Yijing: Shamanic Oracle of China



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Below my introductory poem, giving my view on the book.


One the warp, one the weft of the Universe,

Both revealed in the teaching of this Book.

Through dealing with change, we come
To an understanding of the Spirit.
You need someone with you to take this on,
Both the wisdom and the divination;
To maintain the fabric of the Book of Change.
Pass it back and forth, it will not fall apart.
One giving, one following,
One with the reins, the other being led.
One without t’other leads to twisted,
And confused teachings.
The Task allotted in this Book Is
No more than understanding Yin and Yang,
Light and dark, matter and spirit,
Leader, follower, push-and-pull, both
Shown in the firm and yielding lines.
The various trigrams and hexagrams
Have their proper positioning
Place and Timing in this World.
Thenceforth the role of the Great Individual
Is to promote the Yang, to contain the Yin,
To enable the life-forces to permeate the people,
And bring order, peace and clarity to all.
You can order my translation SIGNED, if you wish, through me, here.
Confucian Virtues

       li – Propriety (fire)
jen – Compassion (wood)  

Faith – Earth

yi – Fairness (metal)
           zhi – Wisdom (water)

These FIVE CONFUCIAN VIRTUES also correspond to Spring (compassion), Summer (propriety), Autumn (fairness) and Winter (wisdom),  with Earth (faith) in the middle. Thus nature, the world and humankind inter-twine, as always in Chinese thought.  The Yin/Yang is a subtle process – some might even call it a sense of humo…r  After all, to every Yin there is Yang, and to every Yang a Yin.  This could be how to look at it.  Gia-fu Feng used to say “two sides of the same coin…” – and of course a coin can be flipped…

TRY THESE ON FOR SIZE – The Five P-Words of the Yi Jing




penetration (reaching)






 The Eight Trigrams

The Eight Trigrams of the Yijing are Heaven, Earth (Yin and Yang); Thunder and the Mountain, (movement and stillness); Wind and the Marsh, (penetration and dissipation); Fire and Water, (the bright and dark).

Heaven is the purely Yang.

Earth the purely Yin.

Yang is movement and activity;  Yin is stillness and quite.  Trigrams (those three lines figures opposite) are build from the bottom up.

Solid and firm lines are Yang;  open and yielding lines are Yin.

Thunder depicts a strong line beneath with two yielding above.  It depicts the rising Yang .  The eldest son.

The Marsh is two strong lines, with a soft line above them.  She represents the youngest daughter.

The most famous hexagram with these two combined is No.54, Marrying Maiden (better known as Little Sister Marries).  Strangely it is an unfavourable hexagram.  Anyone any ideas why?

…and so it goes on…


The two Classical Methods of Displaying the Trigrams Concern the Pre-heaven and Post-Heaven Also known as the Fuxi and King Wen Diagrams Also known as the World of Ideas and World of Senses One in Time and One in Space. But there is also the noumena and phenomena distinction Of Immanual Kant Who pinched it from Leibiniz Who got it from the Neo-Confucians Who were even then being translated into Latin

The World of Ideas
Inner World

Before Heaven-1

The World of Sense
Outer World


Now this is deep stuff, deliberately so.  Come back some time and look at it again, and again.  Look at the reflections and intricacies.  They Chinese of the 2nd Century wanted to communicate to later generations their view of the world.  To understand you actually have to imbibe the hexagrams and trigrams – eat and drink them for breakfast a few days – then go and read the Yijing text plus the commentaries.  Good luck!

 The Eight Trigrams  (can you name them?)trigram_eight_8 (2)

The thunder to move them, the wind to scatter them; rain to moisten them, the sun to warm them. The mountain to halt them, the wetlands to pleasure them; the skies to rule over them, the earth to sustain them.

From the Shuogua (Ch.4)

2 thoughts on “Yijing: Shamanic Oracle of China”

  1. Hello Richard,

    I just purchased your Yiching book for study. Do you recommend the use of divination coins? Where would you recommend I purchase these coins? I am reluctant to get a $1 Amazon set.

    Thanks, Adam.

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