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from Clarity Covering everything you need to know to start divining with the I Ching
Please send any questions or comments about this course to: Hilary Barrett Hilary@onlineClarity.co.uk (0)1993 881984
Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004
Table of Contents
Introductory I Ching Course _____________________________________ 1
Table of Contents _________________________________________________ 2
Part 1: Where does it come from, and what is it for? _______________________________ 3 So what is it used for?_______________________________________________________ 3 Part 2: How to identify a good I Ching translation__________________________________ 5 Part 3: Reviews of some of the best I Ching books _________________________________ 7 Stephen Karcher, how to use the I Ching _______________________________________ 7 Alfred Huang’s ‘Complete I Ching’ ____________________________________________ 8 Part 4: The working parts _____________________________________________________ 10 Part 5: Finding the real question _______________________________________________ 13 Are there any wrong questions?______________________________________________ 14 Part 6: How to consult _______________________________________________________ 16 Part 7: A sample reading _____________________________________________________ 19 “What’s the potential in this relationship?”____________________________________ 19 To sum up: _______________________________________________________________ 20 Part 8: What now? ___________________________________________________________ 22 Become a friend __________________________________________________________ 22 Get some different translations______________________________________________ 22
Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004
Early Chinese diviners asked whether they should invade a certain state. it is impossible to say. they are thought to come from a spoken tradition of shamanism that is immeasurably older: how old. and philosophical. in the 21st century. However. people have most often asked it specific questions about projects in their lives. in about 1000BC. you might ask ‘what if I take this job?’ and ‘what if I don’t?’. business people ask about advertising campaigns. spiritual. However. and recommend some of the best available.Part 1: Where does it come from. The oldest parts of the I Ching oracle were first written down some 3. I think you’ll find that its timeless voice speaks directly to modern concerns. without any particular question in mind. I often do dream interpretation readings for clients. Since then. The ancient diviners would ask two questions – ‘If the king sets forth?’ ‘If the king does not set forth?’. The very oldest texts within it are known as the Zhouyi – the Changes of Zhou. The Marquis of Wei. So what is it used for? You can consult the I Ching as a meditation. The modern world is finding new meanings within the oracle: it’s answering questions about everything from stock market investment to the latest New Age gurus. generations of people who studied the oracle and consulted it for guidance in their own lives have added their own commentaries to it – practical. in your outer and inner experience alike. Some of their words have been enshrined as part of the I Ching in use today. with new ‘branches’ of theory and experience growing and flourishing over the millennia. in 478BC. and of understanding and moving with the changes around you. The I Ching offers ways of changing your own life. and what is it for? The I Ching is an ancient Chinese oracle: its name means Book of Changes. But it isn’t called the Book of Change for nothing. Change is the only constant. and new I Ching books are proliferating! (In the next part of the course. This has been in continuous use since the kings of the Zhou dynasty used it to plan their campaign to overthrow the corrupt Shang rulers. was following an age-old tradition when he asked the oracle to help him understand a dream. But what is truly remarkable about the I Ching is that it has developed organically from these ancient roots. I’ll cover how to recognise a good I Ching book.) As you develop your own relationship with the oracle. And then as 3 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 .000 years ago in ancient China.
just a way to predict a future that’s set in stone.000 years!) Probably these examples have already started you thinking about what you can achieve with the I Ching.” The I Ching brings both the wisdom to know the difference and the insight and confidence to make one. and never has been. 4 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 . authentic translation. (True. The important thing is that it isn’t. it’s more likely to be about the emotional consequences of moving in together than the political repercussions of an arranged marriage – but things do change a little over 3. (This could be because there’s no such thing…) Do you know the Serenity Prayer of Reinhold Niebuhr? “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. In the next lesson I’ll show you how to discriminate between the good translations and the all-too-common wastes of paper. But if you don’t get hold of a true.now. people have always asked the I Ching about their relationships. and give you some links where you can find free texts and information on the I Ching. all this potential remains beyond your reach. and the wisdom to know the difference. the courage to change the things I can.
There are many authors out there. no doubt. you will find that this one is new. the tiger in Hexagram 10. though. you create a unique relationship between your question and its answer. and a unique set of meanings. later commentary. Beware of the words ‘modernisation’ and ‘simplification’. this creative interaction never takes place. The most important part is the ancient Zhouyi.) To be honest. Instead of translating it. What kind of communication would you have? You’d manage to share some information.Part 2: How to identify a good I Ching translation If you want to use the I Ching for yourself. It’s as if I told you there was someone I’d like you to meet – but instead of bringing you and him together to talk. But if you’re stuck with someone else’s ‘one size fits all’ interpretation. you will need to start with a copy of it. Even when you’ve already received exactly the ‘same’ answer several times in response to other questions. Look for the original images: the Well at Hexagram 48. judgements and line texts. Another factor is how much of the I Ching you are getting. Every time you ask the I Ching a question. The basic requirement for a I Ching translation is that it should be a translation. but it would all be rather flavourless… Seriously. part of the 10 Wings. you can perform perfectly good divinations without the more metaphysical of 5 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 . the rivers to cross and directions to move in. some of whom know the I Ching well. they write out their own explanations and paraphrases. no? But in fact the shelves in the ‘New Age’ section of the world’s bookshops are groaning with ‘I Ching’ books that have very little to do with the I Ching. There will also be comments from the author on the original texts. some who don’t. (There’s a full account of the Wings and how to use them in divination in the reference manual of the complete I Ching Course. how can the I Ching speak to you if its words are taken away? A single image contains a great concentration of significance. I kept you in different rooms and ran in-between passing on summaries of what he said (or what I’d understood of what he said!). which consists just of the name of the hexagrams. but make sure you can see clearly which is which. Sounds obvious. who feel that the original imagery of the I Ching is simply too remote from modern perceptions. But the I Ching as a whole contains a wealth of additional. and can be understood on many levels at once – there are always new depths of meaning to be uncovered.
I mention which ones include the complete I Ching. especially if they are replaced by insightful interpretations from the modern author. but in the nature of the internet. personal understanding. with in-depth reviews and extracts to enable you to choose the translation that suits you best. especially in the oldest parts of the text. The same character can be a verb. This is because the Chinese characters do not work in the same way as English words. so you can begin to develop your own. and the translator’s choice of where to insert a comma can change the meaning completely. In the recommended books below.but you can manage without!) To prove that I’m not just saying this to increase my book sales .onlineclarity. Even between faithful translations of the I Ching. including complete translations. It liberates you from the ideas of any translator. You can find an up-to-date listing here: http://www.onlineClarity. (Ideally. Having a second translation does more than just give you alternative versions to choose between. noun or adverb.co. a concordance and a Chinese dictionary .html In the next part: some of the best I Ching books you can get. you would have a large collection of individual translations.co. there are enormous differences in meaning.pdf There are also plenty of online resources. But it is good to have the option of reading the complete book. it could be the object or subject of a verb.) … … you can get Book I of Wilhelm’s I Ching for free from onlineClarity: http://www. commentaries and more. 6 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 .uk/I_Ching_resources/Wilhelm_translation. I have one further recommendation for you: buy more than one if you possibly can.uk/I_Ching_resources/directory. There’s practically no punctuation. these things come and go.these commentaries.
so it’s quick and easy to find what you’re looking for. and a lucid and beautiful translation built exclusively from the original Chinese characters. Stephen Karcher. And each includes… Name (the title of the hexagram. flowing English is tricky: all translators have to add the odd word and bit of punctuation to make something intelligible.it doesn’t have the moralising tone you find in some older translations. how to use the I Ching On either side of me as I work at my desk are two large piles of I Ching books. it’s usually because it’s open in front of me! It is not a ‘traditional’ I Ching . but they are the best I know of when you’re starting out. But Karcher gets away with very few additions. and its associations) Image (the oracle) Outer and inner worlds Hidden possibility (the nuclear hexagram.which is what he is about to give you! There’s a brief history of the I Ching. and a truly comprehensive 7 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 . Turning the original Chinese into ordinary. the core of the situation) Sequence (where you’ve come from) Definition (sums up where you are) Symbol (how to work with the energies of the situation) The moving lines Lucid commentaries from Karcher on the hexagram as a whole and on each line As for that introduction I was singing the praises of… There is an account of what happens when you divine that is full of food for thought.Part 3: Reviews of some of the best I Ching books Here are reviews of my favourite I Ching books. If this one isn’t on the top of a pile. Each hexagram is set out across a double page. They’re not the only ones you can work with. What it does have is probably the best introduction of any I Ching book anywhere. Then Karcher explains all the key words and concepts within the I Ching that you really need to understand in order to divine with the real I Ching . and since they are all in italics you are not limited to his understanding.
but contains far more depth than any other ‘beginner’s’ I Ching. but he can still relate them sensitively to modern concerns. All that . even though they both consistently use one word per hexagram.to get another perspective. To give you an idea of how different these two translations can be. which seek to explain their meanings in terms of the way they relate to one another. It is a perfect place for the beginner to start.and a great wealth of traditional I Ching interpretation is to be found in Alfred Huang’s ‘Complete I Ching’ Sure enough. which includes many ways of consulting the oracle that you won’t find elsewhere. And finally. a mere 180 pages of slim paperback that includes all the parts of the I Ching you need for divination. poetic and uniquely easy to relate to. showing you how to put all this together. ‘How to Use the I Ching’ is on the top of one of those piles of books and ‘the Complete I Ching’ is on the top of the other one! It has another fascinating introduction. as I write this. I also very much value his personal comments on the changing lines.clear. yet still with a distinctive traditional Chinese flavour. If Karcher’s book is all that. display (it) in the king’s chambers. that he shows with italics. There is a connection to the spirits. when I can’t take the 10 or 15 translations I’d like to have with me! It packs an amazing amount of information into a tiny space. 8 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 . Likewise Huang’s own commentaries on the hexagrams are the product of centuries of I Ching tradition. cry out (even if) there is adversity. His is not a traditional I Ching. I’ve put in (brackets)) ‘Deciding. And finally comes a sample reading.account of how to divine with it: this is where I learned a lot of the methods I now use with my customers. with every hexagram having ‘additional reference information’ at the end. The translation itself is in crisp. this book is very handy as a quick reference for patterns within the I Ching. challenging commentaries from Karcher himself. This is also the I Ching I would always take away on holiday. here is the Judgement to Hexagram 43 (Karcher’s extra words. why would you want another copy? Simple . and it doesn’t include the Confucian commentary on each hexagram and line (he doesn’t like the Confucian approach much…). plus insightful. I often turn to Huang for his translations of the commentaries . modern English.
and how it works.in the next part of the course you’ll get an understanding of what it’s made of.The information originates from the capital. There are many books of commentary on the I Ching out there to help you while you find your own ‘interpreters’ feet’. Declaring at the king’s court. Dening has actually used the I Ching in her own work as a therapist. Sincerely howling: There is adversity.free download or new book .in Clarity’s online I Ching bookstore. don’t worry. Notify one’s own city: Unfavourable to use arms. (It is) not advantageous to approach (with) arms. The best of these that I know of comes from Sarah Dening. and developed a wealth of experience and understanding as a result. This is definitely not a book to use as your only I Ching.’ If you find this more confusing than fascinating. simply because it isn’t one there’s no translation here.all those that I’ve bought. 9 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 .’ That was Karcher. Please feel free to drop in and browse! Wherever you choose to find your own I Ching . (It is) advantageous to have a direction to go. used and reviewed . There are many more I Ching books . Now Huang: ‘Eliminating. the ‘Everyday I Ching’. This is the book to go to when you’re finding it difficult to get into the imagery of the ancient original. they show you a creative way to understand the sometimes obscure imagery in the I Ching and translate it into modern understanding. What you do get are clear. Even if they don’t apply to your particular situation (and it’s so well written that they very often will). Favourable to have somewhere to go. intelligent and sensitive comments on every hexagram and line of the oracle.
yin receives and responds. But first I’d like to share a little more of the extraordinary architecture of the I Ching. These aren’t ‘forces’ as in ‘force of gravity’. however: they are more like ways of relating. Yang is dynamic. All you need to remember is that yang initiates and drives things.Part 4: The working parts Have you got your own I Ching yet? In Part 6. and you can’t have yin without yang or yang without yin. The I Ching’s 64 hexagrams are simply stacks of six lines. the whole universe is built up from two fundamental forces. The lines represent the way yin and yang are interacting and working 10 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 . and so the beings with yin qualities are constantly becoming more yang. If you’ve read any books on feng shui. while yang becomes more yin. and those who are ‘over-full’ are naturally diminished. You can see that this is true from the Chinese characters for yin and yang: yin shows the shaded side of a hill. you’ll learn an easy method of consulting it. it is bright and vivid. you may well have seen long tables comparing and contrasting yin and yang. What’s more. This is the basic Chinese understanding of every cycle of nature: the sun shines out (yang). the moon waxes (yang) and wanes (yin). which can be broken (yin) or solid (yang). (And it also gives Amazon time to deliver you your own copy!) In Chinese thought. The I Ching adds that those who are small and humble naturally grow. receiving the yang impulse and growing it into something real. yin and yang. flexible and responsive. and they only exist in relation to one another. But the I Ching is both older and simpler than these systems. yang show the sunny side. Please bear with me! This is the knowledge you need really to understand what is happening when you consult the I Ching: it’s what makes it a complete and beautiful world of divination. then sets (yin). Yin is more passive. it starts things and drives them forward. the summer changes to autumn and winter changes to spring. not just a random collection of obscure aphorisms. which have their roots in the basic insights it contains. everything is always moving and changing. the ideas and concepts that give you your reading. You can’t have half a hill.
it doesn’t stop there. which has just become yin and will be stable for a while Old yin. The yang energy of light and initiative is represented only in the first. The hexagram of your answer can contain any combination of these kinds of line. 11 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 . Usually there are one or two that are changing their state. the answer begins as just one of the 64 hexagrams. and all six lines will be changing! Associated with every line of the I Ching is a ‘line text’. and people who receive this hexagram are often feeling impatient. you read its text: an image telling you exactly where you stand (or might choose to stand) in relation to the landscape painted by the hexagram as a whole. The energy flows upwards through the lines. they offer no resistance. visible signs of the way everything is moving.together in this unique situation. the darkest moment of the year that is also the moment when light begins its return. or ‘moving’. If a line is changing. very occasionally. When you consult the I Ching. changing into yin. You can see how in time it will grow and surge up through the hexagram.broken yin. The dark. like turning on the light. Very. Even though there are just the two kinds of lines . You’ll remember that I said yin and yang were perpetually changing into one another? This understanding is also represented in the way the I Ching works. solid yang . capturing the essence of what is involved.there are really four distinct energies that can be present: Young yin. But the yin lines are open to welcome the returning yang. bottom line: it is just beginning to enter the situation. from the bottom line to the top: you can almost think of them as footprints. everything will be in flux. sometimes (in one reading in 4) none are. quiet yin still dominates the situation: this isn’t an instant return. which is just changing into yang Young yang. For example… X Hexagram 24 represents return and rebirth: any situation that is completely turned around and begins afresh. There is a tradition that this hexagram represents the winter solstice. But in most answers. newly yang and stable for now Old yang.
or in the introduction to How to Use the I Ching. All this from the unfolding of just two simple energies.Aside: One of the most common questions from I Ching beginners (and advanced users) is how to cope with the readings with many changing lines. In fact. Often it shows the energies that you are bringing to the situation. But as well as the line text(s). Do you begin to see the scope and subtlety of this? You can find out what the situation is and where you stand in it. the contrasts and opposites. As your relationship with it develops. For now. though. there is a lot more technical information you can use to explore the full depth of the I Ching. or how you personally are responding to it. you’ll probably want to look further into the hexagrams of sequence. solid becoming broken . yin and yang. called the Relating Hexagram. You can explore all these at onlineClarity. and also develop a greater understanding of yourself and your role. The next part of the course will look at some of the questions you might ask… 12 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 . This can show you how the situation could develop. See lesson 6 of the I Ching Correspondence Course for many strategies and worked examples. moving lines also give you a further perspective on your question. nuclear hexagram and patterns of change. so that the points in it represented by the moving lines change to connect it with you.a new hexagram is created. the most important thing is to start a conversation with the oracle. When all the moving lines have changed into their opposites . And I’ll be happy to help you to learn to get the most out of your own readings through the personal tuition option.broken becoming solid.
hopes and fears involved come to the surface. ask yourself this: ‘What do I most need to know about this?’ Basically there are three different questions you are likely to find yourself asking the I Ching: What is happening here? Please explain! What can I do to change this? Please show me how! What if I tried doing this? Please show me what this might lead to! 13 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 .Part 5: Finding the real question By now you have a strong. What has brought you to the oracle? What do you want to achieve? How do you expect this answer to help? What are you expecting to hear… dreading hearing… hoping to hear? Odd but true: to bring a real question to the oracle. The I Ching is asking silently ‘How can I help? What do you need me to show you?’ You owe it to your Self to be fully present in your answer. you have to begin by asking yourself a series of searching questions! Think of it as the beginning of the conversation. you need to immerse yourself in it. solid understanding of what the I Ching is.the foundation for the whole experience . none of the above. This is the longest section so far . and the ideas behind it. The most important thing from the start . Before you phrase the question. If it doesn’t. Let all the issues. Hopefully you also have a I Ching of your own! But try to tear yourself away from it for long enough to read this. Often this process will lead you straight to the question you want to ask. the I Ching will encourage them to ‘retrace the oracle consultation to its source’. and I’ll show you how to make the most of your relationship with this extraordinary oracle.is the question you ask. where it comes from. the translation you buy. You can do this before you start. the method and ritual you observe? IMHO.for good reason! What is the first and most important thing in any act of divination? The oracle you use. Sometimes when people ask questions they haven’t clearly thought out.
now reduced to ‘Am I going to become a millionaire?’ Well. ‘what about option b?’ Back to our useless question. Often a single problem will lead you to ask all three kinds of question in turn. as your conversation with the I Ching develops your ideas. Unless the reading speaks to you quite clearly about something else.just that it is well equipped to say to you ‘actually. Likewise. for example. it must be about something else!’ Are there any wrong questions? There’s certainly nothing you can’t ask about. You just need to follow the tradition of the earliest diviners and ask two questions: ‘What if I tried option a?’. They need asking one at a time. I would definitely recommend that you assume that the oracle has answered your question straightforwardly. the question ‘Am I going to become a millionaire and am I going to marry the girl of my dreams?’ Not a good question . there are just two answers to that: ‘yes’. Before you cast your hexagram (more about how to do that in the next part of this course!). or for prediction.so long as you are clear in your own mind about what you are expecting from the answer. Why ‘almost’?? Because sometimes what we ask doesn’t reflect what is really bothering us. Otherwise there is always the temptation to say ‘no. like ‘should I do this or that?’. it’s a bit more complicated than that…’ . or ‘no’. in fact! Firstly.) The I Ching itself may choose to answer with a combination of description and advice according to what you most need at the time. or for advice. (Though people who try to use the oracle for immoral ends may well find that it doesn’t say what they’d like to hear!) But there are good and bad ways to phrase your question. does not work well. I find that such answers are rare indeed . you might be asking for a description. and none of them say ‘yes’ or ‘no’! That doesn’t mean you can’t get a straight answer from it . and 384 lines. Any of these is fine . there are two questions here.and it often will! 14 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 . that can’t be right. (If in doubt. the I Ching can find a way to answer my question directly and also to show me any misconceptions behind it.most often. asking the I Ching questions with alternatives in. But it will almost always give you a direct answer to your question. start by asking for a picture of the situation. Take. or what we really need to know in that moment. The I Ching has 64 hexagrams.In other words.at least three things wrong with it. write your question down.
try this as well . Actually there is a fourth: What do I need to know now? Nothing more than that: no subject. allowing you to interact with it in a completely different way.) One other point . But as a question for the I Ching. You might learn how she feels about it at the moment. you have free will. What happens depends in the first place on what you do. direct questions. meditative approach to the I Ching. will it make me a millionaire?’ (Hmmm. no preconceptions. what are you planning to do to become a millionaire?’ Seems sensible. Yet it’s amazing how many people encounter an oracle and seem to forget who is actually in control of their lives. you won’t get far. this really is a great improvement.And that leads us straight to the basic problem.other people have free will. If someone asked you this question. The I Ching might answer something like ‘Well. how would you answer them? Maybe ‘I don’t know. Whatever. In the next chapter: the simplest.simply opening yourself to whatever the universe has to tell you in this moment. There are more productive and more interesting questions to ask than just ‘What’s going to happen to me?’ Like ‘If I devote my whole life utterly to promoting my new musical toothpicks. if you do nothing about it. most popular way to consult the I Ching. When you’ve tried clear. This is a quiet. But if you were to try this…’ In other words. but she’s free to change her mind. I said that there were three basic questions you could ask. So there’s no definitive answer to ‘will my Aunt Aggie lend me the money?’ if Aggie hasn’t decided yet. too. 15 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 .
Each head counts three. Throw the three coins together. each tail counts two. how do you actually consult the oracle? This three-coin method is the most popular.the basic answer.7. and you can use it straight away.once you’ve chosen your question. did you get any changing lines? 16 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 .the primary hexagram. one tail: Three heads: Record the line you have received.8 or 9. working from the bottom up to the 6th and last line. You remember .the coins in your purse are fine. (And don’t worry about the numbers . the landscape where you find yourself. bottom line of your hexagram Repeat the same process five more times. Now.Part 6: How to consult This is where we get down to brass tacks . i. Write down all six lines. Add up the result . and you have the key to your answer . just remember this: Three tails: Two tails. though you can buy special Chinese coins if you wish.it will be 6.) Number 6 7 8 9 Line-type changing broken line unchanging solid line unchanging broken line changing solid line Yin/yang old yin young yang young yin old yang Written Or if you’d rather not have numbers to remember.e.they’re just a convenient way to get a reading. This is the first. You will need three identical coins with recognisably different faces . one head: Two heads.
actually consulting the I Ching is the only way you’ll learn to understand the answers. there are academics out there who imagine they can ‘know’ the I Ching just by reading about it… So . (Much more information on what to do with a single-hexagram answer in Lesson 7 of the full course. And then . if you can feel the first tremors of a great inner explosion of new ideas. This is where things stand and where they stay: read the basic texts and commentaries in your translation. 17 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 . then as well as reading the basic texts for the hexagram. Believe me.if you are enveloped by an extraordinary feeling of being understood and recognised. you also read the ones associated with the changing lines you received.let them change! Every old yin becomes young yang Every old yang becomes young yin The other lines stay the same. Could anyone get to know you just by browsing through your photo album? But odd though this seems. if deep knowledge you never imagined you had is stirring within you.If not. but none of the line texts. and it probably won’t be hard to think of a question! (But if you still can’t think of one. If you’ve got your I Ching (even just a free one you downloaded) why not consult it now? Ask yourself what you most need to know to make your life better. if you are smiling at the book or weeping over it… then you are one of the lucky and gifted few! Most people don’t achieve such a wonderful rapport with the I Ching on their first reading. the question you need to ask is simple: ‘What role is there for the I Ching in my life?’) Go on.with your reading done. this hexagram is your answer.) If you did receive changing lines. And you’ve built your relating hexagram. you’re probably experiencing one of two reactions: “Aha!” or “Eh??” If it’s “aha!” . I know I didn’t.
it hasn’t broken yet. but for now why not take the time to live with your own for a while? I’m not going to try to sell you my professional help with it until you’ve had the time to absorb it for yourself. And in a way.000 years. Read right through your whole answer Try reading what the I Ching said without paying much attention to the translator’s commentaries Look at the actions the I Ching describes. Does the I Ching mention any people? Armies.So if it’s “Eh??”. Don’t worry: given time and acceptance. kings. and there’s nothing wrong with you. and look for them in your life. Tomorrow I’ll show you a sample reading. understand there is nothing wrong with the I Ching. your intuition is still older. it will work for you. This is your answer. Enjoy them! Let it rest: why not get away from the computer screen and go outside for a while? Sleep on it. sages? Do you recognise them? Let your imagination play with the images. The I Ching’s been working for some 3. 18 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 . what next? First.
It’s sometimes a help actually to start with the relating hexagram. but suffering in the meantime. Brilliantly prosperous and smooth. Favorable to cross great rivers. with the first line changing. the Well. as Alfred Huang calls it in his Complete I Ching.’ She is on something more like a starvation diet: waiting for the climate in the relationship to change. 19 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 . She needs the emotional sustenance of a relationship like a parched field needed rain. So she asked the I Ching about the future potential of her relationship. Of course. ‘The superior person eats and drinks. Needing.Part 7: A sample reading While there’s really no substitute for experience in building your own relationship with the I Ching. So here it is: “What’s the potential in this relationship?” Her relationship was not in good health. and being steadfast in the relationship had not brought good fortune. giving a relating hexagram of 5. I think you’ll still find it helpful to look at a sample answer from someone else.’ Huang explains that this means both waiting for what you need. and they’d already split up several times in the past. Being steadfast and upright: good fortune. and also confronting danger. Perhaps there could be another way to be steadfast and upright? Maybe by taking the risk of crossing the river to something completely new? Overall.or. Being sincere and faithful. It answered with primary hexagram 48. the relating hexagram seems to be more about what she desperately needs than what she has right now. feasting with joy. But not all of the I Ching’s words here seem to apply . She is the one who is waiting and watching for what she needed. she doesn’t need violence and abuse any more than the fields needed storms and floods… ‘Needing. because it can show how you relate to the issues.things are not brilliant.she felt as if there must be something of value to be saved. Her partner was violent and abusive. Waiting . But she couldn’t bring herself to make a conclusive break .
drawing. What she needs is just not here. the questioner finally managed to break free. The site of a village may be moved.’ The well has to be the source of sustenance she is looking for. This reading is based on a sample question and answer in ‘The I Ching Made Easy’ by Amy and Rod Sorrell. (Note: all the readings I do for customers are completely confidential: I never quote them. no birds. Old well. (Actually. Neither loses nor gains. drawing. Coming and going. evaluating the role of the relating hexagram in your reading is probably the most difficult part: lesson 5 of the full I Ching Correspondence Course is devoted to this. but whatever was there stayed the same. maybe what you need or fear most. after this reading. surely she can find what she needs? The relationship certainly came and went. lifeless water.what is it really about? ‘Replenishing. she moved in and out.) 20 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 .’ She can almost smell the stagnant. The only problem came when she couldn’t quite get to the water… But to find out exactly where she stands. It’s not just that this is what she has experienced in the past . Looking back at her original question. Not the well. drawing water from its well to keep her alive. The primary hexagram should tell her more of the objective reality of the situation . she’d actually asked about the future potential of the relationship.she can expect more of the same.misfortune. not even anonymously. No drinking. Break one’s bucket . she needs to look at the moving line: ‘Mud in the well. And they report that. Nearly out of the well.) To sum up You might like to look at the relating hexagram first. Somewhere deep in this relationship. But remember it’s your response to the situation.What she really needs to know is whether the wait is worthwhile.
(And so I didn’t!) I hope you are enjoying your own conversation with the I Ching! I’ll step out now and leave you to get to know each other .The primary hexagram contains the beginnings of the objective answer to your situation.offer the most direct.or lines . established companies that already advertised in the magazines. the Marrying Maiden. This hexagram describes a young girl who arrives in a household as the second wife.and it’s a very emphatic one! For example. There's no point in her trying to take control or pursue her personal goals. Better not to get into such an unrewarding situation.I couldn’t compete with the huge.-) 21 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 . The I Ching came back with Hexagram 54. I once asked about advertising in magazines. personal response. Look to them for the definitive answer to your question. with no moving lines. No moving lines? Then your whole answer is right here in this hexagram . The moving line . so she’s stuck in a subordinate position. This was simple and to the point .
You know how to find the right questions to ask the I Ching . It could – but it’s your life to change.Part 8: What now? As you’ve worked your way through this course. I’ve found helping others through the I Ching to be fantastically rewarding. how and when you want. There is so much depth in this oracle that I don’t think one person could ever find it all. You know where it comes from and what it can be used for. you’ve built up an impressive knowledge of the I Ching. there is simply no substitute for experience. But you can magnify this growth enormously by sharing your insights. … There is nothing like it even in print’ Get some different translations Even with a dozen or so I Ching translations stacked on my desk (and a good few more on the bookshelf…). the technical jargon can’t faze you. People come from all over the globe. I would like to invite you to join the Friends of Clarity. and asking for help. in a community. and grow the seed you’ve planted here into a skill you can feel confident in? Become a friend If you are to become truly confident in your I Ching divination skills. your own understanding will grow.and you’ve talked with the oracle yourself. 22 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 . And you have the opportunity to help your friends and family to do the same. I hope you’re impressed with yourself! :-) Do you begin to see the potential of what you have begun here? You could use the I Ching to get to grips with the most important issues in your own life.according to Pocossin. I still find I gain new insights from every new translation or commentary I read. You know how the I Ching works. This is what makes Clarity . As you connect the hexagrams of the I Ching with real life. You can recognise a good translation when you see one. I wish I could explain how much! (I won’t succumb to hype and tell you that “this will change your life”. who share readings and advice at the I Ching Community.‘absolutely the most practical I Ching site on the Internet. and bring a wealth of experience in both the I Ching and other divination methods. one of the members there . to clarify your dreams and find practical ways to make them happen.) So how can you take this to the next level.
and it frees you to develop your own understanding.But reading more I Ching books is not just a matter of ‘collecting’ interpretations until you have one for every occasion! Seeing the wealth of interpretations that are possible lets you reach towards the unchanging core they share. I also review them in the I Ching Bookstore . As I add I Ching books to my own collection (and only then!).please feel free to visit and browse! 23 Introductory I Ching course © Hilary J Barrett 2004 .
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