About this I Ching translation

The I Ching text on this site is translated from the original Chinese by Ewald Berkers.

I started this I Ching project initially as an effort to list the meanings of the hexagrams and lines. There seemed to be quite some differences between the various I Ching translations that I'd been using, and I found the meanings often not particularly clear.

Translating the I Ching

As I was working on this list, I found ways to do my own translation from the original Chinese text of the I Ching. The original Chinese is essentially a puzzle, for which one can develop various approaches to "have the pieces fit." Using webpage technology to make the necessary information easily available (like dictionaries and contextual checks), and building on my psychological and spiritual knowledge, I made revision after revision of my text.

To get a real indication of the correctness of the text, I have checked a considerable part of it with actual readings. For that I have used publicly available descriptions from the internet, mostly from the Clarity forum. I changed several translations that did not seem to fit with what people reported happening.

Differences with previous text

This has resulted in a I Ching translation that is in various details different from the Wilhelm/Baynes translation that was previously on this site. This is not just a difference in style (Wilhelm's style seems to be substantially influenced by Goethe's), but also of interpretation. While my initial version was still reminiscent of Wilhelm's, my interpretation has changed in lots of details with the appliance of all kinds of checks on the text "making sense," checking out all kinds of aspects of context, and making lots of small improvements on the wording.

I'm hoping to have written a translation and commentary of the I Ching that is more clear and accurate than what was on this site before. I also hope it to be more helpful and supporting.

Improved consultation page

I made a more simple and clear consultation page, than the previous one, that only shows the relevant hexagram texts. I decided not to add the text which is called "The Image" in the Wilhelm/Baynes translation. This text was written later than the core text of the I Ching, and in my view it doesn't always fit particularly well with the original hexagram texts, while it is built upon a different value system. With The Image come the trigrams, which I also decided to leave out, as I think that the core text can speak for itself.

Available as eBook and software

You can buy the I Ching as an eBook (a PDF file). This gives you access to all the text (the website limits the number of consultations you can do). The eBook contains, additionally to what's on the website, advice on forming questions, and it does contain an appendix with the Images.

The I Ching oracle is now also available as software for installation on a Windows computer. It is available with and without a Journal to enter notes about your I Ching readings. The software has some more features than the consultation on this website, like an extended I Ching text for your readings.


Ewald Berkers


The I Ching from this website is now also available as an eBook for the Amazon Kindle.

See book descriptions