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I Ching Foundations Class

…building confidence in your relationship with the I Ching

The 2023-2024 Class is full now

If you might be interested in attending next time, please add your email address to the notifications list –

This is a live online class on the foundations of confident Yijing (=I Ching) interpretation. It’s designed to clear away whatever obstacles stand between you and confidence in your own Yijing readings. If you…

  • have trouble applying the imagery to your own situation and question
  • worry that your biases may be distorting your interpretation
  • are baffled by apparent contradictions between different parts of a reading

…and find yourself giving up on a reading when you wanted and needed its help, then this class is for you.

Essentials in brief:


  • October 2023 until February 2024 (allowing for breaks for festivities ad lib)


  • Online. Anywhere with an internet connection!


  • Yijing Foundations Course plus
  • weekly live video classes
  • private class forum
  • & oodles of support and feedback
  • for just 12 people

Taking Hilary’s class was a real joy. The Yi can be confusing, especially considering that throughout history it has been shown though a prism creating a spectrum of interpretation.

It’s easy to get lost in a reading but Hilary’s insight can clarify and reveal facets of new interpretation. I liked the interaction of the class and the brainstorming process.

For me I feel I needed the personal interaction with Hilary and the other classmates and I wasn’t disappointed.Tim Swezey

I’ll be guiding you through the syllabus of the complete Yijing Foundations Course. So this is like the course – with all the essentials for good readings and none of the optional extras – plus…

  • full ‘immersion’ in the processes of interpretation with oodles of opportunity to practise (both on the calls and inbetween)
  • my personal help and support all the way
  • the company of a group of fellow-students to learn with (and from!).

The class will be for just 12 people at most, as I’ve found that number works well – enough for a lively group, but few enough that we can get to know one another, with ample time for me to help everyone individually.

Here’s an excerpt from the very end of the final call of an earlier Foundations Class (which, yes, happened to fall on my birthday!):


How can you get to know the oracle?

The Yijing is an astonishingly beautiful work of art and a store of great wisdom, but more importantly, it’s a working oracle. This means that the only way to get to know it is through your own readings. (It’s not so different from getting to know another person: you need to talk with them.)

Sometimes this works beautifully… and sometimes it’s a bit like being parachuted into the middle of a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. There’s too much information: one massive blur of hexagrams, lines and strange imagery. Where are you meant to start? It seems you need to know everything before you can learn anything.

In fact, there are just two things you need: experience getting inside the imagery and recognising how it’s speaking to you, and a working knowledge of a reading’s structure. The Foundations Class walks you through these step by step: first the living experience of imagery, then the structure and syntax of a reading. From the start, you’re guided by what you recognise in your own readings, so you can hear what the oracle’s telling you and develop your natural fluency as a reader.

Class outline

Each week, you’ll go through the lesson materials in your own time (they’re available as video, audio and text) and apply what you’re learning to a reading of your own through an assignment/ experiment. Then at the end of each week, we have a live video meeting for extra practice and Q&A.

October 25th: Introductions and welcome
Getting used to the forums and video room, connecting with the other students, and ensuring there are no technology barriers in your way.
Nov 1st: Essentials to get started
Getting comfortable with the Yijing essentials: keeping a journal, casting a reading, getting a good translation (and working with multiple translations).
November 8th: Finding your question
– because your question is like the door you open to the reading. We’ll cover the process of finding a question, questions that create confusion, and ways to focus, expand or deepen your questioning.
November 15th: Trigrams & recognition
Trigrams – the simple, accessible building-blocks of the Yijing. We’ll practice recognising them in situations and in yourself – because that skill of recognition is the basis for every part of interpretation, including the full readings we’ll be working on later.
November 22nd: Connecting with a hexagram
… its words, its component trigrams, its imagery. Practising connecting, interpreting and working with imagery within a single hexagram, with tips for interpretation and dealing with doubts.
November 29th: Primary and relating hexagrams
– this relationship is the framework that sustains the whole reading, so it’s really worth exploring, studying and practising recognising how it works in (lots of) readings. Also, when you’re clear on how a relating hexagram works, that casts a lot of light on unchanging readings. We’ll look at those this week, too.

Then there’s an ‘integration and catch-up’ week, with a call dedicated to reading practice and Q&A. (Since this is Thanksgiving week in the US, we might just swap integration week with lesson week, or skip a week – we’ll take a vote.)

December 13th: Moving lines, line positions and trigrams
Learning to hear the distinctive voice of each line position, and understanding moving lines as a story or as ‘layers’ – and as part of trigrams.

We have another ‘integration week’ class the following week.

December 27th?: Moving lines and Steps of Change
The personal context to help you understand your moving lines; interpreting multiple moving lines; how lines work together.

Then another ‘integration week’. (This is another of those dates we might move/skip/swap, for obvious reasons.)

January 7th: A reading practice
Pulling everything together – opening, connecting with and integrating a reading, giving the Book of Change space to do its thing in your life…

After this we have one final call to wrap up. (Or a few more weeks to make up for any we’ve skipped.)

The lesson I loved the most was the one dedicated to multiple moving lines. Before the course, when I got more than one moving line, everything was a mess, I didn’t know where to start. Now however, I enjoy having moving lines, the more there are, the better I can see the situation.

Working with the Yi is a never-ending joy. To understand its signs one must first start learning. I have read several Yijing books and I have no found better explanations for divination with the Yi than in these lessons.Angel Herrero

How the Class works

Quick preview

Here’s a quick preview video…

Learn at your own pace from video, audio and pdf

The information for each module of the class will be available as video, audio and pdf. User-friendly video controls let you replay sections as often as you want, accelerate playback, or even run a full text search.

I’ve found this works much better than lecturing in a classroom setting, which is almost bound to be too slow or too fast. Instead, we’ll use the ‘classroom’ elements for practice and feedback.

Assignments, experiments and experience

Information without experience is just an unopened book. So there are quizzes along the way, and also a new assignment with each module, to apply what you’ve learned in practice.

Every assignment is based on your own divination experiences – building from single images and hexagrams at first through to many weeks of practice with full readings.

I am much more confident in my ability to get a more customized, personal answer to my question than if I just used the commentary. The assignments enabled me to understand how to pick apart a reading and “get” what I didn’t from the tutorial. I’d definitely recommend this class, because it’s power-packed with hands-on learning skills that takes all the confusion out of how to confidently get a personalized reading.Van (Class of 2019)

Upside-down learning in weekly video classes

In the old-fashioned classroom, the teacher would deliver a lecture and then leave you on your own to wrestle with the homework. Let’s turn that upside-down: first you absorb the lesson materials at your own pace, and then you can get all the help you need with applying and integrating what you’ve learned. This happens through both the weekly classes and also the private forum.

The live classes come at the end of each week, after you’ve had a chance to absorb the lesson materials and do the assignment. Because you get all the class information through downloads and videos, this frees up the calls for shared interpretation practice (lots of it), exploring and experiencing and playing with the module’s material (warning: some readings done on these calls may not be entirely serious), and – especially – getting your questions answered.

My favorite part of the course was the live class discussions. You kept us all focused on the material and the comments of the other students were insightful and deepened my understanding. All of the handouts were excellent. I would say I learned the most from the discussion of actual examples in the context of the person’s life story.

The course was really valuable and I certainly would recommend it highly to other students should you decide to give it again.Tony Louis

What if you miss a call?

A recording will be available shortly after each call. Also, you can ask questions and get feedback at any time through the private forum:

The private class forum: daily feedback and encouragement

This is a secure place to post your assignments for feedback (from me and the whole group), share your experiences and ask questions. Meeting like-minded people here and hearing their voices on the calls means you become part of a community of learning.

Being part of a like-minded group tends to make for fuller and more rapid learning than working on your own. Not only do you have the support of the whole group, you also learn from other people’s learning: their different perspectives, their insights, and the questions they ask that might not have occurred to you. It’s also very valuable to see the theory come to life through other people’s readings as well as your own: learning from experience is best, and learning from a whole variety of other people’s experience too is a potent accelerator.

Another comment from a former student:

Integration weeks

Here’s a comment from a student of one of my first live classes, back in 2008:

I really really loved the class and felt I learned SO much. It will take me a while to assimilate it all, but you’re both wonderful with the Yi and in teaching its use. I got exactly what I needed and wanted and more. Thanks so much!Dr Karen Shue

It’s a really lovely comment, but the part about ‘taking a while to assimilate it all’ was a warning sign: I was packing in the information without giving people enough time to use and integrate it. And since the first students to take the Foundations Class back in 2015 were very clear that they needed more time for the more in-depth modules towards the end of the class, we invented ‘integration weeks’.

These are weeks simply for breathing space, catching up if you need to, practising with more readings if you like, and generally taking the time to make the tools your own.

Change Circle membership

You’ll have full access to Change Circle for the duration of the Class. That includes…

  • the Reading Circle, Dreams & Yi and Yi Academy forums (though you’ll probably mostly be posting in the Class forum)
  • WikiWing, our user-created Yijing book
  • an extensive library of other Yijing courses and downloads

Optional bonus: extended class with integration months

Another thing I’ve learned from past classes: when we get to the end, there are always a lot of people who want to stay on! It’s partly about the bonds that form within the group, and partly about integration – wanting more time and support as you practise using what you’ve learned in your readings.

So… there’s an optional three month extension to this class, that includes

  • continuing access to the private class forum
  • monthly video ‘integrating calls’ for Q&A and shared reading practice
  • an individual reading walkthrough session with me, which you can book any time during the Class extension

Remember, everyone has lifetime access to the course materials; this is just about ‘extending’ the help and support that goes with them.

In a nutshell

The Class includes:

  • lifetime access to the complete Yijing Foundations Course (video, pdf and audio format)
  • 12 weeks’ tuition and support through both live video classes and a private, class-only forum
  • Change Circle membership for the duration of the Class

Since taking the course, I pay more attention to every word and spend much more time with the image. I pay attention to the voices of the lines. When I have time, I spend more time on the trigrams too. I think I am more confident commenting on other people’s readings. Usually I have found this hard to do.

I also feel more trust. I feel less likely to ignore the message, if I get the message in the first place that is. It may sound weird but I feel like my awareness has gone through a doorway and suddenly hears things unheard before, and I understand the language more.

No-questions-asked refund policy

I’ve read those ‘refunds only if you can prove you did the work‘ policies and frankly find them obnoxiously mistrustful and finicky. Instead,

if you want a refund any time in the first month of the course, just let me know and I’ll give you your money back.

That’s all – no questions, no fuss.

(I think you’ll know within a month whether you’re enjoying and benefitting from the course as much as you anticipated.)


Will the classes be recorded?
Yes, of course. I upload each recording to the Class hub page shortly after the call finishes, with a clickable table of contents so you can jump straight to any segment you want to revisit.
How do I participate in the video chat? I'm not very tech savvy.
Don’t worry! Video technology has got ridiculously easy to use nowadays: you just click a link and you’re there. You will need a camera and microphone – every smartphone already has these, and so do almost all computers.

Our first week is actually dedicated to getting used to the technology, including the video chat, so you won’t be left out in the cold.

I'm an I Ching beginner - will this be too advanced for me?
It depends what you mean by ‘beginner’! If you’re completely new to the I Ching, have never cast a reading and don’t have an I Ching book, then I would recommend you go through the free beginners’ course before joining. Once you’ve cast a reading or two of your own, you’re ready for the Foundations Class. Do watch the video of Catherine’s comments, below!
What time are the live classes in my timezone?
They’re at 7pm UK time, which is during the morning and early afternoon across the USA. You can check this against your own timezone at World Time Buddy.
I'll be away during the Class - is that a problem?
Not really – not unless you’ll be completely offline for several weeks. In a class of this length, life happens and people miss some of our live sessions. So because we know this is going to happen, the Class has a very elastic design, with…

  • ‘integration weeks’, also useful for catching up
  • class recordings for any meetings you miss
  • most importantly, the private Class forum, where you can always get feedback and answers.

(If you find yourself somewhere where the internet connection isn’t good enough to support video, you can always join a call with voice only.)

When will you run the Class again?
Maybe at a similar time next year, but I can’t promise.

I think your course is AWESOME! It contains all the brass tacks needed for better interaction with Yi.Kurt Ritchie

Comparing the Class and the Course

The Yijing Foundations Course is at the heart of the Class – that’s the syllabus we travel through together – but the class setting means you have further explanations, examples, step-by-step exercises and support at every step of the way. You get to learn from your own readings – and everyone else’s, too.

Apparently this makes the Class more beginner-friendly! Here’s a comment from Catherine, who completed the Foundations Class in 2020…





The 2023-2024 Class is full now

If you might be interested in attending next time, please add your email address to the notifications list –

I want to thank you again for an enlightening experience participating in your class. You are a wonderful guide–very patient, very intelligent, and very funny.B.Sullivan

Welcome in! Where to start?

If you have trouble finding what you need, please don't think, 'I'll try again when I have more time' - just email me!

Help with a reading?

Reading Circle is the private forum for Change Circle members. Or for complete privacy, book a one-to-one I Ching chat with Hilary here. (You can also find this booking link under Community when you're logged in.)

Meet your fellow-members?

Once a month we have a Well Gathering - a video chat to talk readings or hexagrams. (Here's the calendar, and here's the archive of recordings, so you know what to expect. I'll email you the details.) And in the meantime, do say hello in the Community. (No timezone problems or calendar clashes there!)

Insight into a specific hexagram or line?
More confidence interpreting your own readings?

Start with the Yijing Foundations course - that has all you need (and nothing you don't). The Reading Navigation course and Imagery Class recordings unpack some of the ideas with more examples, and you might also like the Language of Change glossary.

A headlong dive into pure Yeekery?

We have that here too... ;) . Try some of the other courses, and especially Exploring the Sequence, and please share your thoughts in Yi Academy!