The Philosophy And Use Of The I Ching

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The I Ching is not just a book of divination; it also is a classic of philosophy and magic. The symbols in the text are meant to express the creative forces of the universe and show 64 possible outcomes of their interaction. The Chinese, like a lot of other people, have observed

Tai Chi Amulet

Figure 6.2 Chinese magical amulet with the Tai Chi and the eight trigrams.

Figure 6.2 Chinese magical amulet with the Tai Chi and the eight trigrams.

that there are two basic forces in the world that interact to create everything else. They call these forces yin, the feminine, and yang, the masculine. Yin and yang also relate to other pairs of opposites, like dark and light, night and day, rest and action, and most other pairs, except for good and evil. There is no negative value judgement here because both are good. The Chinese believe that evil arises from an imbalance of yin and yang and good from the proper balance.

Figure 6.3 shows a Chinese protective magical amulet that makes use of symbols related to the I Ching. The circle in the center with the S curve dividing it into blue and white is the Tai Chi or yin-yang symbol. It depicts the blue yin force and the white yang force continuously changing into one another. The eight symbols around the Tai Chi are each made of three lines called trigrams. The broken line with a gap in the center represents yin and the unbroken line represents yang. These trigrams are called "the eight precious things" and they represent the basic interactions of yin and yang spreading out to the eight directions of the world. Therefore, it is also another example of a mandala. All of the 64 hexagrams in the I Ching are made by combining these eight trigrams. Table 6.2 depicts each trigram with its name and other associations. Notice that in the amulet there are four trigrams of each sex, a mother, a father, three sons, and three daughters, and that the trigrams opposite each other are always of the opposite sex.

To create the 64 hexagrams any two trigrams can be combined with one on top and one on the bottom. When combined, the hexagram takes on a unique meaning beyond the two parts. For example, if we place the Gentle trigram above the Joyous, we get Figure 6.5, called Inner Truth. The space at the bottom of the Gentle has combined with the space at the top of the Joyous to form a useful looking inner space, suggesting the inner truth. The image also looked like a boat to the Chinese and that combined with the meaning of the trigrams, the

Figure 6.3 Inner Truth hexagram.

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^^ 90 astrology and divination table 6.2: The Eight Trigrams

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Yin Yang Balance

Yin Yang Balance

Achieve Health, Wealth And Body Balance Through Yin Yang Mastery. Cut up on the old stone drums of Republic of China, inscribed in books handed down through thousands of years, traced on ancient saucers and on saucers made today, is a sign and a symbol. It is woven into textiles, stitched into embroideries, emblazoned over house gates, wrought into shop emblems, a circle, locked together inside it yang and yin yang, light, yin, dark, each carrying inside itself the essence of the other, each shaped to the other

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