In The I-Ching Oracle: A Guide Through the Human Maze, the husband and wife team of Timothy and Johanna Dowdle have created a concise, easy to understand version of the I Ching. Based on the ancient Chinese oracle, Hexagrams that contain lines of various sizes are used to predict future events.

Beginning with a brief history of the I Ching, beginning with King Wen and his son Duke Chu, and ending with the translations of Richard Wilhelm, whom the couple highly recommends. How Hexagrams and Trigrams are created is well explained, as well as how to ask the oracle questions in a clear and concise manner for best results. They explain how to prepare for the consultation with the oracle, which method to use, either by stick or coin, and how to create the hexagrams. Chapter Three is a discussion on how to interpret the hexagrams, and the rest of the book are the hexagrams and their meanings.

I have to admit to having difficulty with the I Ching, but this isn't the author's fault at all.  Unfortunately, I had a lot of trouble trying to understand how the interpretations were done. Again, this is not the author's fault. I have discalculia and I had difficulty with the math involved in creating the hexagrams. I am still confused as to what a moving line is. Again, this is on me. I just don't seem to have a head for this oracle.

It's an excellent book and I do highly recommend it. The instructions are easy to follow, the history is fascinating and the interpretations of the hexagrams leave no room for error. It's a fantastic book.

—review by Patricia Snodgrass

Author: Timothy and Johanna Dowdle
O Books, 2020
p. $20.95 pp. 245