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The Complete Idiot's Guide to I-Ching

The most user-friendly book on the I Ching.
Book Review

Contents at a Glance

Part 1: Introducing the I Ching and Ancient China

3 chapters to bring you back to the early days in China from prehistoric stage to the Zhou Dynasty.

Part 2: The Historical and Mythical Origins of the Yijing

In Chapter 4, a brief introduction of the three versions of the Yijing, namely, Lian Shan, Gui Cang and Zhou Yi is given. The reader is also introduced to what are known as the Ten Wings. We, however, do not use the Ten Wings further in our work as we want to bring Divination back to the original form without referring to Confucian philosophy.

In Chapter 5, we introduce the He Tu and the Luo Shu. We explain how the two charts are linked to the Xian Tian Ba Gua and the Hou Tian Ba Gua.

Part 3: Learning to Use the Yijing

In Chapter 6, the 3 coin method and the yarrow stalk method are explained in details. This chapter is very important as the practical part of casting the divination is explained.

In Chapter 7, we explain, with interesting examples, how to interpret the results of a divination. The real life example of using the Yijing to predict the Presidential Election in 2001 is most intriguing.

Part 4: The 64 Hexagrams: A New Interpretation for the Twenty-first Century

This is not merely a translation of the hexagram statements and the line statements. In the translation, we corrected some mistakes of contemporary translations due to the misunderstanding of the Chinese language. What is more is that we include direct usage of the statements as applied to modern living. It is easy to follow the instructions and gain insight from the interpretation.

The translation is in italics and the interpretation is in normal type. Each hexagram is followed by a Yi Journal.

Part 5: Understanding the Principles of the Chinese Cosmos

Chapter 8 deals with qi - the soul of all Chinese studies. Its origin is also from the I Ching. Chapter 9 talks about the Ultimate Void, the Big Bang of Creation, the Ultimate Greatness, the Yin and Yang.

Part 6: Modern Science to the Ancient Oracle

This part marries the I Ching with Binary Mathematics, the Science of Synchronicity, and the Chaos Theory.

Part 7: Understanding and Applying the Ancient Tradition of Feng Shui

Finally, this part explains the relationship between I Ching and Feng Shui.

Book Review

Reviewer: Scott Ransom from Portland, OR, USA

This book is definitely a worthwhile edition of the I Ching for anyone interested in the subject matter. Over the years I have collected numerous versions of the I Ching, and this one is probably the most readable of the lot of them.

The background history of the I Ching is well researched and presented, and the chapters relating it to Chaos Theory, the Holographic Paradigm, and others are extremely interesting and valuable reading.

The heart of the book is, of course, the presentations of the hexagrams. While not as "in-depth" as some of my other translations/interpretations, this isn't necessarily a bad thing - many of those other books give you enough information to thoroughly overwhelm you. The interpretations here are written in modern English, and are very understandable. What makes them truly useful, however, is the way the author relates the meanings of the hexagrams to the history of the political situations occuring when the book was put together in its "modern" form (during the time of King Wen and the Duke of Zhou). This makes the hexagrams MUCH easier to relate to your own personal situations - let's face it, most of the traditional interpretations leave this background out, and instead just present phrases for the hexagrams and individual lines which can be extraordinarily puzzling and apparently unrelated to the question at hand. By relating each hexagram to the actual historical happening that inspired the traditional interpretations, the hexagrams are put into a much clearer (and more easily applicable) light.

Some of the versions of the I Ching I have which are written in "modern English" just give the authors own personal take on the hexagrams - while sometimes useful, these "translations" are usually somewhat suspect because they often leave the original texts of the hexagrams and lines out. But that is not the case here! The traditional texts are included, and then presented with additional explanatory text by the author. So, you get the best of both worlds. Sometimes the authors own interpretations aren't quite applicable to your question, but the traditional text is, and sometimes it's the other way around. This edition of the I Ching give you both!

I wholeheartedly recommend this book. If this is your first exposure to the I Ching, it will serve as an excellent introduction, and certainly one you will use for years to come (even if you purchase several other different translations, as I have). If you are like me, someone who has studied the I Ching for years, you will immediately appreciate the clarity and depth the author presents.

Don't be fooled by the title. You do not need to be a "complete idiot" to get great value from this book!

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Chinese Astrology and Feng Shui are ancient wisdom handed down by our ancestors and have been in use throughout the Orient for many years. To the best of our knowledge, we guarantee that all information on this website are sincere representation of the subject and makes no claim for absolute effectiveness.

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