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Interpreting the I Ching

After you’ve cast your reading, once you’re getting the gist of what it’s telling you, there is more to explore. There always is, of course: Yi is exceptionally simple, and also an infinitely complex web of relationships and stories. These interpretive tools are a way of tracing connections and patterns through a reading.

Why use additional tools?

Three reasons: they let you dive more deeply into an answer, they clarify your understanding through distinctions, and they contain the answers to many questions about your reading – especially ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ questions. Why does this moving line augur disaster or good fortune? Have a look at its step of change. How did I get here? Perhaps the Sequence will help.

Who is this for?

If you’re just getting started with Yi, this is not for you. First you need to be comfortable with the broad outline of a reading – how the different parts fit together, how it speaks – and then you can start to fill in the picture with related hexagrams and lines that add detail, dimension and perspective. To avoid creating an almighty muddle, you need to know where to put all these different pieces.

However, if you’re already basically confident interpreting your readings, and you’re looking for ways to answer ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ questions about them, you’ll benefit from adding more tools to your repertoire.

How to learn more at Clarity

There are three introductory articles here, about hexagrams of change, hexagrams of context and a few strategies for approaching multiple moving lines.

You can join Change Circle for a great deal more:

  • The Yijing Foundations Course goes into much more depth on steps of change, fitting them into the bigger picture of a reading.
  • The Change Circle Library includes courses on patterns of change, line pathways and shadow hexagrams…
  • …and countless recorded discussions of hexagrams, nuclear hexagrams and readings (all indexed for ease of use)
  • The ‘Treasure Chest’ has detailed articles on advanced interpretation – the Sequence, nuclear hexagrams and stories (looking at the hexagrams created by combining component and nuclear trigrams), complements and patterns of change – open for discussion on the Yi Academy forum.

So… if the idea of going further and deeper into your readings appeals to you, please do have a look at what’s available