An outline of the Software

The central metaphor of the software is a bookshelf containing eight books. By clicking on each book, it is removed from the shelf and opened at a page of contents. The contents of each of the books are laid out on the screen as if on the right-hand page of a book, with the controls down the partially visible left-hand page of the book.

If you want to get an idea of the screen layout, then you can look at the page of Snaphots.

What are these books? As well as a Glossary of Terms, a volume of Introductory articles and a Study Notebook, they are the Yi Jing itself, a Diary of Oracles, a Lexicon, the Ba Gua, a volume of Essays and Articles, and a user-ustomisable resource (yi lin).



Yi Jing, Book of Changes

Containing the sixty-four hexagrams of the Yi Jing, which can be read in the King Wen, Shao Yung or Ma Wang-dui sequences.  This edition of the Yi Jing is unique, in that the hexagrams of the Book of Changes can be approached through different readings.  There is a basic translation of the text with optional interpretative notes.  There is also a transliteration of the Chinese text, where each character of the original Chinese text is rendered by a single English word, giving a terse almost telegraphic intensity to the text.  In this reading there are no verb tenses, no articles, and few prepositions.  This also has optional but very detailed notes on the text.  In addition there are two forms of Chinese reading, one of which has interactive access to the Yi Jing Lexicon, the dictionary of Chinese words which is an accompanying volume on the Bookshelf. The hexagrams can also be organised into different sequences and groupings, and they can be studied in terms of their opposites, their nuclear hexagrams, constituent trigrams, and so on and so forth.  There are extensive appendices.

Diary of Oracles

Whether you choose to use the divination program contained in the software, or enter by hand oracles you have cast elsewhere, the Diary of Oracles is a useful place to keep a record of your divinations.  One essential element of using the Changes as an approach to understanding is in forging the link from its universality to the personal.  The diary enables one's own oracles to be recorded by date, nature of query and hexagram received, but also to be grouped according to hexagram received, subject of query and date period.  You can enter in your own notes on your oracles at any time, you can make notes on particular divination sessions - in this way you can draw your own meaningful conclusions from the Yi Jing. In the Diary, your oracle reading can be the translation or the transliteration, each with their own respective form of notes.

Ba Gua, the 8 Trigrams (Licensed Edition only)

The Ba Gua or Eight Trigrams are an integral part of the hexagrams of the Book of Changes. This volume on the Bookshelf contains various diagrams of the trigrams with essays on them, together with essays on the individual trigrams and lists of their attributes.  These last two can also be found in the appendix within the Yi Jing edition which details the component trigrams, primary and nuclear, of any hexagram.

Yi Jing Lexicon (Licensed Edition only)

The Lexicon contains an entry for every Chinese character in the original text.  Each character is given along with its English transliteration, and further meanings and associations.  This enables the reader to approach nuances of meaning inherent in the original Chinese text, and perhaps trigger further associations in his or her own mind, rendering the Yi Jing more personal than ever before in an English edition. In addition, the Lexicon has the added functionality of a concordance, listing the occurrences of the Chinese character elsewhere in the Yi Jing text.  This also can help the reader to grasp the more rounded understanding of a word or phrase. The Lexicon can be opened from the Yi Jing edition at appropriate readings.

Essays & Articles (Licensed Edition only)

This volume of over a hundred essays and articles is actually a compendium of writings and papers which have accumulated over the years. There are articles detailing the history of the Book of Changes from its roots in the divination practices of the Shang people through to the present day.  There are essays on the origins and possible meanings of the Yin / Yang line complexes and their accumulation through two-, three-, and six-line figures (hexagrams).  There are essays on the imagery of the basic text, discussions of the commentary texts known as the Ten Wings, and much more.

Yi Lin (Licensed Edition only)

This volume contains a sample resource from san shan which can be added to by yourself or used as a model for creating your own yi jing related resource. The facility can accomodate as many resources as you like. A resource is a collection of articles each of which has a title. The title of each resource is treated by the facility as a "keyword", which acts as a hyperlink when it is incorporated into the text of another article.

Download Lise Heyboer's Gualin Resource. An in-depth examination and explanation, using both image and text, from Lise Heyboer ( of the meanings & origins of the Chinese characters forming the names of the 64 hexagrams of the yi jing. Very illuminating, offering valuable insights into the characters and their associations.

Go Back to the Top of the Page