Regular users of the I Ching are often struck by the uncanny accuracy of the readings that the oracle provides, and the seemingly direct relevance of the hexagrams that are cast.
Skeptics, on the other hand, argue that the apparent accuracy is simply due to the mind's tendency to find personal meaning in haphazard and ambiguous information. According to skeptics, the hexagrams that are cast are entirely random and do not relate specifically to the questions posed.
The I Ching Oracle Test and Trainer provides a simple and interesting way to investigate these two possibilities. It can be used to deepen your understanding of the I Ching through private study, or in more formal research investigations, for example school, college, or undergraduate projects. You do not need permission to use this test for research purposes but, if you carry out a formal research study, we would be very interested to hear about your results (you can email us).
Note that all processing on this test is carried out client-side (on your own computer) and NONE of the information obtained is sent to our servers, nor stored by us.
The test asks you to cast an ACTUAL reading for your question. Then to cast a DUMMY reading.
After the two readings have been cast, you can view each of them separately. These two readings are randomly designated X and Y. Thus Reading X could be either the ACTUAL or DUMMY reading, as could reading Y.
Your task is to study the two readings carefully and then decide which reading you think gives the better answer to your question (i.e., which is more likely to be the ACTUAL reading.
If you are able to choose correctly more than 50% of the time, this could be used as evidence to support the validity of the I Ching Oracle, and of your own ability to use it.
If you wish to examine the accuracy of the choices statistically, you should carry out at least 20 trials (on yourself, or another person, or a group of people), recording the total number of times when correct and incorrect choices were made. You can then input your results into our Hit-Miss Statistical Calculator.
First decide on your question. Optionally, you can type this into the box (your questions and readings are NOT recorded by us). Also select the Area of Inquiry for your question.
You can also select the method used to cast the hexagrams (which simulate the traditional Coin or Yarrow Stalk procedures).
If repeating the test to carry out formal research you should select the SAME method for each question. This is because the probabilities of obtaining particular readings are not identical for the two methods. If you are not carrying out formal research, you may select a different method on different occasions.
When you feel ready, concentrate fully on your question and then click the button to cast the ACTUAL reading (you will not be shown it at this stage.
Next, clear your mind of the question, and then click to cast the DUMMY reading.
When both readings have been cast you will then be able to view each of them in turn (randomly designated X and Y).
You should click the buttons to view and study the two readings. Note that you can also view the nuclear hexagrams for each reading.
When you have viewed both readings (you can toggle back and forth between them) you will be able to choose which reading you believe corresponds to your question.
To do this, click the CHOOSE THIS button when the reading that is currently displayed matches your choice.
You will then be shown whether you have chosen the correct reading.
If you wish, you can continue to view both readings.
As well as using this online application as a way of testing the accuracy of the I Ching, you can also use it to develop your understanding and appreciation of the I Ching Oracle, and to develop further your ability to interpret the readings given.
In particular, whenever you choose the WRONG reading for your question, you should aim to study more deeply the actual reading. In this way, you may become more sensitive to subtleties of expression and meaning that you were not initially aware of. You will also hopefully develop a deeper insight into the 'personality' of the I Ching, and the ways in which the advice given can sometimes surprise you.