|THIS IS A NEW, IMPROVED WAY to construct a hexagram that should replace the "3 Coins Method". It was originally called "The Method of 16" but I have made one obvious major modification, going from 16 to 64, and I will explain why I did that at the bottom of this page.
Rationale for Using the "Method of 64"
THE MAIN ADVANTAGE to using the "Method of 64" instead of the "3 Coins Method", though not its only advantage, is a statistical one [Stay with me, now. This will make sense, not "make math".]
The oldest, most traditional method for obtaining a hexagram is the "Yarrow Stalk Method". Therefore, this is the ideal technique, and is the method which must be held up as "the standard". Using the "Yarrow Stalk Method", the probabilities for obtaining each of the 4 different kinds of lines which may be found in a hexagram are not the same.
Using the "Yarrow Stalk Method":
|Using the "3 Coins Method":
A MAJOR DISADVANTAGE to using the "3 Coins Method", or any other method that I am aware of, is that the odds of obtaining every different type of line is not the same as the standard "Yarrow Stalk Method"
OBVIOUSLY, THE ODDS of obtaining any line by using the 3 Coins is very different from the odds of using Yarrow Stalks. If we think that it is desirable to remain as faithful as possible to the traditions of using the I Ching, we may want to search for a better technique.
AS WE WILL NOW SHOW, the "Method of 64" is that better technique. It duplicates the probabilities of the "Yarrow Stalk Method", something that the "3 Coin Method" obviously does not do.
THE "METHOD OF 64" uses 64 small, aesthetically pleasing objects, such as beads, coins, buttons, etc. They must all be of the same size and shape, but you must be able to chose from 4 different patterns or colors. Select 28 items of one pattern or color [28 pink beads, for example], 20 of a different pattern or color [20 blue beads, for example], 12 of another pattern or color [12 white beads], and 4 of a unique pattern or color [4 black beads]. Each of the 4 groups now represent a different type of line.
NOTICE THAT THE ODDS for getting each different type of line are identical to the odds when using the Yarrow Stalk Method of constructing hexagrams!
TO COMPLETE the ritual's paraphernalia, thoughtfully select a small bowl and a small container to store the 64 items when not in use.
|TO CONSTRUCT THE HEXAGRAM
AS YOU PERFORM THE RITUAL, keep in mind the question you are inquiring about, and maintain an appropriate attitude.
As a modification, I have quadrupled the number of Items which were originally recommended (16) in two sources I have cited in the following paragraph. By retaining the same percentages, and using 64 small objects, this introduces the obvious correlation between the 64 Items and the 64 Hexagrams.
I FOUND THIS WAY of doing the hexagrams of the I Ching in the book, "The I Ching: An Illustrated Guide to the Chinese Art of Divination", illustrated by Tan Xiaochun, and translated by Koh Kok Kiang. According to that book, Larry Schoenholtz proposed this method in his book, "New Directions in the I Ching". It immediately became my favorite method, almost totally supplanting the "3 Coins".
© Francis L. Szot