SELF-TRANSFORMATION AND THE ORACULAR: A Practical Handbook for Consulting the I Ching and Tarot

For the ancients, the ultimate reality out of which everyone’s life was shaped was learned through divination. People trusted the utterances of the gods with their lives since they believed life was constituted by an inexorable structure. The ability to consult the Oracle and the competence to interpret the answer were crucial for adequate life passage to and through death.

While reality can accommodate our illusions to a degree it is ultimately indifferent to the mind-set of the times. Thus, if what the ancients understood was correct, the revelatory power of the Oracle remains.

Self-Transformation and the Oracular: A Practical Handbook for Consulting The I Ching and Tarot, by Professor Allan W. Anderson introduces the philosophy and use of these two great oracular traditions. He explains the traditional ways for consulting the I Ching and Tarot and emphasizes the interpretation of oracular responses.  Professor Anderson reveals the consistent truth that underlies superficially disparate statements from the Eastern and Western traditions, always focused on the transformative effect of embodying knowledge in act.

Self-Transformation and the Oracular offers a model for authentic self-change based upon the wisdom traditions of the East and the West. While supported and sustained by serious scholarship, it is neither abstract in its manner nor academic in its mode. It presents a genuinely dramatic challenge to the reader: to examine and to test oneself by consulting the preeminent oracles of the East and the West -- the I Ching (the first of the Chinese Classics) and the Tarot (a deck of seventy-eight iconic image cards).

This book offers an approach to the life of self-inquiry from the spiritual or genuinely trans-personal perspective. To date, our culture has not encouraged self-inquiry outside those avenues provided by the psychological and religious establishments and presided over by practicing psychologists and clergy. This book provides the serious reader with a thoroughly intelligent and practical framework for self-study through discovering how one may come to live in accord with Ultimacy and fulfill his or her own destiny.

Unique to Self-Transformation and the Oracular is Professor Anderson's application of the distinction between spirituality and psychology. In keeping with the Asian regard for human nature as fundamentally good, he identifies selfishness as the dysfunctional stance that unavoidably yields the unnatural condition of anxious worry as its result. The long-standing Western accounts of anxiety as either essential to our humanity (psychology) or as a congenital defect of our nature as a result of inherited sin (Christian Theology) are here rejected as mistaken and misleading. The ultimate aim of all self-cultivation is discoverable only in the individual's transcendence of such self-misunderstandings. The ending of captivity by the false is the precondition for the disclosure of the true. Thus escape from any negative entanglements rests wholly on the individual's coming to participate in an increasingly aware and attuned relation to Ultimacy. This unique possibility for human existence is one that psychology either denies or ignores and theological intellectualism only obscures.

Throughout this book, Professor Anderson attempts to awaken in his reader a deeper appreciation of Western spirituality through investigation of the genius of the Asian tradition. Thus his emphasis never rests with the merely informative or theoretical, but consistently encourages us to risk the practice of self-inquiry and to encounter the genuine possibility of self-transformation that only authentic spiritual activity can provide.

The second volume of the set is offered as a Kindle book. It includes the extraordiary set of readings described in Volume I. The intention was learn more about each Oracle by asking the Tarot about the I Ching and the I Ching about the Tarot. Four categorical questions about each card in the Tarot, about the suits, the numbers, etc. were asked of the I Ching. Tarot readings were made for same questions about each hexagrams, line, etc. of I Ching. The first question, the synthesis question, asks for the overall meaning of the hexagram, line, Tarot card, etc. for the activity of self-transformation. The second question, labeled super-ordinate, asks about the meaning of the subject for the activity of Tao or Grace. The co-ordinate question asks about the meaning for right or timely action. Finally the ordinate question asks about the nature of the the subject. One can see how these answers can deepen one's understanding of the response to any specific question related to self-transformation and timely action, especially in relation to the questions suggested in Volume I about one's own destiny.

Volume II also has helpful appendices including the translations of the Hexagram names by various authors including Legge, Wilhelm/Baynes, Liu I-ming and others. Other appendices provide definitions of terms used in the Wilhelm/Baynes; the roles of the trigrams; the roles of the lines; and more.

To order your copy of Volume I
    click here

To order your copy of Volume II
    click here