Monthly Archives: July 2015


Swami Anand Nisarg is the author of The Magician’s I Ching, published by Karnac/Aeon books.

He has been a student of the I Ching for over 20 years, and of both the western and eastern esoteric/magical tradition. He is a spiritual teacher with students and initiates worldwide, and the modern head of the YI FA Society, a school for training in a meditation system of inner alchemy based on the I Ching and Qi Gong.

The I Ching is “the book of changes”; as a text it is the oldest spiritual book in Chinese history, and one of the Five Classics (the five books that Chinese culture considers the ‘foundational’ books of their entire civilization; it’s the only one of the five that is about spirituality).

The core section of the I Ching (called the Zhou Yi) dates to about three thousand years ago, and was compiled by King Wen and his son the Duke of Zhou, but it is clear that they were only organizing in written form a system that was already old by their time.  For its entire history it has been venerated by Chinese culture, and is the only sacred text that is considered sacred to all three of the major Chinese religions (Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism).  For the last 3000 years virtually every great Chinese philosopher has studied the I Ching and most presented new insights and commentaries on it, many of which survive to this day.

The I Ching is a book of philosophy and of metaphysics but is also a practical ‘oracle’ system, where a practitioner can ask a question and then use a method based on binary mathematics to generate one of the 64 ‘hexagrams’ of the I Ching; this ‘casting’ system acts as a kind of measurement of space/time in the context of the question, showing you the balance of yin and yang (in the form of the 8 elements) as of the moment where you ask the question, what parts of the situation are stable and which are in the process of Change, and how that change will evolve over time.

Or to put it another way, it uses probability to show you the probable direction of change to predict outcomes based on the choices you make.

Additionally, in the time of Confucius (2500 years ago) that great master wrote a set of commentaries on the I Ching which became a part of the official text, in it he explains the I Ching not just as a decision-making tool but as a system of inner-alchemy, where you can use the I Ching to understand how to manifest your higher self in any given situation.

The symbols of the I Ching became the basic symbols of all Chinese metaphysical systems: so the 8 elements of the I Ching are the foundation on which the theories of Acupuncture, Qi Gong, Feng Shui, and most native forms of Chinese martial arts are based.

The I Ching wasn’t translated into English until the second half of the 19th century, and its system was not actually practiced by any westerner we know of until the early 20th century.  It did not become popular in the west until the academic Wilhelm-Baynes translation in the 1950s, where the introduction to that edition was written by Carl Jung, who considered it of immense value to Jungian psychology.   It was also highly influential on a number of other western thinkers including writers and poets (Jorge Luis Borges, who wrote the introduction to the Spanish edition; also Ginsburg and the other beat poets, Philip K. Dick, and many others), mystics (Aleister Crowley, Robert Anton Wilson, Huxley, Timothy Leary, Terrence McKenna, Alan Watts, John Blofeld), and mathematicians and scientists (especially quantum theorists – Heisenberg, Schroedinger, and Niels Bohr who added the taiji symbol to his coat of arms).

The Magician’s I Ching may be purchased from the Karnac Books website. Alternatively, the book can be purchased through amazon:

Swami Anand Nisarg’s book, The Magician’s I Ching, is an attempt to present the I Ching not for the academic, but for the practical western user that wants to actually work with the ‘alchemy’ of the I Ching.

The Magician’s I Ching by Swami Anand Nisarg

The Magician’s I Ching by Swami Anand NisargThe Magician’s I Ching by Swami Anand Nisarg at Karnac Books
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This article was written by Swami Anand Nisarg