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.