Fundamentals of the I Ching

Eight-Month Program

Learn Online from Stuart Alve Olson in Monthly Intensive Seminars

Since we are all going to be spending more time at home this year (following the rat’s nature according to Chinese Astrology), it’s a good opportunity to deepen our spiritual studies and exploration. 

It’s also important in times like these to lean into our spiritual community and support each other since we can do that through the internet risk-free. Even for us Taoists who tend to go our own way, we can find strength in connecting with each other and working together on a shared purpose. 

By deepening into this path, we can find greater inner peace, which we can then share with those around us. While fear may be contagious, so is calm, and it is so needed right now.

These worldly difficulties can be a portal to spiritual awakening as we are required to practice letting go of our illusion of control, and instead connect to and be guided by our spirit, spiritual energies, and the Tao.  

We are announcing a new program starting in May (financial aid scholarships available) that will be about one way of receiving spiritual guidance that has been at the heart of Taoism since its origins.

Throughout millennia, Taoists have used the I Ching, the Book of Changes (or another way of translating it, the Book of Sun and Moon) to discover how to live in harmony with the Tao and Nature and to move through the changes of this world with greater clarity, ease, and purpose. 

What is the I Ching?

The I Ching has three streams of use: 

  • One is divination, it shows you the patterns of what can occur, a prediction of future events. 
  • Its second use, or stream, is calculation. This is what Feng Shui is based on. There are patterns, and if we learn how to calculate them—and follow them—we get results. 
  • Its third stream is a book of wisdom. Just reading it will lend some wisdom to you. It could be considered one of the first scriptures of human history. All the way through Chinese culture we see the influence of the I Ching. 
Stuart Alve Olson on the history of the I Ching

Why learn about the I Ching?

Stuart Alve Olson on the effect of working with the I Ching

Working with the I Ching can bring wisdom, intuition, and perspective to our lives, and those qualities are much needed amidst the current intensity. 

Your intuitive powers grow the more you use the I Ching. It’s not about mastering the I Ching, it’s a question of using it to get another view of life. It’s a training of our consciousness, training of our intuition. If we use it, we gain clarity about the question asked, the answer, and how we should react to it—how we should work with the underlying pattern of the nature of the situation in order to end up at the best result. 

The Fundamentals of the I Ching Program

Stuart has been teaching the I Ching on and off for many years in various seminars and classes. One common response he hears from students is “can you teach the I Ching in an A through Z, 1, 2,3 manner?” 

Stuart has finally heard our requests and has created such a program to ensure that he won’t jump between familiar and unfamiliar concepts without retracing his steps, or assume people have the background that underlies his understanding without explaining how he came to this knowledge. 

In an eight-month series of intensive online seminars, Stuart is going to present the frameworks and foundational pieces a student needs to truly work with the I Ching in a way that can lead to deepened wisdom, insight, and intuition. 

This program will be a foundational core curriculum that will lay the groundwork for the Advanced I Ching Studies Program that Stuart plans to offer in the near future. This fundamentals program will give students the shared background and understandings that Stuart can then build on going forward.

For new students, if you’ve been wanting to learn about the I Ching, this is the perfect opportunity to start developing your ability to understand and utilize this incredible work. 

For students who have been studying the I Ching with Stuart for years, this is an opportunity to go over the frameworks in a step-by-step way, gain missing pieces of the puzzle, and ask questions on any pieces you may be unclear about. With this material clear and fresh in your mind, you can feel confident in going forward into the advanced I Ching training. 

Each intensive online seminar will be three hours and held once a month on a Saturday afternoon from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Arizona Time. (See below for dates.)

Program Details

Course Content

Class 1 (May 23, 2020)—Orientation to the I Ching

A detailed account of its formation and early influences.

  • Fu Xi (the Eight images)
  • Yu the Great (Ho Map and Lo Chart)
  • King Wen (Eight Trigrams)
  • Duke of Zhou (the lines of each hexagram).

Class 2 (Jun 20, 2020)—Understanding the basics of the I Ching and formation of the trigrams

  • The Eight Diagrams and the Four Arrangements
    • Before Heaven Arrangement
    • Moon Arrangement
    • Eight Gates Arrangement
    • After Heaven Arrangement
  • Explanation of the Sun and Moon divisions of the I Ching.

Class 3 (Jul 18, 2020)—Understanding the basics of the I Ching and formation of the hexagrams

  • The structure of the Sun and Moon images.
    • Book One — Hexagrams 1 thru 30 (Before Heaven Arrangement)
    • Book Two — Hexagrams 31 thru 64 (After Heaven Arrangement)

Class 4 (Aug 29, 2020)—The uses and approaches of the I Ching and the interpretation of the hexagrams

  • Divination — Using the oracles of the I Ching.
    • Explanation of phrases used in the I Ching.
  • Calculation — Using the correlations of the Eight Trigrams.
    • Explanation of correlations of the trigrams.
  • Understanding the interpretations of the Six Associated Hexagrams for each casting. These six images are the Seen and Unseen hexagrams as shown in the Book of Sun and Moon, vol. I & II.

Class 5 (Sep 26, 2020)—The Chinese calendar and astrology in correlation with the I Ching

  • Ten Heavenly Stems (also a system and means of divination).
    • The yin and yang influences of the Five Elements.
  • Twelve Earthly Branches and Twelve Chinese Zodiac signs (also a system and means of divination).

Class 6 (Oct 24, 2020)—A Taoist ritual of casting the stalks to create a hexagram

  • How to cast the stalks.
  • Setting up a Taoist shrine for casting.
  • The proper protocols for casting a hexagram.

Class 7 (Nov 21, 2020)—Creating a Life Path Hexagram

  • Will also include showing how the Twelve Earthly Branches and Ten Heavenly Stems create trigrams so that hexagrams can be formed.

Class 8 (Dec 5, 2020)—Detailed explanation of the progression of the 64 hexagrams for spiritual cultivation


You may attend the seminars in-person or online, or watch the recordings that will be available in the class portal on the Sanctuary of Tao website after the seminars. With the recordings of classes, you can go back to listen and integrate the concepts at more advanced levels as you continue learning.


The cost of this program is $108 per month ($864 total). Those who pay upfront receive $108 off ($756 total).

Registration options:

Monthly payment ($108)

Pay in Full ($756)

Scholarship for those dealing with financial difficulties due to the current crisis 

Because we know this is a difficult time financially for many, we want to offer a full scholarship (so you attend the program free) for anyone who has lost their job or who is unable to work right now, and a partial scholarship (on a sliding scale based on your situation) for anyone who is working but your income is reduced or you are worried you might be laid off. 

If you are able to pay full price, that will be very helpful to support us in this rocky time to continue to provide programming and resources, and for Stuart to continue his translation and writing work. 

You all have been supporters of the Sanctuary of Tao, and in times like these we want to support you in any way we can, so we can all lift each other up through being a part of this spiritual community. 

Please, contact us if you would like a scholarship option.

Optional Tutorials

For students who want to dive even deeper into their studies of the I Ching, Stuart is offering 30-minute tutorial sessions once a month, where he will go over what’s been taught in the last session and explain things personally to you, to help you get the most out of the program.

The tutorials allow you to have Stuart’s full attention so he can skip over things you already understand, slow things down where you need more time to understand, and delve into more detail in areas you are particularly interested in. 

The price for these private one-on-one sessions with Stuart would normally be $75 dollars for a half-hour session, which would come to $600 dollars for once-a-month tutorials for eight months. 

For students of the Fundamentals of the I Ching Program, Stuart is offering these private tutorials as a more in-depth way of learning for $200 off the normal price, for a total of $400, to be paid upfront before the course starts. Also, these tutorials with Stuart are not subject to the full or partial scholarship. Just the program itself is eligible for that. Contact us if you are interested. 

Please email us if you have any questions!

Course Links

Fundamentals of the I Ching Program

The Tao of Less Stress ProgramTao Te Ching Class

Eight Brocades & Longevity Methods Course

Private LessonsClass Portals

Sanctuary of Tao