This is the ancient system of Chinese wisdom often used in oracular divination. It consists of 64 hexagrams of solid and broken lines. The hexagram is determined by tossing three coins, three times by the inquirer. The I-Ching is based upon an entire philosophy which is the unified and cyclical universe, the future develops according to fixed laws and numbers. In other words, there is no "coincidence" or "chance", but only casuality. The I-Ching does not give definitive answers (similar to Tarot) but enables the inquirer to look within themselves for answers. Psychiatrist Carl jung appreciated the I-Ching as it demonstrated the principal of "Synchronicity." (Meaningful coincidences)
The I-Ching philosophy itself is thought to date back thousands of years. But the hexagrams according to tradition were developed by Emperor Fu-hsi around 2852 BC.
Solid lines on the hexagrams represent Yang (male) and the broken lines Yin. (Female).
Originally Fu-hsi developed 8 Tri-grams which were then doubled into 64 hexagrams by King Wen in 1143 BC. This then inspired Lau-Tzu (604 BC - 531 BC) who used it for writing of "Tau Teh Ching" which is the central text of Taoism. Confucius (C.551 BC - 479 BC) was also inspired in his life and added 10 commentaries which are known as the "Ten Wings" appendices. In 213 BC Emperor Chin had numerous books burnt amongst them were the Confucian commentaries to the I-Ching although some copies survived. The final writings connected with the I-Ching did not reach the west until the 19th Century when it was translated into German and then into English. The publication of these translations included a forward by Jung.