Guided Tour

This section of the website provides information on how to use the I Ching Readings Journal software.  On this page there is a general overview of the software which gives you a brief guided tour around the various screens, forms, and reports.  This may also be of interest if you are thinking of downloading the free trial.  If you are looking for step by step instructions for using the journal please click this link for Getting Started.

The Main Reading's Screen
This is a screen shot of the Main Reading's Screen which is what you see when you first open the journal software.  Its function is to display each reading that you make with the I Ching, along with the associated hexagrams and notes.

There are three main sections to this form:
  1. The QUESTION BOX - this is towards the top of the screen just below the main title.  As the name suggests, this is where your question to the I Ching is displayed for the reading.
  2. The HEXAGRAM BOX - this is just below the question box.  There are three tabs.  The first displays the primary hexagram for the reading with diagram and changing lines.  The second displays the relating hexagram and diagram. The third tab displays the Hexagrams of Context, Patterns of Change, and Steps of Change in a list with links to more details about the hexagram.
  3. The READINGS BOX - this is the box at the bottom of the page.  Its function is to provide the space necessary for you to write your notes about your reading.  Again there are three tabs.  The first is for the Background behind the reading.  The second is the Thoughts tab.  This can be used to write your thoughts about the reading - your understanding of what the hexagrams and lines mean in relation to your question.  And finally, there is the Developments tab.  This is where you write comments about your reading as the situation unfolds.

The Hexagram Text Form

This form displays information about each of the hexagrams.  It is usually called from from the Main Readings screen when you require more information about any  hexagram associated with your reading.  For example, when you are viewing the primary hexagram for your reading and you want to read the it's text, just click the READ HEXAGRAM button, and the form opens in a new tab with information about that particular hexagram. As you can see below the Hexagram Text is the Legge translation (which is preloaded with this software when you buy it) and there is also the option to add different translations which you type in (or paste) manually (from a book that you already own).  In the example below I have typed in a number of other translations for which I use on a regular basis.

There is a more detailed explanation of this form in the section on 'To Read the Text of the Primary Hexagram'.

Version 3.6 of the software includes an additional tab for viewing personal experience of the hexagram being viewed 
(see screenshot below)

The Line Text Form

The line text pop up form is accessible by clicking one of the line buttons on the MAIN READING'S SCREEN or the HEXAGRAM TEXT form.  It displays the Legge translation of the line text, a Chinese transcription, and a list of the other translations that you have added manually from your own books.  In the example, below I have added additional translations of this line by Alfred Huang and Wilhelm/Baynes.

Version 3.6 of the software includes an additional tab for viewing personal experience of the line being viewed (see screenshot below).

The Translation Forms

There are two separate forms for entering your own preferred translations of Hexagram and line text.  As I mentioned above these are entered manually from books that you already own.  I should also mention that although each hexagram translation record allows you to enter passages from the wings, you only need to enter that which is of interest to you.  For many people this may just be the Hexagram Text (Gua Ci) and the Great Image (Da Xiang). You may also find it useful to enter a new translation even if you just enter the translated name of the hexagram title without any other text.  This is because you can select which translated title is displayed for your primary and relating hexagrams on the MAIN READINGS SCREEN.  For example, if you look at the screen-shot for this screen at the top of the page, you will notice that I have selected the Wilhelm/Baynes title translation for hexagram 27 to be displayed.  Yet I have not actually entered the rest of the hexagram or wing text on the translation form.

The screen shot below is the separate translation form for the line text.  In addition to the Zhouyi text, there is also space for the Small Image (Xiao Xiang) relating to that particular line.  I should also mention that translation forms may be filled in when a hexagram or line presents itself in a reading. This work is entirely optional, but has the advantage of allowing easy access to different translations, each of which sheds a slightly different light on the text. In fact, the work of Hilary Barrett puts a great deal of emphasis on the value of having different translations to refer to, in order to gain a fuller understanding of what a hexagram or line is alluding to.  

What Next?

Now we have taken a look at the main screens and forms of the I Ching Reading's Journal, we can go into more detail about how to use it.  The next section will be about Getting Started, and will deal with how to create a new reading and enter/generate the hexagrams associated with it.  After that we will look at Exploring the Results of Your Reading, and then Use of the I Ching Journal over Time.