How can you perform your own i ching reading

The I Ching is an ancient form of divination. With patience, a person can gain inner guidance by consulting the I Ching on their own.
There are many methods to choose from when searching for inner guidance. One of the most ancient and symbolic methods of guidance is that of the I Ching.

Historically, the I Ching originated in China nearly 3,000 years ago. It was originally known as the Chou I, which translates to be “Changes of Chou.” The Chou people used the Chou I as an oracle. Ancient texts reveal that the Chou people wrote down some of the ideas that the oracle provided. These ideas pertained mostly to cultural events and everyday life. The I Ching of modern times is thought to have originated in the 8th century BC.

The I Ching is a book of guidance and wisdom that the Chinese regard as sacred. To perform personal I Ching readings, it is highly important to understand the structure that the I Ching is based upon. The structure of the I Ching is that of a group of writings containing wisdom and guidance that have been placed into 64 sections of 6 lines described as hexagrams. The hexagrams are either broken lines or solid lines.

When the I Ching is asked a question, a hexagram forms the answer. The person asking the question constructs the hexagram one line at a time. Each line is based upon the outcome of tossing two or three coins. The I Ching texts are then consulted to find a source of guidance that corresponds to the results of the hexagram.

The first step in performing a personal I Ching reading is the formulation of a question for which the I Ching can provide guidance. The question should be clear and short. Vague questions get vague answers. The most effective questions center on a certain subject or concern. The phrases “What should…” and “What if…” should be avoided. Try questions that begin with “Why” and “How,” which can potentially lead to clearer answers. Once an efficient question has been formed, be sure to write it down. It is important to note that the I Ching only answers one question at a time.

After the question has been written down, and an I Ching book with hexagram translations has been obtained, it is time to begin the reading. The reading is performed by throwing the coins (preferably 3 coins rather than 2). Each coin that lands heads side up equals 3, and each coin that lands tails side up equals 2. Add the resulting numbers together. The outcome will be 6, 7, 8, or 9. Consult the I Ching to translate the meaning of the resulting number. This first number and its translation becomes the first line in the hexagram. This first line is the bottom of the hexagram, and each line to follow goes on top of that line, one by one as each line is cast. Write down the number and its translation from the I Ching.

Repeat the whole process using the exact same method five more times. (Remember that the hexagram goes line by line from the bottom (primary line) to the top. The primary line is the root or the base of the answer to the question being asked; all other lines are added points of wisdom generally pertaining to the question. Once the hexagram has been completed, consult the I Ching for the chart that corresponds with each line of the hexagram that has resulted from tossing the coins.

In terms of advice about the proper way to use the I Ching, it is important to regard such an ancient oracle with respect. Approach the reading with a pure heart. The I Ching gives advice and highlights tendencies of how a situation may turn out, not how it will or should turn out.

One of the specific purposes of the I Ching is to prepare the person asking the question for any and all eventualities. Ultimately, one of the goals of the I Ching is, through enlightenment, to inspire the best possible personal choices.

Posted by on Jun 15 2012. Filed under Society. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry


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