Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How To Interpret an I Ching Casting: Part I

Once you have generated a hexagram with a casting (whether its by the yarrow stalk, three coins, my own 'four staves' or some other method) you must then interpret the casting.

The way to do this is first, look up the hexagram generated in the I Ching (most I Ching books have a master table that lets you easily look up the hexagram number based on its component Trigrams).

Once you have looked it up, read FIRST the general main description of the Hexagram.

Second, read any "changing lines" that were generated by your casting.  Read only those lines, do not read the oracles for the lines that were not changing lines.
In terms of interpretation, as a rule of thumb, if the changing line/lines seem to contradict the oracle in the main text use the oracle of the lines.  The lines deal with the specifics of your particular moment in the process of that hexagram, while the main text deals with the bigger "panoramic" view of the hexagram's theme.

You can also read, if you are using a translation that has them, the image description and Confucian commentaries for that hexagram.

Then, after that, take all the changing lines and change those lines into their opposite: so any broken changing lines become solid lines, and any changing solid lines become broken lines.  This generates a brand new hexagram, the "future hexagram".  Look it up, and read only the main text description.  This provides you with an oracle as to what the present situation is in the process of evolving into.

These are only very basic simple instructions.  Later on, I'll try to write more detailed instructions as to how to interpret a casting.

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