Tarot above, I Ching below

Connecting the I Ching and tarot

I Ching and tarot are both ancient divination systems. I Ching originated from China and, while the origins of tarot is uncertain, its modern day form definitely took shape in Europe. As such, one system is reflective of Eastern thinking and philosophy while the other is representative of the West.

Yet, as different as the two systems are, I have found that the I Ching and tarot are highly complimentary. Those who are familiar with paganism may know the term ‘as above, so below’. It is my opinion that the two divination systems creates this beautiful above and below harmony. Viewed from this perspective, the tarot reveals the grand designs of the universe while the I Ching teaches us how to work within this design.


Even though there are seventy-eight cards in a tarot deck and only sixty-four hexagrams in the I Ching, there is a way to connect the two.

Within the seventy-eight cards of the tarot, sixteen of them are court cards. Unlike the rest of the deck, the purpose of these cards are not to provide insight into a situation. Rather, they reveal knowledge about the people involved in the situation. If these personality cards are removed from the deck, there remains sixty-two cards.

And while each hexagram in the I Ching describes an evolving situation, the first two hexagrams’ main purpose is to shed light upon the principals of yang and yin. Instead of describing a state of change, they describe the initial conditions of the universe. It is the interaction between these two eternal forces that generates all changes. When these two hexagrams are removed, there are sixty-two hexagrams left, all which describes changes and evolution.

The remaining tarot cards and I Ching hexagrams can then be aligned by their similar messages.

How to use this page

Each of the following page provides background information on the divination tool and how it’s used. Following that is a chart that lists out each card (in the tarot deck) or hexagram (in the I Ching).

Each card/hexagram page starts with the tarot description followed by its I Ching companion. It ends with a summary that combines the messages of both. If you are only interested in one system, you can read just that section.


I Ching