How to Use the I Ching – Basic Three Coin Method

To use the I Ching, all you need is a copy of the I Ching and three coins that have a heads and a tails side. You will also need a scrap of paper and a writing utensil. Start by holding the coins in your hand, and think of a question you would like answered. When you have a clear idea of the question you would like to ask, throw the coins. Take a look at the results. Each head is worth 3 and each tails is worth 2. So add up the value. For example, suppose you throw the coins and the coins fall as two heads and one tail. That means the total would be 8. 3 + 3 + 2 = 8. So for the first line, you would record an 8. Repeat this process five more times, writing the numerical values in a vertical sequence from bottom to top. Once you have these 6 numerical values, you are ready to begin building your hexagram.

To build a hexagram, you’re going to simply write a broken line for each even value, and a solid line for each odd value. Once you have 6 lines, you have made a hexagram. When your hexagram is formed, you must now look it up in your copy of the I Ching. Usually on the very last page of your I Ching there will be a chart that makes looking up the hexagram easy. When you find your hexagram, read the chapter of the I Ching that corresponds to the hexagram.

Take a look at your hexagram. Do you have any sixes or nines? If so you will need to read the text under the line that is either six or nine. Usually this will be written in your I Ching as first line, second line, etc., or in some cases it will be described as first six, second nine, and so on. These are known as the changing lines. The text that is in this section pertains specifically to you and your question. Now you will make a second hexagram.