Practical Guidance

Unlocking the Wisdom of Ancient Chinese Oracle

Using the I Ching for Decision Making

Sep, 05 2023

Making Decisions with the I Ching

"When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however, such as the choice of a mate or a profession, the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within ourselves. In the important decisions of personal life, we should be governed, I think, by the deep inner needs of our nature."

- Sigmund Freud

The I Ching, also known as the Book of Changes, has been used for centuries as a tool for divination and guidance. By consulting the oracle through the casting of coins or yarrow stalks, one can receive insights into the present situation and potential outcomes. Here are some practical tips to help you use the I Ching effectively for decision making:

  1. Clear your mind: Before consulting the I Ching, take a few moments to clear your mind of any distractions. Find a quiet space, take a few deep breaths, and focus your attention on your question or concern.

  2. Formulate your question: Be clear and specific in formulating your question. The more precise your question, the more accurate the response from the oracle will be.

  3. Cast the coins: Use three coins of different denominations, such as a penny, nickel, and quarter. Assign each coin a numerical value (for example, heads = 3, tails = 2) and cast them six times. Record the numerical values to create a hexagram.

  4. Interpret the hexagram: Refer to a reliable I Ching interpretation guide or consult an experienced practitioner to interpret the hexagram. Each hexagram consists of six lines, each representing a different aspect of the situation. The combination of these lines provides insights and guidance.

  5. Apply the insights: Once you have obtained the hexagram and its interpretation, reflect on how it relates to your question or concern. Consider the advice and guidance provided by the I Ching and apply it to your decision-making process.

Real-Life Stories

The Decision to Change Careers

Catherine, a successful corporate executive, was contemplating a career change. She had become disillusioned with her current job and was yearning for more fulfillment. Uncertain about taking the leap, she consulted the I Ching for guidance. The oracle revealed the hexagram for 'Inner Truth', indicating that her true calling lay in a creative field. Encouraged by this insight, Catherine pursued her passion for photography and ultimately found immense joy and success in her new career.

The Battle of Red Cliffs

Historical depiction of the Battle of Red Cliffs

In ancient China, the I Ching played a crucial role in military decision making. During the Battle of Red Cliffs in 208 AD, the warlord Liu Bei consulted the oracle before engaging in battle against the forces of Cao Cao. The I Ching advised Liu Bei to set fire to Cao Cao's ships, leading to a decisive victory. This strategic move, guided by the wisdom of the I Ching, altered the course of history.

Unlock the Power of the I Ching

The I Ching is not a magical crystal ball that can predict the future with certainty. Instead, it offers a framework for self-reflection and a source of wisdom to inform decision making. By integrating the teachings of the I Ching into your life, you can gain clarity, deepen your self-understanding, and navigate the complexities of decision making. Embrace the ancient wisdom of the I Ching and unlock the transformative power within you.

Person consulting the I Ching oracle with coins in hand

I Ching
decision making
personal well-being