THE ALMANAC 通書
TungShu originated from HuangLi (黃曆, the "Yellow Calendar"), which legend attributes to the Yellow Emperor. It has changed its form numerous times throughout the years during all the dynasties; the latest version was said to have been edited under the Qing dynasty and was called the TungShu (通書). Tung (通) means "all", Shu (書) means "book", so Tung Shu literally meant "All-knowing Book". However, in Cantonese Chinese and Mandarin Chinese, the pronunciation of the word for "book" is a homophone of a word for defeated (輸), so Tung Shu sounded like "Defeated in All Things" (通輸). Therefore, the name was changed to TungShing (通勝), which means "Victorious in All Things"
That is the common crap as quoted by the Wikipedia. In truth, TungShu 通書 has 2 versions during the dynastic period. One for the emperor’s household while the other the commoner. In the olden days, transportation is not as advanced as today. It takes a lot of effort to distribute TungShu to the vast population of the commoner and it became rather pragmatic to actually localized production of TungShu by the commoner and such has been vested upon the shoulder of a small number of families that were responsible to produce TungShu for the public. Therefore commoner’s TungShu production became a local enterprise.
THE COMMONER TUNGSHU 人民通書
The common TungShu 通書 that we find in bookstores are GuangJing Tang 廣經堂 and YongJing Tang 永經堂 from HongKong. Both are the household names being led by the patriarch grandmaster Cai BoLi 蔡伯勵, known to have been the official FengShui master for Li KaShing 李嘉誠. Yet, tycoon Li only employs him for general date selections. The master that put Tycoon Li as what he is today is the late grandmaster ChenBo 陳伯, another true lineage holder of YangGong Fa. However, both of these TungShu from GuangJing Tang 廣經堂 and YongJing Tang 永經堂 are nothing more of TungShu for the commoner. Chinese metaphysics practitioners preferred another set of ThungShu specially crafted for date selections purposes. We called it Specialized Date Selection TungShu.
RED COVER TUNGSHU 紅皮通書
Specialized Date Selection TungShu are mostly produced in Taiwan and they are commonly called the Red Cover TungShu 紅皮通書. The common brands are liked ZhengFu Tang 正福堂, JuFu Tang 聚福堂, XinFa Tang 信發堂, LingXian Zhi TungShu BianLan 林先知通書便覽 and others. JuFu Tang 聚福堂 is the specialized date selections with emphasised on the 天星 position and location of the Yellow Path 黄道 in date selections, produced by Lu FengYuan 呂逢元, patriarch of the Lu lineage of FengShui family that specialized in date selections. As it is a not so common TungShu, it will only make sense to the disciples of this family. The Specialized Date Selection TungShu also comprises of the fixed entry and the dynamic entry. The fixed entries comprise of manuals of the art of divinations, date selections, FengShui and the sorts of Esoteric Chinese Metaphysics while the remaining dynamic entries that required annual updates are the movements of the 7 celestial bodies, annual natal chart for astrology, time and space and the common day to day classifications of auspiciousness and otherwise.
As with everything Taiwan, there seems to be a big Hoo-Ha when an entry in the TungShu Diary of the Red Cover TungShu indicated strongly that on a certain day, landslide and natural disaster ought to happen and it smack right to the nose of the Taiwanese that such incident did occur as predicted! Called it strange or meaningful coincidence?
WHAT IS INSIDE A COMMON TUNGSHU?
Since the Qing period, this sacred book has lost most of its truth, especially in the art of date selections. The remaining entries of the TungShu 通書 were added as time passes, thus as it is to date, we inherited with the sort of TungShu 通書 comprises of the fixed entry and the dynamic entry. The fixed entries comprise of manuals of the common art of divination, date selections, literature and the sorts of Chinese Encyclopedia while the remaining dynamic entries that required annual updates are the movements of the 7 celestial bodies, annual natal chart for astrology, time and space and the common day to day classifications of auspiciousness and otherwise.
The first few pages are the most common natal chart provided to give a glimpse of what to come for the coming new year. Read HERE for 2017 forecast...
A CHAPTER ON DATE SELECTION
A manual of Date Selection was inserted for the benefits of the commoner. It comprises of the assumed not so sophisticated method of date selections. In the preface to the manual, it states that 為九流之一, meaning the subject of date selection is one of the 9 schools of thoughts available at that time. It does not mean to say that what has been included in the TungShu is a method of date selection that is deemed to be the easiest at its lowest form - implying also DongGong date selection method is for "kindergarten" level. 九流, can have many connotations. When people say, 讲一流，做九流, meaning what you say is of highest quality but what you do is at the lowest standards, 九流 here means a stigma of the lousiest form available. But it is untrue, where 九流 here implying 九流十家, the 9 streams of the 10 families of school of thoughts, philosophical schools of the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Periods (770-220 BC), viz Confucians 儒家, Daoists 道家, Yin and Yang 陰陽家, Legalists 法家, Logicians 名家, Mohists 墨家, Diplomats 縱橫家, Miscellaneous 雜家, and Agriculturalists 農家. The passage that comes after "is one of the 9 schools of thoughts", 為九流之一, is 即陰陽家是也, meaning "namely YingYang School of Thoughts is this". How you translate these words also reflect how competent you are in understanding the text.十家
THE OTHER ARTS OF DIVINATION
The fixed annexation comprises of various arts of divination commonly found practice by the masses to predict fortunes of new borns such as The Emperor's Body Part Methodology, 28 Constellations, Past Lives, Golden Flowers, Palm Reading, Face Reading, Occult, Phenomenology Prediction, Coin Tossing Prediction, Earth Deity Prediction and the famous, Three Syllabus Poem...
At almost the last chapters of the TungShu, it comprises of a Diary illustrating the concerns for the particular days including the ShenSha stars and compatibility for activities to be executed for the particular days including things to be avoided.
WHAT IS INSIDE THE RED COVER TUNGSHU?
Unlike the commoner TungShu, the Red Cover TungShu fixed entry comprises of the entire Compendium of SanHe and SanYuan date selections and FengShui. That is the reason why it is called a Specialized TungShu not for the commoner but for mainly Chinese Meta physicist. All that is to be known about the art of SanHe and SanYuan are contained within minus the instruction of how each and every arts to be applied. For such you will have to enroll to the respective schools that they called, sect. These sorts of Red Cover TungShu will put to shame all those modern TungShu Diary produced by English speaking FengShui motivational Guru be it from the Big Sister Company or the Money squeezing Academy of chinese metaphysics (MsAocm). The question is, do you still hook on the craps, now knowing that there are better things available out there?
The Chinese Calendar 1 - What You Must Know
The historical account of the Chinese Calendric sciences are both interesting and intriguing often laden with puzzles, hypotheses and dogmas. On one hand, it needs to account for the evolutions of the GanZhi 干支 system of Heavenly Stem and Earthly Branches while on the other, the all embracing system of Yi in the forms of Hexagrams and Trigrams 卦. As commonly understood, there are 60 GanZhi as opposed to 64 Hexagrams. So technically, a complete cycle of the GanZhi 干支 system may not match the complete cycle of the system of Yi in the forms of Hexagrams and Trigrams 卦. However through the centuries, there are many attempts to consolidate both systems into a workable model and through 3 generations of Chinese Calendars was born:-
1. The first was known as TaiChu Li or the Calendar of the Great Beginning.
2. The second was known as SanTong Li or the Calendar of the Three Concordance.
3. The third was known as SiFen Li or the Calendar of the Four Remainders.
These are models based on a LuniSolar attempt or the combination of:-
1. Lunar – Calculation based on Lunation of the moon around the Earth.
2. Solar – Calculation based on Sun path in relation to Earth rotation commonly known as the Yellow Path.
Where both GanZhi and YiGua are used. In Chinese Metaphysics, both GanZhi and YiGua are equally important: -
1. SanHe – Emphasis on GanZi
2. SanYuan – Emphasis on YiGua
Are these systems measuring the same Qi? What sort of calendar does the system employ? Better, what are GanZhi and YiGua measuring to? If one look at the SYSTEM itself, starts from 1 WuQi, 2 Slices of YinYang, 3 Components of SanCai, 4 Seasons, 7 Luminaries, 8 Guas, 9 Stars, 10 Stems and all through 24 sub seasons and 30 pairs of NaYin to 64 Hexagrams. How would one consolidate such into a meaningful working model?
1. Has any of the basis of Yarrow Stalks Divination method has to do with calendric sciences?
2. Why would one group the 24 sub seasons into the group of three instead of two as commonly understood?
3. A trigram is made of 3 Yao (3 lines comprising the composition of solid or broken line). Why a Yang Yao (solid line) must take the value of 9 as opposed to Yin Yao (broken line) which take the value of 6 as the basis of measuring time? If these fundamentals are not sorted out, how would one understand the working mechanism of DaGua date selections and confronting SanSha? How would one understand the use of GuaYun and GuaQi? What are these units measuring to in the first instance?
The Chinese Calendar 2 - What Has Divination And Calendar Has In Common?
Using YiGua for divination purposes is a very common practice. The casting of the Hexagram is based on the age old practice of heating up the tortoise shell until it cracks to casting of the yarrow stalk, flipping copper coins by shaking the tortoise shell and the more up to date, iPhone Apps. These are techniques of seeking an answer from Heaven through a randomly casting medium such as yarrow stalks and tortoise shell which are believed to have contained spiritual Qi, LingQi. What interests me most is the fundamental basis of the Yarrow Stalk method which conceals the will of Heaven annexed to the numerology in the science of the calendrics. It cannot just be a random or simply numbers pluck from thin air. For example, why there are 216 divination sticks for Qian and 144 divination sticks for Kun? The answers can be found in the HeTu, LoShu and the Seasonal Nodes, the very fundamental building blocks of Chinese calendar. Understanding such one will continue to be puzzled that a simple method liked the Yarrow Stalks are beyond just mere superstitions of the commonly known, street fortune telling but also the basis of computing the rotation of the 7 luminaries as close to our modern astronomical calculations.
The Chinese Calendar 3 - Revisit HETU
Follow up from the Yarrow Stalk Method of Divination, the Classic says: -
“Therefore, it is stated that Heaven Numbers are 5, Earth Numbers are 5. 5 positions having obtained one another, each has a match. Heaven numbers 25, Earth numbers 30. Both heaven and earth numbers 55. This is that which having completed the alternations and transformations, sets in motion the Gui and Shen spirits.”
What it actually meant was:-
1. Heaven Numbers are 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 (Total 5 numbers)
2. Earth Numbers are 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 (Total 5 numbers)
3. Sum of Heaven Numbers: 1+3+5+7+9=25
4. Sum of Earth Numbers: 2+4+6+8+10=30
5. Total Sum of Heaven and Earth Numbers = 55
6. When it is correctly apply, Qi is in motion.
Such is apply, mainly in XuanKong methodology with a close relationship in the Chinese Metaphysics.
The Chinese Calendar 4 – Knowing the Year, Seasons and Days
A Tropical Year is calculated on the basis of the Earth moving around the Sun. The equinoxes and the solstices demarcating Earth’s distance, nearest or furthest away from the Sun marking the 4 seasons where the extreme Yin begins in Zi and the extreme Yang begins in Wu month. Of the 4 seasons, the 24 seasonal nodes are referred to as solar markers. One season governs 6 seasonal nodes. Therefore, each portion governs 3 seasonal nodes, thus vernal equinox in spring becomes an important marker where wood Qi is at its optimum. The Stables Qi is at its infancy (growth), the Cardinals Qi is at its peak (prosperous) and the Graves Qi is at its tomb (storage). These are the basis of SanHe’s 12 growth phases, measuring the “HouQi” or vital Qi which implies that influence between 2 gravitational forces at its strongest and weakest. It takes 15 days for a revolution of HouQi. Multiply by 24 seasonal nodes, a year contains 360 days. But our Modern Day calculation state that it takes about 365 1/4 days for a year. Would such make the Calendar obsolete?
The Chinese Calendar 5 - Ancient Time Piece
The Chinese Calendar 6 – HouQi, LiuJia and NaYin
Since Shang Dynasty, a 10 days week module was introduced, led by a particular GanZi making the 6 Jia (LiuJia) cycles of Stem and Branch. 60 JiaZi obtained 360. Each day is assigned to a JiaZi. HouQi is the Vital Qi measurement of the resonance forces of nature. It is an interaction between stem and earth branch, some called Acquired Melody. Although 60 JiaZi is individually unique, it undergoes its own YinYang resonance. A competent practitioner will able to discern its YinYang attributes to determine its timing and its medium. Therefore, it is common to say there are only 30 pairs of Acquired Melody coincidentally give one a rotation of 360 per year. A rough idea to demonstrate such will be the resonance emitted from the interaction between Earth orbiting the Sun while the moon orbiting the Earth. The gravitational stretch among these planetary masses through the medium of water and earth “vibrates” creating wave liked effects liked “sound”. It is also known as penetrating “melodic” of the 5 elements as it has to pass on through a medium liked earth. Modern comparison would like “ultra-sound”, seeing the imagery through the lens of vibration. Therefore, the ancients equal it as Vital Qi. As to equate such Vital Qi with radioactive properties such as Radon is again, subject to debate. Although in ancient time, radioactivity is not so much apparent compared to the use of other substances such as mercury. That is one reason Vital Qi equals radioactivity may not be entirely True. So to speak spring begins in the arrival of spring may not necessary meant wood Qi has arrived. It has to wait until its vital Qi arrives and that is measurable. So, 360 rotation a year compared with 365 ¼ days a year may result in 5 ¼ days off grids. So a certain devise to calibrate its differences is required. The question is what it is?