The I Ching

The Sixty-Four situations — The yin and the yang.


In 1143 B.C., King Wen systematically organized the sixty-four hexagrams of the I Ching into the cohesive scheme as we know it today.

Mythology tells us that the I Ching had its origins in the trigrams (trios of broken and unbroken lines) that were created by the legendary Fu Hsi, Inventor of cooking and farming. Another myth tells of a tortoise which emerged from the Yellow River carrying hexagrams on its back, a story that suggests an obvious connection between the I Ching and the tortoise oracle of the Shang. The I Ching itself records that the hexagrams were created by King Wen, destroyer of the Shang, and that the commentaries were written by his successor, the Duke of Chou. Other legends claim that Confucius himself added to the Book of Changes.

It is clear that some form of divination by means of vegetation stalks had been practiced from the earliest times by the Chinese people. As far back as 3000 B.C., symbols and trigrams corresponding to those used to denote the hexagrams were inscribed on bronze vessels.

Hexagram 27

The Magic Tortoise is a creature possessed of such supernatural powers that it lives on light and air, and needs no earthly nourishment.


Fudugazi - The Zulu People's Tortoise

The Tortoise Shell Life Science Puzzle Box Front Page