I Ching (The Book of Changes)

I Ching, also Yi Jing or The Book of Changes, is thought to be the oldest and most abstruse classic in Chinese history. Reputedly, it originated with Fu Xi, who is a mythical sovereign being the first of the three primogenitors of Chinese civilization. It is also called Zhou Yi reputedly because it is not until the Western Zhou Dynasty that the whole context of I Ching was understood. The first king of Zhou, King Wen, concentrated on the study the mystery of changes when he was put in prison for seven years. It has been an aid to foretell the future and make decisions for thousands of years. However, it means more than a book of divination.

Tai Chi Symbol
Tai Chi Symbol Represents Yin Yang
In Chinese, Yi means change, an eternal truth to descript the world's motion. Jing means the way or classic. So, I Ching is a classic text to expatriate inexhaustible changes. Rich philosophic viewpoints lurked in the thoughts have provided a case of guiding significance. It is a well built philosophic ideology, which is for most of the people obscure and difficult to follow. Hence there are a lot of eisegesis. After King Wen's composition and commentary, I Ching was expanded from the range of divination to science. It is said that the earliest extant I Ching was written on bamboo slips during the Warring States Period. In the Han Dynasty, I Ching inspired the Taoism to create many theories of regimen which were derived from Yin Yang, The Five Elements, Ba Gua. It was first introduced to the western world by missionary in late Ming Dynasty and explained by Germany mathematician with binary code. I Ching affected Confucianism very much and it was the foundation of Taoism. It survived the 'Burning of the books and Burying of the Scholars' Qin Shi Huang committed. Then, it could continue functioning to have impact on Tai Chi Quan (Shadowboxing), Feng Shui in architecture, Chinese Go game and many aspects in Chinese cultural.

Yin Yang

Yin Yang Tai Chi Symbol is well known as the Yin Yang symbol which is also called Tai Chi symbol from I-Ching. Yin Yang is a materialistic concept of Taoism which dialectically describes every thing in the world has contrary sides and these contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world. For example, the south of a mountain refers to Yang, similarly the north of a river, upper side of a leave, man and the sun, and conversely Yin refers to the north of a mountain, south of a river, reverse side of a leave, women and the Moon. Seen from the Tai Chi symbol, when the yang energy is at the peak time, the yin energy has gradually shown up. This is a profound philosophy saying that things at the worse will mend. Many branches of traditional Chinese medicine and philosophy adopted the Yin Yang theory as their primary guidelines.

Here is the description in I-Ching about how world began:
The infinite produces limit and this is the supreme ultimate (Tai Chi or the absolute);
The Tai Chi produces two forms, Yin and Yang;
The two forms produce the four phenomena, shao yin, tai yin (the Moon), shao yang, tai yang (the Sun);
The four phenomena act on the eight trigrams (ba gua): sky, earth, mountain, water, wind, hire, thunder and lake/marsh.

There is another description: when the world began, there are heaven (sky) and earth. They mated to give birth to every thing in the world. Heaven is called the Qian trigram (Qian Gua) and the earth is Kun trigram (Kun Gua). The remain trigrams are Dui, Li, Zhen, Xun, Kan, Gen respectively representing lake, hire, thunder, wind, water and mountain.

Yin Yang and Chinese Medicine
Body visceral organs, channels and collaterals all have yin and yang sides. The upper part of the body is assigned to Yang, while the lower part to Yin. Health is based on the balance of yin and yang. Yang vacuity will represent heat sensations, dry mouth, night sweats, dark urine, etc, while the yang vacuity will represent cold limbs, slow pulse, bright white complexion, etc.

Ba Gua (Eight Trigrams)

Ba Gua is a set of symbolic signs. — represents Yang and –– represents Yin. Each of the eight trigrams consists of three signs, having the special meaning. The combination of the eight trigrams produces 64 trigrams which symbolize all the things and phenomenon in the nature and life. In Chinese traditional medicine, Ba Gua refers to the eight acupuncture points around the hollow of hands. It also refers to the gossip in the world of entertainment.

Bagua Symbol
Fu Xi Ba Gua
Bagua Symbol
King Wen Ba Gua
Chinese character 'Gua' is comprised of two parts, left part meaning a mud pillar used to observe the shadow of the sun, and right part meaning measurement. Ba Gua means to observe the sun shadow from every quarter in order to know the seasons and guide the agricultural production. In I Ching, the meaning of gua was extended to be the phenomenon in the universe. There are two arrangements of Ba Gua Hexagram, Early Heaven or Fuxi Ba Gua, and Later Heaven or King Wen Ba Gua. Fuxin Ba Gua was also created by Fu Xi, at the same time with I Ching. King Wen Ba Gua was arranged by King Wen who toppled the Shang Dynasty. Qian Gua is the first trigram in Fuxi Ba Gua and Dui replaced in King Wen Ba Gua. The other seven Guas changed their places accordingly.

Symbols of the Eight Trigrams (Each trigram has more symbols than those listed below)

Trigram Nature Feature Body Animal Yin Yang  Wu Xing
Qian Heaven Bouncing Head Horse Yang Metal
Dui  Marsh Pleasing Mouth Ram Yin Metal
Li Fire Clinging Eye Pheasant Yang Fire
Zhen Thunder Arousing Foot  Dragon Yin Wood
Xun Wind Pneumatic Thigh Rooster Yang Wood
Kan Water Sinking Ear Cattle Yin Water
Gen Mountain Still Hand Dog Yang Earth
Kun Earth Receptive Belly Bull Yin Earth

Each diagram corresponds to an aspect of life and cardinal direction. Therefore, the Ba Gua Hexagram is also a tool in Feng Shui used to map a room or location. The explanation on each trigram is complicated. It is undoubted the classic of ancient cosmic principles. I Ching, to be precise Ba Gua as a divination text has been long since regarded to serve the illiterate or superstitious person but conceded to be vain by scholars and elite.

- Last modified on Dec. 16, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on I Ching (The Book of Changes)
Asked by Nara from US | Dec. 11, 2019 18:00Reply
I'm wanna to be a actress, should I try?
Answers (1)
Answered by Winifred from GHANA | Dec. 16, 2019 23:02

Hi, Nara, I think you should try and follow your heart.
Asked by Anna from GERMANY | Dec. 04, 2019 13:49Reply
Earth snake devastated by Year of the Pig
My father died suddenly, leaving me with huge debt and a possibility to lose roof over my head. My job keeps me barely afloat and I struggle to perform while legal expenses are growing. I'm filled with anger and resentment and my overall health is not good. SO is being distant and only a handful of ppl want to have anything to do with me. Also my dog has cancer... Should I just give up?
Answers (1)
Answered by Kinsley from UNITED KINGDOM | Dec. 04, 2019 18:38

Oh, Anna, you need to keep the positive attitude towards life. Although these things are not good, you still should have more confidence about yourself. You can overcome them. Maybe you can ask help for your friends. On weekends, it is advised to have more outdoor activities to get some relaxation. The prediction indicates that everything will be ok next year. Good luck!
Asked by Jeannie from CANADA | Dec. 03, 2019 05:22Reply
I am female born sept. 20 1967 dating a male born sept. 18, 1963
Where do you feel this relationship is going. We are both getting older and is it worth our time and effort? We are comfortable with the companionship. But have different interests. I feel his love. And I love him but sometimes I wish he was more adventurous with going on day trips or to different markets. Even different restaurants. I do understand that these are small things to be concerned about.
Answers (1)
Answered by Eli from UNITED KINGDOM | Dec. 03, 2019 21:46

Oh, Jeannie, generally speaking, you two can become a good match. In daily life, although there may have several divergences, you can solve them together. Thus don't worry. Just show more understanding and patience to each other.
Asked by Jess from PHILIPPINES | Nov. 09, 2019 18:46Reply
Saguitarius Rat woman born on 12/14/1984 and fiancee is ox-libra 9/25/1985.Is 3/9/2020 auspicious?
I am a saguitarius rat woman born on Dec 14,1984, my fiancee is ox libra born on September 25, 1985. Is March 9, 2020 an auspicious wedding date for us? Thanks ...
Answers (1)
Answered by Dora from NEW ZEALAND | Nov. 10, 2019 23:54

No, I am afraid not. In March 2020, the lucky dates are the following:
Mar. 01, Mar. 02, Mar. 08, Mar. 10, Mar. 13, Mar. 23
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