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Reading and Interpreting I Ching Answers

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All content copyright by Dale Bruder unless attributed to others ©2023

The answer to a question you pose to the oracle comes through one of its 64 Figures and the web of interconnections it generates, the reading Matrix. It offers you symbols meant to make you aware of and help you connect with the hidden forces active in your situation.

Through interacting with the symbols we find hidden forces shaping the moment (shi) and discover the most efficious ways to act. By imagining yourself and your situation through the symbols of the oracle you can re-direct the manner of which you are thinking about things.

The process creates bright spirit or intuitive clarity, called shen ming, traditionally, this is finding the mind of the Way

Reading the Answers

Reading the answers that Change gives us always starts with an entry into its language of symbols and myths, but the Oracle is traditionally used in two different though related ways.

It can give quick, concise answers to pressing problems or supply background and insight that let us understand the situation in depth, generating an effective strategy that can provide for long range planning.

The concise approach mobilizes and focuses our energy by resolving immediate doubts. The deeper approach can engender a real transformation of basic attitudes and thoughts and open us to the deep transformative process that lie behind a situation. In either case, we are concerned with releasing the imaginative possibilities of the words and interrelated diagrams by matching them (dang) to our situation through a mixture of intuitive and analytical thought.

Basic Reading and Extended Reading

This basic reading consists of the Primary Figure, the Transforming Lines with their Cross line Omens and the Relating Figure.

The Primary Figure, the hexagram generated directly by casting, provides a basic answer to the question. It describes an archetypal situation and suggests overall strategies to effectively understand and deal with it.

The Transforming Lines and Cross line Omens show particular points where change is at work and the hidden pathways through which the possibilities of transformation can be realized.

The Relating Figure shows how we are related to the situation presented by the Primary Figure. It can represent future potential, overriding concerns, a warning, a goal, a desired outcome or a past situation that brought us to the present question.

Method of Interpretation

Begin with the Relating Figure for its significance.

Next look at the Primary Figure, the basic answer to the question. To go deeper into the situation, follow the Pair in the Matrix of Change. The study of this interpretation will occur later. Its topics include:

1. Basic information on the themes and actions of the Pair.
2. The connection of the theme of a pair to yourself as an individual.
3. The use of the Karmic Nodes in interpretations.

The Primary Figure offers a basic answer to your question. It describes an archetypal situation and suggests strategies to effectively understand and deal with it. It is your entrance to the Matrix of Change. All of the previous associations provide a deep background to the encounter with it and the further images of its Matrix.

In contrast to the other figures in the Matrix, here we look at all the texts of the hexagram in detail.

1. The first text, the Header or keywords, introduces the hexagram.
2. The Myths of Change gives you the story of the time coming from the old myth and the ritual world and can considerably deepen understanding of how the figure works in our psyche.
3. The Response is direct divinatory advice, coming from the oldest levels of the textual tradition, the Zhoujii, followed by a paraphrasing commentary. It is followed by a wider set of associations or contexts that extend the Name of the Figure and fix its multiple possibilities in our imagination and the old character that gives a vivid graphic image of its ancient roots.

As you begin to intuit the qualities of the figures and their parts associations begin to be languaged. Increasing the quality of ontological references to matters, events, incidents and actions will provide insight and awareness.

The one called Dale Bruder, is among the cultural innovators who have devised implements and techniques to use the I Ching in describing and predicating elements, processes and experiences in practices involving special uses of the mind and body.


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Dale Bruder is a life student of the Tao through the I Ching. Since 1976 he has been applying the I Ching to his self the way psychoanalysts and Zen teachers apply psychoanalysis or Zen to themselves before presenting to others.


His studies of Taoist, Buddhist and Confucian  I Ching texts towards  mastery of the 'hall of mirrors at the end of a giant kaleidoscope'  continues today. His intellectual journey is to match the complexity of ordinary real life with total coherence of the three views of Chinese thought.


Life is cyclical and sequential; a series of events and episodes that advances or reverses goals and aspirations.


Making use of and learning from the experience is a key component of a well lived life. Using the Tao Time path changes the social, cultural, technological and economic push/pulls into a flow that is navigable.


Dale Bruder, a business intelligence consultant, invites you to play the infinite game.

(520) 331-1956



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