In a way, this is the core of Clarity: a place where you can encounter the oracle. Even though you’re doing so through a screen rather than coins or yarrow, it is still the same Book of Change: the same ancient words and images, the same very present power to help. A reading can enable you to see the truths shining through surface appearances, restoring your connection to a deeper flow and meaning within your experience.
Why not take your time? Disengage gently from the technology; look away from the screen; give yourself a moment to breathe and become aware of where you are and what you seek.
Introduction for Beginners
The I Ching consists of 64 hexagrams and the various words and images associated with each one. A hexagram is just a stack of six lines – either broken
Combining these two different kinds of line in groups of six, you get 64 unique ‘stacks’, the hexagrams. To consult the I Ching, you cast six lines, building a hexagram from the bottom up.
Each hexagram describes a way that energy moves, gives you an idea what to expect from the situation, and how best to act within it. (The titles of the hexagrams provide the simplest answers – such as Retreating, Approaching, Gathering, Inner Truth, Waiting…)
Initially, you cast a single hexagram – the primary hexagram. This is the basis of your answer – the setting that begins to answer your question. Sometimes it’s also the only answer, if you have an unchanging hexagram.
More often, though, there will be changing lines in your answer: broken lines in the process of changing to solid, solid changing to broken.
When your reading includes one or more changing lines…
Firstly, the completion of these changes, when each line has transformed, reveals a second, relating hexagram. This will generally describe the personal context for the reading: what it’s all ‘about’ for you – maybe a desire, a tendency, an approach or a broader theme of your life.
Secondly, you also receive text to read associated with that line. These are the most important part of your reading, where you can expect to find a direct answer to your question.
This online reading will cast your primary hexagram, change any lines to generate the relating hexagram and then display all the I Ching texts that are part of your answer. (If you choose the ‘Hilary Barrett translation’ on the next page, the text in italics is from the I Ching, and the rest is excerpted from my interpretive commentary.) Click on the ‘cast’ button to build your hexagram line by line; after the sixth line, your reading will be displayed.