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What’s new?

I don't usually record here or send out mailings about small changes or additions to the links page, which is continually expanding.


October 2021 – I've added a bit on geomantic figures and nuclear hexagrams to the scans archive page. In my consideration of this I got into a whole side contemplation concerning nuclear digrams. Nuclear hexagrams are currently trigram-centric, but why not form them from the three nuclear digrams? What happens then? Well, it turns out to be quite surprising. You have new nuclear hexagrams and a fascinating final pattern of four.


November 2019 – A review by József Drasny of Richard S Cook's 2006 book 'Classical Chinese Combinatorics', which claims to have solved the King Wen sequence.


September 2018 – A round-up review of seven different Yijing books.


August 2018 – I've made an ebook of my 2001 book The Mandate of Heaven available in PDF and EPUB formats.


December 2014 – A review of Professor John Minford's I Ching translation.


December 2012 – I've just reviewed Bettina Wilhelm's film portrait of her grandfather Richard Wilhelm, Wisdom of Changes.


October 2012 – Scott Davis's research into the 'textual archaeology' of the Yijing was recently published, and has been reviewed by Steve Moore.


September 2012 – I've put up a review article [PDF] by Steve Moore covering the currently available books in western languages on the Shenshu.


August 2012 – Steve Moore has reviewed The I Ching Deciphered, by Jeffrey Llechid Williams. Steve has also revised and expanded his paper on the Maqian ke [PDF], uploaded in June.


June 2012 – I've uploaded Steve Moore's paper on the Maqian ke [PDF], a prophetic text attributed to Zhuge Liang that he has translated and commented on.


July 2011 – I've added a note at the end of my previous review of John Compton's work concerning his Volume 2, The I Ching and the Genetic Code, followed by some information I've dug out about the early history of the analogy between DNA and hexagrams (including a link to Harvey Bialy's 1974 essay, which I'd never come across before), and a passing thought about whether this similarity is actually of any interest.


April 2011 – I've put up an article by Steve Moore, Change in a parallel world, about the peculiar Yijing enthusiast C F Russell. Louis Culling also features.


August 2010 – I've put up a review of Richard J Smith's Fathoming the Cosmos. News links have been added to the links page and I've also added the following terms to the glossary: biangua, fandui, fanyao, ji, shi, wu, wuwei, Yixue, you, zhigua. I've uploaded as well a scan of the version of the yarrow method [PDF] from Greg Whincup's 'Rediscovering the I Ching'. I find this version more sensible. Also added a further addendum to Note 2 on the scans page.


June 2010 – I've put up an article I wrote that appeared in 'Kindred Spirit' magazine: The Power of the Dragon's Yang and the Tiger's Yin. Since the last update I have also been steadily adding new sites to the links page, at the bottom.


September 2009 – [UPDATE: As of May 2014 the search facility has been removed, as the company that provided it folded.] I've added a search field for the whole of the Yijing Dao site. This is located on the contents page of the other section. The typographically inclined may be interested to know that the results page uses the Vista font Corbel first in the stylesheet, a rather attractive sans-serif I've been meaning to find a use for for a while (you can download it if you haven't got Vista). The search engine is quite versatile:

Yijing Dao search tips

The * character can be used as a wildcard. For instance, searching for wh* will find the words what, why, when, whether, wheat, and any other word that starts with wh. Searching for *her* will find the words here, whether, together, gathering, and any other word that contains her anywhere in the word.

The contents of PDF files are excluded from the search. However, to locate the PDF files on this site you can use the following formula in Google: site:biroco.com/yijing filetype:pdf (add a search term to look inside those PDFs that Google can read).

Up to three snippets containing the search item will be displayed, though there could be more references on a page. If fewer than three snippets are displayed, that's all of the references on a page.

Searches in lower-case will match any case; capitalized words will not find lower-case words.

A double quote mark before a phrase will find the whole expression.

If your search doesn't turn up any results for something you expect to be here, check your spelling, check you aren't typing in caps, try a wildcard search.

If you're searching for something in transliterated Chinese in the old Wade-Giles system, try it in pinyin. For example, if there are no results for wu hsing try wuxing. Similarly, if you are putting spaces between pinyin syllables, try it without and vice-versa, or search for one syllable with a wildcard, such as wu*.


August 2009 (ii) – At long last I have written a review of Liu Ming's 2005 translation and commentary CHANGING: Zhouyi :: The Heart of the Yijing, a book that has received virtually no attention at all. This book is a true Daoist hermit in comparison with the gaudy affair I reviewed earlier this month.


August 2009 (i) – I've put up a review of Master Wu Zhongxian's 'Seeking the Spirit of the Book of Change: 8 Days to Mastering a Shamanic Yijing (I Ching) Prediction System'.


July 2009 – Added a review article on John Cage's I Ching chance operations, looking at Kathan Brown's book on his visual art. I've also uploaded two more PDF extracts from Dhiegh's 'The Eleventh Wing' to the 'I Ching patents' article, showing some I Ching study cubes he invented.


May 2009 (ii) – Busy month. I've written an article on I Ching patents, with all the patents discussed uploaded in PDF. Also written a review of John C Compton's book The I Ching Key: The Secret Computer of the Ancient Gods. I've added an addendum to my review of József Drasny's Yi-globe. Also, the two journal references in Steve Moore's stick dice review have been uploaded in PDF for completeness, linked at the bottom of that page. Six terms added to the glossary: Hetu, huozhulin fa, Luoshu, sixiang, Wenwang ke, yaoshu. And a number of trigram diagrams added to the scans archive. Tweaked the stylesheet too: the navigation bar now indicates which section you're in, I've improved the layout of some pages, and changed the link hover effect.


May 2009 (i) – I don't usually make a special notification of additions to the links page, but I wanted to point out my lengthy review of a new website containing some genuinely exciting fresh work on the innate structure of the Yijing. Also added an addendum to Note 2 on the scans page. Plus a video linked to at the end of the YouTube page showing a Taiwanese man performing the yarrow rite with chopsticks.


April 2009 – I've made a PDF (108 Mb) of the defunct Chinese website Yi tu ziliaoku or Yi diagram database. I saved the entire site some years ago and dug it out recently on noticing the original site had disappeared and the Internet Archive copy lacked the actual illustrations (if the original site owner objects to this presentation I would be glad to take it down if they get in touch). I have also added a new wuxing diagram to the glossary page and new links at the bottom of the links page, including one to Albert Étienne Jean-Baptiste Terrien de Lacouperie's The Oldest Book of the Chinese (1892), which I've uploaded in PDF here.


November 2008 – I have compiled a selection of video links with comments: The I Ching on YouTube. I will be continuing to add to this page. There have also been additions to the main links page. Sanbian shifa added to the glossary. I came across two excellent video demonstrations of this technique, which I pointed out on the YouTube page. I plan to write further on this method in due course.


June 2008 – Stylesheets for the entire BIROCO.COM have been revised to take account of higher resolution screens becoming more commonplace. In the process I have made changes to the YIJING DAO site. Typography and leading have been improved for readability, and numerous little details tidied up or simplified. Most notably I have removed the Big5 Harvard-Yenching Zhouyi and made the UTF-8 Unicode version the only one available. The Big5 version had had its day, and now I am more satisfied having only the Unicode transcription here, because it is completely accurate, whereas the Big5 version had to employ a number of substitute characters to take account of their absence in Big5 encoding. Both screen and print stylesheets now specify Chinese fonts by name, with SimSun coming first, followed by PMingLiu, with a generic serif.


May 2007 – Those using Edward Shaughnessy's book on the Mawangdui Yijing often express frustration that he gives a chart listing the hexagrams in Mawangdui order but not in the received King Wen order, making it difficult to look up a hexagram if one knows the King Wen number but not the Mawangdui number. I have made a chart (PDF) that addresses this need, conveniently sized so it can be trimmed and glued at the back of the book. I have also slightly revised the article on Yijing hexagram sequences.


February 2007 – At long last I have got round to producing a new transcription of the 1935 Harvard-Yenching Zhouyi in UTF-8 encoding. (In setting the new version I noticed that the first ideographic full stop in the judgment of hexagram 39 had been erroneously set as a superscript in the original 1935 edition, and as a result I overlooked it in my earlier web transcription. This has now been corrected, plus a note added as to how this must have occurred.)


January 2007 – An addendum added to Harmen Mesker's review of Lillian Too's plum blossom numerology book, detailing a serious error in the work. (New links have been added to the links page as well, over the past six months.)


May 2006Nigel Richmond and the I Ching. Richmond died in 2005, Joel Biroco looks at his life and work. His two books on the oracle have been scanned and are made available in PDF form. The links page has also been expanded, and a few notes added on diagrams in the scans archive.


February 2006 – A review by Harmen Mesker of Lillian Too's book The New I Ching, based on plum blossom numerology, and a few additions made to the glossary.


January 2006 – A review of Chung Wu's The Essentials of the Yi Jing, by Harmen Mesker. Also a Glossary of Chinese Yijing terms used on the site, and a few notes on an interesting diagram added to the scans archive showing how reduction of the 64 hexagrams to nuclear hexagrams proceeds in pairs in the 'Before Heaven' arrangement.


October 2005 – A 'compass rose' star pattern in the circular Xiantian diagram, and an experiment to square the circle. I've also expanded my notes on waxing and waning in the bigua sequence to include a comparison with the phases of the moon, and added more about the nature of yin and yang. I have substantially revised my notes on ruling lines.


April 2005Ritsema-Sabbadini – Review by Steve Marshall of the new and official Eranos Yijing.


September 2004The Laws of Change – Review of Jack M Balkin's translation and commentary, by Steve Marshall.


August 2004Bob Dylan and the I Ching – A few references Bob Dylan made to the Book of Changes.


April 2004 – Site redesign in CSS and XHTML launched, adding a fifth option to the menu: 'other'. The former tables-based design was originally conceived as a book reviews site with introduction, links, and Chinese Zhouyi. This did not allow for expansion to include articles, notes, scans, and other miscellanea. In the course of the redesign, some new material was added to the site:

I am especially grateful to Harmen for his new and in-depth review article on three najia fortune-telling books. This purely predictive approach doesn't use the actual text of the Book of Changes at all. Two of the reviewed books also deal with the meihua or 'plum blossom' method.

I have decided to expand the subject area of the site to include material on the Daoist oracle the Lingqijing, or 'Magical Chess Classic', given that there is so little information on it available on the web.

Previous readers will notice that the links to the 'print-friendly' Zhouyi have disappeared. This is because with a CSS design you can create a print stylesheet that is automatically invoked when you print a page. The Zhouyi pages have embedded page-break instructions for the printer so a hexagram will not be split. All the rest of the pages on this site also have an accompanying print stylesheet.