Chinese Mathematical Astrology: Reaching out for the stars by Ho Peng Yoke

By Ho Peng Yoke

Notwithstanding there are many well-written works on chinese language divination, there are none that care for the 3 refined units that have been hired through the chinese language Astronomical Bureau within the 11th century and for centuries thereafter. chinese language specialists utilized the tools linked to those units to either climate forecasting and to the translation of human affairs. Hidden through a veil of secrecy, those equipment have continuously been fairly little identified except through their names. the 1st paintings in any language to discover those 3 equipment, often called sanshi (three cosmic boards), this booklet sheds gentle on a subject which has been shrouded in secret for hundreds of years, having been stored mystery for a few years via the chinese language Astronomical Bureau.

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The literati, for example, held much respect for the Yijing system and knew it far better than the common people. However, Chinese novels refer to the secret arts of the cosmic boards that were supposed to yield much 3 INTRODUCTION more precise interpretations than the Yijing system. In the Hongloumeng (Dreams of the Red Mansions), Jia Rong consults Mao Banxian for a prognosis of his mother’s illness. Mao uses the Yijing system but finds the message too vague to make an accurate prediction. With the consent of Jia Rong, he follows this with Liuren prognostication, which tells that the patient will remain sick for some time but will eventually recover.

Few people outside Japan know about a similar but perhaps even 9 INTRODUCTION more subtle idea expressed some 30 years earlier than Hegel by Miura Baien ! (1723–1789). Buddhist philosophy and East Asian culture provided a more fertile ground for the germination of Baien’s idea concerning the void than the West provided Hegel in his time. "= (1870 –1945) put forward a proposition that the separation of logic from mysticism was in itself a factor that limited science in the West. The Chinese three cosmic board systems can be looked upon as a case in point, taken from East Asian history, that exemplifies Nishida’s proposition.

Those that could not be subjected to rational enquiries belong to the realm of mysticism and magic, and many of these were of Daoist origin. Understanding the three cosmic boards is the key which unlocks many obscure passages in Chinese literature that refer to them, and can enable the reader to appreciate what Qin Jiushao meant by his statement that ‘we can be in touch with the spiritual powers and thus live conformably with our destinies’, quoted above. 12 The three cosmic boards will also be of special interest to historians of science.

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