The Visionary I Ching is Paul O’Brien’s original version of the ancient Chinese I Ching oracle, with original art inspired by each of the hexagrams. O’Brien’s non-patriarchal update of this revered divination system is an enlightened decision-making aid in modern times, and is available here on divination.com, and as an illustrated ebook, as well as an elegant and easy-to-use Visionary I Ching app.
The I Ching, or “Book of Changes,” consists of sixty-four archetypes that result from all the possible six-line combinations of yin and yang lines, called hexagrams. Yin/yang is the fundamental duality of the Universe whose dynamic tension gives shape to all phenomena and the way they change. Examples of yin/yang polarity are female/male, earth/heavens, dark/light, in/out, even/odd and so on.
The interpretations of the sixty-four hexagrams use words to describe the energy patterns of human life divided into sixty-four types of situations, relationships or dilemmas. Each hexagram can be analyzed in a number of ways. Divide the six-line forms in half and you get trigrams (three yin or yang lines) that represent the Chinese version of eight fundamental elements: sky, earth, thunder, wind, water, fire, mountain, and lake. These eight trigrams, known as “Hua,” also serve as the compass points in the ancient art of placement known as Feng Shui (pronounced fung-shway).
O’Brien’s discovery of the I Ching as a teenager in San Francisco — followed by three decades studying the oracle as well as Carl Jung’s work on the Synchronicity Principle — ultimately resulted in the composition of his modern but faithful I Ching interpretation. The text was originally written for use in a very early multimedia program — the first interactive I Ching program, which was called Synchronicity (1989). Later came the more immersive Oracle of Changes CD-Rom (adding a meditative sound track and original art for each hexagram in 1997), and after that the creation of I-Ching.com and Tarot.com interactive websites (2001, sold in 2007).