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Ling Qi Jing
Classic of the Divine Chess
Traditional Chinese靈棋經
Simplified Chinese灵棋经
Hanyu PinyinLíngqíjīng
Literal meaning"Classic of the Divine Chess"

Lingqijing (or Ling Ch'i Ching; 靈棋經 lit. "Classic of the Divine Chess") is a Chinese book of divination. It is not known when and by whom it was written. Legend has it that the strategist Zhang Liang got it from Huang Shigong (黃石公), a semi-mythological figure in Chinese history. The first commented edition of the work appeared in the Jin Dynasty.

As the name of the work suggests, the work tells of how to divine with tokens like Chinese chess or xiangqi (象棋) pieces, instead of with the traditional turtle shells or yarrow stalks used in I Ching.

Twelve Xiangqi pieces[a] are used; each is a disc with a character on one side, and unmarked on the other. Four have the character for "up" (, pronounced shang), four have the character for "middle" (, zhong), and four have the character for "down" (, xia), representing the Three Realms: Heaven (, tian), Humanity (, ren), and Earth (, di), respectively. The pieces are cast and the resulting combination is looked up in the text of the Lingqijing for what fortune the combination means.

The text of the Lingqijing has an entry for all 125 combinations (i.e., three kinds of pieces, times the five possibilities for each kind: one through four pieces landing face up, or none).


  1. ^ As can be seen in entry "Xiangqi", none of these characters 下, 上, or 地 actually occur as characters on Xiangqi pieces. The pieces for Lingqijing look like Xiangqi pieces, except for having these special characters.

See also[edit]


  • Sawyer, Ralph D.; Sawyer, Mei-chün Lee (2004). Ling Ch'i Ching: A Classic Chinese Oracle. Westview Press. ISBN 9780813341743.
  • Kashiwa, Ivan (October 1997). Spirit Tokens of the Ling Qi Jing (1 ed.). Weatherhill. ISBN 978-0834804005.
  • 东方朔 [Dongfang Shuo]; 刘基军 [Jijun Liu] (2004). 靈棋經 [Ling qi jing] (in Chinese). 山东画报出版社. ISBN 7806038337. OCLC 56926286.