You’ve familiarised yourself with how the I Ching works; you’re conversant with primary and relating hexagrams, trigrams and changing lines. You’ve started a conversation with the oracle and begun interpreting your own readings.
So why does this module go all the way back to the beginning and start over with the question? Because I hope you want to develop an enduring, supportive, creative relationship with this extraordinary oracle – and for that, an understanding of the question is supremely important.
Five reasons why the question matters
1. It’s the key to understanding the reading
The question opens your conversation with the oracle; then when you’re ‘interpreting’, you’re simply understanding hexagrams and lines as an answer to your question. That’s what a reading is.
2. It clarifies your own intent
It’s not so much about choosing a question as finding the one you’re really asking. And just knowing the question you’re living with is a great gift in itself. It’s helpful in purely practical terms – helping you to see the next step – and also shapes your desires into a ‘container’ for conversation.
(If you’d like some more help finding your question – with no obligation to order anything – browse to the I Ching readings page. Even if I’m not available to talk now, you can still download a very helpful question-finding workbook, ‘Ways of Opening’.)
3. A confused question makes a confusing reading
…and a clear question is the first step to an answer you can relate to.
4. Your questions create your unique relationship with Yi…
No two people have quite the same relationship with Yi, and no two people ask quite the same questions. The questions you ask are an expression of your beliefs, character and choices.
5. ..and so asking a new question is a creative act
A new question can change your experience of readings – or change your experience altogether. Asking ‘How?’ when you normally ask ‘What will happen?’, or asking ‘Why?’ when you normally ask ‘How?’, or about spiritual practice when you normally ask about relationships, or about which phone to buy when you normally ask about spiritual practice… all these changes can enrich and expand.