The I Ching Prescriptions are a different way of working with the I Ching. Many people wonder how could anyone take seriously an answer to a question arrived at by tossing coins. For this reason they decide that the I Ching is not for them. You don’t have to believe in synchronicity. You don’t have to take the time to understand the poetic symbolic language of the I Ching. When people dismiss the I Ching because it relies on random chance they miss out on the philosophy imbedded within it. A philosophy, based on nature that has survived for thousands of years has a message worth pondering.
I wrote this book for people who are not drawn to the more complex translations that often require one to read the responses like one would a dream. Not everyone responds to symbolic language. I wanted to make the Prescriptions direct and easy to use, just like taking a pill might be. I don’t know how an aspirin works. I just know that it does. This does not mean I do not appreciate all the other I Ching interpretations. I get benefit from them. I love symbols, poetry and symbolic language. If I didn’t I would not have been consulting the I Ching for so many years.
How the I Ching Prescriptions are Formulated:
These I Ching prescriptions are not intended to be a replacement for any of the many I Ching interpretations in publication. Forty years ago there was very little I Ching interpretation available. It was Carl Jung’s forward in Richard Wilhelm’s translation that first hooked me into the I Ching and remains my favorite version. However I frequently read several different interpretations of I Ching and benefit from various other perspectives. Because consulting the philosophy of I Ching is a subjective experience for the individual asking the question, I find all interpretations interesting.
While I have been studying and consulting the I Ching for over forty years, I cannot read Chinese so I rely on and am inspired by other translations and interpretations. They are all slightly different, depending on the subjective viewpoint of the writer. I pondered and absorbed meaning from these texts by distilling into a condensed essence a small script that has meaning for each of the 64 situations that the hexagrams describe.
If you are new to the I Ching, you might begin with one interpretation that you find relevant and then go on to read others.
How is the Prescription Method Different?
I have been involved with the I Ching for so long because it works. Synchronicity happens. So why have I created a different method in tandem with my practice of throwing the coins and relying on “chance” for my I ching answers?
First I need to give some background as to how I arrived at creating the prescriptions. If one is using the I Ching as a tool for divination one consults the I Ching by asking a question and then relies on the synchronicity of casting the coins or yarrow sticks. Because the Chinese language is not linear but pictorial I felt that giving the work images to ponder, along with linear text, was a broader experience for the meaning of the text however subjective that may be.
While I am working on the images for my graphic interpretation, I Ching Meditations, I experience each hexagram as a whole, with the 6 lines as one continual process. When I am creating an image for each line I focus on one hexagram at a time. It is as if I had asked the I Ching a question and received all changing lines. I absorbed the meaning of each line as it related to the hexagram as a whole in a different way than when I asked a question and then read only the lines that changed.
The effect of creating illustrations for interpreting the meaning makes the experience of the I Ching more intense. As I live with a hexagram for a long time I become aware of the organic movement within the six lines contained within each situation. This process led me to the idea of choosing a situation for I Ching guidance rather than to only rely on the synchronistic method. I have read a number of I Ching articles on how to use the I Ching where the writer says to read only the lines that are changing for guidance. So I’m proposing a concept here with a different approach that goes against the traditional directions for consulting the I Ching. As an example of the organic movement from one phase to another within the changing lines, take a look at the images in hexagram 10.
Choose Your Changes
When consulting the I Ching as a prescription, instead of asking a question in the traditional coin throwing approach, decide what issue in your life that you either want to deal with or are now involved in.
• Pick your prescription. Look at the list of the 64 Prescriptions in the image sbelow. Decide what prescription you need. Look up the prescription distillation in this book, read it and see how the advice applies to your life.
• Each I Ching prescription has seven parts to it; the general meaning at the top and the six phases written from the bottom up. These lines are written on top of the image of a tinted color of the trigrams that create the hexagram.
• There are seven paragraphs of counsel for each hexagram prescription that can be used — one for each day of the week. Focus on or meditate on the prescription you have chosen. Keep a record over the next seven days as you follow each step. Write down what happens for you in the process.