Anne Selten began her study of the I Ching and other oracles such as Astrology and Tarot, in 1970. She studied psychology, mythology, religion, and symbolism with Dr. Alan Anderson of the Religious Studies Department at San Diego State University from 1971 through 1978. She worked as an oracular consultant and teacher in California, Hawaii and Arizona.
Anne earned a Master’s Degree in Psychology, and used her focus on spirituality or metaphysics in various roles as social worker, psychotherapist, instructor, and consultant. She taught the use of the I Ching in private classes, to her psychotherapy clients, to students at Prescott College, and also as an oracular consultant
Her unique insights on the I Ching are based upon a thorough knowledge of the traditional Chinese classic. But thirty years of using the I Ching in a personal journal format convinced her that many aspects of the traditional text badly needed an update. As a woman, Anne found that the inherent sexism of the traditional Chinese culture pervaded every aspect of I Ching symbolism and were the fundamental basis of meaning for many hexagrams. Additionally, a strong believe in evil, and the identification of evil with yin, is a profound influence in many hexagrams. With years of use, it also became clear that many I Ching interpretive schemas inherited from ancient China were fundamentally arbitrary and contradicted each other.
Anne wanted an I Ching that would be consistent, and could really be used today, in a modern Western culture. The original I Ching was not "set up" for spirituality or self-review, and she wanted one that was. Most of all, she wanted an I Ching which would not be prejudiced against women.
This is why Anne took the bold step of bypassing translation, and instead creating an entirely new I Ching. Her new I Ching was to be based upon the old forms, but also suitable for the purpose of spiritual transformation in modern Western cultures.
To do this, she returned to the original I Ching trigram elements of Sky, Earth, Wind, Water, Mountain, Lake, Thunder and Fire. She proposed only a small number of interpretive principles - but these could be consistently applied and rationally explained.
It is important to realize that the I Ching material she presents here is NOT a translation, and is not intended to be. Anne here presents the first original, Western, modern, woman's view of the traditional Chinese classic. It is based on her own daily oracular use over many decades - on hundreds of thousands of consultations, responses, and interpretations, and close discussion with other I Ching experts.
This adventurous and audacious revision of the traditional Chinese text, resulted in a wonderfully original set of insights, and new schemas such as the Destiny Profile. Perhaps Anne's work may indeed some day become a recognized addition to the great tradition of I Ching.
With Anne's work, the Book of Changes is now beginning to change again, as it has through the ages. This time it is putting on a new set of philosophical and symbolic clothing, making it much more able to speak to modern issues in the modern Western world.
Ms. Selten passed into a better world on July 16th, 2011. Her revolutionary I Ching insights and writings are now being published by her husband, Michael McDonald, PhD.