I’m excited to announce that I’ll be doing an online radio discussion with Donna Woodwell and Armand Diaz on Dead Astrologers Society, Episode 13: I Ching and Chinese Astrology on August 1st, 2013 at 6pm-7pm CDT. Here is the link for the Dead Astrologers Society page at paramaniaradio.com. While I am in no way an expert on the I Ching, I have studied it at a certain level over the years. The I Ching or Book of Changes is one of the classic Chinese texts. Within the context of divination and astrology, I think that it certainly is a system in and of itself, an independent divination system which requires intense study and application (even mediation) in order to grasp its profound significations.
It seems that many have attempted to adapt the I Ching (trigrams and hexagrams) into their own unique version of astrology. Human Design is such a system that employs the I Ching in its calculations and the way that this is done is a relatively new innovation. Robin Armstrong, a Canadian astrologer and author of the essay, Degrees of the Zodiac and the I Ching (Eastern Systems for Western Astrologers, 1997, Weiser) among other works on the I Ching and astrology, has developed an integrated astrological system utilizing the hexagrams. In Tibetan astrology, the trigrams, combinations of three of either solid and/or broken lines are integrated as well. I am sure that this kind of integration of the I Ching and astrology is much more prevalent within the Eastern world, especially in China. As far as my own personal knowledge of the practice of the I Ching and astrology goes, other than the above references, the I Ching is generally treated separately from common astrological practice or it is perhaps used as an adjunct, similar in the way that one would use Tarot cards while simultaneously casting a horary chart in order to answer a question. In any case, the I Ching is a fascinating topic of discussion and I look forward to understanding it better.
Where will the Chinese astrology part of the discussion take us? While I am more familiar with the Four Pillars of Destiny or Ba Zi (Chinese for “eight characters”), whichever way we go with the discussion should be interesting. To the best of my knowledge, (which comes from Derek Walters’ books primarily) the Chinese used a variety of divination and astrological systems of which the Four Pillars was but one system that has evolved over time. One other method of divination is the “Purple Rose Calculation” or “Purple Star Calculation” and according to Walters, Chinese astrologers used The Four Pillars along side this system. And yet another system relied on planetary positions which used the north star, Polaris, as a fixed point around which the rest of the earth revolved (circumpolar). However, another system which may or may not be separate from the previous, used the Moon as it traveled through irregular lunar mansions (a.k.a. Hsiu) divided out along the Moon’s path and these seemed to start and stop at certain stars in the sky. Another system of Chinese Lunar Mansions utilized 28 evenly spaced mansions. These are not to be confused with the Lunar Mansions that are commonly known of in Vedic astrology or even Arabic astrology.
The Four Pillars have taken up so much of my study time, especially over the last year, that I just have not been able to invest the effort into learning and experimenting with the other Chinese astrological systems. The Purple Rose Calculation seems fascinating, though, and I’m sure that I will get to it soon. And I cannot forget to mention Tibetan astrology again , which uses various methods of Chinese astrology (animals, elements, etc). My primary reference is Philippe Cornu’s Tibetan Astrology and Michael Erlewine’s Tibetan Astrology program (Erlewine’s book is titled Tibetan Astrology as well). In Tibet, Chinese astrology is known as Black Astrology (Jungsti), while the astrology of India is known as White Astrology (Kartsi), thus Tibetan Astrology is truly an ancient hybrid system utilizing various principles and methods between the two.
Donna, thanks again for the invite, I am looking forward to the discussion. Thadd:::SignsInLife
Update 8/2/2013: I would like to offer a special thanks to Donna Woodwell, Armand Diaz and Chad McKenzie (host of Paranormally Correct Radio) for an interesting and fun show yesterday. Thanks for the opportunity to participate. I wish that there was more time, though, as one hour is just not enough! Maybe an extended show is in order for another time.