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I - Ching

Selecting the coins to construct the Hexagram

In the previous month, we discussed what I-Ching is and how it came about. In the next few instalments, we are about to explore tossing the I-Ching coins, using I-Ching at home and how one can predict the immediate future using the I-Ching divination methods. I-Ching divination has been practised before the emperor Chin Shih Huang Ti's time, when it escaped the burning of most classical literatures.

The Chinese used many different ways to predict I-Ching. However, the coin method of divination has been determined as the most efficient and popular. While several variations are used, the simplest and most effective approach is to use three coins to do the prediction. The coins for I-Ching prediction are important because foreseeing the future is a serious undertaking.

Most serious practitioners prefer ancient Chinese coins. (You may want to get the I-Ching Kit available at the Feng Shui Megamall at

These coins are round with a square in the middle. On one side, there are four Chinese characters (Yang), while on the other side are two Chinese characters (Yin). Generally, there are six characters on the coin and it represents the six lines of the Hexagram. The round shape of the coin represents heaven (Chien), while the square in the middle is Earth (K'un).

The three coins used symbolize the relationship between heaven, earth and man, or the three lines of the Trigrams. However, if old coins are not easily obtained, it is okay to use regular coins. Remember that heads is the yang side, and tails is the yin. These coins should be set aside and carefully wrapped in velvet when not in use.