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Hyperlink Bone Oracle: While focusing on the question, or with an empty mind, choose one of the sixty-four Confucius Oracles on this page.

DAOZHAN: Divination Resource for Daoist Calculation; (6 books within 1 text; [Book 6] COSMIC CODE OF TAO (YIJING): Science of Divination and Art of Philosophy)


see also: http://boneoracle.com


The Science of Divination and the Art of Philosophy

The cosmic code of the Book of Change (Yijing) was recorded by simple-minded ancients, who observed the integrity of all aspects of life, discovered the laws behind the diversity of nature, and created a way of harmonious living with nature. Nature was their teacher. By embracing the patterns of nature in the center, their philosophy, they were able to make their lives predictable. Once the center is found, completeness is accomplished.

The fundamental principles of the Yijing have guided philosophers, politicians, mystics, alchemists, diviners, scientists, and mathematicians. 

“The process on earth-blossom and fruit, growth and decay can be calculated if we know the laws of change, we can precalculate in regard to it' The future likewise develops in accordance with calculated numbers. If these numbers are known, future events can be calculated with perfect certainty.” –Shao Yung

The main idea of the Yijing, the Book of Change, is to be firm in yielding the mind. The Yijing reveals the science of divination and the art of philosophy through an intricate mathematical cosmology that forges astrology and geomancy into the heart of humanity, which learns to understand the truth of reality.

  • Divination: to reveal the laws of the movement of nature in order to shape fate

  • Philosophy: to know the way of transformation into the divine

The Yijing guides humanity back to divinity by following the way (truth) of nature. The unchanging truth of heaven is that everything under it changes.



The Book of Changes (Yijing), a book of oracles and wisdom, was written between the Yin and Zhou Dynasties. Emperor Qin Shihuangdi of the Qin Dynasty, succeeded in unifying the six states of China. He adopted a tyranny, which strictly suppressed learning in order to keep his subjects ignorant and submissive, thus securing the longevity of the dynasty. Thus, he buried scholars alive and destroyed philosophical texts (215 BCE). However, Qin saved one text for political guidance and divination, the Yijing.

Three different systems of Yijing have developed, each system originating from a different hexagram, or root trigram. In the Xia Dynasty (2205-1766 BCE), the lake (dui) trigram was doubled to become the original hexagram to generate the Lianshan series of hexagrams. In the Shang Dyansty (1766-1150 BCE), the earth (kun) trigram was doubled to become the original hexagram to generate the Guizang series of hexagrams. In the Zhou Dynasty (1150-249 BCE), the heaven (qian) trigram was doubled to become the original hexagram to generate the Zhouyi series of hexagrams. During the Xia and Shang Dynasties, written language was premature, with records being kept on tortoise shells. The Lianshan and Guizang arrangements became extinct by the Qin Dynasty, while the Zhouyi, or Yi, arrangement is still in use today.

According to the Dazhuan (see below), yi has three distinct qualities:

1)  Qianyi: the world's simple structure

2)  Pianyi: continuous change

3)  Puyi: constancy

The essential philosophy of the Yijing originated with Confucianism, with contributions from Taoist philosophy, and then Buddhist philosophy was later applied. The ideogram for yi, is created by combining the ideograms for the sun and moon, thus implying a duality within the fundamental perception of life. The constant interactions of yin and yang produce change (yi), understood to be the movement of the Tao.

According to the Dazhuan, the Yijing is founded on a binary mathematical structure that unfolds its complexity through logarithm 2 (see ‘evolution' below). Therefore, the Yijing's 64 hexagrams are formed from the 8 trigrams (bagua). There are 64 possible combinations of paired trigrams [8 x 8 = 64]. Each trigram consists of three continuous and/or broken horizontal lines, which when combined in pairs form the various 64 hexagrams of six lines each.

The root text of the Yijing describes the individual hexagrams and their lines, representing the transformation tendency in sociology, politics, or cosmology (internal alchemy). The Confucian commentaries, or Ten Wings (Shiyi) were added later.

In order to better adapt to a more complex reality, the mathematical structure of the Yijing and bagua was developed from a simple bone oracle casting system which derived a ‘yes' (continuous line) or ‘no' (broken line) answer.

The trigrams and hexagrams portray celestial and terrestrial events, and the prediction is based on the phases of transformation, which concisely describe general cosmological or sociological situations. Each hexagram embodies change through one or more changing lines, which change into the opposite, thus producing another hexagram and completing a sense of reality for a given situation, in terms of the past and future. Traditionally, oracles were cast by throwing 50 yarrow stalks, or more simply three coins.

There are conflicting views on the invention, or source, of the trigrams and hexagrams. According to legend, Fu Xi is attributed to inventing the early sequence of the eight trigrams, derived from the Hetu, and the early array of the 64 hexagrams, both of which are arranged according to a binary sequence. Some sources claim that Fu Xi invented some of the hexagrams while Wen Wang, founder of the Zhou Dynasty, invented the rest. Some scholars claim that Wang Wen invented both trigrams and hexagrams, while others say that Wang Wen invented the trigrams and his son, the Duke of Zhou, invented the hexagrams, thus the alternate name for the Yijing, Zhouyi. Kungzi is attributed for writing the commentaries of the Yijing, known as the Shiyi (Ten Wings), even though historians believe that they were created in a later period, Han Dynasty.

The Yijing is the only philosophical text to survive the book burnings ordered by Qin Shihuangdi (213 AD), who considered it a book of prophecy. During this period, the fangshi and the scholars of the Yinyangjia, facilitated the popularity of the Yijing, to be considered a book of wisdom and an official state doctrine. The Yijng has been used for oracle casting since the Zhou dynasty.

Yijing is also known as the Zhouyi (Changes of the Zhou Dynasty), when the Yijing also includes the Shiyi (Ten Wings), or Yizhuan (the Confucian Commentaries on the Yijing).

Shiyi (Ten Wings), or Yizhuan (Confucian Commentaries on the Yijing):

1)   Duanzhuan (Commentary on the Decisions of Judgments- 2 parts): gives exact interpretations of judgments according to hexagram structure and quality

2)  Xiangzhuan (Commentary on the Images- 2 parts): the first part gives comments on great images, or the relationship of a trigram combination within a hexagram; the second part gives comments on small images, or the individual lines of a hexagram; in general, this commentary gives an understanding on the relevant meaning of the trigrams in accordance with the laws of change

3)  Xizi or Dazhuan (Great Commentary on the Appended Judgments- 2 parts): is considered the most important commentary, explaining the precept (Tao arises from yin and yang) of the main text and its application to nature and society

4)  Wenyan (Commentary on the Words of the Text): comments on the original hexagrams qian and kun

5)  Shuogua (Discussion of the Trigrams): explains the meanings and designations of the eight trigrams (bagua)

6)  Xugua (Sequence of the Hexagrams): explains the present sequence of the 64 hexagrams of the Yijing

7)  Zagua (Miscellaneous Notes): discusses relationships between pairs of individual hexagrams; the order of hexagrams compared differs from the present arrangement of the hexagrams


  • Navigator/Priests (Remote Antiquity): shell and bone language was developed to record oracular communications for kings; these relics have been used to trace the origin of the sexagenary cycle

  • Fu Xi (2953-2838 BCE): also known as Bao Xi Gong inventor and teacher of hunting, fishing, animal husbandry, music, cooking, marriage, philosophy, and time keeping; inventor of the Former Heaven (xiantian) Sequence of the 8 trigrams derived from the Hetu; inventor of the 64 hexagrams and their Early Heaven Array

  • Huangdi (2700 BCE): sexagenary cycles in use

  • Zhou Wen Wang (King Wen) (1231-1135 BCE): founder of Zhou Dynasty; inventor of the Later Heaven (houtian) Sequence of the 8 trigrams derived from the Luoshu; inventor of Later Heaven Array and the brief explanatory text (Guazi) for each of the 64 hexagrams and their individual lines (judgments) (while imprisoned by tyrant Emperor Zhou Xin)

  • Duke of Zhou (son of King Wen): also inventor of the explanatory text for the 64 hexagrams and individual lines (judgments) (Yaozi)

  • Confucius (Kungzi) (551-479 BCE), and anonymous representatives or pupils: credited for the commentaries, 10 wings, of the 64 hexagrams

  • Chen Tuan (Song Dynasty): immortal credited with Yijing astrological system

  • Shao Yong (1011-77 CE; Ming Dynasty): credited with completing Yijing astrological and numerological system

  • Liu Yiming (18th c.CE): credited for Taoist alchemical commentaries on the 64 hexagrams

Fangshi: (method-practitioner) of divination, magic, healing, and longevity



Yijing mathematical principles are thought of as the key to the universe, or the forces that control the patterns of heaven and earth. Today, Yijing mathematics is verbatim with the binary system.

Since prediction and calculation have the same meaning in Chinese (suan), they did not distinguish between numerology and mathematics. (see ‘cosmology' section)

Binary System:

  • Same mathematical system is expressed in the structural variation of the genetic code

  • Gottfried Wilhelm Liebnitz (17th c.CE): father of calculus, discovered the binary system from Father Joachin Bouvet, a Jesuit priest in China, who introduced Fu Xi's Early Heaven Array of the 64 hexagrams

  • Same mathematical system which is the basis of computer language



The fundamental concepts of the Yijing identify the karmic parameters of spiritual cultivation.

1)  The hexagrams evolved from the primal forces of yin and yang, derived from the Universal Creative manifesting itself.

2)  The hexagrams symbolically represent all possible situations and conditions relating to human, animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms.

3)  The hexagrams can, with proper understanding and interpretation, be used for any matter a man can think of.

4)  The basic laws and patterns of the Universal Creative are in, or are generated by the Former Heaven Sequence of trigrams.

5)  The basic laws and patterns are made manifest in the universe in accordance with the Later Heaven Sequence of trigrams.

6)  Heaven, Man and Earth are coequal partners in the spiritual development of man through his experiences.

7)  The influences of Heaven and Earth are always fixed and predictable (from human's realm of perception). This is the revelation of the hexagrams.

8)  Man has free will: freedom of choice in what he thinks, does, or says.

9)  Predictions pertain to the material realm in accordance with natural laws. Since man has free will, which operates in the spiritual realm, predictions can be modified.

10)  Astrological forecasts can be modified by karma and one's free will.

11)  Karma returns to the originator in Universal Time. It often overrides free will in the material realm.

12)  Karma is not inevitable. Man can develop himself mentally and enter the realm of spirit through refinement and purification. The realm of spirit overrides and supersedes the material realm in which karma operates.

13)  Man manifests divine will when he works in harmony with nature (the laws of heaven and earth).

14)  Man progresses spiritually as he further discerns the laws of heaven and earth, and consciously uses them.

15)  The Yijing is a fundamental guide for spiritual development.

16)  Auspiciousness can be increased through spiritual cultivation according to the observation of lessons learned from the cycles of hexagrams which repeat throughout life. In other words, man does best for himself when acting selflessly, and acting in harmony with the laws of heaven and earth.

17)  There are no measurable changes in the laws of heaven and earth during an individual’s lifetime. Therefore, the laws affecting an individual at the moment of birth are the laws governing the individual's life.

18)  The influences existing at the time of birth are time, space, and the relative positions of everything in the universe at that moment. (In Yijing astrology, the sun is the most important factor.)

19)  An individual’s choice to enter life at a particular moment (birth) is an exercise of free will.

20)  People born in the same place at the same moment are referred to as 'time twins.'

21)  Only the individual knows him or herself best. This is part of the individual's freedom.


SIXTY-FOUR HEXAGRAMS: Patterns of Change

The transformation patterns of the sixty-four hexagrams are indicated by their logarithmic  evolution, timeless hexagrams, line representations, trigram representations, sources of interpretation, and hexagram interpretation.

Evolution: Pyramid Unfolding (see also ‘Cosmology')

The complexity of the Yijing symbols unfolds at an exponential rate (logarithm 2). Log 2 is used because 2 refers to the duality (liangyi) within unity. If the exponents are spheres, their exponential sequence forms a pyramid, which reflects Confucian hierarchy, and a quantitative existence.

20   21 22 23 2 




Dimensional Representation


Universal Creative: Great Absolute (taiyi)



Two Forms (liangyi: yin-yang)



Four Symbols: Digrams; Five Elements (sixiang; wuxing)

Plane: xy grid


Eight Trigrams (bagua)

Cube or sphere: xyz grid


Sixty-four Hexagrams

Space and Time

Algebraically: (a = yang; b = yin); (see fig. )

2 = (a + b)

1) taiyi: (a + b)= 1

2) liangyi: (a + b)1 = a + b

3) sixiang: (a + b)2 = a2 ab + ba + b2

4) bagua: (a + b)3 = (a2 + ab + ba + b2) + (a + b) = (a3 + 3a2b + 3ab2 + b3)

= a3 + a2b + a2b + a2b + ab2 + ab2 + ab2 + b3

5) 64 hexagrams: (a + b)6 = a6 + 6a5b + 15a4b2 + 20a3b3 + 15a2b4 + 6ab5 + b6

Evolutionary Representations:

  • Symbol (xiang): liangyi, sixiang, bagua

  • Philosophy (li): accurate forecasting based on the hexagram images, judgments, and commentaries generated by its contributors

  • Number (shu): binary; log 2

Yijing Schools:

  • Nili jia (Han Dynasty): emphasized li

  • Xiangshu jia (Song Dynasty): researched trigrams and hexagrams and found relationships between mathematical symbol and philosophy; emphasized xiang, shu, and li

  • Daojia: used Yijing principles to explain and direct meditation (neidan)

  • Chanpu jia: used Yijing principles for divination (predicting the future)

Timeless Hexagrams: Polar Opposite Hexagrams

Timeless hexagrams, or polar opposite hexagrams, establish an axis-grid that distinguishes each hexagram by quadrant. The cardinal hexagrams mimic the cardinal trigrams of the early heaven sequence. Thus, the quadrants established by the timeless hexagrams determine the each hexagram’s location according to the four phases of energy.

1)   Heaven (S): Qian

2)   Earth (N): Kun

29)  The Abyss/Mastering Pitfalls (W): Kan

30)  Fire (E): Li

Yao Representations: Place of Line

The place where a line is positioned within a symbol (ie. liangyi, sixiang, bagua) is a yao. Line representations are interpreted primarily according to their numerological sequence in the given hexagram. Distinctions can be made as trigram lines, hexagram lines, most favorable lines, line actions, ruling line, outside lines, or line correspondence.




Human Body

Human Face




Feet, lower leg




Technicians, scientists, skilled workers





Bureaucrats, politicians, administrators

Hips, lower abdomen




Ministers, advisors

Upper abdomen









Sage, saint

Neck, head



Yin and Yang Lines:


  • Continuous: yang

  • Broken: yin

Number from bottom (inside):

  • Odd numbered lines: yang

  • Even numbered lines: yin

Most Favorable Lines:

  • Lines 2 and 5 (rulers)

  • Line 5 < 2 < 4 < 1 < 3 < 6

Line Actions:

  • Occur from bottom to top

  • Principle Action: lines 2, 3, 4 and 5

Ruling Line:

  • Line 5

  • Single yang or yin line amongst 5 lines of opposite polarity

Outside Lines:

  • Line 1: considerations before the activity can commence

  • Line 6: decline after the peak of activity

Line Correspondence:

  • 1 » 4 (minister)

  • 2 » 5 (ruler)

  • 3 » 6

  • Favorable: if upper of two corresponding lines is yang and lower is yin; man leading woman

  • Neutral: if corresponding lines have same polarity

  • Unfavorable: upper line is yin while lower is yang

Trigram Lines:

  • Lower: earth

  • Middle: man

  • Upper: heaven

Hexagram Lines:

  • Lines 1 and 2: earth

  • Lines 3 and 4: man

  • Lines 5 and 6: heaven

Trigram Representations:

A hexagram consists of 2 primary and 2 nuclear trigrams that overlap.

Primary Trigrams:

  • Upper: lines 4, 5, 6

  • Lower: lines 1, 2, 3

Nuclear Trigrams:

  • Upper: lines 3, 4, 5

  • Lower: lines 2, 3, 4

Sources of Interpretation:

Sources of hexagram and line interpretations sprout from indigenous Confucian sociological ideology and Taoist natural philosophy and alchemical practicum.


  • C: Confucius: Humanity (man in the world of man); trigram imagery

  • L: Liu Yiming, Translation: Ecology (man in the world of nature)

  • E: Liu Yiming, Explantion (Thomas Cleary's paraphrase): Spiritual Alchemy (man in the world of heaven, Tao)


  • L: Liu Yiming Translation

  • E: Explanation (my paraphrase of Thomas Cleary’s translation of Liu Yiming's explanation)

Hexagram Interpretations: 1-64

Odd hexagrams are heavenly following their source from Qian, while even hexagrams are earthly following their source from Kun.


Hexagram Derivation Methods:

Lotusspace utilizes three main hexagram derivation methods to determine specific portents.

  • Coin and Yarrow Stick
  • Plum Blossom Numerology (Weather, Marriage, Travel, Lost Objects, etc.)
  • Astrological (Prenatal, Postnatal, Yearly, Monthly, Daily Hexagram derivations); Astrological Yijing Hexagram Divination Service requires full astrological forecast to derive Prenatal, Postnatal, Yearly, Monthly, and Daily Hexagrams. (Option: Hexagram is presented in calligraphy style.)  Yijing commentary and interpretation included.


Hyperlink Bone Oracle: While focusing on the question, or with an empty mind, choose one of the sixty-four Confucius Oracles on this page.


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