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King Wen's Way of Yijing Divination

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Eight Trigrams

Eight Trigrams

It is human nature that we always seek a glimpse of our future to better know what lies ahead because of our curiosity. Some may think of it as superstitious, but Yijing Divination is not religious at all. The concept is that we are tapping the information from the nature through our subconscious mind, so we can address any question to the mother nature. The most basic answers of why we need to do divination is because we need a second opinion when we are in doubt.

Yijing 易經 Divination is another Chinese metaphysical subjects that also attract worldwide interest. The original meaning of 易 (Yi) is change. 易 (Yi) itself is about the nature, or universe. The Yijing is a book about nature and change. Perhaps this is the reason why people called it the "Book of Changes."

A lot of book sold on the book store talks about Yijing, but that kind of Yijing that explained in the book store referring to the Book of Changes compiled by King Wen, the China Emperor of Chao Dinasty in 1122 B.C. and Confucius, a Chinese thinker and social philosopher (551 B.C. - 479 B.C.) King Wen during his time in prison, composed the text of Yijing which is the first half of the "Book of Change" as we see today, and Confucius added his commentaries to King Wen's book which are called "Ten Wings" to complete the complete Book of Yijing. These books served for academic and philosophical only.

I will give you one example of the interpretation inside these books:

"Here the great man has attained the sphere of the heavenly beings. His influence spreads and become visible throughout the whole world. Everyone who sees him may count himself blessed. Confucius says about this line: Things that accord in tone vibrate together. Things that have affinity in their inmost natures seek one another. Water flows to what is wet, fire turns to what is dry. Clouds (breath of heaven) follow the dragon, wind (the breath of earth) follows the tiger. Thus the sage arises, and all creatures follow him with their eyes. What is born of heaven feels related to what is above. What is born of earth feels to what is below. Each follows its kind."

I think most of you all agree with me that this verse it's hard to interpret because it is very abstract and the interpretation of the Yijing at that time are more based on philosophy and sociology as applicable in the Feudal society. It is more like a reference tool for maintaining social order rather than a book of divination.

Painting of Fu Xi

Painting of Fu Xi

The term Yijing (translated as "Book of Change") is built upon a series of lines either continuous or broken which form into a Trigrams (see picture above) and Hexagrams (combination of the trigrams). The continuous line is translated as Yang and the broken line as Yin in Chinese view. These symbols was invented by a sage named "Fu Xi" 付羲 who lived at least over 6,000 years ago. Fu Xi is a mythical figure in ancient China. It is believed that he was born in the Clan of Snake who uses snake or snake scale as the totem.

The fortune tellers technique using the Hexagram is said to be invented by a man called "Keng Fong" who lived in the Han dynasty around 206 B.C. He attached the 5 elements (Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal) and 5 aspects of life to each line of the Hexagram to help us to interpret more precise and focused. He still attributed his work as "King Wen's Way" of Yijing - Wen Wang Gua 文王卦. There are several methods to derive these Hexagrams, like using the yarrow stalks, Plum Blossom Oracle (by just looking at the date and time you or somebody ask the questions), and the Coin method.

Example of Yijing Divination Hexagrams

Example of Yijing Divination Hexagrams

In this hub, I will explain in brief on the Coin Method to do the King Wen's Yijing divination. Asking best question is a very important step in Yijing divination. The answer you obtained is in the format of Hexagram which is very abstract and the meaning that inside the Hexagram is not obvious to untrained eyes.Please do not ask a very complicated question because you will also get a complicated answer which is hard to interpret. Clean your hands before you toss the coins, and find a quiet place to do the divination. Any disturbances will cause you to restart all the process again.

The questions you asked must be very specific. If you have a question like "Can I get money from my business?" It is a general questions without a term of time. So if the Yijing Divination result shows that you can make money, but you don't know when the time is (maybe when you're getting older). Try to include a specific time, usually 6 months up to 1 year.

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If you lost something, you can also ask whether this thing will show up or not, or the characteristics of the thief. There are many kind of questions you can ask, whether health, conflict, stolen things, unsolved cases, US president election, football match, etc. But remember, don't ask bad questions like "If I stole this thing, can I be found to be the culprit?" or "If I copy this thing, will I get caught?".


The 3 coins that we used for Yijing Divination using King Wen's Way of Yijing are Chinese coins of the Ching Dynasty. The head side of the coins are side with picture and symbols and the tail side is the side with 4 Chinese characters which are the name of the Emperors. If you do not have such coins, you can still use any metal coins of any country, but I recommended you to use the same set of coins all the time. You toss the 3 coins 6 times to set up the six lines of the Hexagram. After you draw the hexagram in a piece of paper, you can start to interpret the meaning of the hexagrams.

On 27 January 2008, I do an Yijing divination asking about the health of the former Indonesian president, Suharto, with these six months and it comes out that the Earth element is attacking the Water element and the Water Element is also not in season, so I guess that Suharto probably will have a kidney problem (water element) within these six months. If come out on the next morning that Suharto passed away because of kidney failure.

Some of the Yijing practitioner using animals to put into all the six lines like raven, earthworm, snake, tiger, tortoise, dragon. Dragon is the best animal. If the Subject line or key element that we asked sits on snake, usually it indicates a mishap (die or can't reveal the things).

Hery Yang is a Chinese Metaphysics practitioner and owner of Authentic Feng Shui Asia website. His website provides an informative content on different kinds of Chinese metaphysics for those who are keen learner on Chinese metaphysics subjects.


Hery (author) on April 19, 2010:

It all depends on what the coin come out when you toss the coin, so as I can say it just as if the nature is answering to your question. (PS. Sorry 4 the late reply).

menkius on March 21, 2010:

Hery, I've got a question - which I'm starting to put about, and that is: how does the most appropriate hexagram get selected for the question asked?

Hery (author) on May 15, 2008:

Thank you for your comment, reiki2

reiki2 on May 14, 2008:

Yet another good hub on I ching

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