Meet the i ching

by Hilary J. Barrett

This article is not entitled ‘instructions in manipulating an ancient divination method’, or even ‘how to use a valuable tool for self-development’. True, the I Ching is both of those things, but I know it as a gentle, wise and strong friend, and this is what – or whom – I would like you to meet.

The I Ching is an invaluable friend and companion on the path. Quite simply, you can ask it whatever you wish, and you receive the answer you need. ‘How can I manage this dispute?’ ‘Be like a general in the midst of his army, build up your reserves and be prepared – but don’t overstate things, stay in touch with reality’ ‘What can I do for her?’ ‘Be with her: she is very mistrustful, hiding weapons in the undergrowth and constantly on the look-out for attack.

But you can overcome this and get closer to her, biting through the mistrust like an obstacle between your teeth’ ‘What if we bought this house?’ ‘It would be as if the main roof beam of a house were bearing too much weight and buckling under the strain’. I understood this answer as pointing to the strain of involving all my emotional and financial resources in a very dilapidated house, which was true. But later, the house also turned out to have structural problems with its roof… And so on, and on.

In my work interpreting the I Ching’s answers for other people, I have been delighted to discover how its voice changes – how it becomes reassuring or firm, simple or profound, according to the needs of the individual questioning it. People from 17 to 70 ask it every question imaginable. These, of course, are confidential – but I’ve personally asked questions from ‘where should I look for my I Ching journal?’ to ‘What am I here for?’ And yes, both answers were accurate!

Here is the proof of ‘ask, and it shall be given unto you,’ at work in practice. In the images the I Ching offers you, you can see yourself and your situation – and the people around you – with new understanding. You have new insight into the deeper currents that flow through your life; you can float deftly with them, rather than paddling desperately against the stream. Over time, you find that you are living your life rather than merely having it happen to you.

You may be wondering why I haven’t included instructions on using the I Ching, explained the intricacies of hexagrams, trigrams, moving lines and those other complicated things you may have heard of. Well, you can find out all you need to know about this at Clarity’s website – or you can simply use the free reading there. But the technicalities are not all that important – the important thing is to meet the I Ching.

Copyright H.J.Barrett 2000

About the author
I have been learning from the I Ching for many years now, and recently founded Clarity, a guaranteed I Ching consultation service whose mission is to make the I Ching’s help and insight readily and simply available to all who need it.