How to Use I Ching Hexagrams

Sally Painter
trigrams and yin yang symbol

I Ching hexagrams are the actual recordings of I Ching coin tosses or yarrow stick castings that are performed during a divination reading. This ancient Chinese divination system is used to predict the future, gain insight to current issues and discover hidden issues that may be affecting the chi energy in your life and home.

History of I Ching

Exactly when the divination form of I Ching was first started is obscured in an ancient culture known for closely guarding its mystical secrets. In fact, some believe that I Ching was first used around 1,000 BC during the Zhou Dynasty, Other historians argue that the date is much older, dating back to 5,000 BC. The age of the divination system isn't as important as the fact that it's been used for all those centuries and is still a significant part of the Chinese culture.

Using I Ching in Feng Shui

Some traditional and classic feng shui practitioners use the I Ching in their analysis processes, especially when there are extreme fluctuations in various sectors of a person's life. For example, if you have a sudden reversal in fortune or your career takes a nose dive, then a feng shui practitioner might use the I Ching to take a reading on you and your house. This tool will give her a clearer understanding of any possible underlying issues that have escaped your notice. This is an especially helpful tool when conventional feng shui cures or remedies don't seem quite powerful enough to address known issues.

Casting the I Ching

To understand the role of I Ching Hexagram, you must first understand the I Ching and how it's used. The divination has historically been cast by either tossing three coins or 49 yarrow (reed) sticks. For example, if you choose to use the coin method, you toss the three coins six times. Each toss is recorded to reflect the number of times the coins land either as heads or tails.

Creating a Hexagram

The hexagram is used to record each coin or yarrow tosses. The results are written as either solid or broken lines. These are determined by the number of heads and tails per toss.

You can interpret and then record the coin toss by using the following guidelines:

  • Solid line: Created when the coin toss reveals three tails
  • Broken line: Created when the coin toss reveals three heads
  • Dashes: Draw dashes when the coin toss reveals one tail and two heads or one head and two tails
  • Dashes broken in the center: Draw this one when your coin toss reveals one head and two tails or one tail and two heads.

Next Step

When you record each coin toss, it's very important that you record the first toss to form the base of your hexagram and build upward. Place the second coin toss recording on top of the first and so on until you have six lines stacked on top of each other. The hexagram can also be divided into two trigrams for more in-depth interpretation by a feng shui practitioner.

Interpreting the Meaning of Each Line

Just as with any form of divination, I Ching has set guidelines for interpreting. To fully understand the hexagram, it helps to know what area of your life each of the six lines represent.

  • Line one: The crux of your question that reveals the basic concern or issue.
  • Line two: Reveals what is changing about your situation or circumstances and whether or not your basic question or problem can be supported.
  • Line three: Things that can affect your circumstances, such as personal weaknesses and strengths as well as the challenges you must face to obtain the outcome you desire.
  • Line four: Other people's influence over your circumstances and how the first three lines combine to influence this line's position.
  • Line five: Unforeseen events or circumstances that can change your situation or reveals what is controlling your situation.
  • Line six: The situation isn't balanced and has too much yin or yang energy and how you can rectify your circumstances or situation.

Hexagram Meanings

The I Ching, also known as the Book of Changes, has 64 interpretations of the I Ching. Some other ancient texts are said to have 128 or even 356 possible interpretations. The one most used is the I Ching that gives 64 short stories that are often very difficult to understand in their original context. Fortunately, the metaphoric nature of these essays has been translated into modern language and understanding.

Feng Shui and Hexagrams

It's easy to understand how a feng shui practitioner can employ the use of this ancient divination tool to assist in especially difficult analysis of homes with hidden energy issues. This is typically easy to recognize when traditional and standard remedies don't seem to have an effect on the sha chi (negative energy) in a home or business.

Under such circumstances, the use of I Ching hexagrams to assist in finding the underlying issue can reveal those hidden issues that can block chi energy from flowing freely throughout your home or business.

Yin and Yang of Hexagrams

As with feng shui, I Ching is governed by the same principles of chi energy, which is comprised of yin (female) and yang (male) energies. Together, the yin and yang energies create a balanced whole. By using I Ching, a feng shui practitioner can help you find ways to restore a balance between yin and yang energies within your home the same way others use I Ching to find personal and inner restoration.

I Ching Hexagrams

While the I Ching and hexagrams are a complex system of divination, building a hexagram can be as simple as tossing three coins or yarrow sticks. You don't have to master the I Ching in order to use it to help you in your feng shui design and applications.

How to Use I Ching Hexagrams