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What is the I Ching?

The I Ching is said to have come from the mind of Fu Xi, one of China's earliest legendary rulers. The I Ching came into written form in the 13th Century BCE, making it arguably the world's oldest book and one that preceded the Buddha by nearly a thousand years.

The I Ching is a comprised of sixty-four "hexagrams" - six-lined symbols - which together describe the various situations we encounter in life. The I Ching is a book of wisdom and a tool of divination. Divination occurs through describing the trend of the present moment (and the past that has given rise to the present moment). The I Ching is unique in its ability to express "the time" we are in, the qualities of which determine the possibilities available to us.  

A hexagram is derived by simply throwing three pennies six times. Because we cannot control the outcome of the tossed pennies, the throw falls outside of the purview of ego, and allows the larger world of spirit, drala, the Tao or God to intervene as reflection and wisdom. From this we are given advice on how to relate to the issue at hand, to find the highest good, and to pursue our most authentic potential. - Bill Scheffel


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Divination is not an ideology or a belief but a creative way of contacting the spirit. It is imagination perceiving forces and inventing ways to deal with them. This involves a combination of analysis and intuition that normal thinking usually keeps apart...  Using a divinatory system is an exploration of the unconscious side of a situation.

- Rudolf Ritsema and Stephen Karcher, translators of I Ching: The Classic Chinese Oracle of Change