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Western-style Astrology and Chinese Bazi
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MingWei Wang



Joined: 06 May 2004
Posts: 94
Location: Taiwan

Posted: Sat May 24, 2014 4:43 am    Post subject: Western-style Astrology and Chinese Bazi Reply with quote

Western-style Astrology and Chinese Bazi - Parallels and Differences

Invited by Michael Sternbach, I open up this thread.

I think this is a big subject to discuss ,welcome opening and freeing discussing :-D

Firstly, I would like to introduce Solar Term which is used in bazi system as its calendar basis and indeed the tropical zodiac system. You can find the parallels and difference between them.

Bazi bases on solar calendar , not lunar calendar!!! Please take care about this point.

The follow quotations which I used are from one of Chinese Classical books. 《古今圖書集成》 which is a vast encyclopaedic work written in China during the reigns of the Qing Dynasty and emperors Kangxi and Yongzheng.

節氣者,觀日之行,言年中之象,以調理農事耳。

日輪正居日天之中,日天動而日輪亦動。日天運行之一周,如於宗動天畫一道焉,所謂黃道也。終古如是,故日輪恆躔黃道,一道不出入於南北界,非如月,五星之出入於十二度內也。其上下四時,各有定度,不稍前後也。黃道周天三百六十度,分為四分,每分九十度,為四象限,又一象限分六分,每分十五度,為一節氣,共計二十四節氣。

quotation:

《古今圖書集成》·《博物彙編藝術典》·星命部·彙考·太陽行度
《古今圖書集成》·《曆象彙編乾象典》·天地總部·彙考·黃赤道二分二至圖說


I try to interpret the above the old Chinese language into English.

The Season term is to observe the pass way of the Sun, in order to adjust the time to plow and sow.

The Sun is placed in the middle of the ecliptic, and it moves through the ecliptic. The Sun run a cycle as a circle of the earth. That is called ecliptic. It repeats years and years. Hence ,the Sun is running in the ecliptic, and the direction of this ecliptic is east and west, not south and north.The Moon and the other five planets are running around 12 degrees width of the ecliptic as well. …We divide up the whole ecliptic four parts and each part has 90 degrees called a quadrant ,and divide up the a quadrant again 6 parts ,consequently, each part has 15 degrees ,called 24 solar terms.

You would doubt ,because it is a Qing Dynasty work, at that time , Chinese culture is much influenced by Western. So let’s to see a more early work , which had been written during Pre-Qin and Han.. Its name is Huainanzi 《淮南子》 ( a 2nd-century BCE Chinese philosophical classic)

I quote it here :

陰陽刑德有七舍。何謂七舍?室、堂、庭、門、巷、術、野。十二月德居室三十日,先日至十五日,後日至十五日,而徙所居各三十日。德在室則刑在野,德在堂則刑在術,德在庭則刑在巷,陰陽相德,則刑德合門。八月、二月,陰陽氣均,日夜分平,故曰刑德合門。德南則生,刑南則殺,故曰二月會而萬物生,八月會而草木死,兩維之間,九十一度十六分度之五而升,日行一度,十五日為一節,以生二十四時之變。斗指子,則冬至,音比黃鍾。加十五日指癸,則小寒,音比應鍾。加十五日指醜,則大寒,音比無射。加十五日指報德之維,則越陰在地,故曰距日冬至四十六日而立春,陽氣凍解,音比南呂。加十五日指寅,則雨水,音比夷則。加十五日指甲,則雷驚蟄,音比林鍾。加十五日指卯中繩,故曰春分則雷行,音比蕤賓。加十五日指乙,則清明風至,音比仲呂。加十日指辰,則穀雨,音比姑洗。加十五日指常羊之維,則春分盡,故曰有四十六日而立夏,大風濟,音比夾鍾。加十五日指巳,則小滿,音比太蔟。加十五日指丙,則芒種,音比大呂。加十五日指午,則陽氣極,故曰有四十六日而夏至,音比黃鍾。加十五指丁,則小暑,音比大呂。加十五日指未,則大暑,音比太蔟。加十五日指背陽之維,則夏分盡,故曰有四十六日而立秋,涼風至,音比夾鍾。加十五日指申,則處暑,音比姑洗。加十五日指庚,則白露降,音比仲呂。加十五日指酉中繩,故曰秋分雷臧,蟄蟲北向,音比蕤賓。加十五日指辛,則寒露,音比林鍾。加十五日指戌,則霜降,音比夷則。加十五日指蹄通之維,則秋分盡,故曰有四十六日而立冬,草木畢死,音比南呂。加十五日指亥,則小雪,音比無射。加十五日指壬,則大雪,音比應鍾。加十五日指子。故曰:陽生於子,陰生於午。陽生於子,故十一月日冬至,鵲始加巢,人氣鍾首。陰生於午,故五月為小刑,薺麥亭曆枯,冬生草木必死。

It had already established the complete 24 solar terms here . ( Forgive me lazy to translate :-D)

You can find the List of Solar terms in this link . Compare with the absolute longitude.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_term

but ,please make a note to which I emphasized previously. Bazi bases on solar calendar , not lunar calendar!!!

Next time I will provide other testimony (from some Bazi works) to support this point.

Enjoy.

Ming

And , Michael , you mentioned : “ I have studied a number of other Chinese esoteric and philosophical systems, to a certain degree. “ I am interested to know which Chinese esoteric and philosophical systems you have studied :-D
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MingWei Wang



Joined: 06 May 2004
Posts: 94
Location: Taiwan

Posted: Sat May 24, 2014 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Secondly, how to set up the Month Earthly Branches.

In the four pillars and the heavenly stems and earthly branches ,only the Month Earthly Branches are relation with the Solar movement .

It is different from the 12 animals which indicate the Year Earthly Branches.

Let’s go. referring with List of solar terms :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_term

The first month ( 寅月): from start of spring to awakening of insects ,that is , including two solar terms ( start of spring and rain water ) , in order to avoid disorder and keep neat, I will follow the latter expressed way.

The second month ( 卯月): awakening of insects and vernal equinox

The third month (辰月): clear and bright and grain rain

The fourth month (巳月): start of summer and grain full

The fifth month(午月) : grain in ear and summer solstice

The sixth month(未月) : minor heat and major heat

The seventh month (申月): star of autumn and limit of heat

The eighth month(酉月): white dew and autumnal equinox

The ninth month (戌月):cold dew and frost descent

The tenth month (亥月): start of winter and minor snow

The eleventh month(子月) :major snow and winter solstice

The twelfth month (丑月):minor cold and major cold

reference :

《淵海子平》, 宋, 徐子平
《子平基礎概要》,台灣,梁湘潤
《四柱八字闡微與實務》上,台灣,陳伯瑜
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 459
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Sat May 24, 2014 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

謝謝, Ming!

I am sure your name consisting of the Sun (日) and the Moon (月) denotes you as being exactly the right person to enlighten us on this topic! Very Happy

The 24 Solar Terms are of particular relevance to me. Not long ago, I have pursued the concept of a zodiac divided into 24 sectors in other traditions on these two threads:

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8117
http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8248

Regarding your fascinating presentation, what I wonder about:

How are the Solar Terms used in delineation of a horoscope chart? Are they relevant only in relation to the Sun, or also to the Moon, and to the planets?

Are two Solar Terms together considered to constitute not only a month but also a zodiacal „sign“?

Do the Solar Terms and/or signs belong to the five elements, or to any other such system? Do they belong to the planets?

Quote:
And , Michael , you mentioned : “ I have studied a number of other Chinese esoteric and philosophical systems, to a certain degree. “ I am interested to know which Chinese esoteric and philosophical systems you have studied :-D


I have some knowledge of Daoism (especially by Lao-tzu, Chuang-tzu, and modern authors like Alan Watts), the I Ching, the Taixuanjing, classical texts on strategy (Sun-tzu, 36 Stratagems), Chinese alchemy/Qigong, Chinese medicine (the meridian system, and herbal medicine, in particular), and Chinese martial arts, especially Taiji.

Sorry, I don't have all the proper characters handy! Smile
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MingWei Wang



Joined: 06 May 2004
Posts: 94
Location: Taiwan

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Michael,

I hope my name is 明, but it is 茗 ,and its meaning is tea . Smile

Very interesting discussing in your providing threads , I should read it carefully .

Concerning your questions.

>>>How are the Solar Terms used in delineation of a horoscope chart? Are they relevant only in relation to the Sun, or also to the Moon, and to the planets?

Michael , I try to put planets into bazi system ,however It is not successful , because I can not find out exact planets motion in bazi system except the Sun. Some Chinese learners consider the date of the first year or begin of 甲子 ( the sexagenary cycle ) relevance to a kind of special astronomical observation , but I have no idea what is the special astronomical phenomenon yet.

>>>Are two Solar Terms together considered to constitute not only a month but also a zodiacal „sign“?

Yes, a particular month or division in bazi system which is not begin on 1st May 2014 (western calendar) or 1st day of lunar calendar as well.

You can consider them as 12 Zodiacal Sign but it isn’t the one you have been familiar with named Chinese 12 animals .

The date of 24 solar term begin and end is not the same or fixed in Western calendar every year. So you should check the Chinese perpetual calendar from time to time.

I think it is easy understanding ,because our astrology solar ingress day or each zodiacal sign beginning day is also not the same in western calendar every year .

>>>Do the Solar Terms and/or signs belong to the five elements, or to any other such system? Do they belong to the planets?

Yes. They belong to the five elements. I have no idea whether they belong to the planets , as I said previously , I have not associated planets with bazi successfully yet.

And I have to say what I can help you only some very brief basic conception of bazi , since I am not an expert in this area. To study any subject would cost much time and energy. It is not easy to understand a subject from A to Z …haha ..( it reminded me a joke my friend he ever said )

It seems you have much knowledge of Chinese culture and philosophy :-D Great!

Have a nice day.

Ming
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 459
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Mon May 26, 2014 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ming!

On the website of the Hong Kong Observatory, I found a graph showing the solar terms together with the signs of the zodiac:

http://www.hko.gov.hk/gts/time/24solarterms.htm

At the moment, the Sun is in the solar term of the "Corn Forms". The Moon and Venus would be in the area of the "Bright and Clear" solar term but it looks like bazi doesn't make this connection.

What does it mean astrologically if the Sun is in the "Corn Forms"?

Another question, in what order do the solar terms belong to the elements?

Please make sure to check out my PM!

Regards,
Michael
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Larxene



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
Posts: 312

Posted: Mon May 26, 2014 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Michael, you're 45 years old!? I thought you would be in your 20s or 30s...

Ming Wei, that 24-fold division of the ecliptic reminds me of an Indian astrological technique somehow...I think it's one of the dasas system (i.e. time lord system).
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 459
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Mon May 26, 2014 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larxene wrote:
Quote:
Hey Michael, you're 45 years old!? I thought you would be in your 20s or 30s...


Very Happy Must be my vegetarian nutrition!

Plus, I try to avoid preconceptions of what is or is not attached to a certain age, necessarily - when looking at others as well as at myself.

And your beliefs will go a long way in creating your personal reality.

Quote:
Ming Wei, that 24-fold division of the ecliptic reminds me of an Indian astrological technique somehow...I think it's one of the dasas system (i.e. time lord system).


On the two threads linked above, you will find information on different Indian 24-fold divisions of the zodiac. A time lord system, however, was not included, so far!

Larxene and anybody else reading this, share any information you may have on this particular topic, PLEASE! Smile Best on the "Zodiac with 24 sectors - the Vedic side" thread
http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8248

Thanks

Michael
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MingWei Wang



Joined: 06 May 2004
Posts: 94
Location: Taiwan

Posted: Tue May 27, 2014 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,Michael,

Just let you know ,I am too busy these days and there are so many interesting things in my mind when compare Western astrology and Chinese Bazi. :-D

Please allow me some time to write them down.

Have fun

Ming
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Michael Sternbach



Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 459
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Wed May 28, 2014 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ming,

Thanks for the note.

We continue this conversation whenever you are ready!

Have fun, too Very Happy

Michael
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MingWei Wang



Joined: 06 May 2004
Posts: 94
Location: Taiwan

Posted: Thu May 29, 2014 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Michael,

Thank you for your patience,

I read your threads (which were you provided in discussing with other advancers in this forum about solar terms ) very slowly because problems of language and concept .

In order to continue our conversation , It would be helpful to know what you think about or define the five elements, since I could make it clear or discuss with you efficiently after understanding your opinion .

And, Hi Larxene ,

Sorry for not replying your notes in time , and thank you . I am not familiar with Indian astrology , If you would like to expand on it more ? We might check the parallels and differences between it and bazi.

Best Wishes

Ming Wei


Last edited by MingWei Wang on Thu May 29, 2014 8:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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Larxene



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
Posts: 312

Posted: Thu May 29, 2014 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, I am no expert in Indian astrology, and I have never studied it (except maybe by accident), so I'll refrain from commenting about it.

When talking about bazi, are we talking about these?

http://bazi.destinyempire.com/
http://bazi-calculator.com/
http://www.fengshui-village.com/en/bazi.php


I have tried one or two of these calculaters a few years ago out of curiosity, but I was kinda confused.

Well, not exactly confused...I just felt that there was not enough information?

Anyway, etymologically, 'bazi' to me means 'eight figures' or 'eight words'. So the eight figures are the basics I suppose.
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Michael Sternbach



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Posted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ming,

I am not sure if Larxene read your reply to him. Often, we read only the new posts and don't pay attention to older ones getting edited. So it's safer you always make a new post for replying to another forum member. - Thanks.

Quote:
In order to continue our conversation , It would be helpful to know what you think about or define the five elements, since I could make it clear or discuss with you efficiently after understanding your opinion .


I think, the concept of the five elements is quite similar to the Greek tradition of the four elements which we use in our zodiac (you know, Aries = fire, Taurus = earth, etc.). So I wonder if there is such a relationship between the five elements and the Solar Terms, also.

Further, I know that in Chinese astrology the planets belong to the elements in this fashion:

Mercury = water
Venus = metal
Mars = fire
Jupiter = wood (or wind)
Saturn = earth

In Western astrology, the planets are corresponding with the four elements, too, and in quite a similar manner!

Venus = water
Mars = fire
Jupiter = air
Saturn = earth

Also, could you please tell us if the positions of the Moon and the five planets in the Solar Terms are studied in bazi, or only the position of the Sun.

Cheers,
Michael
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MingWei Wang



Joined: 06 May 2004
Posts: 94
Location: Taiwan

Posted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Larxene

I am afraid of not understanding well your question and confusion. Which links you gave us are online calculators of bazi.

The eight words of bazi are very abstract , I am not sure can describe it in a few words , to be honest , even I don’t know the origin or meaning of bazi symbolization. It is not as astrology which can associate with the actual planets.

The eight words can be regarded as a time system, year, month ,day, and hour.

Ming


Last edited by MingWei Wang on Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MingWei Wang



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Posted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael

As follow is found from internet: http://ctext.org/shang-shu/great-plan

洪範:
一、五行:一曰水,二曰火,三曰木,四曰金,五曰土。水曰潤下,火曰炎上,木曰曲直,金曰從革,土爰稼穡。潤下作鹹,炎上作苦,曲直作酸,從革作辛,稼穡作甘。
Great Plan:
i. 'First, of the five elements. The first is water; the second is fire; the third, wood; the fourth, metal; and the fifth, earth. (The nature of) water is to soak and descend; of fire, to blaze and ascend; of wood, to be crooked and straight; of metal, to yield and change; while (that of) earth is seen in seed-sowing and in-gathering. That which soaks and descends becomes salt; that which blazes and ascends becomes bitter; that which is crooked and straight becomes sour; that which yields and changes becomes acrid; and from seed-sowing and in-gathering comes sweetness.'

Shang shu - Great Plan is also a very old classical work in China, and it is the one the five elements had been found firstly and completed in written work.

And another two important points are associated with five elements are

(1) Weather

(2 ) Direction

Michael Sternbach wrote:

Further, I know that in Chinese astrology the planets belong to the elements in this fashion:

Mercury = water
Venus = metal
Mars = fire
Jupiter = wood (or wind)
Saturn = earth


I don’t know why Wiki or western translated five elements or bazi books ? ( however I don’t read neither western translated bazi books. May you recommend some to me? ) make such correspondence with five elements between five planets because I think they are different thing ,at the least , I don’t read a book here in Chinese especially in the old source having made such connection and I can’t find out the planets (except the Sun) motion in bazi system.

Michael Sternbach wrote:

In Western astrology, the planets are corresponding with the four elements, too, and in quite a similar manner!

Venus = water
Mars = fire
Jupiter = air
Saturn = earth


I have no idea venus= water etc in western astrology Could you give me the source?

Michael Sternbach wrote:


Also, could you please tell us if the positions of the Moon and the five planets in the Solar Terms are studied in bazi, or only the position of the Sun.



Sorry, I don't know. the Solar terms refers to the position of the Sun ,that is the weather.

Ming
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Larxene



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
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Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael, if you want to compare the elements with the planets, there are several approaches here. The problem is, to compare them, you need to know what you are comparing.

The first problem is comparing the four western elements with the five chinese elements. Four is not equal to five. We can add aether as the fifth western element, but...it's not there in astrology, and I have difficulty comparing aether with any other elements.

The second issue is, the chinese elements have two or three cycles that are interpreted rather literally and materially, whereas the western elements seem to be metaphysical concepts rather than concrete concepts. I believe you know what I'm talking about: the productive and destructive cycles.


Due to these issues (which may be resolvable), I propose instead to compare the quality of the planets with the elements, side-stepping the need to consider the western elemental system.



Wing Wei,

All of them are bazi calculators, which is why I want to know what YOU are referring to, specifically, when you talk about bazi.
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