Words of Change: I Ching Glossary

Words of Change is a quick-reference glossary for your I Ching readings, that you can download instantly to your own computer. It's designed to be used alongside an I Ching translation, making it quick and easy to look up the key words and phrases from a reading. It's not a dictionary, nor yet an in-depth cultural history (it's only some 30 pages long); it's specifically a guide and helper for divination.

So you'd open Words of Change to get an imaginative grasp of what a cart, or a king, or 'no regrets', could mean in the context of your question. The entries for each term are written with real readings in mind: understanding the words as if 'from the inside', seeing how clearly they apply to your situation, and putting the I Ching's advice to use.

To give you a better idea of the book, here's the complete list of words and phrases from the 'Table of Contents' (clicking opens a new window), and here's a sample entry. Not all of the entries fit into the exact same mould as this one, with headings for 'literal meaning', 'related English words and phrases', 'ideas for interpretation' and 'example applications'. But this is the basic approach throughout: it's always about how you can use this image or advice in a reading.

You might not be sure you recognise some of the phrases in the 'Table of Contents' - maybe the translation into English is different from what you're used to. So Words of Change has a clickable multi-translation index that includes Wilhelm/Baynes, Stephen Karcher (Total I Ching and How to Use the I Ching / I Ching Plain and Simple), the Ritsema/Sabbadini book, Jack Balkin, Alfred Huang, RJ Lynn and LiSe Heyboer's online translation.

You receive, say, hexagram 45, read the words 'it furthers one to undertake something' in your trusty Wilhelm/Baynes, and click 'Wilhelm/Baynes' in the 'Table of Contents'. You scroll down the list of entries and find:

"Undertake (something/ anything) 2.0, 3.0, 14.2, 22.0, 25.0, 25.2, 41.0, 41.6, 42.0, 43.0, 45.0
Undertakings, undertake something 11.1, 41.2, 54.0, 54.1"

There are two entries, because there are two different Chinese expressions Wilhelm/Baynes translate with the same English words. You click the first entry, that mentions 45.0, and are transported instantly to the entry for 'Having a direction to go', with its 'literal meaning', 'related English phrases', 'ideas for interpretation' and 'example applications'.

This clickable table of contents and index - no flipping through trying to keep your place with one finger in the index! - is made possible by the ebook format. Words of Change is a single pdf file, compatible with all computers, instantly accessible (no postal delays), searchable, copy-paste-able (eg into a readings journal), clickable (in a way that paper reference books sadly aren't), and also - in case you don't like reading on computer screens - freely printable.

Bonus! 2 weeks' free access to Change Circle

Change Circle is Clarity's private community, where I Ching enthusiasts share readings and pool their insight and experience. You can skim through all that's included here. Words of Change includes two weeks' free access to the complete Change Circle (regular price £40 per year), giving you ample time to explore the resources, get to know people, and decide whether you'd like to stay on. (Please note you will not be re-billed automatically after your two free weeks.)


Words of Change is covered by Clarity's Very Simple Guarantee.