What Is I Ching? How To Use The Ancient 'Manual Of Divination' For Your Relationships And Love Life

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What Is I Ching? & How To Use The Ancient 'Manual Of Divination' For Your Relationships And Love Life

If you’re not familiar with the I Ching, it is an oracle of wisdom, accessible to us through what is called "The Book of Changes." This is a literal book of wisdom, an ancient scriptural text that reveals to us the heart and soul of Chinese philosophy based on the revelations of the great teacher, Confucius.

I'm sure there are those of us who remember the old phrase, "Confucius says..." Well, there's a reason we pay attention to what the old guy says, because he is wise. In fact, he is wisdom itself, and if we open to his mighty teachings, we will learn much more than we ever imagined possible.

But how does the I Ching work?

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When we inquire of the oracle that is the I Ching, we toss coins to get a result. I use pennies, but Chinese coins can be used as well.

The coins have two sides, and depending on how they fall, they display either heads or tails. Heads have a numerical value as do tails, and after we toss the coins six times, we build what is called a hexagram, based on the numerical outcome of the coin toss. It may sound complicated, but it's quite easy to catch on to once you're involved.

When we finish tossing the coins, we add up the lines and numbers and we get "our" personal hexagram — the hexagram that holds the information we need and the answers we are looking for. There are 64 hexagrams within the I Ching, and it is through the tossing of the coins that we come up with the correct guidance for our particular situation.

If we are inquiring about love, we concentrate on our question while we are tossing the coins. The coins are picking up on our energy, reflecting us, taking on our concerns; they are building an answer for us.

How do you perform an I Ching reading?

We can read for ourselves, for another, for a group. This, in particular, is a group I Ching reading on the topic of love and relationships.

If you are reading this, then this is for you — for all of you who have concerns for your own love lives. Let's begin.

I toss the coins and as I do, I think, "What do my friends here need to hear in terms of love and relationship?"

The hexagram I have thrown is called “Ch’ien,” or Modesty. What I’m to understand is that in love, there is power in simplicity. Both parties in a relationship, at times, tend to overpower the other; sometimes it’s good, and sometimes it’s not. When people are in love, everything looks beautiful... until the "honeymoon" is over and we can finally see that person for who they really are. This is where modesty comes into play.

I Ching suggests that the best relationships are built on the idea of acceptance of the other partner, warts and all, so to speak. This is also a way of telling us that we, too, are responsible for being "real," and that we need to trust in our own selves so we can have the confidence to be ourselves without fear of the other person rejecting us.

There is a passage here that says, “A human being has it in their power to shape their fate, whether they use benevolent or destructive forces. However, the person who shines with wisdom is the person of modesty." In other words, be yourself. Trust in yourself. Trust that who you are right now, inside, is enough. 

But there is also the warning: if you are inauthentic in your romantic schemes, then you will be living a lie and you will be discovered as a fraud.

There is also the mention of arguments.

The guidance here is to measure and weigh them, as not everything needs to become a passionate fight to the death. Modesty implies the middle ground, equilibrium and balance.

In a love relationship, we cannot allow ourselves to become irate or insane over a difference of opinion. We must let things flow of their natural accord. In this way, we can avoid drama and misunderstandings.

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On the other hand, it is also about saying what you mean to your partner, or future partner. when we assume they know what we’re talking about, we assume wrong. If there is something you want known, then speak your mind, fearlessly. One clear, clean sentence between lovers can cut to the chase a whole lot easier than the “Guess what I’m thinking” game.

Also, there is the idea of perseverance.

This isn’t going to be a prime example of instant gratification; this is about sticking with it and seeing it through. That is also modesty: the ability to forge through without overthinking, without dramatizing and without neurosis.

Perseverance brings good fortune, so stick with the plan. Stay on course, as they say.

The changing lines give even further insight. the message in the lines is this: Don’t be a show off. The more pride and pomp and pretentiousness that either of you become involved in, the further away you will both be from your goal of just being yourselves within the relationship.

While it’s fun to bring in the list of achievements for the purpose of impressing someone, it can lead to competition, which can be damaging in a relationship.

Modesty is not to be confused with weakness, mind you. It takes a very concerted effort to remain cool and balanced, especially when dealing with people who bring out vulnerability in us — lovers, for instance.

It’s a much weaker hand that we show when we barge in and try to control it all, and that is why modesty is recommended. Modesty might also be translated as even-tempered, or wise. Wise enough to know when to say, “no.”

So, if I were to tie this into your reality, the advice here is for both of you to be real and to be respectful of the other’s reality.

We are all living in our own worlds and we cannot expect others to perceive things in the identical way that we do; it’s just not possible. And so, with that in mind, you, we, all of us, must come to understand that within our romantic scenarios, we are dealing with fellow humans, not machines built for raging drama and competition.

It’s a lesson in acceptance. If you want your connection to this person to be worthwhile, then you must open to the idea that they are not you.

You know that expression, “We hate what we don’t understand”? Well, that applies here. The reason people lose their connections to their loved ones is because they expect them to be variations of their own selves, when, indeed, they are not.

Modesty is your word of the day, my friends.

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Ruby Miranda is a New Yorker who learned astrology, I Ching and all types of cartomancy and numerology from her crazy, gypsy mother. She currently writes for a wide range of esoteric publications.