INSIDE A YIJING READING
PART 1: READING ELEMENTS
What can you expect from
a detailed Yijing reading?
When I ask my clients if they already know the Yijing prior to our reading session, this is the answer I always hear from them:
“It’s my first time to hear the Yijing.”
I understand this, as Yijing is not as popular as other methods like Tarot, Runes and Angel Cards. Many people are already familiar with these methods, and they can easily expect what they will get from a reading.
So in this post I thought of laying down the contents of a detailed Yijing reading, which I always offer in a 1-hour or 2-hour sessions. I hope to give you some familiarity over the beauty of Yijing as an oracle reading system, particularly on how I structure a reading in my practice.
I always base my Yijing readings on what I call reading elements. These elements are parts of the reading which I unpack and interpret for the client. It is almost similar to the Minor and Major Arcana in reading Tarot. These reading elements help me see and reveal the insights that clients need to answer their inquiry.
There are two (2) major sets of reading elements in Yijing:
Let’s explore each set and understand what they exactly contribute in a Yijing reading.
Yijing has no set of cards with beautiful illustrations unlike Tarot, or ancient letters unlike Runes. Instead, it uses two (2) kinds of abstract symbols which in ancient Chinese is called gua 卦.
Trigrams are gua 卦 or three-line symbols. These symbols are what you see arranged in a bagua 八卦 the octagon-shaped artifact mounted on top of many front doors. (Bagua means “8 trigrams”)
These symbols represent natural phenomena, and each has a corresponding associated meaning that helps a reading become more relevant to your inquiry.
Each trigram has rich associations, but let me give you some basics here, in relation to movement:
|Trigram||Associated movement||Example||Possible relevance to your reading|
|HEAVEN||continuing||radiation, frequencies||just continue; nonstop|
|EARTH||carrying||house, occupied space||carry and protect something|
|THUNDER||emerging||spring, electricity||renew or refresh; innovate|
|WOOD/WIND||penetrating||roots, cool breeze||deepen, relaxation, being gentle|
|WATER||raging||waterfalls, ocean||too uncertain; overwhelming|
|FIRE||clinging||bonfire, lighthouse||attracting, connecting, relating|
|MOUNTAIN||pausing||checkpoint, stoplight||take control, time to stop|
|LAKE||opening||dancing, speaking||communicate, create and express|
These are just one of so many associations with every trigram. They can be associated with body parts, colors, directions, animals, events, virtues, and other similar natural phenomena.
Hexagrams are another set of gua 卦 with six lines. When 2 trigrams are stacked together, they form a hexagram. So 8 trigrams stacked on each other produces 64 hexagrams. Here is a chart to see how these combinations take place:
This is where it gets interesting. The position of the trigram in a hexagram reveals so much meaningful insights in a reading:
|Upper Trigram||What happens outside; situations and realities; anything observable and obvious|
|Lower Trigram||What happens inside; thoughts and feelings; anything reflected or contemplated|
So hexagram as a whole (combined trigrams) shows us the big picture, how the client’s perception of his or her situation affects the outside situation he or she is facing.
Yijing Symbols as Answers
Why do symbols answer your inquiry? To answer this, I’d like to ask you another question: why do we chat using emojis? Emojis are symbols, too. When you see a heart or a smiley, it needs no explanation. They already reveal their meaning, without even using a single word. This is the same with trigrams and hexagrams.
Not just text
Though Yijing has been known as an ancient book, and many practitioners tend to use it by reading the text, it is first and foremost a combination of symbols. Thus, even if you don’t exactly read the text, the symbols can reveal enough information to make a reading insightful and meaningful.
In Part 2, we will explore the next set of reading elements, the ancient text of Yijing.