Episode 25 – The Psychology of Divination: a depth approach

Sep 20, 2018

Divinatory systems have been used for thousands of years as a source of help and direction to people wishing to resolve situations of personal uncertainty. Jung used the I Ching for 30 years before he met Richard Wilhelm and found confirmation of its usefulness in Wilhelm’s translation of The Secret of the Golden Flower. We explore the value of divination through the I Ching and the Tarot, and link this to the concept of a unified field that can facilitate a healing relationship with the Self.

Here’s the dream we discuss:

“I’m sitting on a concrete ledge. A few feet below is mud. A loved, beaded bracelet slips off into the mud and begins to sink. I know I cannot reach it. The feeling of anger and frustration toward myself and the situation distracts me for so long that when I regain clarity I realize it’s late, and I am far from home. I also become aware of a family of brown bears below, a mother and two cubs, father some distance away. The need to get away from the bears and find a safe place to sleep takes over. I look behind me into a beautiful, green grassy space and see a metal fenced off area about the size of a basketball court. A cage with no roof! I run to it for safety, whilst the bears meander calmly in the distance. Although they appear peaceful, I know that if parents’ protective instincts kick in then I’m in danger. I find the gate to the cage and let myself in, questioning if bears can climb the fence. I’m terrified they’ll see and hear me, so resist the urge to move fast. I quietly, slowly slide the lock on the gate across. Feeling safe and relieved, I look around for somewhere to lie down. It’s all very muddy, which surprisingly doesn’t faze me. I find a spot and lie down, settling into the soft mud, although when I roll over I see that I have lain down next to huge, twelve-foot-tall gorilla, which I initially think is a bear who is asleep but rolling over and toward me, about to land on me! My final thought before waking is if that rolls onto me I will never get away. How did I not notice it was there?”

Shout out to Colin P. for suggesting the topic!

Here’s a link for The Matrix and Meaning of Character`

And here’s a link for the I Ching app.


  1. robert dumonsau

    a rewarding discussion in that the discussion verified for me, an uneducated traveler,tarot and i ching as a proper application toward clarifying the chaos within the mystery…allowing a natural calmness to ensue during the excitement of an activity.

    • Lisa, Deb & Joe

      What a poetic response to the podcast! Thank you for sharing your experience, Robert.
      Lisa, Deb & Joe

  2. Mark Wogan

    Cognitive dissonance theory might have been explored as one explanation for how tarot works. Noted also that the projective hypothesis of Franks circa 1939 was a personality test… a bit limiting my view when we want to find our own meanings. Jung’s active imagination techniques seems a good way to use divinatory practices like tarot to amplify psychological awareness , whilst not being reductionist to the tarot literal meanings.

    • Joseph23455

      Great comment Mark – very erudite! Do you have a book or two to recommend to listeners?

  3. Mik

    To be fair myself I should say that I really love all of the other episodes of this podcast. It has reminded me how jungian psychology is more about a healing of the self and cognitive behavioral therapy treats the symptoms and management of the symptoms more than the underlying cause. It doesnt really work with expanding the self concept- I guess you might call that individuation?

    I almost think that is something people have forgotten how to do.
    I guess I just think this episode might have been more properly labeled cheating then betrayal, because the concept of betrayal can be extended to your country, the principals of your religion, your professional code of ethics (such as the Hippocratic Oath), or your larger family (like stealing from a relative).

    And then let’s say you swear an oath, to your country for example,if that country betrays the concept of Liberty and Justice itself, do you then uphold your end of the oath anyway?

    Marriage vows are very much like the vows to Country, there are many components, and if one partner breaks part of The Oath by not cherishing their partner, then does the other partner still have a requirement to uphold his or her part of the oath? Things I wanted to know that I just would have liked to see explored further. I think one of your colleagues had an injury done to her by what may have been a very real betrayal. I remember her saying as much. That’s really difficult. I know something like that would frame the way I looked at something. We are all human, after all.

  4. Janusz

    What if her gorilla was in fact her animus? I wonder.


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