Yijing as a Philosophy or an Oracle
The Yijing can be used in many ways. It can be read like any book of wisdom from cover to cover. We can learn the many stages of change from the 64 Gua. This is most helpful after a long period of study and observation of nature.
Jiulong Baguazhang uses the Yijing eight basic Gua as focus points for both martial art and health Qigong training. Students learn to focus on an internal association with a specific type of power or energy that will be stimulated internally and externally when practicing the shapes and postures of a particular palm.
We can also cast the Yi. Casting the Yi means that you may use the book to open your mind to the possibilities of change in every situation of your life. This is done with a special ceremony designed to prepare the mind and body to clearly see the answer. Casting the Yi is a special use of the book and is only used when we have exhausted all other possibilities to discover the true path to our goal. There are many methods of performing the ceremony of casting the Yi. Some involve throwing six coins, special rods or dice or counting Yarrow stalks. These methods are designed to allow one time to focus on the question being probed and to calm outside influences.
It is a gross misuse of the Yijing to use it as common fortune telling. The Yijing is a way of freeing yourself from worry and tension to clearly see the patterns that are already present and how these patterns will affect the future. The main principle is to open the heart and mind to possibilities of change and interaction.
Some recommended books on the Yijing for beginners are:
The I Ching Workbook By R.L. Wing.
Doubleday & Company, New York.
I Ching The Book of Change By John Blofeld.
E.P. Dutton & Company, New York.