Introduction to the I Ching
The I Ching is an ancient system of philosophy dating back to the origins of Chinese civilization. In Chinese, "ching" means book and "I" means change. Thus, the name may be translated as "The Book of Changes." It is a philosophy of "right living," and is based on the premise that everything in the universe arises out of two forces, Yang and Yin. These two forces are the Chinese words for creative and receptive energy, also known as the masculine and feminine forces. The basic concept underlying the I Ching is that if you follow the way of nature, you will find the right way and right time for any action or non-action in your life.
The I Ching is a symbol-based philosophy. From the basic eight trigrams are derived sixty-four hexagrams. These layers within layers of symbols are like light coming into a prism, reflecting back a myriad of images, all coming from One Source. These symbolic images find their way into the deepest recesses of the individual mind, interacting with our own knowledge and experience and intution, to enlighten us with its wisdom to the subtleties of our situations.