Guides and References
The guides are meant to be used with an I Ching translation. Some are an overall guide for how to read the I Ching. Some have guidance for each hexagram (these are marked with ♨︎). Some are, in essance, the author's journal for some or all of the Hexagrams (✍︎), giving an example question or situation, a reading, and the author's understanding.
The References are a sample of some of the more accessable books about the history of the I Ching, the philosphies or one of the philosphies that are embedded in the Yi. ** indicates an author with a history of scholarship.
Guides Selected References
Knowledgable Long Time Users and Teachers
Anthony, Guide to the I Ching, 1988. ♨︎
I often recommend this guide to beginning students of the I Ching. Anthony created terms which get the reader into a somewhat Buddhist relationship with "The Sage." She nearly always brings back the reader back to their interior life. It is based explicitly on Wilhelm's translation.
The Guide, and her other books, The Psche Revealed Through The I Ching, Healing Yourself the Cosmic Way, The Philosophy of the I Ching are rooted in knowledge gained from her own experience.
Anderson, Reflections on the I Ching, 2010.*
This book is gem, easy to read, but rooted in a deep understanding of major philosophies and religions. It includes a tour through the Christian scripture and its relationship with the I Ching and its underlying philosophies. This is one of the few the try to match
Christian scripture with Daoism that doesn't fall flat.
Murphy, Reflections on the I Ching, 1970. ♨︎
Murphy was a prolific author and religious leader in the New Thought Movement, ordained by Earnest Holmes in Religous Science. The book discusses both the spiritual and psychological aspects of the I Ching. It has advice for each Hexagram and Line, often quoting the Bible.
Wu Wei, I Ching Readings, 2005 ✍︎
In Part I the book discusses how to approach the I Ching. Part II contains short real-life stories, the I Ching's answer and the results.
Wu Wei has written several books about the I Ching, including I Ching Wisdom, Volume 1, where he gives his interpretation 81 phrases from the Yi. I Ching Life gives life advice using the language of the Yi. He has also published a workbook and some others.
Roth, Original Tao: Inward Training (Nei Yeh), 2004.**
Nei-Yeh is the 19th Chapter in a larger work, called the Guanzi, which covers a wide range of the Hundred Schools of Thought. Sitting in the middle of the Guanzi is this Buddhist-like essay, written before the arrival of Buddhism.
Fengyi, Discourse on Transforming Inner Nature, 2018.
A translation of Wang Fengyi (1864-1937) essays on spiritual cultivation, who also wrote the Twelve Characters. A neo-Confucian classic which combines Confucianism, Daoism, Buddhism, and Chinese Medicine.
Ebrey, The Cambridge Illustrated History of China, 2010.
An accessible, and accurate, tour of Chinese history.
Chang (Project Director), China: Five Thousand Years of History and Civilization, 2007.
Chapters written by Chinese scholars on a number of intellectual traditions, including the Dao, and I Ching. It is worth reading at least one book where the Chinese are speaking to the Western reader, rather than the Western writer speaking about the Chinese.
Ching, Chinese Religions, 1993.
As one wanders through the many books about Chinese religions, this one stands out not for depth, but as a good introduction.
A few of the latest
O’Brien, Intuitive Intelligence, 2019
The I Ching is a mechanism for the theme in this book which is rooted in visioning and tapping the collective unconscious.
Milner, I Ching Secrets Revealed, 2021
The author’s exploration of the numerology of the I Ching which she extends to geometry - concluding it is a “blueprint” for the pyramids.
Red Pine (Bill Porter), Lao-Tzu's Taoteching, 2009**.
There are a number of translations of the Daodejing (Tao te Ching), many by accomplished translators. This version includes a translation along with commentary by several Chinese sages.
Wagner, Chinese Commentary on the Daodejing, 2003.**
The is Wang Bi's famous commentary on the Daodejing where the concept such as nonbeing (Wu) and effortless action (Wuwei) are developed in 230 CE or so in a way that influenced Neo-Daoists, Confucians, and Buddhists every since.
Wang Bi's commentary on the I Ching is included in Lynn's Classic of Changes.
Mair, Wandering on the Way, 1994.**
This is a translation of the writings attributed to Zhuangzi (Chaung Tzu). of which there are several. This one includes a concise history of thought related to this book, the Daodejing, other schools of thought and its influence on Chan (Zen) Buddhists.
Watson, Analects of Confucius, 2007.**
There are several good translations of the Analects, some in the public domain and available on the internet. This careful translation of the collected analects (collected works) of Confucius keeps track of the slight differences between the two main received versions.
Fingarette, Confucius The Secular as Sacred, 1972**
A beautiful, often cited book about the meaning of Confucian teachings, taking it beyond the philosophical correlations sometimes made with Western philosophers to the idea of sacred —discussed in terms of traditional Western notion of sacred.
Schwartz, The World of Thought in Ancient China, 1985**
This is both a scholarly explanation and commentary on early Chinese schools of thought in relation to, and from the viewpoint of, early Western philosophy. It discusses several of the 100 Schools of Thought, including Confucianism and Daoism. It assumes a basic knowledge of ancient Greek philosophy, notably Plato's Republic, as well as the Analects and Daodejing.
Wilhelm, Understanding the I Ching, 1979.**
This contains the lectures of Helmut Wilhelm, the son of the author of the best-selling Wilhelm/Baynes translation. Very accessible presentation of the key concepts of the I Ching.
Smith, Fathoming the Cosmos and Ordering the Word, 2008.**
It is scholarship, but accessible, about the I Ching, it's history and meaning. Smith also wrote I Ching: A Biography and Fortune-tellers and Philosphers: Divination in Traditional Chinese Society.
Redmond, Teaching the I Ching, 2008.*
This is a good history of the I Ching and some of the concepts it embeds.
Huang, Numerology of the I Ching, 2000.
This is a pretty thorough account of both numberology and hexagram relationships and transformations based on oral traditionss.
Hacker, The I Ching Handbook, 1993.
Contains a scholarly and personal tour of the ins-and-outs of the I Ching including such things as nuclear triagrams and a survery of other author's commentaries, sequences, and a concordance (listing terms and where they are used) of the Wilhelm/Baynes translation.
Dajuan, Introduction to the Zhou Yi, 2019.
Translated from Chinese, a contemporary and scholarly history of the Zhouyi and how it evolved into the I Ching and later interepretations.
About the I Ching