What Is an I Ching Hexagram?

Explore the 64 hexagrams of the ancient I Ching oracle

What Is an I Ching Hexagram?

When we begin studying the ancient Chinese art of I Ching, the first thing we learn is that the book of I Ching -- the world's oldest book and the earliest known divination system -- contains 64 hexagrams.

I Ching hexagrams are figures comprised of six stacked horizontal lines, with each line representing Yin or Yang. Each line of every hexagram has meaning, and together each line adds up to the whole meaning of the hexagram. Each of the 64 I Ching hexagrams represents a primary archetype -- not unlike the archetypal symbols of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck.

These hexagrams represent the energy of human life divided into 64 situations, dilemmas and relationships. And there are more than 320,000 possible permutations of each 6-line hexagram!

Browse all 64 I Ching hexagrams now »