Getting Started

Searching for journal entries in My Ching is very much like using an Internet search engine, Bing or Google for example.  All searches are performed on the journal currently selected in the Journals menu. To do a search, enter some search terms in the search box and click the "Find" button (displayed with a magnifying glass). If a keyword or key phrase occurs anywhere in a journal entry, this entry is included in the results. Clicking on a result opens the journal entry in a new tab.

Browsing

Clicking the Find button with the search box left empty, will list every entry in the currently selected journal. This is useful if you want to browse through all the entries in a journal.

Keyword Search

susan

Returns all entries containing the word "susan" in either the question or comment section. Even though "susan" is written in lower case it will still match proper case (Susan) and upper case (SUSAN) occurrences.

susan john

Returns all entries containing both words "susan" and "john"

susan "john smith"

Returns all entries containing both the word "susan" and phrase "john smith".

susan OR john

Returns all entries containing either the word "susan" or "john".

susan -john

Returns all entries containing the word "susan" but not the word "john". Note that the hyphen character '-' prefixed to a search term has the meaning "but not this term".

Phrase Search

The query:

"Is it a mistake"

returns all entries containing the consecutive words is it a mistake, ignoring any punctuation.

Order of Results

Use the "order options list" below the search box to change the order in which the results are listed. Ticking the check box to the right reverses the current order.

Case Sensitivity

All word search queries are case insensitive meaning that if you type the search terms in all lower case it will still match occurrences of this word containing upper case letters.

Punctuation

All key phrase queries are blind to punctuation, meaning that when searching for a series of words in the text of an entry, consecutive words are treated as though they are separated by a single space, regardless of any punctuation that might occur.

Navigating Results

Result format

Each result link shows the primary and resulting hexagram for the reading followed by the question. Below each link is shown the entry date followed by a list of "match quotations", where the occurrence of a keyword or phrase is highlighted in bold. Clicking on the link opens the journal entry in a new tab for viewing.

Browsing Results

While viewing an entry, you can navigate to the previous or next entry in the results list by clicking the Page left or Page right button. These buttons are normally kept hidden, but will appear if you move the mouse cursor to the left or right margins at the top of the page where the hexagrams are displayed. Alternatively you can use the Alt + Left/Right Arrow keyboard shortcuts. The right "paper tag" in the page banner displays which search result is currently being viewed.

A couple of things to note:

Keyword Search

Word

The following example returns all entries containing the word 'relationship' in either the comment or question section:

relationship

Phrases

Enclosing a sequence of words in quotes, returns all entries containing that phrase. For example, they query:

"Is it a mistake"

returns all entries containing exactly this sequence of words. Letter case and punctuation is ignored, so if the entry phrases consists of the characters: is it, a mistake, it will still be matched.

Word Stems

A word stem is a sequence of letters forming the beginning of a word. Placing an asterisk at the end of a word stem will match all words starting with this stem. However the word stem must contain a minimum of three letters.(*) For example the following query:

rel*

will match all occurrences of the words: relation, relations, relationship, relative, relatives, relish, religion etc. In computer jargon the asterisk character is referred to as a "wild card" and represents arbitrary text.

Phrase Stems

A phrase stem is a sequence of words plus a word stem at the end. Enclosing this sequence in quotes and placing an asterisk at the end of the word stem, returns all entries containing phrases where the last word starts with the word stem. For example the query:

"if my rel*"

will match all occurrences of the phrases: "if my relations", "if my relatives", "if my relative", "if my relationships", etc

Entry Date Search

Day

To find all entries tagged with a specific date, enter a date in the form dd/mm/yyyy or dd/mm/yy. For example, entering:

31/5/2010

will return all entries dated on the 31st May 2010. The year maybe abbreviated as follows:

31/5/10

Month

To find all entries dated during a specific month, enter a month date in the form mm/yyyy or mm/yy. For example, entering:

7/2010

will return all entries entered in July 2010. The year can be abbreviated as follows:

7/10

Day Interval

To find all entries dated between two specific dates, enter the "from date" and "to date" separated by a hyphen. For example:

1/7/2010-25/5/2011

will return all entries dated between 1st July 2010 and 25th May 2011 inclusively. The years can be abbreviated as follows:

1/7/10-25/5/11

Month Interval

A range of months can be specified by separating two month dates with a hyphen, for example:

7/2010-5/2011

will return all entries dated from 1st July 2010 to 31st May 2011. The years can be abbreviated as follows:

7/10-5/11

Hexagram Search

Each oracle entry has a hexagram associated with it known as the "primary hexagram". This is the oracles response to the question posed and the principle oracle guidance is found by reading the text for this hexagram. However advanced I Ching users can find deeper meanings by examining a set of related hexagrams that are derived from the primary hexagram. Using the terminology of I Ching scholar Stephen Karcher, these hexagrams are known as: the relating/resulting hexagram, the kernel or hidden possibility, the steps of change, the Yang or Energy change operator, the Yin or Context change operator, and finally the symmetrical or rotational pair. To find the interpretive meaning of these hexagrams refer to the chapter titled "Tools for change" in Karcher's I Ching translation "Total I Ching".

My Ching offers a way to search for readings that have a specified hexagram belonging to any of these interpretative hexagram categories.

Primary

To find all entries associated with a primary hexagram number, just  enter the hexagram number into the search box. For example, the following query returns all entries with hexagram number 64:

64

Primary and Resulting

The effect of any changing lines in a reading is to produce a new hexagram called the resulting (or relating) hexagram. This is displayed to the right of the primary on the journal entry page. If there are no changing lines then only the primary is shown. To find all readings with a unique combination of primary and resulting hexagram use a query of the form:

p>r

where p and r are the primary and resulting hexagram numbers respectively. The symbol '>' here stands for "changes into". For example:

1>24

returns only those entries where hexagram 1 changes into hexagram 24.

Resulting

To find entries with a particular resulting hexagram without reference to the primary, use a query of the form:

>n

where n is a resulting hexagram number. For example the query:

>14

returns only those entries resulting in hexagram 14.

Steps of Change

By taking each changing line position in isolation and applying it to the primary hexagram, it is possible to derive a sequence of hexagrams known as the steps of change. There is one such hexagram for each changing line. To find an entry that has step corresponding to a particular hexagram use a query of the form:

step:n

where n is the hexagram number.

Steps Count

When there are more than one changing lines in a reading, they are sometimes referred to as the "steps of change". The number of change steps can be queried using the query:

steps:n

where n is a number from 0 to 6. So for example:

steps:0

will return only those readings with no changing lines.

Kernel or Hidden Possibility

This hexagram is derived from the primary hexagram by taking the trigram formed by lines 3 to 5 and placing it on top of the trigram formed by lines 2 to 4 (Counting from the bottom line). To search for entries with a particular kernel hexagram use a query of the form:

kernel:n

where n is a hexagram number.

Inner Change Operator

This hexagram is derived from the primary hexagram by putting a yin line in each line position where change occurs and a yang line in each static position. It is also referred to as the Yin or Context change operator. To find all entries that have a particular inner change operator use a query of the form:

inner:n

where n is a hexagram number.

Outer Change Operator

This hexagram is derived from the primary hexagram by putting a yang line in each line position where change occurs and a yin line in each static position. It is also referred to as the Yang or Energy change operator. To find all entries that have a particular outer change operator use a query of the form:

outer:n

where n is a hexagram number.

Symmetrical or Rotational Pairs

The 64 I Ching hexagrams can be categorized into 32 pairs with interpretative meanings that are in someway complementary. In the normal hexagram sequence each of these pairs comprises an odd and an even number. In terms of line structure the pairs are either the inverse of each other (symmetrical pair) or one is the rotational mirror of the other (rotating by 180 degrees). The latter is known as a rotational pair. For example hexagrams 1 and 2 form a symmetrical pair as each line of hexagram 2 is the opposite of the corresponding line in hexagram 1. Hexagrams 3 and 4 are a rotational pair as each transforms into the other when rotated by 180 degrees.

To find all entries where the primary hexagram belongs to a particular symmetrical or rotational pair, use a query of the form:

pair:n

where n is the lower most number of the pair (always an odd number). For example:

pair:1

returns all entries where the primary hexagram is either 1 or 2.

Line State Search

The following query types are used to search for journal entries according to the state of particular lines in the primary hexagram. For the purposes of all line queries, the line positions are referred to by numbers counting from the bottom line, 1, to the top line, 6.

Lines States by Numeric Code

There is an ancient system used to describe to the state of each line in an I Ching reading by a numeric code. These numeric codes are as follows:

  1. changing yin line.
  2. static yang line.
  3. static yin line.
  4. changing yang line.

These are the same as the sum permutations of the I Ching coin values in a casting toss. It is possible to search for all entries that have a line state code at a particular position using the following query forms where n is a line position:

six:n
seven:n
eight:n
nine:n

For example the following query will return all entries that have a static yang line in the 5th line position:

seven:5   

Change at a Position

It is possible to search for a changing line at a particular position by combining the six and nine search operator with the keyword OR described in the section Combining Queries below. For example, to find all entries that have changing line in the 5th position, use the query:

six:5 OR nine:5

Note that OR must be capitalized, otherwise it is assumed that you wish find the word 'or' as a keyword in the question or comment.

A convenient abbreviation of the above query is possible using the following form:

change:n

For example the query:

change:5

finds any entry hexagram that changes on the 5th line.

Static Lines

It is possible to search for a static (unchanging) line at a particular position by combining the seven and eight search operators with the keyword OR described in the section Combining Queries below. For example, to find all entries that have static line in the 5th position, use the query:

seven:5 OR eight:5

Note that OR must be capitalized, otherwise it is assumed that you wish to find the word 'or' as a keyword in the question or comment.

A convenient abbreviation of the above query is possible using the following form:

static:n

For example the query:

static:5

finds any entry hexagram that has no changing line in the 5th position.

Changes at Ruling Positions

Every hexagram has one or two lines which have a special significance and are referred to as ruling lines. (There are two types of ruling line but we are only interested in the type known as the 'governing ruler'. The other type known as the 'constituting ruler' is of less practical use so we use 'ruling' or 'ruler' to refer only to the governing type.) In the Richard Wilhelm translation the ruling line change text is marked with a small circle to indicate a governing ruler. Moving the mouse cursor over the primary hexagram will cause the ruling lines to be indicated with small arrows.

The change text for ruling lines is of particular interest because they generally have a more auspicious or favorable connotation then the other lines. It is possible to search for readings that have at least one change occurring in a ruling position using the query:

change:ruling

It is also possible to use the queries:

six:ruling

OR

nine:ruling

meaning respectively that at least one ying line changes in a ruling position OR at least one yang line changes in a ruling position.

Combining Search Terms

By entering a number of search terms one after another in the search box, only those entries that match all the terms will be returned. For example the following query:

john 5 nine:5

returns only those entries containing the word "john" in either the comment or question section, having hexagram number 5 as the answer and having a changing line in the 5 position. It is also possible to specify a number of terms as being interchangeable alternatives by separating them with the OR operator. For example the query:

john nine:5 OR six:5

returns all entries with the word "john" and having either a changing yang OR a changing ying line in the fifth position. Of course this is equivalent to the query:

john change:5

Filtering Search Results

Particular entries can be excluded from search results by adding a search term prefixed with a minus sign indicating, only return items that do not contain this term. For example:

john -6 OR -47

returns only those entries that contain the word "john" but do not have either hexagram number 6 or 47 as the answer.

Ordering Search Results

Search results can be sorted in 8 different ways, (4 ways + 4 reversed). To sort the search results, select a sort criteria from the Order drop down box. The displayed results will be immediately sorted. Click on the Reversed check-box to reverse the sort order.

The sort criteria are as follows:

By Natural Order of Creation

Lists in the order in which the entries where created (input).

By Date

Sorts in chronological order determined by the journal entry date. By default entry dates are set to the day on which the entry was created but you can change it to anything you like. For entries that have the same date, they are listed in alphabetical order of the question to the oracle.

By Hexagram

Sorts in numerical order of the entry's primary hexagram. For entries that have the same hexagram, those with no changing lines are listed first and after that in numerical order of relating hexagram.

By Question

Sorts in alphabetical order of the question to the oracle.

Hexagram Representations

There is an alternative way to specify hexagrams in queries and that is to "draw a picture" of the hexagram using the small letter 'i' (or an exclamation mark !) to represent a yin line and the small letter 'l' (or number 1) to represent a yang line. Obviously 'i' and '!' are meant to resemble a straight line with a gap in the middle.

To query for a hexagram using this method, type the lines of the hexagram starting with the lowermost line and ascending to the top from left to right. The result will look like a normal (vertical) hexagram rotated clockwise by 90 degrees. For example, to query for hexagram 36 using lines instead of a number, enter the following query:

liliii

In fact anywhere where you use a hexagram number in a query, you can replace the number with a graphical representation. For example:

liliii>1!1!1!

is equivalent to the query

36>63

Changing Lines

There is a traditional way to indicate changing lines in a reading hexagram. Anywhere a yang line changes, a small circle is drawn in the center of the line. And anywhere a yin line changes, a small X is drawn in the yin line gap. This convention is adapted in My Ching so that a small letter 'x' represents a changing yin line, and a small letter 'o' represents a changing yang line. So for example, a query for all readings where hexagram 15 changes to hexagram 7 can be written as either:

15>7

OR

iiliii>iliiii

OR

ixoiii

Here the x represents a changing yin line in the 2nd position, and o represents and changing yang line in the 3rd position.

Literal Numbers

By default, any number from 1 to 64 in a query is interpreted to mean: search for a primary hexagram number. However, it's possible you may want to search for a number occurring in the text of a reading entry. To prevent the number being interpreted as a hexagram number, enclose it in quotes. For example the query:

"64"

will return only those entries where the digits '64' occurs in either the question or comment text.