over Mountain

The best way to proceed is to stay alert, cautious, reserved and respectful of others that you meet. Follow your instincts and avoid the cultivation of unnecessary emotional attachments.

Hexagram 57 Sun - Gentle

Wind over Wind

Gently overcome any impasses that are in your way. Be consistent and have well defined goals to focus on. This way changes will have a long-term and far-reaching effects.

Hexagram 58 Tui - The Joyous

Lake over Lake

To make life better we must have this or must do that, but the material gains do not bring lasting joy as there will always be something else to have or do. I Ching says that to be fulfilled we need to devote ourselves to the principles of humility, detachment, modesty and acceptance.

Hexagram 59 Huan - Dispersal

Wind over Water

Be like a warm spring wind which blows gently but with great persistence over the winter ice, gradually melting it and allowing the river to flow freely again.

Hexagram 60 Chieh - Restraint-Limitation

Water over Lake

If you know and respect your personal limits, you will have greater freedom of expression within them. It is wise to restrain the desires and fears that are the cause of troubled thinking.

Hexagram 61 Chung Fu - Inmost Sincerity/Inner Truth

Wind over Lake

It is not possible to reach any kind of understanding if we indulge in such feelings as pride, anger or self-pity. I Ching counsels us to leave emotional responses behind and to try to understand the truth of a situation.

Hexagram 62 Hsiao Kua - Great Smallness

Thunder over Mountain

When faced with difficult circumstances it is tempting to be aggressively, but acting this way will only make things worse. Better to follow a course of patient non-action, relying on the principles of humility, modesty and acceptance. Difficulties will eventually reappear; they are a part of the natural order of things.

Hexagram 63 Chi Chi - Completion

Water over Fire

Out of chaos comes order. This can quickly change. Avoid complacency, don't forget what got you this far. It is necessary to be on guard against falling into chaos again.

Hexagram 64 Wei Chi - Before Completion

Fire over Water

During times of renewal and transformation, there is intense pressure to succeed but, to get anywhere worthwhile, you need to proceed carefully, affirming devotion to higher principles.


Tom Higgins profile image

Tom Higgins 8 years ago

Oh my god this post is amazing! I never thought flipping of coins could be assoicated with I Ching :)

SunSeven profile image

SunSeven 8 years ago from Singapore / India

Great Hub livelonger. I ching always fascinated me. Learned quite a few things here.

Best Regards

Guru-C profile image

Guru-C 8 years ago

This Hub is amazing, Livelonger! Thank you so much for sharing this deep, ancient knowledge in a way that can help a person delve into the wisdom. Best Wishes, Cory

livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thank you everyone. I've actually been working on this hub for about a *year*. I would work on a section, then forget about it for 3-4 months, add another section, wait another 3 months, etc. Finally wrapped it up last night!

Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 8 years ago

WOW LiveLonger!! What a wonderful Hub!! Thank you soooooooooo much for working on it for so long!! We are all the beneficiaries!! Brilliant work!! Thank you so much!! Blessings to you and yours this Holiday Season!! Earth Angel!!

Larry R. Miller 8 years ago

Outstanding work. I've studied the I Ching for years and there are insights and information here that I never knew or understood. I can see why it took so long to put it all together. Thank you for your time and effort.

Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 8 years ago

Wow, how in-depth! Excellent! :))

(For some reason in my hubber fan club list, its saying this was published 13 *months* ago??)

livelonger profile image

livelonger 8 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks, EA, LM & IS. Isabella - I started it 13 months ago, but it hadn't been published until last night. Strange that it's showing up that way!

Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai

I was such a I-Ching freak ten years ago. I always travelled with three coins and I=Ching books, and used to cast teh coins at every doubt or choice! Now I'm not that neurotic, and only consult it on important issues, after I have exhausted my mental resources. I also have a feeling that it is putting me in touch with my inner mind.

Thank you for reviving my memories!

coolbreeze profile image

coolbreeze 8 years ago from Hawaii

Great article Chinese culture is interesting. I thought they started using stick or animal bones

for Ichinging

RFox profile image

RFox 8 years ago

I have used the I Ching on many occasions to help with questions in my life and I have to say it has been remarkable accurate. Great Hub!

sunstreeks profile image

sunstreeks 8 years ago from Western Washington

I was curious about how it worked. Thanks. I can print this out and give it a try.

great hub!!

Oscar 8 years ago

Hi, what a great article I love things like this which go beyond the everyday understanding of many mortals. I thoroughly believe we are all having a physical experience in this world but are actually spiritual beings and not the other way round. Finding one's inner self really does go a long way towards ensuring you get on the correct path and find the true meaning.



Jason Stanley profile image

Jason Stanley 8 years ago

It has been years since I did I Ching with coins - I forgot how relaxing / entertaining / insightful / frustrating it could be for me. Interestingly, I did not see hardly any I Ching in Vietnam, Cambodia or Thailand when recently there. I have to admit that I did not spend much time (other than cafes) in the china town sections of cities in these countries where it would most likely be found.

Great work on a complex issue.


reiki2 8 years ago

Fantastic hub about I Ching, lots of information

g courtney 8 years ago

to more about i ching

Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 7 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

Great Hub on I Ching. I have been wanting to know more about this. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Gennifer profile image

Gennifer 7 years ago from Minsk, Belarus

Nice hub! I like it.

jcwin228 profile image

jcwin228 7 years ago from Yonago, Japan

Great Hub. I have a big copy of the I Ching. I've read it som, but haven't really used it much. This has inspird me to do more. I'm really fascinated with chinese philosophy and culture

Wild cherry 7 years ago

Very interesting! I have used I ching several times but I haven't been able to understand much. Your interpretations make more sense.

scheng1 6 years ago

I-Ching is more of philosophical book. I benefitted a lot by reading the original text in Chinese.

noemi 6 years ago

oh my god...thanks a ton ..just explored a new field....thanks a ton

Steven 6 years ago

Best explanation I've seen for beginner, thanks.

willem kaijser 6 years ago

looking for 31 in the hexagram map is hard. there are however 2 21's.

menkius profile image

menkius 6 years ago

Fantastic hub, explained so clearly. :-)

wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

I have 3 shiny pennies that I keep when I need some insight into things. The I Ching as been a wonderful friend and teacher that I turn to when I find I need to balance my thoughts. Change is not easy but I have always seemed to be able to find my "way" when I toss those 3 shiny pennies . .great reference you have created here. . .

grandmotherloon 6 years ago

Ditto to all the great comments above! I found this information highly helpful and I am very grateful for the time and energy you've put into creating this hub. Thank you, livelonger

Yuri 6 years ago

Thx for the easy explanation..hartelijk bedankt ;)


gr82bme profile image

gr82bme 6 years ago from USA

Wow, this is soo cool.I will have to give it a try.I will rate up and follow. Thank you.

Zana 5 years ago

Thank you, I finally understand. Another site said to add up the numbers to find the hexagram. However, the hexagram I produced from 6 throws was visually different than the I Ching hexagram of that number.

Sierra 5 years ago

I am confused about the changing signs. I got a changing yang line at my 5th throw. What do I do now?

_ _


_ _


_ _

_ _

randslam profile image

randslam 5 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

That was fun! I'd written about the I Ching when doing a short story memoir about Philip K. Dick.

This is as much fun as any tarot or fortune teller reading. Thanks, livelonger.

kislany profile image

kislany 5 years ago from Cyprus

Wow that's quite an indepth hub on iching reading. Well done!

Hollie Thomas profile image

Hollie Thomas 5 years ago from United Kingdom

This is fascinating! I've bookmarked the hub so I can come back to it and make some notes. Thank you Livelonger.

livelonger profile image

livelonger 5 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thank you for your comment!

bheemsemali profile image

bheemsemali 4 years ago from New Delhi

I read this article after that my heart said to me you should be thankful to writer of this article.

livelonger profile image

livelonger 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

IULIA: Read the blue box above "Any changing signs?".

Newbie 4 years ago

I'm also confused about the changing signs.

What does it mean that part of the result is therefore yin and part of it yang? These terms don't appear anywhere else in the explanation.

If you eliminate the sign-changing toss from the diagram, leaving FIVE lines, how do you have a "first 3" plus a "last 3" equalling SIX lines to look up the meaning of? Do you toss again? And do you break those tosses up right down the middle no matter where the changing sign appears, or ignore some tosses or add some as needed?

And what if the sign-changer is in the first or last line?

Thanks!! :-)

livelonger profile image

livelonger 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Newbie: Please look at the graphic right above that (the coins with the yellow and white background).

3 tails is "changing Yin" which means it is the same as Yin (broken line) at first, and then changes to Yang (solid line).

3 heads is "changing Yang" which means it is the same as Yang (solid line) at first, and then changes to Yin (broken line).

You do not eliminate anything. The X in changing Yin just means it's broken at first, and then changes to solid.

Newbie 4 years ago

Thanks for the fast reply!! OK, so... for the purposes of analysis, does the sign-changing toss get counted as what it starts out as or what it ends up as? Do the 6 lines get broken into the first and 2nd sets of 3 no matter where the sign-changing toss is? How do you analyze a 3-line group when all the analyses are for 6-line groups? And what if you have multiple sign-changing tosses out of 6, which is what I got?

livelonger profile image

livelonger 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Newbie: Here is a pic of a drawing I made that hopefully explains it a bit better:

All six of your lines could potentially be changing; that's OK. If you have *any* at all, then you will have a "before" and "after" scenario with 2 readings. If all of your lines are stable (i.e. none that are changing) then you will have only one reading.

Changing Yins (like the 3rd and 6th lines in my drawing, remember, bottom to top) are broken (yin) in the "before" scenario, and solid (yang) in the "after" scenario. I think of that X binding the two segments together, creating a solid line.

Changing Yangs (like the 4th line in my drawing) start out solid (yang) but change to broken (yin). I think of that circle cutting a hole in the line, creating 2 segments out of the one unbroken line.

Truthinaging 4 years ago

I can't wait to try this! I have read abut Ching before. I flip coins all the time to make decisions!

JeremyB 4 years ago

Hex 5 should be Water over Heaven not Heaven over Water. I know it's such a minor triviality, but even so I thought you might want to know. Other than that I learned a lot from this post. I liked your suggestion of choosing 3 coins with personal meaning. I use 3 coins I earned in the army. My first ever throw I came up with hex 6 which made me a believer, so thanks for posting.

livelonger profile image

livelonger 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Jeremy: You are right! Thank you for the correction; I've amended the entry above.

louromano profile image

louromano 4 years ago

Great info. Nice hub !

ragy888 4 years ago

namaste,nice work. may masters bless u.

thanking u

with my gratitude and pryare


monkey0075 4 years ago

I-ching is a book pretending to to divine, this is the only way to let it survived from the acient kingdom's cencership.

On my opinion, I-ching is a book about the transformation of the energy more than diving . It can be use into geographic(Fengshui),body(traditional chinese medicine) and the hardcore of culture

mammage12 3 years ago

If this is an accurate guide, you have done a masterful job! I've been trying to learn, read and interpret for years, and your guide is a delightful end to a frustrating and disappointing search! AND, a new beginning for continuing study! Thank you!

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 12 months ago from Northeast Ohio

This is an extensive and excellent hub on I ching. Can you use any coins or does it have to be specific? Great work!

livelonger profile image

livelonger 12 months ago from San Francisco Author

Any coins that have distinct "heads"/"tails" will work just fine. Have fun!

Kristen Howe profile image

Kristen Howe 12 months ago from Northeast Ohio

Thanks for letting me know, Livelonger. I will for sure!

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