C:\Users\tian_\Pictures\Site Pictures\sign_red_wborder.jpgEastern astrology is little understood in Western nations, yet its various systems are used by the peoples of the majority of the world’s population. When we talk about Eastern astrology, what normally comes to mind for people of the West is the animal sign for the year in which they were born, a feature of the Four Pillars system of Chinese astrology, also known as BaZi. But there is much more to Eastern systems of astrology than the twelve animal signs. Some of the astrologies of the East use elements of Indian astrology, as in the orbits of the planets and Vedic interpretations, as well as other factors about which are only beginning to come into usage in the West. This page serves as a thumbnail introduction to what are actually vast and complicated systems of astrology in some cases. The hyperlinks below each heading take you to books related to the subject matter.

C:\Users\tian_\Pictures\Site Pictures\chinese_zodiac.pngChinese astrology: To begin, with any study of Chinese astrology, one cannot go past the books of Derek Walters. There are many other fine books, for sure, but Walters is a Chinese scholar and was able to read original manuscripts. That said, when one does an internet search on topics in Eastern astrology, the greatest number of search results go to pages on Chinese astrology. To be sure, Chinese systems of astrology dominate in the East and upwards of 2 billion people use Chinese or very similar astrology. But Chinese astrology is more than the Four Pillars, and most people in the West are only aware of the Year Pillar, or the animal sing for the year in which they were born. There are three other Pillars at least in that system, for the Month, Day and the Hour also, and sometimes even the Minute and Conception Pillars are used. As a brief outline of Chinese astrology, there are the following basic topics:

  • Bazi - Four Pillars of Destiny - Photos | Facebook BaZi/Four Pillars: This is one of the most basic and best-known systems of Chinese astrology. It comprises four columns (Pillars of Destiny) in which an animal sign and one of the Five Elements are combined. Eastern systems of astrology use five elements instead of the four we use in the West – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. These elements define the mode of transformation for everything the Pillar represents. The ‘Animal Sign’ denotes the phase of the cycle which is represented by the Pillar. Each Pillar denotes a period of one’s life, and then there are the 10-year ‘Luck Pillars’ to consider. Finally, there are all the ‘Stars’ formed by the various combinations of every factor on the Four Pillars. So, The ‘Four Pillars of Destiny’ are not so simple as simply knowing the Animal and Element of one’s birth year. The Four Pillars are based in the solar calendar, with the year generally starting on 4 February each year, that date being known as the Li Chun.
  • C:\Users\tian_\Pictures\Site Pictures\tzu_wei_chart.jpgTzu Wei: Tzu Wei, or Purple Palace astrology, builds upon the Four Pillars and expands upon it. In addition to the Four Pillars, Tzu Wei incorporates 12 sectors, very similar to the 12 houses of the Western horoscope. These sectors, or Palaces each encompass a ten-year and a single year period in which they are active, unlike Western astrology, where all 12 houses are always active and constantly influenced by planetary cycles. Tzu Wei utilizes over 100 ‘Stars’ in its system, too. The Stars in the Four Pillars and Tzu Wei systems are actually part of a complex system of numerology and are symbolic. Tzu Wei is based in the lunar calendar, with the year starting at the new moon of Aquarius each year, and ending at the subsequent new moon of Aquarius a year later.

The Emperor’s Stargate

  • C:\Users\tian_\Pictures\Site Pictures\ming_shu_chart.jpg Ming Shu: This is a very basic, thumbnail sketch of one’s life. Ming Shu means literally ‘calculation of fate’. Ming Shu was developed during the Tang Dynasty. It displays as a wheel, with 12 sectors of life. Missing are the 12 animal signs. Instead, the interpretation is taken from the Five Elements, dividing one’s life into five distinct sectors, superimposed on the 12 life sectors. Those sectors are Fate, Seal, Official, Wealth and Opportunity. Each of the five sectors has an element and a ‘count’ indicating the relative strength of the sector.

Ming Shu: The Art and Practice of Chinese Astrology

  • Lo Shu Square - WikiwandNine Star Qi: A system based in the Magic (Lo Shu) Squares. The basis is there are 9 month and 9 year periods in the ebb and flow of chi/qi in the earth. A Japanese system was evolved in 1924 as an adjunct to Feng Shui practice and as a corrective measure. It also has as its basis the 9/90/900/9000 year cycle of Saturn. Saturn is the ‘Earth Planet’ in Chinese astrology. The 9-year cycle is said to be the ‘2nd-order’ cycle of Saturn.
  • Amazon.com: Chinese Feng Shui Metal Colorful Compass Luo Pan Tool W3929 (Multi-Color, 2.6inch) : Home & Kitchen Feng Shui: otherwise known as Chinese geomancy, this is the astrology of placement within one’s environment and one of the best-known systems of Chinese astrology besides the Four Pillars. ‘Placement’ refers to people, buildings and orientation (direction) to enable to best flow of chi/qi. There are two schools of Feng Shui – Form and Compass. Feng Shui incorporates the Ba Gua (eight directions), astronomy, the Five Elements and the trigrams from the I-Ching. Feng Shui is one of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics.
  • Plum Blossom Divination – Apps on Google Play‘Plum Blossom Oracle’: Not really astrology, this is a system of numerology based upon the I-Ching. It is essentially a system of divination rather than astrology, and dates form the 11th century. By observing nature, animals and humans, numbers from 1 to 8 are assigned on the basis of certain characteristics, which correspond to each of the eight trigrams. Trigrams are used in pairs to form the 64 hexagrams from the I-Ching. The system has rules but it is also intuitive. It is included here because there is a Chinese astrology that calculates the I-Ching hexagrams that forecast the life and the various periods in one’s life.

New I Ching: Discover the Secrets of the Plum Blossom Oracle

Black and Gold Tibetan Astrology Calendar Thangka Painting Tibetan Astrology: Tibetan astrology encompasses Chinese and Indian (Vedic) astrology. As such, it is a comprehensive system of analysis, involved in every aspect of one’s life – spiritual, geomantic, health, cycles of destiny and so forth.

Tibetan Astrology

Tibetan Astrology and Geomancy

Burmese Astrology: Burmese astrology is largely derived from Vedic astrology, using the same 12 signs of the Western zodiac, as well as the 27 nakshatras (lunar mansions) of Vedic astrology and the 8 weekday signs.

Be Brilliant Be You

Mongolian Astrology: Mongolian astrology closely follows the astrology of the old Imperial courts of China, with its very extensive catalogs of over 1,000 stars, the 28 lunar mansions and so forth. The main difference between Mongolian and Chinese astrology is the structure of their charts. Some Mongolian astrological charts do not resemble astrological charts at all.

Divine Knowledge: Buddhist Mathematics According to the Anonymous Manual of Mongolian Astrology and Divination

Japanese Astrology: Japanese astrology is essentially the Japanese adaptation of Chinese Four Pillars/BaZi astrology.

The Power Wish

Two other systems worth noting:

  • The I-Ching itemizes 64 combinatorics of Yin and Yang. Source:... | Download Scientific Diagram I Ching: In English, this is an astrological system translated from the ‘Ho Map Lo Map Rational Number’ manuscript from ancient China. Its computational foundation is in the trigrams of the I-Ching, the Five Elements, 60-year sub-cycles and the 9-Star Qi. It is a system, like other systems of astrology, which relate the manifestations of the heavens converted into natural laws. It is also used for forecasting and prognostications.

The Astrology of I Ching

  • T’ai Hsűan Ching: The T’ai Hsűan Ching, like the I-Ching can be used as an astrological system. But instead of trigrams like the I-Ching, the T’ai Hsűan Ching is based in a system of tetragrams. Whereas I-Ching has as its basis yin and yang, the Tai Hsűan Ching introduces a third force, allowing for the creation of the truly novel. The system dates from the western Han dynasty. It is more scientific and ordered that I-Ching, the latter being based in folklore. The tetragrams of the T’ai Hsűan Ching are logical in their sequencing, yet they retain the creative quality of the 3rd, the human force of creativity. It is quite an extraordinary and accurate system, yet long neglected in favour of the I-Ching.

The T’ai Hsuan Ching: The Hidden Classic

 

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