I Ching

Ancient Chinese text used for divination / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The I Ching or Yi Jing (Chinese: 易經, Mandarin: [î tɕíŋ] ), usually translated as Book of Changes or Classic of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination text that is among the oldest of the Chinese classics. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou period (1000750 BC), the I Ching was transformed over the course of the Warring States and early imperial periods (500200 BC) into a cosmological text with a series of philosophical commentaries known as the "Ten Wings".[1] After becoming part of the Five Classics in the 2nd century BC, the I Ching was the subject of scholarly commentary and the basis for divination practice for centuries across the Far East, and eventually took on an influential role in Western understanding of East Asian philosophical thought.[2]

Quick facts: Original title, Country, Language, Genre...
I Ching (Yijing)
Title page of a Song dynasty (c.1100) edition of the I Ching
Original title
CountryZhou dynasty (China)
LanguageOld Chinese
GenreDivination, cosmology
PublishedLate 9th century BC
Original text
at Chinese Wikisource
Quick facts: I Ching Book of Changes / Classic of Changes,...
I Ching
Book of Changes / Classic of Changes
"I (Ching)" in seal script (top),[note 1] Traditional (middle), and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese易經
Simplified Chinese易经
Hanyu PinyinYì Jīng
Literal meaning"Classic of Changes"
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabetKinh Dịch
Chữ Hán經易
Korean name
Japanese name

As a divination text, the I Ching is used for a traditional Chinese form of cleromancy known as I Ching divination, in which bundles of yarrow stalks are manipulated to produce sets of six apparently random numbers ranging from 6 to 9. Each of the 64 possible sets corresponds to a hexagram, which can be looked up in the I Ching. The hexagrams are arranged in an order known as the King Wen sequence. The interpretation of the readings found in the I Ching has been discussed and debated over the centuries. Many commentators have used the book symbolically, often to provide guidance for moral decision-making, as informed by Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. The hexagrams themselves have often acquired cosmological significance and been paralleled with many other traditional names for the processes of change such as yin and yang and Wu Xing.