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How to cast a hexagram

The most ancient method involves casting fifty yarrow sticks in a succession of steps. If you are interested in the complicated procedure, please find a description elsewhere.

Easier is the coin method. Throw three coins. Heads are yang and count as 3, tails are yin and count as 2. The result will obviously be between 6 and 9 inclusive:

a 6 is an old yin (broken) line
a 7 is a young yang (solid) line
an 8 is a young yin (broken) line
a 9 is an old yang (solid) line

Traditionally when a hexagram consists only of new lines (7 or 8) only the judgment (the intial remarks) and the commentaries are read; the line statements (a six-line poem in my rendering) are ignored. (They are, however, the most interesting parts of the text.)

Where there are old (6 or 9) lines, the statements for those lines are read. Additionally, those lines should be converted into their opposites and the judgements and commentaries for the new hexagram that results should be consulted.

At present my randomizer is not set up to distinguish between new and old lines. Anyone wishing to include this feature should throw coins as described above and then consult the hexagram using my page listing all of the entries, which can be found here.



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