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I Ching Online

Frequently Asked Questions...

Changing Lines
What is the origin of the "prevailing" changing line, if there are more than one?

ICO version 4
What about "version 4"?

Throw coins by hand
Why does "Throw coins by hand" always give hexagram 2?

What if my free trial period or subscription expired some time ago already?

Follow @IChingOnline on Twitter
Why should we follow I Ching Online on Twitter?

Why doesn't I Ching Online have a forum for members?

Turn off advertising
How can I turn off advertising on I Ching Online?

Download readings to csv-file
How does it work?
What is the meaning of the different columns?

Clear the browser's cache
What is a browser's cache?
When might I need to clear it?

Answers to...

Frequently Asked Questions

Changing lines
When we designed the interface of I Ching Online with the different aspects of the reading presented in separate tabs, we had to have a method to choose just one changing line at a time if there were more than one.
At the very least, we had to choose the line that was presented first.
The algorithm we used to choose this prevailing line is not ours, we found it in a 1984 Dutch edition, "De kleine I Tjing" (Little I Ching), and it has appealed to us ever since we discovered it.
At first we adopted the method more strictly; this one prevailing line was the only one you could read about.
The vast majority of visitors liked the simplification, but after the persistent protests of a few visitors we made the other changing lines clickable as well.
From version 3.9 you can read about all other changing lines by just clicking them (or tapping them on a touch-screen).

And from version 3.29 (March 11th 2018), on the (Hexagram Lines tab of the) Reading page, you can not only click on any Changing Line to read about it, but on any NON-changing Line as well.
When you click a Changing or NON-changing Line, the "primary text" of that line appears, and by pressing the Read original text button, you can read the Richard Wilhelm translation for that Line.
Clicking the Hexagram Lines tab again will reset the page.

The method is just a guideline, and does not pretend anything.
The rule for two changing lines, that an old yin prevails over an old yang, we think has its origin in the yarrow stalks method, where the chance for a 6 is just a little less than for a 9, as we calculated.
The smaller the chance the more important, probably, was the assumption.
The set of rules to determine which changing line prevails, if there are more than one, is explained in detail on the "Instruction" page.

Version 4
Version 4 has been discontinued.
The reason for releasing version 4 at the time was technical.
Since the start of I Ching Online (October 1st 2007) the site has been hosted with "Hostgator", together with more than 200 other sites on one server ("shared hosting").
From version 3 (September 2011) with member accounts and saved readings, we needed a database, and this service is also shared with all other sites in the pool.
No problem so far, but as traffic grew for I Ching Online and as more and more other sites use WordPress (with a heavy load on the one shared MySQL database server), it could happen that the ICO visitor would see an error message "Unable to connect to database: Too many connections".
This was the reason to consider "dedicated hosting" or "hosting in-the-cloud".
Moving a site is a major project, and there was one more consideration.
From August 2015 a new so-called "generic top-level domain" (gTLD) became available, the one we very eagerly wanted for I Ching Online: .ONLINE
It was not cheap, but we managed to acquire the perfect domain name ICHING.ONLINE for I Ching Online.
Thus we hosted in-the-cloud.
Before we decided to move all accounts from (version 3) to (version 4) we first wanted to be sure that everything would work as expected, and waited for to show up in search engines.

But it didn't.
Meanwhile we used as a back-up, in case would have an outage.
However, uptime and performance of the main site improved a lot (we currently have a much better hosting plan), so the need for a back-up decreased as well.
Finally, in May 2021 we decided to discontinue the so-called version 4 and forget about the cloud-adventure.

But we found a new and obvious destination for the domain ICHING.ONLINE.
You can still use as an easy-to-remember alternative label for www.ichingonline.NET, with only the basic site and minor differences.
You can ask your question here, but when you click the button Continue, you will be redirected to I Ching Online.NET, where you can throw the coins, read the answer and if you like save your reading in your account, if you have one (or create one).

Throw coins by hand
Many I Ching Online visitors have misunderstood the instructions for throwing coins by hand.
The purpose is to throw real metal coins yourself, and use the pictures of coins on the screen to register the result.
The first time you click a coin it starts showing tails yin (dark / yin), but when you click it again, it changes to heads yang (light / yang).
It flips every time you click it.
This way you can make up all six lines of the hexagram yourself.

When you click all 18 coins just once, they will show only tails yinyinyin (dark / yin), and thus hexagram 2, with all lines changing.
The chance for this to happen in the real world would be 1 in 262144 !!!

See the "Instruction" page as well.

The rules for renewals are clear:
Subscriptions are renewable on a yearly or half-yearly basis.
Your extension period starts on the day your free trial period or subscription expires.

For example:
You join I Ching Online on January 1, 2014.
Your free trial period will then expire April 1, 2014.
If you renew for one year during your trial period, your subscription will expire April 1, 2015.
But what if you did not renew, let's say until November 1, 2014, and you still want to renew.
A payment for a year would then only be valid for 5 more months (November 1, 2014 till April 1, 2015), and a payment for a half year would not even have any effect, because even with this payment your subscription would have expired on October 1, 2014 already.

For such occasions please realize that you will always get a fair extension period.

The examples above depend upon the following variables :
If you hardly logged in since you joined I Ching Online, and paid for a one-year extension on November 1, 2014, you will get 6 months extra, and your subscription will expire October 1, 2015, which will give you 11 months effective from your late one-year payment.

But if you used the site every day, with hundreds of page-views daily, and saved hundreds of readings*, then it can happen that with your one-year payment on November 1, 2014, your subscription will still expire April 1, 2015.

Anyway, the following always applies:
Should your subscription payment have no effect, because with the half-year or one-year extension your subscription would still have expired already (and your account still exists), then your renewal period will start on the payment date.
Your half-year payment on November 1, 2014 will thus make your subscription expire May 1, 2015.

*) If this exceeds the terms of "fair use" you will not have the opportunity to renew.
   See the terms and conditions-page.

Follow @IChingOnline on Twitter
Since December 2011 we have an "Official Twitter account" @IChingOnline.
This account is used to announce new versions of I Ching Online and occasionally to explain some problem with the site if there is one.

This Official Twitter page can also be viewed by entering in the address bar of your browser.
Twitter is NOT the place to ask any question about I Ching Online or report some problem with the site if you find one.
Should you have any question or request, or if you want to report some problem, please e-mail us (address at the bottom of the page).


Be the first to know about any new version of I Ching Online.

Follow @IChingOnline on Twitter...

We have given the idea of a forum for members at I Ching Online a thought before.
It should be limited to paid-up members only, indeed, or we would have a fulltime job removing unwanted contributions (and SPAM in general), but even then...
After careful consideration (and of course asking the I Ching itself) we decided not to attach a forum to the site.
In our view, the I Ching is for personal contemplation.
The reading you receive is not meant for a dispute or discussion.
When you consult the I Ching, you talk with your own unconscious, so to speak.
This is different for everyone, and so it should be.
Comparing interpretations leads nowhere; you know the answer to your question yourself, and the I Ching does no more than make you aware of this.

Turn off advertising
In your menu-option "My I Ching" you can change your settings.
The setting "Display pages" has two options, "With Personalized Ads" or "With NON-personalized Ads".
Paid-up members have an extra option in their setting "Display pages", where they can choose "Without Ads".
You must make this choise yourself (default is "With Personalized Ads"), and if you check "Without Ads" the site will be entirely ad free when you are logged in.
(You have to be logged in for the ads to disappear, because we need to know it is you who does not want to see them.)

  Tip of the day:
As a paid-up member you will also have an option in your "My I Ching" to set a cookie that will keep you logged in for as long as one year.
This way you will be logged in already every time you visit the site and before you start consulting the I Ching.

Download readings to csv-file
Downloading readings is an option for paid-up members on their "My Readings"-page.
First you have to find out what is most convenient for the global settings on your computer; download as comma-separated, semicolon-separated or tab-separated csv-file.
The download is "as-is"; for further analysis you must have some Excel knowledge.
The fields in the download have the following meaning:

Timestamp The number of seconds since January 1st 1970 00:00:00 UTC.
Time zone The translation of the timestamp to standard date/time notation in your timezone setting at the moment of download.
Question text The literal question you typed in.
Hex lines The code for the separate changing lines (e.g. 767897) is explained on the Instruction page.
Cast Hex The cast hexagram.
Trans Hex The transformed hexagram.

The reading texts are not included; you must have the book at home.
Your readings are not saved with your questions; they are looked up in the database when displayed on the site.
The download is for further analysis of your reading history, you can discover patterns, or pursue further self-study.

[If you are an Excel wizard, you can make a sheet with all readings and their hexagram numbers, and add the answers in a "VLOOKUP".]

Clear the browser's cache
I Ching Online uses a lot of, and large so-called javascripts.
Once you visited the site, these javascripts are stored in a buffer in your browser; the browser's cache, so that every next time you visit the site the browser can use the stored javascript instead of downloading a new one.
In very rare cases such a stored javascript might be corrupted, with the effect that you cannot throw the coins any more, or the page with the reading does not load.
For such events the most probable solution is to clear the browser's cache, so that when you reload the page a fresh copy of the script shall be downloaded from the server.

How you can do this is explained most clearly at's-Cache or, where you can choose your device and browser and read about it.

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