Chinese Astrology

Last Update: 2008-10-5 16:07:00; By drwi

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Chinese Astrology
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Chinese astrology is based on the concept of 3 woons (dwellings, or enclosures), 28 constellations (not the same constellations as in Western astrology – to learn more, search "Chinese constellations" on Wikipedia), or mansions, and 4 symbols, or star images. The three enclosures represent the three areas around the north celestial pole (the north celestial pole corresponds roughly to a point immediately above the actual north pole, which is the northernmost, or top, point of the earth's rotational axis, given the earth's axial tilt). These are: Ziwei Enclosure ("Purple Forbidden Enclosure"), Taiwei Enclosure ("Supreme Palace Enclosure") and Tianshi Enclosure ("Heavenly Market Enclosure"). It requires seven mansions to form one star image. The four star images are: Azure Dragon, Vermilion Bird, White Tiger, and Murky Tortoise.

In Chinese astrology, the 28 mansions are divided according to the 4 directional orientations – East (associated with the Azure Dragon star image), South (associated with the Vermilion Bird star image), West (associated with the White Tiger star image), and North (associated with the Black Tortoise star image) – and the 5 elements (not "elements" in the Western sense, these elements are associated with the five main planets) – Wood (associated with Jupiter), Fire (associated with Mars),  Earth (associated with Saturn), Metal (associated with Venus), and Water (associated with Mercury). The relative position of these various components – and not on a yearly basis, as in Western astrology, but on a monthly basis – determines the Chinese astrological prediction.

As a tool to predict future outcomes or to make pronouncements on compatibilities, Chinese astrology was traditionally employed by the Emperor and the royal court – as well as by the non-royal upper classes of Chinese society – especially in matters concerning military campaigns, but also with respect to the entire gamut of earthly affairs, since it was believed that the complex workings of the universe, especially the intricate orbits of the heavenly bodies, conformed to a complete and harmonious system that should be emulated also in matters within the earthly sphere itself. 


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