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The Yi Ching, or Yi King depnding on the translation, is based upon the Taoist philosohpy of yin and yang. Yin, the femal principle of receptivity and contraction, is represented by a broken line, and the male principle of expansion ad action called yang is represented by a solid line. The philosophy of the I Ching revolves around combinations of yin and yang to form three lines of a trigram, and subsequently doubling to form a hexagram. As a system of divination the I Ching uses either yarrow stalks or coins thrown onto the ground to give six yin or yang signals which together form the hexagram whose meaning is used for the reading. Like the western Tarot the I Ching is studied as a system of esoeric philosphy as well as a method of telling fortunes. Some oriental martial arts incorporate the philosophy of trigram and hexagrams into their teachings, the most notable example being Bagua Zhang.

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Featured Article:

Crowley's Trigrams

Aleister Crowley, one of the most prolific and ecletic occult authors of the 20th century, may not be well known for his work on the I Ching, but he was actually an avid student of oriental wisdom, and deseves more credit for having provided one of, if not the earliest english translations of the Tao Te Ching.

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