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yijing_2How to jump into I Ching as a Newbie.I ching symbol presently lists 6,774 books on the I Ching and 32 now on Kindle. 2,100,000 links for I Ching are on a Google search.

I’m in an on-going blogging class that has inspired me to write something for people who know nothing about the I Ching and may want to find out more about it without investing time or money buying and reading books on a subject that probably isn’t for them. So this is a test post to see if anyone responds. This is a way also to get feedback if you should try this method and responses are open to anyone in the Blogosphere.

The LVS online Blogging class also has a blog you can find HERE.

So if you know nothing about the I Ching and are curious the best way is to do it first and read about it later. You can try this and also get feedback if you want it.


a) Formulate your question and write it down. I keep a date log  for my more important questions.

b) Think of the I Ching as a wise person that has lived for well over 3,000 years with an accumulation of collective wisdom.

c) Make your question short, clear and focused on one thing. Don’t ask an either or question.

d) Try not to ask fortune telling questions, like, “Will I get married?” A better way to ask that question might be, “Advise me on the way to find a partner.

e) Don’t ask the same question more than one time. If you check out the three different links I used here as a quick way to ask the I Ching a question chose just one.

I Ching is a guide for the best way to act in any given situation. The ancient Chinese text is full of phrases about “the superior man” which refers to the inquirer with advice on how to act in the best (superior) way for the given situation.

Think of a situation where you would like counsel. An example might be “How should I respond to ….?” (what ever the situation)

Another question might be something like: “What is causing ….?” (what ever)

Or, “What is my life purpose?” That’s a heavy one. Write that one down.

I have found asking the I Ching to elaborate on a dream to be helpful with sometimes amazing results. The I Ching is akin to dreams as both are often enigmatic and also symbolic in meaning.


Find your answer on line. The easiest way to jump into I Ching is to go to an online link that does the virtual coin throw for you. If you find the response interesting and want to know more about I Ching you can do that later. For now, ask your question with this quick jumping into method. I include several sites here where you can ask your question quickly and without having to know anything else.

a) Chris’s free I Ching page
This is very easy to do. Just type in your question. Write down the resulting I Ching number(s) for future reference.

b) Eclectic Energies
This is a page where one clicks on the virtual coins and an answer comes up. You will have a choice of 3 kinds of coins to use. There are links on this page for more information if you want to read it.

c) I Ching online
A place to key in your question with a guide for phrasing questions and a good simple explanation on I Ching Basics.

There is also a link to a place where you can find an image with all the Hexagrams and by clicking on them find an interpretation for your answer. This site also has a forum one can join.


If you want feedback you can post the question you asked here in the comment section.

a) Tell the number of the Hexagram you received, or both if there was a changing line which then results in 2 Hexagrams. You don’t need to understand about changing lines yet in this quick jump in for newbies exercise.

Example Question: What will the results for moving to Princeton be for me?
Results: Hexagram #26 changing to #14.

b) I will respond with some expansion on the results based on what I find in the I Ching resources that I use.

c) By posting your question and answer you will open up the dialogue for possible other viewers of this blog to give their thoughts on the subject.

d) You can always read the Wilhelm or Legge interpretations yourself on line by going to the resource links in this blog.


If you post your question and answer in a comment here and receive feedback you can tell us if the reading was meaningful to you in anyway. That would be interesting for all.

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33 Comments on Ask I Ching for Beginners

  1. LeafNo Gravatar says:

    Broke up and want to know if we will get back together. Got hexagram 43 changing into hexagram 60. Did some research on the internet and it says the answer is “No”. Hex 43 means part/leave/end.

    Could you explain the hex eventhough I already know the outcome of my question?

    • Adele AldridgeNo Gravatar says:

      I am not clear about what you mean to explain the hexagram. I’m assuming that you read at least one interpretation. I find it interesting that the Wilhelm version and many others calls this hexagram “Breakthrough” while Alfred Huang in his book, “The Complete I Ching” calls it “Eliminating.” So eliminating moving to Limitation sure makes a clear statement. It is MOST difficult to comment on other people’s readings without knowing them and circumstances. One thing I have found for myself is that I Ching reflects back exactly where I am in that moment. Clearly you are concerned about this relationship and am assuming you would like to get back together. The I Ching is reflecting what is NOW. The I Ching is not a fortune teller but an advice giver. Perhaps you might ask another question along the lines of what is best for you do do now. I hope this helps a bit.

  2. bobcat8No Gravatar says:

    Which is better. House 1 – hexagram 44 line 2 and 5 changing to hexagram 56. This has me worried because it is the wanderer. I am living in another state so i do have to wander to see it.or house 2 – hexagram 7 line 1 which changes to 19.the 8th month statement worries me. Thank you

    • Adele AldridgeNo Gravatar says:

      Since the I Ching, when asking a question, the response you receive is always subjective. Since I don’t know you I would not know what is best for you. Follow your gut is what I would do.

  3. bobcat8No Gravatar says:

    Which house should i buy? House 1 – hexagram 44 line 2 and 5 changing to hexagram 56. This has me worried because it is the wanderer. I am living in another state so i do have to wander to see it.or house 2 – hexagram 7 line 1 which changes to 19.the 8th month statement worries me. Thank you

  4. MishNo Gravatar says:

    Question: How can I change to be ready to meet my romantic life partner?

    Cast: #20 Contemplation, Transformed: #32 Durability

    All lines changing except Line 1.

    How am I to interpret this? Thanks 🙂

    • Adele AldridgeNo Gravatar says:

      That is a good question. As usual the I Ching reflects back exactly where you are. – Thinking about (viewing – contemplating) what you need to do in order to find “Duration.” I Ching is ever amazing. It is always subjective so only you can interpret this in the best way. I have my version for Hexagram 20 here on this blog. You might read that and other interpretations as well to get a fuller sense of “Contemplation.” The advice is to really contemplate your life. All good wishes with this quest.

  5. BarbNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Adele,
    My mother in law passed away last Wednesday, August 19th, and her memorial service will be here on September 5th. It is now August 26th. I asked the I Ching whether I ought to go visit my brother and sister in law in Louisville, KY, like I had planned from about August 28-sept 1. I got an unchanging hexagram of Pushing Upwards #46. It seems like a definite answer but I don’t understand it! Can you help me? Thanks,

  6. deniseNo Gravatar says:

    the reading i received when i asked if i should buy this house was 26, no moving lines. I would be relocating from florida to las vegas, this would be a house to live in. I asked the iching based on seeing the house on the internet. after i saw the house i asked should i go into contract,(Is this the same question?). I received 2, lines 4, 5 changing to 45. When I thing of 45 i think of war. What do you think about purchasing this house. I am not young and this will be my last residence. Thank you

    • Adele AldridgeNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Denise,
      Thanks you for your comment and question. Of course since I know nothing about you I can’t take the risk of advising whether you should buy that house. Keep in mind that the I Ching always provides answers that are subjective and personal to the one who asks the question. I can respond to how I would view those responses if I had asked the question. I hope that makes sense to you. All 3 hexagrams are positive. Hexagram 45 is about gathering in a group. And this comes after hexagram 2, The Receptive, which is also positive, especially line 5. If I were buying the house and asked the question and got that response I would go for it. But only you know the whole story here and only you can decide. I also understand that a big move like that and the buying of a new house can be a scary thing which would make you feel some anxiety. Wishing you much good fortune on what ever you decide.

  7. OlgaNo Gravatar says:

    Sounds good! I will definitely order a copy. Thank you!
    Olga´s last blog post ..Another great read from the AGS Shelf

  8. OlgaNo Gravatar says:

    So interpretation is difficult…I asked what I should be doing to bring me to my new career.
    Results: Hexagram #34 / Hexagram #34

    Nothing? Exactly as I am? Interpretation stumps me. Please advise.
    Olga´s last blog post ..Another great read from the AGS Shelf

    • Adele AldridgeNo Gravatar says:

      I think hexagram 34 is a great one (The Power of the Great) for a career question. I’m wondering what I Ching interpretation you are consulting for your answers. At the risk of blowing my own horn, why not try my book, “I Ching Prescriptions.” I wrote it with a different slant on using the I Ching and also for people who wanted a “quick fix” with the I Ching and either don’t have the time or the inclination to delve into some of the other texts. I Ching is a big subject do deal with. Your will see a link to my I Ching Prescriptions on the side of this blog. Also, be sure to read Wilhelms’s interpretation – my bible.

  9. OlgaNo Gravatar says:

    Oh…the other Hexagon Reading involved a 64 in relation to my old beau, but I don’t remember the position of the other number. 64 is ending correct?
    Olga´s last blog post ..Another great read from the AGS Shelf

    • Adele AldridgeNo Gravatar says:

      Olga, hexagram 64, “Before Completion” – while it is the last of the hexagrams it is not about the end. The I Ching is circular and really has no end. I suggest you get the Princeton University, I Ching with Jung’s forward and start reading what Jung says first and then delve into the I Ching.
      Adele Aldridge´s last blog post ..I Ching, Hexagram 4, Chinese Character Painting

  10. OlgaNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks, Adele. I am truly fascinated by the i-Ching. I know nothing about it except for my weekend experience with it. Yes, I was fascinated that my questions to the i-Ching matched up and painted the same picture and timeline as did the tarot reading. Two different readers too! I did not know that the i-Ching is not a fortune teller. I am going to have to read more about understanding the i-Ching. Any recommendations as to where I can start? Any of your posts? =)
    Olga´s last blog post ..Another great read from the AGS Shelf

  11. Adele AldridgeNo Gravatar says:

    Olga, That’s interesting that your Tarot reading pointed to the same thing. What was the other I Ching hexagram that you got previously? As for your question about, is it a new person coming or blossoming of the old – that’s another question to ask the I Ching. But you can’t ask either or questions. So you have to figure out the clearest question – very specific, to get a clear response. the I Ching reflects back where you are.
    Adele Aldridge´s last blog post ..I Ching, Hexagram 4, Chinese Character Painting

  12. OlgaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi, you are correct. I had tarot and i-ching readings, and they both laid out the same information and timeline for the Fall season. I came out of one relationship in October 2011, but he has been around again. However, both readers seem to think it’s someone new coming in. My interest is in the “ground up” explanation, as that came up in my previous reading. Am I to interpret that as a new person and friendship that is blossoming or rekindling of old?
    Olga´s last blog post ..Another great read from the AGS Shelf

  13. OlgaNo Gravatar says:

    Question: What can you tell me about my new love interest?
    Results: Hexagram #46 changing to #57.

    Can you interpret. Supposedly, I have a new love interest coming this Fall.
    Olga´s last blog post ..Another great read from the AGS Shelf

    • Adele AldridgeNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Olga,

      Thanks for commenting. Based on your question saying, “Supposedly” you have a new love interest coming. That sounds like you have had some kind of “psychic” reading. Perhaps some one predicted this. So your question doesn’t appear to be about a present situation, Correct me if I am wrong about that.

      Remember, the I Ching is a reflection of where you are that you then interpret subjectively. The I Ching is not a “fortune teller.” So the best way I can respond to your question here is to think about it the way I would if I were involved in a new love and wanted a picture of the situation. If I received, hexagram 46, Pushing upward changing into hexagram 57, The Gentle Wind & Wood I would feel positive about it, that the relationship would grow from the ground up, slowly and then continue organically, slowly, surely. Is this a relationship that already exists for you? Or one you are hoping for?

  14. mair mooreNo Gravatar says:

    what will be the outcome of staying at this retreat center
    response, hex 1 456 lines changing
    to hex 11

    • AdeleNo Gravatar says:

      I don’t know if you intended this post as a question in some way or just wanted to share. Hexagrams 1 and 11 both are such positive Hexagrams. I know that the top line in “The Creative” is a warning about not “flying too high” but the response resulting in Peace looks like you are in a good place.

      Thanks or sharing with us,


  15. AdeleNo Gravatar says:

    Charles, Thanks for posting. Your question is interesting because in my experience of doing readings of the I Ching for myself and sometimes for others, we often want to ask again when we don’t like the answer.

    Yes, in the Wilhelm version of the I Ching, Hexagram 8 says that you can inquire again to see whether you are up to the task of “joining.” I would say only you can decide if you need to ask that. And perhaps the second question would be based on just what the I Ching says, “Inquire of the oracle once again whether you possess sublimity, constancy and perseverance; then there is no blame” So that is not exactly the same question but more of an elaboration.

    I am tempted at times to ask a question again when I am not liking the answer but that never works for me. Also, sometimes, when I don’t understand the response I get, if I just wait a while and check back, something invariably happens that wasn’t apparent at the time of the question and I can see how the result makes sense.

    As to your question, “Are there exceptions to not asking the question twice?” As I pointed out above, for Hexagram 8, the I Ching isn’t really saying to ask twice. But for my own experience, I sometimes ask the same question again when it is a totally different time or situation.

  16. CharlesNo Gravatar says:


    I know that one should not ask the same question twice. But i wonder if there are exceptions. The hexagram 8, says to inquire the oracle once again. What it means? To realy ask again the same question? Or ask exactly if one has sublimity, and …. as said in the passage?

    Thank You!

  17. AdeleNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Andrea,

    The general view from what I have read is that one does not ask the same question twice. Of course some times when we get an answer that we don’t like we might do that and still not like the answer. In your case, Getting The Joyous for buying a home in the Bahamas sure sounds like a joyous occasion to me. I’m wondering why you asked again. And even so, # 21, Biting Through, is about enforcing the law. Lucky you – The Bahamas!

    Thanks for posting.

  18. Andrea RodriguezNo Gravatar says:

    I asked the I Ching what could I expect if I bought a little vacation house in the bahamas and it answered with hexagram #58. I decided to try the same question again the next day and it answered with hexagram #21. Should I ask the same question twice or just once?

    Andrea Rodriguez

  19. […] my post on, Ask I Ching for Beginners, Bean asked the […]

  20. […] this year I made a post, Ask I Ching for Beginners and did some interpretations for two people. I just received a new comment in that post from a […]

  21. AdeleNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Voet,

    It would be easier to answer your question if I knew what question you asked of the I Ching when you received six in the second place for Hexagram 12. Perhaps you just want to know how I see that line in general. I will do my best to respond in a new post.

    Thanks for your question-comment.

    Adele’s last blog post..John Cage – Music of Changes and I Ching

  22. voetNo Gravatar says:

    hello everyone:

    i am an i ching practitioner since 12 years ago. however, i still some lines confusing, specially the six in the second place of hexagram 12, Stagnation, in the wilhelm edition.

    ¿Could you give an alternative text or explanation? regards.

  23. BeanNo Gravatar says:

    I have been really struggling with trying to decide if I should try to make it out to SobCon- Business School for Bloggers this May. I can’t afford it. I would need sponsoring and scholarships. But my biggest fear is that if I can raise the money, that I will have a MS flare and end up sick in a strange city. I worry that I would be a poor investment for those that sponsor me and would not be able to participate fully. On the flip side, I think it would be an awesome experience and I would come back with lots of great information for my students.

    My question was: Should I try to get sponsorships and scholarships so I can attend SOBCon 09?
    The I Ching responded with

    42. I / Increase

    ———- above Sun The Gentle, Wind
    —- —-
    —- —-
    —- —- below Ch^en The Arousing, Thunder

    The Judgement

    Increase. It furthers one
    To undertake something.
    It furthers one to cross the great water.

    The Image

    Wind and thunder: the image of Increase.
    Thus the superior man:
    If he sees good, he imitates it;
    If he has faults, he rids himself of them.

    The Lines

    [] Six in the fourth place means:
    If you walk in the middle
    And report to the prince,
    He will follow.
    It furthers one to be used
    In the removal of the capital.

    25. Wu Wang / Innocence (The Unexpected)

    ———- above Ch’ien The Creative, Heaven
    —- —-
    —- —- below Ch^en The Arousing, Thunder

    The Judgement

    Innocence. Supreme success.
    Perseverance furthers.
    If someone is not as he should be,
    He has misfortune,
    And it does not further him
    To undertake anything.

    The Image

    Under heaven thunder rolls:
    All things attain the natural state of innocence.
    Thus the kings of old,
    Rich in virtue, and in harmony with the time,
    Fostered and nourished all beings.

    Oh boy, there is a lot to ponder there!

    Bean’s last blog post..Blogging for Fun, Fame and Fortune: March topics

  24. AdeleNo Gravatar says:

    I will get back to you on another comment or post about your question. Your response reminded me that I left something important out of my instructions. That is one should only ask the question once. I’m going to first fix my post and then get back to you. So Don’t go away. 🙂

    Adele’s last blog post..Ask I Ching for Beginners

  25. SlilohNo Gravatar says:

    My question was: what can I expect when I attempt to quit smoking?
    I thought that would be a good one since I didn’t manage it last fall so well.

    I tried all three of those links and two of them seemed like positive answers, the third lost me.

    49. Ko / Revolution (Molting)

    —- —-
    ———- above Tui The Joyous, Lake
    —- —- below Li The Clinging, Flame

    The Judgement

    Revolution. On your own day
    You are believed.
    Supreme success,
    Furthering through perseverance.
    Remorse disappears.

    The Image

    Fire in the lake: the image of Revolution.
    Thus the superior man
    Sets the calendar in order
    And makes the seasons clear.

    The Lines

    Six at the top means:
    The superior man changes like a panther.
    The inferior man molts in the face.
    Starting brings misfortune.
    To remain persevering brings good fortune.

    13. T’ung J^en / Fellowship with Men

    ———- above Ch’ien The Creative, Heaven
    —- —- below Li The Clinging, Flame

    The Judgement

    Fellowship with Men in the open.
    It furthers one to cross the great water.
    The perseverance of the superior man furthers.

    The Image

    Heaven together with fire:
    The image of Fellowship with Men.
    Thus the superior man organizes the clans
    And makes distinctions between things.

    42 changing to 20
    42. Benefiting
    Line 1:

    Advantageous for performing big works.
    A source of good fortune,
    without fault.

    The situation is advantageous for taking on big things. This will provide future benefit. It is not wrong to do so.

    16. Yu – Enthusiasm

    — —
    — — above Chên The Arousing, Thunder
    — —
    — — below K’un The Receptive, Earth
    — —

    The Judgement

    Enthusiasm. It furthers one to install helpers
    And to set armies marching.

    The Image

    Thunder comes resounding out of the earth:
    The image of Enthusiasm.
    Thus the ancient kings made music
    In order to honor merit,
    And offered it with splendor
    To the Supreme Deity,
    Inviting their ancestors to be present.

    Changing Lines

    Changing yin at the bottom means:
    Enthusiasm that expresses itself
    Brings misfortune.

    Changing yin in the second place means:
    Firm as a rock. Not a whole day.
    Perseverance brings good fortune.

    Changing yin in the third place means:
    Enthusiasm that looks upward creates remorse.
    Hesitation brings remorse.

    Changing yang in the fourth place means:
    The source of enthusiasm.
    He achieves great things.
    Doubt not.
    You gather friends around you
    As a hair clasp gathers the hair.

    Changing yin in the fifth place means:
    Persistently ill, and still does not die.

    Changing yin at the top means:
    Deluded enthusiasm.
    But if after completion one changes,
    There is no blame.

    Okay, deluded enthusiasm doesn’t sound good :p But over all I think I’ll be successful this time.

    Sliloh’s last blog post..Handmade quilt

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