The English Book of Changes: A User's Guide

  You will need three English coins of the same denomination, preferably silver and minted in the same year.  Heads, our Queen, is warp. She is light, warm, strong, rigid, active, odd. Tails is weft: dark, cold, supple, passive, restful, and even. Although weft is weak and warp is strong, there is strength in weakness, and weakness in strength.The English Book of Changes is an oracle that responds to sincere meditation on any given situation, exploring both its correctness and its consequences. The wisdom of the Book is based on ancient texts handed down through generations, their origins often lost. They take into account your present circumstances, analyse possibilities for action, and frequently refer back to your past. The ideal place to consult the Book is wherever you feel the most self-possessed and serene, such as the patio or conservatory, or even in the bathroom!1. Take your three coins in cupped hands, shake, and let fall simultaneously on a flat surface.2. Heads equals a value of one.3. Tails equals a value of two.

Add the numeric values of the tossed coins – the four possible results are:

  • 6 – Young Weft     ___ ___
  • 5 – Young Warp     _______
  • 4 – Old Warp         _______    mutable, becoming     ___ ___ 
  • 3 – Old Weft         ___  ___   mutable, becoming      _______

4.     Repeat this operation five times to obtain the 6 mystic lines of an ancient English hexagram.

The hexagram is constructed, and should be read, from the bottom to the top. The relevant ancient text depends on the numerical value of each throw of the coins, and its position in the hexagram.

Position in hexagram Old Weft(coin value 3) Old Warp(coin value 4) Young Warp(coin value 5) Young Weft(coin value 6)
Sixth Easier said than done What goes around, comes around One in the hand is worth two in the bush A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
Fifth Ignorance is bliss Mustn’t grumble Actions speak louder than words The darkest hour is just before dawn
Fourth The best things in life are free Business is business Just what the doctor ordered Better safe than sorry
Third Half a loaf is better than none Flattery will get you nowhere Every dog has his day It’s alright for some
Second Absence makes the heart grow fonder More haste, less speed The poor are always with us First come, first served
First There’s one born every minute One good turn deserves another Make hay while the sun shines Back to the drawing-board

An example: In a genuine controlled experiment, with witnesses, using The English Book of Changes, coins were thrown while meditating on the question: Why are my books so little known?  The coin values achieved were 5, 5, 4, 4, 5, 4.  This creates the following hexagram, which should be read from bottom to top:

5 _______ One in the hand is worth two in the bush
6 ___  ___ The darkest hour is just before dawn
4 ___  ___ Business is business
5 _______ Every dog has his day
4 ___  ___ More haste, less speed
3 _______ There’s one born every minute

To benefit fully from each consultation, you will need to adapt your mind to the symbolic, ancient language of The Book, which demands sincere reflection and meditation. If the sacred texts sometimes seem bizarre and impenetrable, you have simply resisted learning how to approach them.