Divining with Achi and Tara


– Comparative Remarks on Tibetan Dice and Mala Divination: Tools, Poetry, Structures, and Ritual Dimensions

Prognostication in History, Volume 1

Translated an introduced by Jan-Ulrich Sobisch
With Contributins by Solvej Nielsen

Brill Publishing 2019
280 Pages, Hardcover


Artikelnummer: 550-531 Kategorien: ,


“Divining with Achi and Tara” is a book on Tibetan methods of prognostics with dice and prayer beads ( mala).
Jan-Ulrich Sobisch offers a thorough discussion of Chinese, Indian, Turkic, and Tibetan traditions of divination, its techniques, rituals, tools, and poetic language. Interviews with Tibetan masters of divination introduce the main part with a translation of a dice divination manual of the deity Achi that is still part of a living tradition. Solvej Nielsen contributes further interviews, a mālā divination of Tārā and its oral tradition, and very useful glossaries of the terminology of Tibetan divination and fortune telling. Appendices provide lists of deities and spirits and of numerous identified ritual remedies and supports that are an essential element of a still vibrant Tibetan culture.

All interested in divinationtechniques in general, and inparticular in Tibetan prognostics (mo), poetry, and the ritual dimensions of divination and fortune


Jan Ulrich Sobisch
studied Tibetology as main subject at Hamburg University (1985-1992, Prof. Seyfort Ruegg), and the minor subjects Classical Indology (1986-1992, Profs. Schmithausen and Wezler), and Philosophy (1990-1992, Prof. Schnädelbach). During his dissertation (Prof. David Jackson), he worked on a genre of Tibetan literature that debates theories of simultaneously practising without conflicts and within a single mental continuum the ethics and vows of sravakas, bodhisattvas and mantra adepts. During these years (1994-1999) he also worked half time in the Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project for Prof. Wezler. While working for the project, he discovered among microfilms made available to us the 30 volumes of the complete works of A mes zhabs (1597-1659), one of the most prolific Tibetan writers on history and mantra.
Further information about the author