One of our readers wrote to us asking “What’s the Love I Ching, and is it considered real I Ching?”
After reading this question, I realized it’s probably worth discussing the difference between the Love I Ching and it’s more mainstream parent:
The standard I Ching dates back thousands of years, making it one of mankind’s oldest oracles, and the most popular choice for most I Ching readings. The Love I Ching on the other hand is a 20th-century adaptation of ancient I Ching texts, written specifically for questions about love, relationships and those seeking advice about dating.
Today, very few people read the I Ching in its original, ancient form. The original meanings assigned to each of the 64 hexagrams can be extremely difficult for modern readers to understand. Deciphering historic Chinese references dating back to Zhou dynasty, and interpreting ancient Chinese symbolic references is challenging enough for scholars and academics, let alone casual advice-seekers.
Modern interpretations of the I Ching hexagrams are written by contemporary I Ching scholars who seek to preserve the philosophical meaning behind the original text, while keeping the underlying meaning understandable for today’s readers. This process is nothing new. Throughout history, countless “modernizations” to the I Ching have been written — with every era of I Ching fans re-interpreting the ancient text to better fit their contemporary styles.
The Love I Ching is one such approach to modernizing the ancient texts.
What’s the difference between the I Ching and the Love I Ching?
Because so many of today’s readers consult the I Ching for questions about marriage, relationships and dating, contemporary I Ching experts have preserved the philosophy behind I Ching hexagrams, and applied that philosophy to dating advice, relationship problems and questions about love.
Here’s a good example of the difference between the regular I Ching and the Love I Ching:
Here’s iFate’s standard I Ching translation of Hexagram #56:
Hexagram number 56 indicates a journey of discovery. It could be an outer journey to a new place or employment, or may reference a journey of self-discovery. This is a time to be sincere and extremely honest with yourself. What are you really looking for? Where do you think it will be found? Wandering over mountain tops, the wise person sees each step as a gift, and knows that home is always right where one stands. If you feel like staying, stay. If you feel like moving, move. Let your heart be your guide.
— I Ching #56
iFate’s Love I Ching translation preserves the same philosophical concepts, but keeps them within the context of love and relationships.
Here’s iFate’s Love I Ching translation of the same Hexagram #56:
Hexagram number 56 indicates a powerful journey of discovery has started. The veils are lifting and you are beginning to see the spiritual meaning of relationships and love. A relationship is a union of souls, designed to teach you unconditional love. You are on your path toward higher love and inner transformation, but this is not a path for the meek or the self-deceptive. This is a time to be strong, sincere, open-hearted, and honest with yourself. Keep your focus right where you are. Wandering over mountain tops, the wise person sees each step as a gift and each person they encounter as a blessing. Keep your balance. Don’t follow anything but your own knowing. Let your heart be your guide. Stay focused.
— Love I Ching #56
Is the Love I Ching real I Ching?
Critics of the Love I Ching sometimes make the case that the Love I Ching is a modern work, and not a “true” I Ching oracle. To those critics it must be said that almost nobody reads the I Ching in its original ancient form. All modern versions of the I Ching are on some level, adaptations.
Love I Ching adaptations are a favorite among today’s I Ching fans who seek advice about love and matters of the heart. And dating and marriage questions remain one of the most popular categories of questions asked by I Ching fans all over the world.
Have you tried a Love I Ching reading?
Try one now. It’s free, easy and amazingly insightful.