The I Ching – Paranormal, Psychic or Not?

Anomaly | 15 comments

The I Ching

From Valentine: I have signed up to receive Psychic Revolution and I ask whether interpretation of the I Ching is included in your brief. I am not certain this is a psychic talent, but I should like to have your opinion on the matter. Many thanks.

I received this query from Valentine and it got me thinking. Certainly this is not covered in the paranormal survey we have open at the moment but maybe it depends on the definition we use.

For those who are not familiar with the I Ching, here is a Guest Post from Valentine (our first Guest Post!)

The I Ching or Book of Changes*

The I Ching is a system of divination based on a Chinese text written some 2500 years ago. Of unknown origin, it was held in high regard by Confucius and continues up to the present to command great interest and respect throughout the Far East. While sharing characteristics of the Tarot in the way it operates, instead of picture cards The I Ching is composed of 8 trigrams. These are stacks of 3 horizontal straight lines, either broken or unbroken, paired together to form 64 possible combinations known as hexagrams which form stacks of 6 lines each.

Each trigram represents a range of symbolism such as Heaven, the Creative, the Father or Earth, the Mother, the Receptive, and when paired, the resulting hexagram acquires a further designation such as, for example, Youthful Folly, Peace, Breaking Through, each line providing a comment upon the question which has been asked.

The hexagram itself is arrived at by one of several methods, nowadays commonly by throwing 3 coins so that they land heads or tails. The obverse of each coin represents the number 3 and the reverse, 2; therefore, the throw of all three coins results in a combination of the numbers 6 (broken line), 7 (unbroken line), or possibly 8 (changing broken line) or 9 (changing unbroken line). Only the changing lines are relevant to the interpretation, and their change, from broken to unbroken or the reverse, results in a second hexagram in which the changed line in its new form is again relevant.

Like Tarot readings, the operation of the I Ching, according to Carl Jung, may be explained by synchronicity, or the coming together of all relevant elements, both material and psychic. It cannot be thought of as a linear process of cause and effect. As an oracle, the interpretation confines itself to a short time span, usually not more than the immediate 24 hours. However, the text may also be used as a source of wisdom, and as such, this abbreviated time span need not be taken into consideration.

*Translators, Richard Wilhelm, Cary F. Baynes. Forward by Carl G. Jung. London, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd; 1975.

What do you think?

Can the I Ching be classified as paranormal? Have you had direct experience of the I Ching?

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  1. Patrick Weymouth

    I am a pro in I-ching (It’s pronounced as E ching) and the book of changes. Is it Paranormal, no, unless random Paranormal?

    I-ching has 64 ways to com up plus where ever the gold coin lands then tells you where you look in the book of changes to get your answer. Now because we are talking about the worlds oldest oracle, maybe the person who came up with this system may have be psychic, a medium or even a seer but the writings of the seer are not paranormal, it this person who wrote it may have been

    This has 64 outcomes. When you throw those 6 coins in the air, 5 silver and 1 gold, if you believe in a god of some kind some may say he/she made those coins land this way. This is better than any crystal ball or tarot card or has the same chances of coming up.

    The real question should be is random paranormal? Were the people who came up with the book of changes psychic or seers beyond time? May be?

    I took a 1 year course on the book of changes and I-ching and during studying the last 8 years in parapsychology and almost every oracle, one thing I can say, it amazes even me what comes up when you ask , then throw those coins and find out what the book has to say.

    Pat Weymouth

    If you want the name of a good book that is easier than the real thing to read & learn, send an e-mail me, I will send you my e-mail address and I will give you the name. I am not sure about copy write laws so if I put it here, we might get in trouble.

  2. Rosemary Breen

    Thanks Patrick. Perhaps some people who will take up your offer. As to whether the I Ching is paranormal or not, I’d love to hear others’ opinions on that, particularly those who are involved with runes and tarot cards.



  3. Sandy

    What an interesting blog, Rosemary!

    I’ve had odd experiences all my life, but the frequency of weird occurrences has increased since I had a Near Death Experience in my late 20’s. Are some people more prone to seeing ghosts? Are there ways of coping with these experiences?



  4. Rosemary Breen

    Hi Sandy
    In answer to your questions about seeing ghosts, Im not sure about apparitions in particular but definitely my research indicated that the ability to experience the paranormal runs in families. So, there seems to be a genetic element to this proneness but this avenue of enquiry is so new that I wasn’t able to find any other academic research that backed it up. I intend to pursue this more when I return to academic study.

    Thanks for dropping by Sandy and for leaving your kind comments.



  5. Anne Morgan

    Re I Ching (also pronounced E Jing) I am not a psychic but have used the I Ching for many years to ask specific questions from the oracle.

    I have been surprised by how accurate the answers have been. I do not have an explanation of how it works, but I trust what I find to be good and true.

    Unlike Patrick, I did not follow a course of instruction but use the easy to follow coin method in “I CHING or book of changes” Richard Wilhelm translation, ISBN 0-14-019207-7.

    I also use “THE VISUAL I CHING” by Oliver Perottet published by Salem House. I have had both of these books for many years and do not know if they are still available.

    • Rosemary Breen

      Hi Anne

      Thanks for passing on these two references. Im sure those who are interested in learning more about the I Ching will find them interesting.

      Im wondering why you say “I have been surprised”? Was that more how you felt in the morning or do you still find yourself being pleasantly surprised by what is revealed?

      My experience of the I Ching is as a recipient rather than a practitioner.


  6. Anne Morgan

    Hi Rosemary,

    My Surprise came in the form of “what to do about….” or a very specific answer to a question. Not all my questions have been simple to answer, but the help from the I Ching readings has often pointed me in the right direction.

    I have asked questions on behalf of other people and also had relevant answers.
    I find a few minutes contemplation of the question before throwing the coins, or in the case of the Visual I Ching, choosing the card, is necessary to achieve the correct state of mind. This might bring an answer in itself, but doesn’t account for being told which pages of the oracle to read.

    I only consult the I Ching infrequently, but find it another tool to add to reading Tarot and Runes. I do not read professionally, what started as an interest soon became a reliable source of information for me and much more accurate than the Runes and Tarot.

    Bright Blessings, Anne.

    • Rosemary Breen

      Anne, have you ever used all three tools on the same question? I’m not intimately familiar with the workings of all three of these tools but I am wondering – and perhaps you and others can add to my knowledge here – is there such a thing as ‘different horses for courses’ where Tarot, Runes and I Ching are concerned?


  7. Anne

    Hi Rosemary,
    Yes I have used all three, Tarot, Runes and I Ching on the same question and find that they are usually compatible.

    As I mentioned before, I don’t consult oracles on a regular basis, but my subconscious tells me when I need to. I try to follow my instincts more these days (I’m now 68) as I have found over the years that they are more often right and have kicked myself for ignoring them.

    I am more convinced that the tool is immaterial, its the connection of the mind in some way to the universe that produces the results.

    I read about the Akashic records many years ago and have wondered if there really is such a thing, and if I just manage to tap into them on a very small scale.

    I am a Pagan (see and very attuned to nature.

    I am not Wiccan and do not go in for spells and magic per se, but see magic at work in its many forms all around me.

    I hope this is of use to you. Feel free to contact me or our “webmasters” on the site.

    We are a friendly bunch and although have only been on line just over a year, have now got a world-wide following.

    My name is newboldwitch if you want to see any of my input.
    Bright Blessings, Anne.

    • Rosemary Breen

      Hi Anne

      Lovely to know a bit more about you.

      My only introduction to the Akashic Records was during my early exploration of Theosophy – something I didnt continue with.

      I’m more inclined to agree with you about the I Ching, Tarot, Runes are probably used more to calm/distract the conscious mind, allowing intuition and guidance to come thru.

      Thanks also for the link to ‘your’ website. I wonder if you would be interested in writing a small introductory article on Paganism? I’m sure many readers at Psychic Revolution would be interested to know a little more from an ‘insiders’ perspective. No pressure though 🙂



      I’m sure readers

  8. Adele Aldridge

    Hello all,

    To respond to the subject of whether the I Ching is a psychic talent: When you become involved with questions directed at the I Ching you will find the responses so amazingly accurate. That is what keeps me hooked in to the I Ching for all these years. The I Ching itself is not psychic. It is a system of divination and a lot more. Thousands of books have been written on the subject. It appeals to artists, writers, musicians, mathematicians, physicists and many many people. I do believe that to get the most out of the I Ching if you have a developed since of intuition you can get more out of it.

    Obviously I could go on and on about this subject and this is getting long enough.

    Thanks for posting.

    PS I have been using the I Ching for 40 years and have a blog. I’m in process of doing my own graphic and poetic interpretation of the I Ching which I have been working on FOREVER. I’ve also published a book, “I Ching Prescriptions – Choosing Change”.

    • Rosemary Breen

      Hi Adele

      Welcome to Psychic Revolution.

      I’ve taken the opportunity to pop over and check out your I Ching blog. I love your artwork, including your avatar here! It’s just wonderful and so powerful. I can well imagine how long this labor of love has taken you. Anyway, congratulations!

      Maybe I can entice you to write a guest post for my readers 🙂 It’s about time we had another article on the I Ching.



  9. Jennie

    Hi All
    The original work placed into written form is credited to the legendary first Emperor of China, Fu Hsi. He was said to be a great sage and scholar.

    He was also said to have had an understanding of himself and the natural world around him. Using his wisdom he composed trigrams, which are the basis of I Ching – how ever you wish to pronounce it.

    Then, some 500 years later Confucius. who held the I Ching in high regard, added more observations and commentaries.

    The I Ching trigrams were given attributes and characteristics that helped to define them symbolically, in terms of the natural world, colours, animal totems, body parts to name a few.

    The I Ching counsels you on the nature of your problem and the best way to deal with it.

    I would class it as a form of divining. The I Ching has a mystery to it and, if it helps people, I would place it along side Tarot and Runes.

    I also feel that people themselves have a lot to do with the outcome, as we are all guided by unseen forces, and I would place it within the psychic arts.

    This is my own view due to experience.

    • Rosemary Breen

      Hi Jennie

      Wow you are a historian as well as a paranormal follower. Thank you for the link to Fu Hsi. It sent me scurrying 6o Wikipedia. He lived for 197 years! And boy was he busy in that time!

      Jennie, Ill leave others to weigh into the actual discussion on the I Ching, as I feel grossly under qualifies to comment.



  10. David Bolton

    The I Ching should – on its own – be considered as a system of holistic philosophy. It gains its “power” of prediction when used by an individual, and the more that individual is endowed with innate intuitive ability, the more he/she will be able to sue the I Ching as a method of prediction, or for connecting to the deeper meanings of situations past, present or future. In this, it is related to methods such as laying the cards, reading tea leaves, or whatever.

    Nonetheless, due to the wealth and depth of the material in the I Ching, its interpretive/predictive power can be even more effective than many other methods.

    I use it myself, though only when I feel that I simply MUST have a deeper insight into something at just this moment: and when I then do consult it, I almost always obtain information that is both relevant, as well as revelatory, about my situation.


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