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Emily 
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I Ching


Does anyone use the I Ching?
I've become very interested in learning the I Ching in the last week or so and I wanted to know what are your favourite I Ching books or translations. I have a book by Stephen Karcher but want a more traditional translation. Also what methods do you use, coins or yarrow stalks?



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raeanne 
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I am going to make a BIG assumption that you are interested in books in English. I personally believe the best book for I Ching would be written in Chinese. But, since I can’t read Chinese, I have to choose from the English translations. So, with that said, here are some suggestions.

“A Guide to the I Ching” by Carol K. Anthony. This is a good book. It explains the entire hexagram and then it translates the first line and gives a commentary, second line with commentary, third line, etc. I wish the translation would have been written all together and then the analysis. Otherwise, it is a very good book.

“I Ching” by Kerson and Rosemary Huang. It gives the translation for the entire hexagram then has a commentary and finally some short suggestions for each line. What it lacks in detail, it makes up for in simplicity. I like this book for a quick reference book.

“I Ching in Ten Minutes” by R. T. Kaser. Like the other “In Ten Minutes” books, there is more here than meets the eye. If you work through the entire book, you will learn quite a bit. It isn’t a book that you can easily use as a reference.

“I Ching – Book of Changes” translated by James Legge. The author lived 1815-1897. This book is a traditional English translation but is harder to read because it was written in the 1800s. If you can find it, don’t pass it up because it is pretty much a classic.

Sometimes I use coins and sometimes I divide the yarrow sticks. A lot depends on the situation and the question I am asking. I feel that there is a power in the act of ritual that can be tapped into. I think that dividing the yarrow sticks can be so powerfully ritualistic it can help create the type of receptive mindset needed for good interpretation. If time and surrounding permit, this is the method I prefer. I have used American pennies for the coins and it works fine, but I feel the actual Chinese coins are nice to have. The Chinese coins are just so wonderful to hold. Again, it helps to connect to the energy you want to use. I have a couple of I Ching card decks and they work too but I prefer the coins or sticks. I bought some bamboo sticks (available at most any grocery store for kabobs) and cut them about six inches (15cm) long and use them as yarrow sticks. There is so much to learn about I Ching and I won't even begin to think that I have done any more than just scratch the surface. Do you have any good I Ching experiences you would like to share?



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Alta 
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Hi Emily,
There is an I Ching discussion forum at
http://www.onlineclarity.co.uk/i_ching_discussion/messages/board-topics.html
Very civilized, not moderated in the strict sense, but a couple of the members keep an eye on the discussions.
You can get Book I of the Wilhelm/Baynes translation of the I Ching here
http://oaks.nvg.org/re5ra19.html
This was the translation that I started with, and it served me well. It is referred to as 'neo-Confucian', and it often criticized for that. Never bothered me, but to each their own I guess. You will learn a great deal reading it. I suggest buying the book rather than just using the web site, but it will teach you a lot.
I like the Stephen Karcher version the best, and have used it exclusively for several years now. He also collaborated with Rudolph Ritsma to prepare an exhaustive translation with concordance. I think it still has limited availablity. Rather daunting for a beginner, in fact I have only really been able to use it this past year.
The translation which receives the most kudos seems to be the Huang translation. Legge, to which raeanne refers, is generally considered to be a poor translation (sorry raeanne, that is just an opinion held in the IC community).
The probabilities of receiving the various lines are not the same using the yarrow stock method and the coins method. Using coins you have an equal probability of getting any of the three lines, whereas with yarrow stocks the probabilities vary with three 2's being the least likely. You can compensate for this.
Take two coins and throw them. If both come up as 2's, then leave one 2 down and throw the remaining two coins. If the first two come up as either two 3's or one 3, leave the three on the table and throw the other two coins for the final throw on that line. I have read a detailed mathematical discussion of this, and apparently it gives the lines in the same mathematical likelihood as if you had used yarrow stocks. I use this method now.
With the Karcher version, I think you have the best translation for a beginner. Like Tarot, there are a huge number of translations available. They are translated for feminists, for any number of religions, in silly rhyming verse, as workbooks (and the workbook by R L Wing is very good). Most are not true translations but re-visionings of other translations. The Wilhelm version tends to be the AE Waite version of the IC world. A lot of the texts take his translation and put it into their own words.
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Old 03-03-2002 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #3
Alta 
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Working with IC is substantially different from working with most of the methods discussed here. Tarot is an intensely visual medium, as are the other oracle decks. IC is mostly words, and the images which are described by words, not drawn. It makes a tremendous difference in working with them. Personally, I find the Tarot an explosion of colour and imagery, 'traps for the unconcious'. IC I find more cerebral, less passionate, less emotional content in general.
Variations in the IC are variations in the words, while variations in the Tarot are variations in the images. I find that I can work with both, but it took me longer to understand the Tarot. Coming to this board, reading and interacting and following up on suggestions here made all of the difference. With the IC though it flowed for me instinctively. Panta Rei, everything changes. People learn and understand in different ways. If the IC 'traps' your unconcious thoughts, you will find it lets you see the world from yet another aspect, different from Tarot. It is entirely different cultural tradition and as such allows you to shift your mental ground in ways you may not have been able to otherwise.
Hope this helps. My advice, start with Karcher and Wilhelm, then start exploring. Good luck!
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raeanne 
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Emily,
Listen to Marion. I’m the one that is getting things confused. I knew I had another I Ching book around the house somewhere but I couldn’t find it. It is the Wilhelm book that I was thinking of when I said it was a classic. Sheeh, sometimes my mind is just “out to lunch”.



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Emily 
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Hi raeanne and Marion

I've looked at the Wilhelm translation but then I did find the book called "A Guide to the I Ching' by Carol K Anthony - it's based on the Wilhelm translation but it seems very clear, even clearer I think than the Stephen Karcher book I have, so I thought I would work my way through this then perhaps get the Wilhelm version - I've seen the Legge version and wasn't too keen on that.
I also managed to get three Chinese coins lol - I haven't actually cast a hexigram yet, but I'm getting to the stage where I think I understand enough to do it (i hope) lol

Anyway thanks for your help and comments



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Alta 
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Hi Emily,
I am not familiar with the version by Carol Anthony, but IC translations tend to be a bit like the various Tarot decks. If it calls to you, you can use it.
Enjoy!
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cayacia 
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The I Ching is wonderful, and is a great use for advice and insight on a situation for yourself. It can be a lot more straight forward than the Tarot I have found, most of the time Of course sometimes just about anything can be elusive to you.

I use coins, and have NO idea how to use yarrow sicks. The coins are very simple to use. THe book I use is I Ching, A New Interpretation for Modern Times by Sam Reifler. It is the same book that by teacher uses so it was only naturual that when I wanted to learn it I got the same book . It's a great book, with three different over all interpretations, Artha, Kama, Moksha, three different aspects of life, and then interpretations for each line of the hexagram. I read all three of the interpretations, then move on to the lines that I should read-if there are any.

It all seemed far too complicated to me when I was given a I Ching deck first to try, and I eventually made him show me how to do it. It's not as hard as it sounds.

Love and Light,

cayacia
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Emily 
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I also have 'The Visual Guide to the I Ching' which is a book and cards set but I'm finding it alot easier to learn with coins and Carol Anthony's book (I didn't like the Stephen Karcher book).
It took me over an hour to work out the first hexagram but it was well worth it - not as complicated as I thought it was going to be and very different from the tarot
Is there a limit to how many Hexagrams you can cast? I've been doing them everyday, with different questions, but I wondered if there was a limit - like once every few days or something?



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Old 08-03-2002 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #9
Alta 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Emily
but I wondered if there was a limit - like once every few days or something?
When I first discovered I Ching, I sort of went nuts and asked dozens of questions. It was fine. I don't think it ever failed to answer. After a while you sort of calm down and use it as you need it.
If you ask the same question several times, maybe coming from different angles, after a while you will get Hexagram 4: Youthful Folly. That is the hexagram which says that the pupil is annoying the teacher with pointless questioning... and, is not taking the time to truly consider the answers already given. Hexagram 4 can be an answer, but you'll know the difference in your heart.
This is in contrast with Hexagram 8: Holding Together. In this one you are counselled to keep in close touch with the I Ching. Either you need a lot of step by step guidance, or the situation is fluid, or you have not asked the right question yet.

The hazard of using it too often (after the initial burst of enthusiasm) is the same as using the Tarot too often. "Should I go to the corner store for milk now, or wait until Susie comes home?"
Relax, ask, learn.
cayacia.... I had forgotten the Sam Reifler book. Have not used it for a couple of years, but I liked it as well. Lots of re-visionings out there, like lots of tarot decks. Very few actual original re-translations, because how many ancient Chinese scholars are there? Once you are more familiar with IC, you can pick up a version in a store, read their take on a few hexagrams you are very familar with, and decide whether or not that is a good one for you.

Last edited by Alta; 08-03-2002 at 22:21.
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Old 08-03-2002 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #10
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