How to Consult the I Ching Using Coins

By That's Beijing, December 4, 2016

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The I Ching has been called the "world's first self-help book." For the past two thousand years, it has assisted Chinese people in making sense of their lives.

Want to try it out for yourself? Find out how to consult the I Ching using three coins below with our handy guide.

(Looking for an app version? Read our review of the I Ching pocket app here).

1. Take three coins with clear ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ sides.

I Ching coin toss — — That's Shanghai, That's Beijing, That's Guangzhou, That's Shenzhen

2. Flip all three coins to determine the nature of your hexagram’s first line. 

It will be one of the following four: a yin, a yang, a changing yin or a changing yang.

I Ching coin toss — — That's Shanghai, That's Beijing, That's Guangzhou, That's Shenzhen

3. Record the patterns. 

Write down which line has emerged, beginning your hexagram from the bottom. You will need to flip the coins another five times to complete the process.

3 tails = changing yin
2 tails, 1 head = Yang
1 tails, 2 heads = Yin
3 tails = changing Yang

I Ching coin toss — — That's Shanghai, That's Beijing, That's Guangzhou, That's Shenzhen

4. Identify your hexagram.

Consult your copy of the I Ching to identify which of the 64 hexagrams has formed. Relevant guidance can be found within.

Note: The 64 hexagrams are made up only of yin and yang lines. If your hexagram contains ‘changing’ lines, then simply treat the lines as regular yin or yang lines, for now. Changing lines represent new possibilities and depth that are explained in more detail within the I Ching.

I Ching Hexagram

Below, an infographic on how to use the I Ching. Click to enlarge.


READ MORE: The Enduring Influence of the I Ching

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