Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chinese Divination

The last few months I've been busy producing new websites, on the theme of ancient methods of divination. One of the oldest is the Chinese classic I Ching (The Book of Change), with its 64 hexagrams and their accompanying texts giving clues to the future. Try it out – you'll be surprised.

I found a splendid script on the Internet, so I could make an actual online version of the I Ching, where you can try it out without needing any additional equipment than your computer or your smartphone. Here it is:

There, you also find links to additional information about the I Ching – its background, hexagrams and trigrams, basic principles, and so on.

I Ching is a Chinese classic (also spelled Yi jing) dating back to at least 1,000 BC. It consists of 64 chapters, each devoted to one of the 64 hexagrams. These are made up of six lines that are either solid or split in two, symbolizing yin and yang, the ancient polarities of Chinese cosmology, well-known worldwide through the circular image enclosed here.

Each hexagram represents a concept that becomes the answer to the question asked in divination. There's an explanatory text to each. Also, additional statements are made when one of the lines is marked. It may sound complicated, but it's quite easy once you try it.

What's particular about the I Ching is that its divination is done by words: the name of the hexagram as well as the words of the accompanying text. We are creatures of words, so they tend to tell us a lot. Already the name of the hexagram usually gives an enlightening clue to the question at hand. And more often than not, the text is so accurate to the situation it's eerie.

I urge you to try it out. You'll not be disappointed. At the very least, it gives you a chance to contemplate your question in a new light. And please come back to this blog if you feel like commenting the experience.

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