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Online Reference For Body, Mind & Spirit

Term: I Ching

DEFINITION:
An ancient Chinese book also known as the Book of Changes. It presents a philosophical and cosmological system based on the idea of relationships of opposites, commonly called Yin and Yang. These are represented by a single bar (yang, masculine, odd) or a divided bar (Yin, feminine, even). These are mixed in sets of three, known as trigrams, and two sets of trigrams, called hexagrams.

The order of the symbols was switched around 3,000 years ago, making understanding the I Ching as a philosophical text more difficult. Confucius wrote a series of commentaries on it called the Shi Yi. Today, most Westerners use the I Ching primarily as a divinatory tool. The selection of trigrams or hexagrams is accomplished through the casting of lots in the form of tossing coins and counting heads compared to tails, or through the use of tossing a bunch or sticks traditionally made of yarrow, and counting the number of sticks.
AUTHOR:  Donald Michael Kraig
Related Encyclopedia Articles
The I Ching
(Also Yi King) A Chinese divinatory system of 64 "hexagrams" that express the dynamic flow of energies into their physical manifestation. Like most divination, it is a manipulative system calling forth the practitioner’s psychic abilities. The 64 hexagrams are all the possible combinations of ...
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