- One to get you started: I Ching: walking your path, creating your future
- A pair of opposites for a broader view: Total I Ching and The Laws of Change
- and two exceptional free translations
This is my own book, designed to work well as a beginner’s I Ching – to be approachable and understandable without fuss – but without ‘simplifying’ away the essential nature of the oracle itself. I included an unusually complete introduction to describe the whole process of divination, including tips for interpreting your reading (where most books stop with casting instructions).
In the translation, I’ve included…
Total I Ching
Stephen Karcher has several books in print, but this is the most recent full translation, and contains all the ‘meat’ of earlier works like I Ching Plain and Simple. It’s poetic, suggestive, soul-stirring, rich in imagery and story, always drawing you deeper into the world of your reading. Karcher always aims to draw out all the possibilities, to cast light on all the Yijing’s many facets, never to narrow things down to the ‘correct’ version. A reading with this one is a bit like swimming in a deep ocean of imagery.
Laws of Change: I Ching and the Philosophy of Life
I’m recommending this both because it’s an excellent work in its own right – thoughtful, articulate, one of my favourites to quote from – and a perfect counterbalance to Total I Ching. Where Karcher is poetic, Balkin is logical; where Karcher is open and imaginative, Balkin explains what each phrase means and gives specific advice. Bringing these two books together is a constant reminder that the I Ching is greater than the sum of its translations.
Recommended free I Ching translations
There are two truly outstanding I Ching translations currently being given away by their authors. I’m not suggesting these as a second-best, money-saving option: both are works of imagination, originality and scholarship way beyond many – if not most – published I Ching books. They’re LiSe Heyboer’s Yijing, Oracle of the Sun and Bradford Hatcher’s Book of Changes. If you don’t already have both of these, bookmark LiSe’s and download Bradford’s now. I have shelves full of I Ching books, and still turn to these two more often than any of them.
The Book of Changes: Yijing (word by word)
This massive work actually contains two books: an original translation and commentary you can use immediately, and the Chinese text with a word-by-word translation. (I also recommend getting the printed version of both volumes.) Outstanding insights, resources for further study, and challenging food for thought.
Yijing, Oracle of the Sun
A warm, wise translation and commentary that’s treasured by the I Ching Community. LiSe’s descriptions of the ancient forms of the Chinese characters are especially helpful in readings – and better-researched than any such descriptions in Yijing books you can buy.