Religion and Theology Chinese History
The exercise is designed to give students a chance to experience the Book of Changes as it has been used in China since ancient times and in the modern west. You may conduct the exercise as seriously or casually as you with.
1. Find a quiet place to conduct the divination. Relax and calm your mind, allowing your intuition to arise. Decide on a question to ask. Write it down and concentrate on it.
2. Select three coins.
3. Throw all three coins together. Heads represent yang with a value of 3, while tails represent yin with the value of 2. When you add up the result of your toss, you will get the number 6, 7, 8, or 9. The odd numbers (7 and 9) produce an unbroken or yang line. The even numbers (6 and 8) produce a broken or yin line. This is the first line of your hexagram.
4. Throw the coins 6 times to build your hexagram. The lines build from the BOTTOM up (i.e. line 1 is the bottom line, line 6 the top one).
5. Lines formed by all yang faces or all yin faces (those with values of 9 or 6) are MOVING LINES. They are called “old yang” and “old yin” respectively. This reflects the idea that anything taken to extremes becomes its opposite. When the moving lines are changed into their opposites, a new hexagram is formed. Both the original and the new hexagram should be noted.
6. Find the number of your hexagram from the chart at
Match the upper and lower trigrams, and the square where the column and row intersect tells you the number.
7. Click on the number, and you will be taken to the text of the hexagram. Read the text together with the Image.
8. If you have no moving lines, stop here. Your divination is complete.
If you have moving lines, look down at the interpretation of each of the moving lines. If one of the line commentaries contradicts the main hexagram, the line takes precedence.
9. Finally, if you have moving lines, find the hexagram that results when you change them in to their opposites. Look up this hexagram and read the main text and Image as in your original hexagram. This represents the development and outcome of the situation that began with your first hexagram. For the second hexagram, disregard the individual line commentaries.
10. Write down all your result.
In about a page, describe the process of your divination, and give personal feedback:
1. Tell what question you asked, and what hexagram(s) resulted.
2. Give a brief summary of the result of your divination (what the text said). The text is very hard to understand, but try your best to interpret the message as it applies to your question.
3. Describe your own experience with the divination. Did the answer help you think about the question you asked or give you and comprehensible advice? Do you feel the process had any particular value? Did you enjoy the exercise?
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