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2 coins

In addition to reproducing the yarrow probabilities, this method has all the advantages of the three coin method: practical, simple, and no special equipment required.

Of course, you can still opt to light a candle or burn incense, or use special Chinese coins – whatever helps your focus on what you are doing. But it is the attitude of mind that is essential: concentrated on the question, open and free from preconceptions about the answer. Any ritual is only a means to this end. I would hate to think that anyone was discouraged from using the I Ching by the thought that they had to buy some special equipment first. You need a good translation of the oracle, two coins, and pen and paper: that’s all.

Once your question is written down in front of you, take your two coins, and throw them once. If both coins come up heads, count this as 2; otherwise, count 3.

Throw the coins again. This time, each head counts two, and each tail counts three. Add the total you receive here to the first figure.

Your total will be either 6,7,8 or 9.

(For example, if at first you threw a head and a tail, that would count 3. If your second throw then produced a head and a tail, that would count 5. This gives a total of 8, so your bottom line would be broken line.)

Here’s a reference table for the line values:

Number Line type Yin/yang Written
 6 Changing broken line Old yin 6
7 Unchanging solid line Young yang 7
8 Unchanging broken line Young yin 8
9 Changing solid line Old yang 9