top of page

Zhouyi Translations                        I Ching Translations                   Interpretations                  Guides, Histories, and Philosophies   

Zhouyi Translations

The Zhouyi is oldest lay of the text found in the I Ching and will not include Image Statements. However, some of these translations are aimed at returning to correlative cosmology and omen orientation of the classic.

     * * Beside the title indicates scholar who I have seen cited often in the literature.

    * Scholar who I have seen publish other work related to the I Ching.

Translations of the Zhouyi by Scholars

In search of the original meaning

Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 1.24.21 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 6.26.02 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 6.26.18 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 6.15.19 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 1.48.30 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 2.04.13 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-12-31 at 11.28.52
Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 12.43.19
Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 6.22.04 PM.png

Kunst, The Original Yijing: A Text, Phonic Transcription, Translation, and Indexs with Sample Glosses, 1985.**

A masterful piece of scholarship which has become the touchstone for the original meaning of the Zhouyi - although original meaning can never be captured since the people of the time had an outlook so different than today. The text has rhyming schemes and associations some of which "doubtless escape our notice" (p.57).


In addition to a phonic pinyin word-by-word translation of the Old Chinese and an English translation, Kunst presents short essays on key characters, their historical and linguistic history. 


Shaughnessy, I Ching The Classic of Changes, 1996.**  

This is a translation of the Mawangui texts. The Mawangui differs in places from the Received Text, which is the source of most translations. Shaughnessy includes both sets of Chinese texts for each Hexagram on the page facing his English translation of the Mawangui text. 


The Mawangui list the Hexagrams in a different order, so matching the number from other books to the Mawangui text involves looking in a table provided by Shaughnessy. He also includes a translation of another text found at the Mawangui sites, “The Several Disciples Asked,” “The Properties of the Changes,” “The Essentials,” and “Mu He and Zhao Li.” 


Shaughnessy, Unearthing the Changes, 2014.**

This consists of fragments of several archeological finds of the Zhouyi — circa 300 BC. 


Wincup, Rediscovering the I Ching, 1986.** Provides distinctly different interpretations of several hexagrams, often by translating the name literally and building the theme around the name.



Rutt, The Book of Changes (Zhouyi), 2002.**   The translation seeks to retain the original Divinary Manual of the Zhou. It includes a discussion of key words and translation notes.


The first section gives a history of the book, including a history of the Jesuit's tranlation to Latin in the 1600's going on to the first English, French, and Russian translations prior to the 20th Century.


Field, The Duke of Zhou Changes, 2015.*

This book lays out the translation in a table, seperating the divinary elements of a reading: Omen, Counsel, Fortune. The author discusses how an ancient diviner would interpret the text.


A long introductory section gives the history of the mythical origins of the Book of Changes.


Christensen, The Book of Changes, The Original Core of the I Ching, 2015.*

This book includes a fairly extensive discussion, sometimes technical, of the archeological history of Zhou and earlier divination, ancient texts, and the yarrow stalk method. 


The translation is accompanied by notes on each character. I Ching - The Core, 2016 is just the translation and concise comments found in Appendix 1 of the 2015 annotated translation along with a short introduction.


Redmond, The I Ching, 2017.* 

The stated purpose of this book is a “translation of the early text, with the later overlays that completely altered how it was read. I have tried to present it as accurately as possible in plain English.




Palmer The Fortune Teller's I Ching, 1986.* 

One primary author's purpose is to improve the commentary based strictly on Chinese sources as opposed to Legge and Wilhelm who looked at it through a Christiain lense/



Dongliang, Les signes et les mutations, 1994 (French).* 

The first half of this book is history of the I Ching and underlying cosmology. The second half is a translation, giving both the recieved Chinese text and the Mawangui text, a transcription into modern Chinese, and a French translation.


In search of Daoism, cosmology, and the spiritual

In search of psychological inspiration

Screen Shot 2018-12-18 at 9.24.16 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-12-18 at 9.07.07 AM.png

Ritesma and Karcher, I Ching; The Classic Chinese Oracle of Change, 1994.*

The book uses “fields of meaning” English phrases. The authors state it is intended as a psychological tool. It has an extensive Concordance/Glossary with explanations and where they are found in the I Ching. Uses Wade-Giles.

Karcher, I Ching; The Classic Chinese Oracle of Change, 2002.*

An update to the previous book with some changes.

In search of Daoism, cosmology, and the spiritual

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 9.37.48 AM.png
Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 6.32.42 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 12.52.37

Ni, I Ching, The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth, 1990 (Revised edition)

This book has an extensive commentary on correlative cosmology, meaning and relationships of trigrams, line relationships, astrology, and spiritual advice.

The translation is for-meaning, making choices based on today's cultural context — meanings which stay close to the Kunst and Rutt. He gives a general commentary and a commentary on the images which is his own — not claiming it is from the Ten Wings. 

Each reading comes with specific advice on sixteen categories, such as Personal Fortune and Marriage.


Jing-Nuan Yi Jing, 1991,

This is a Zhouyi translation said to be with a Daoist outlook. Includes Chinese characters and the English translation




Olson, Book of Sun and Moon (I Ching), 2014, Two Volumes.

This is a Zhouyi translation along with a Daoist commentary oriented toward correlative cosmology and hexagram relationships. The translation is in the second volume. 

Translations by Physicists

Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 10.42.03
Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 10.37.22

Huang (Kerson), I Ching, The Oracle, 1984 and 2014

This book has an introduction with a brief history. It suggests not using the Judgment when there are changing lines, only using the changing lines.


Huang (Kerson and Rosemary), I Ching, The Oracle, 1985

Same translation with a new introduction.

Modern Adaptation

Fendos, IThe Book of Changes, A Modern Adaptation and Interpretation, 2018

Translates name and lines, but provides a commentary title "Interpretation" based on the Judgment. Includes a history of the text.

Screen Shot 2019-01-12 at 9.38.15 AM.png


Screen Shot 2019-02-07 at 11.22.39

Wu, I Ching, The Book of Changes and Virtue, 1998 and 2012

Translator is a professor in Chinese studies. An interlinear translation of each hexagram followed by what each judgment and line means. While there are some significant departures from Kunst in the literal translation, the author's meaning commentary is cast in yin-yang terms to then give general advice.

Screen Shot 2019-04-08 at 9.02.49 PM.png


Black and Red Right Arrow
Black and White Right Arrow
bottom of page