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6 and 9, which is which? Heads = 2 or 3?

einhorn

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For coin tossing, every source I've seen has said that:

7 = Solid line unchanging
8 = Broken line unchanging

But they seem divided between 6 and 9. Some say 6 is solid changing, and some say 6 is broken changing.

I've also seen some sources say head = 2 and tails = 3, but some also say the opposite.

How does one know which to use??

This confusion comes from online sources as well as physical books.

I just did some coin tosses and recorded my results, but I'm not sure how to add them all up :duh:
 

einhorn

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For example, wiki says

* assign the value 3 to each "head" result, and 2 to each "tail" result
* total all the coin values
* the total will be six, seven, eight or nine
* determine the current line of the hexagram from this number: 6 = old yin, 7 = young yang, 8 = young yin, 9 = old yang.

While Yellowbridge says:

*
o The "head"side will be the Yin side and have a value of 2.
o The "tail" side will be the Yang side and have a value of 3.
* Write down the result. This is line 1 (the bottom-most) line of the hexagram.
* Repeat the coin toss 5 more times but each time write the result above the previous one. At the end you should have a column of 6 digits, each ranging in value from 6 to 9.

# Convert each digit to a hexagram line, as follows:

* A sum of 7 is a stationary Yang line, represented by the unbroken line.
* A sum of 8 is stationary Yin line, represented by the broken line.
* A sum of 6 is a moving Yang line, usually represented by the unbroken line with an X in the middle.
* A sum of 9 is a moving Yin line, usually represented by the broken line with a little circle in the middle.


Now, these differing values would be acceptable if they reversed the values for drawing the lines, because then the same coin toss would result in the same type of line even tho the point values assigned were different, but that's not the case. They both have 8 = unchanging broken line, yet by one definition that's going to come from Head Head Tail, and by the other set of rules that's going to come from Head Tail Tail.

It seems they've kept the 7 and 8 values the same, but the 6 and 9 values are opposite between these two explanations.

So now I am super confused about how to do this. Depending on which method you use, you will get a different hexagram and potentially a different/wrong answer.
 

willowfox

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Follow this and stick to it;

6 = yin changing 2+2+2

7 = yang 2+2+3

8 = yin 2+3+3

9 = yang changing 3+3+3
 

einhorn

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Ah! I still had it wrong.

Intuitively I thought this:

Head = yang = 3
Tail = yin = 2

So 6 = all heads = yin changing
7 = 2 yins, 1 yang = yin (but this is wrong cuz 7 = yang)
8 = 2 yangs, 1 yin = yang (but this is wrong cuz 8 = yin)
9 = 3 yangs = yang changing


Ok, so for the coin tosses that I did today with real coins, should I redraw the hexagrams using the values that I learned in this thread? I wrote down how many heads and tails I got for each throw. I think I was using head = 2 and tail = 3 cuz I read that on some website.

But how is 7 = yang? 7 = yin + yin + yang. That's more yin than yang, so shouldn't yin overpower the yang?

Hope that made sense.

Sorry for all the noob questions.

Thanks!
 

willowfox

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Nothing is wrong, but the above method is followed by quite many writers and scholars.
 

bradford

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Six is always Old Yin changing to Yang.
As to whether Heads is 2 or 3 - I did a study once of about 150 books in my collection
and the authors were equally divided on the issue. You can only make the choice that feels right to you and stick with it,
 

fkegan

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The ultimate basics and fundamentals of coin casting Yin and Yin values...

Hi Einhorn,

The confusion arises from the subjective elements in determining which is the important and thus Yang=3 side of a coin and which is the side of the coin that is just decorative background and thus the Yin=2 side.

Some folks say the heads side of a coin, with the noble visage of some great man is the important Yang side.

Others say, it is the side of the coin with the words struck into the metal denoting what is the Cash Value of this coin which is important and the guy who got honored with his mug struck into the metal is merely decorative.

Personally, I would suggest you look at the coins you are using and decide which to you is the important side and take that as Yang = 3. And what to you is just the decorative background side of the coin and take that as Yin=2.

Once you have the number values you do indeed just add them up. three things taken with values of 2 or 3 can only add to 4 results: 6 if all are 2's and thus they are a 2 value line but with so much 2-ness they can't be stable and would have to unstably move toward a 3 value line as resultant. Similarly 9 results from 3 coins all with the 3-value side and must have a similar unstable move toward the 2-value resultant.

In the Wilhelm paradigm I Ching text all the moving line text is keyed to 6 in this place or 9 in that place which will then dovetail with whatever system you use to cast the Yi or whatever decision you make as to which side of YOUR coins are Yang=3 and which is Yin=2.

Now, then, the other two possibilities show differences in the level of understanding of folks teaching other folks how to. I have seen various British 'experts' who applied British voting rules to casting I Ching Oracles and came to strange results that don't agree with the addition of 3 numbers.

If you add up 3 numbers, there can be no doubt, you can only get 3 numbers to add to an odd number if two of them are even and only one is odd (2+2+3= 7) or all three are odd (3+3+3=9). Similarly, two odd numbers must always add to an even number, so that three numbers add to an even number only if one is even (2+3+3=8) or if all three are even (2+2+2=6).

There are no other possibilities are known in mathematics from the work of Pythagoras to the best academic mathematicians of today.

Of course, once you determine your Yi Oracle the interpretation is not quite so clear or certain universally...

Frank
 

einhorn

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So you're saying it's my personal decision about which is Yang and which is Yin, but Yang always = 3 and Yin always = 2?

So from that point, the values on the faces of the coins will always be as such:

9 = Strong yang (changing to yin)
8 = yin
7 = yang
6 = Strong yin (changing to yang)

Right?

So when I decide ahead of time which side is Yang and which side in Yin, then the coins will fall as they should based on what I've decided?
 

einhorn

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I used Quarters. I think Head should be Yang. It's stronger. It has the face, "United States of America," and the value ("Quarter Dollar")

The tails side just has a pic of something and the date.
 

einhorn

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you know, that YellowBridge explanation I posted makes no sense.

Three Yang results (3+3+3) = a moving yin line? Shouldn't it be a changing YANG line (which would be yin in the second hexagram)?
 

fkegan

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you know, that YellowBridge explanation I posted makes no sense.

Three Yang results (3+3+3) = a moving yin line? Shouldn't it be a changing YANG line (which would be yin in the second hexagram)?
Hi Einhorn,
You raise 3 interesting questions. Yes, you correctly quote Yellowbridge on consulting the Oracle and it makes NO Sense. It has odd number 7 as static Yang, but odd number 9 made up of 3 yang coin-sides is moving Yin. And the even numbers the same.

This would make 3 yang coin-sides so totally Yang that it immediately flips to Yin and then moves back to Yang in the resultant. This would be the super energetic version of the Yi Oracle. If you accept it as valid it should work for you, but it doesn't have any simple logic to it.

That is why I outlined the coin choices in terms of odd and even numbers. When you asked earlier if the double yin coins in the 7 wouldn't overpower the one lone Yang, that is basically a voting or majority rules perspective. However, the sole Yang is clearly limited and unique and the two Yin tend to blend together being unlimited as the environment to the focus of the one Yang.

If you have a dozen white somethings and only one black thing would you say, oh. the white things are the majority so it must be a set of white things with an error of one black thing; or the black is unique and special and stands out so you have a black thing highlighted, like the marking of a Sharpie on a page while the bunch of white space all over a page tends to all blur together as just background space.

Now, I got one of my casting quarters and I found it to have George Washington, the mint date, 'In God We Trust' and the word 'Liberty' on one side while the other has USA spelled out, an eagle symbolism and "quarter dollar" on the other.

So I looked for a new State quarter they recently minted, and indeed, all the coin stuff was moved to join George on one side and the other side has the State symbolism (with its name and date of joining the Union) and mint date only.

Used to be for millennia, coins had the portrait on one side and the cash value on the other. I tend to keep older non-state coins for casting the Yi since you need 3 quarters from the same state to have them be identical. If I don't I get distracted by the various tail side differences.

But its all about your own conscious choice. If that seems peculiar to you that there isn't an objective right way to make your coin side Yang, let me tell you an anecdote from my own experience.

I knew a woman who cast the Yi Oracle differently from me--using tails as Yang; she also wrote her coin tosses differently from me--putting her first coin toss in the top position of the Oracle hexagram and the second under it until she got to the bottom line with her sixth toss. She also, in general interpreted the meaning of her Oracles differently than I would.

I listened to her, but I did not argue with her about her choices. She had cast the Oracle for years this way and she was quite happy with her results and kept a journal of her questions and answers and subsequent results that she studied over time.

Then, being an empirical kind of fellow, I thought, what would the Oracle result be if I were to record her coin tosses by my hexagram line values. So I wrote the opposite line values and line sequence from hers and interpreted the result my way. Her way worked for her in giving her satisfying counsel on her questions and I found my way worked for me, giving me counsel on her questions that fitted my perspective much better than hers. Different Oracles for different folk from the same coin tosses.

So, you choose your system and the Yi Oracle answers you as you need answers in your own perspective. This is what they call universality.

Frank
 

einhorn

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Thanks for typing that.

I think once I decide which side is Yang and which side in Yin, I will be good to go.

6 = moving yin --> yang on second hexagram
7 = yang
8 = yin
9 = moving yang --> yin on second hexagram

They should just make some coins that say "YANG" on one side and "YIN" on the other :D

Maybe one could use Othello (Reversi) pieces which are black on one side and white on the other :D
 

fkegan

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Thanks for typing that.

I think once I decide which side is Yang and which side in Yin, I will be good to go.

6 = moving yin --> yang on second hexagram
7 = yang
8 = yin
9 = moving yang --> yin on second hexagram

They should just make some coins that say "YANG" on one side and "YIN" on the other :D

Maybe one could use Othello (Reversi) pieces which are black on one side and white on the other :D

Yes, you are good to go to the next step, which is casting an Oracle, figuring out what hexagrams are involved and dealing with how you will interpret it.

There are lots of two tone disks to toss about. I seem to remember seeing some plastic tokens in black and white with Yang and Yin on each side. In this world today, it is a simple Google search and you can even get your own made up exactly how you wish.

Or you can use pennies which are still simple. It is only the project to give each state the entire back of a quarter to display their favorite things that made the quarter tough. The old quarters are just fine, George Washington's head on one side and USA quarter dollar on the other.

I must say, most folks don't have so much trouble picking what side of their coin is Yang, it isn't really tough, though as you state it is the only block to your actually casting the Yi Oracle. You might want to put some thought into why that is a sticking point for you.

Regards,
Frank
 

willowfox

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They should just make some coins that say "YANG" on one side and "YIN" on the other :D


They do make such coins, US games used to sell them at one time. I think they were 3 for $1.50.

On one side is yin/2 and on the other is yang/3
 

einhorn

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I must say, most folks don't have so much trouble picking what side of their coin is Yang, it isn't really tough, though as you state it is the only block to your actually casting the Yi Oracle. You might want to put some thought into why that is a sticking point for you.

Probably because I'm a perfectionist and I'm afraid of doing things incorrectly :D

I should also note that the quarters I was looking at on my previous post were those state quarters where the head side shows the dollar value and everything.

I looked at "regular" quarters this morning and they have the dollar value and most of the detail on the tails side.

So I guess for state quarters it would be heads = yang, but for the standard quarters it would be tails = yang.

:D
 

my_key

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Probably because I'm a perfectionist and I'm afraid of doing things incorrectly :D

Einhorn
Sieze the moment. Harness the quarters and become a perfect imperfectionist like the rest of us.:D

Mike
 

fkegan

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Probably because I'm a perfectionist and I'm afraid of doing things incorrectly :D

I should also note that the quarters I was looking at on my previous post were those state quarters where the head side shows the dollar value and everything.

I looked at "regular" quarters this morning and they have the dollar value and most of the detail on the tails side.

So I guess for state quarters it would be heads = yang, but for the standard quarters it would be tails = yang.

:D

Hi Einhorn,

It is your choice, which means there is no right or wrong. I use regular U.S. quarters with my personal standard: George's head is Yang, he is the father of our nation.

But if you want to be right with the stated cash value, then indeed tails would be Yang.
That's fine, but don't try to split the difference and make both sides Yang.

Wilhelm uses Chinese coins, with a hole in the middle and an inscription upon one side he notes: "The inscribed side counts as Yin, with a value of 2,"

In general, we folks are considered mortal humans and as such not perfect or capable of being successfully perfectionist. Fear of doing things incorrectly won't work either. To err is human, and one must accept being OK with just doing OK and not afraid of doing for fear of doing incorrectly.

The point of my anecdote was that the Yi Oracle speaks to each of us in our own way, not perfectly only to those not doing incorrectly.

I have found that the Oracle answers each person as they Need, not as they have completed any ritual or coin value formatting correctly.

There are only two questions you have to answer:

Which side of the coin do I take to be Yang?

What do I need to know about this question?

And then you do have to toss the three coins six times and the rest...

Good Luck!

Frank
 

Omnist

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My three cents worth: I use pennies because I share a birthday with Lincoln. I take the advice of the old Chinese coins having the "struck" side with the image of a ruler to mean that the "face" side is Earth and the opposite is therefore Heaven. I also assume human vanity should not be greater than the Heavens, so I assign the value of 2 to the face side and 3 to the opposite - or complement - as the greater. I give no meaning to money value, which is represented by the coin as a whole anyway. I do think the notion of image is important because the notion of Heaven transcends image. This is also consistent with what Evelyn Underhill says about coins in the book "Mysticism" in talking about mystic awareness being the noble metal which is the same in all coins, but the image is like the face of a particular faith belief.
 

sethian

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I have been researching this since I recently decided to get back into the I, after a hiatus of 36 years. I couldn't remember whether heads was yin or yang, plus I bought three I Ching divination coins, and wasn't sure which side of the Chinese coins was which. I had used the attribution to regular pennies on Legge's paperback mass market translation, but am planning to use Wilhelm/Baynes as the standard English translation, which I also find easier to understand. After some online research I figured out that the side of the Chinese coin with four characters is "heads," whereas the reverse, traditionally blank, but also sometimes with two cursive designs on it (as in my set). Although one website I went to said that "most" websites say that heads is yin and tails is yang, based on my research I would say that the opposite is the case. However, on pp. 723 and 724 of the Wilhelm/Baynes translation, there is a description (added by the editors, granted) that says that the inscribed side or "heads" is actually yin or earth, with a value of 2, and that the blank, reverse side is yang or heaven, with a value of 3. Yin is somatic, earthy, and is associated with the moon, whereas yang is psychic, heavenly, and associated with the sun. As to the totals of the lines, they can be 6, 7, 8, or 9. 7 and 9, being odd-numbered, correspond to yang, whereas 6 and 8, being even-numbered, are always yin, and 6 and 9, as in the translation, are always old or changing, so 7 and 8 are always young, or unchanging. The numbers are derived from the yarrow stalk oracle. I've decided to take that as my rule, since Wilhelm/Baynes is considered the definitive English authority.
 

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dfreed

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I couldn't remember whether heads was yin or yang, plus I bought three I Ching divination coins, and wasn't sure which side of the Chinese coins was which
I don't know about the Chinese coins, but for the U.S. pennies , nickels, etc. which I make use of, either side can be yin/yang, or 2/3 - you just choose and stick with that. I have been making the 'heads' side equal 3, and the 'tails' equal 2 for as long as I can remember - but there is no sense of right nor wrong with whatever you decided. (And if it were me, I'd apply this same idea to the Chinese coins - that either side can be 2/3, etc.)

If Wilhelm says something different - as to which side is which - you can go with that if you want. Just stick with one or the other for at least the entire reading. And:

6 = moving broken line
7 = stable solid line
8 = stable broken line
9 = moving solid line

I would assume that Hilary has something about this in the ‘Learning the I Ching' section of this website.
I hope that's of some use.

Best, D
 
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