Who would believe that in the beginning of 19th century Shanghai county has been surrounded by this beautiful round town wall with 10 gates!
The old stone bridges in Shanghai were accurately located by the principle of not pointing at the door of any building, which in feng shui is considered as bringing bad luck. There was only one exception, but soon the mistake was fixed: one of the bridges was pointing at the town wall gate and the people started complaining that this will invite Yin qi of the ghosts from the nearby graveyard to pass through the bridge and start making problems. So the design of the bridge was changed and since then it is known as the “Crooked Bridge”. No demon can pass through a crooked bridge…
Chinese astrology uses a 60 year Stem-Branch cycle.
Where does it come from?
Well, a sixty year cycle seems to pop up quite frequently in nature. For example in climate, in sea levels, in length of the day variations, in changes of water levels in lakes, in solar activity.
This article lists some studies that found a 60 year cycle: http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarming/SixtyYearCycle.htm
This sixty year rhythm corresponds to the so-called “tri-synodic” period of Jupiter and Saturn, which is 59.6 years.
In fact, we could say that the 12 Branches track the movement of Jupiter because Jupiter takes about 12 years to orbit the Sun. And the 10 Stems keep up with Saturn, which takes about 30 years to orbit the Sun. Three cycles of the 10 Stems in the Year thus correspond to one orbit of Saturn around the Sun.
What is this tri-synodic period?
The ancients observed long time ago that Jupiter and Saturn meet in the sky every 20 years. That’s the likely origin of the twenty year periods used in flying stars feng shui. But they probably also noticed that Jupiter and Saturn meet in exactly the same part of the sky every 60 years. That’s the tri-synodic period.
For example in May 1782 Jupiter and Saturn were conjunct at 28 degree Sagittarius, very close to the winter solstice point. 60 years later, in January 1842, Jupiter and Saturn were again conjunct, now at 8 degree Capricorn, just 10 degree of arc away from their conjunction 60 years earlier. And another 60 years later, Jupiter and Saturn were again conjunct, at 14 degree Capricorn, again only 6 degree of arc away from where they met 60 years earlier. And that’s how it goes on forever.
You can take any random date and calculate the position of Jupiter and Saturn in the sky. Then calculate the position of these planets 60 years ago and you will find both of them in nearly the same place. E.g:
* Today 28 April 2013. Jupiter is at 16 degree Gemini, Saturn is at 8 degree Scorpio.
* Go back 60 years and find the positions for 28 April 1953: Jupiter was at 27 Taurus and Saturn was at 23 Libra.
* Go forward 60 years and find the positions for 28 April 2073: Jupiter will be at 7 Cancer and Saturn at 23 Scorpio
There is only about 10 degree shift every tri-synodic cycle. But the bottom line is that every 60 years Jupiter and Saturn form a very similar constellation in the sky, and that’s the likely origin of the 60 year cycle used in Chinese astrology.
- If you wish to be a success in the world, promise everything, deliver nothing.
- He who knows how to flatter also knows how to slander.
- Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
- One should never forbid what one lacks the power to prevent.
- If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.
- A throne is only a bench covered with velvet.
- In politics stupidity is not a handicap.
How many of them would you consider to be true today?
Over the years I have observed that most folks in the astrology and fengshui field do a rather poor job of handling criticism, complaints, provocations, challenging questions, repeated “attacks”, and so on.. People take offense too quickly
First of all, to be criticized more is always a good sign. The more you do, the more there is that can be criticized by others. A person who is doing nothing all day, can only be criticized for his doing nothing. The active and creative people are always getting more criticism because they do more. They may get more praise too, but they always get more criticism as well. So, be happy when you get criticized regularly, it means you are an active person or have a good business. In most cultures the only people who receive little or no criticism are the handicapped or mentally retarded.
As we know, criticism can come in gracious or not-so gracious styles, it can come in private mail or it can be posted in a public forum, and it can be one time criticism or a criticism that keeps coming back to you.
How to handle it?
Some of the typical reactions to criticism are:
- Feel personally “attacked”, and shoot right back with ad hominem remarks
- Respond with critical questions about the “work” of the “attacker”
- Complain about the style of the “message” (aggressive, slanderous, bad manners, sha qi,..)
- Try to remove the “message” from the public eye
- Block or ban the “challenger” from your network or try to get him banned.
- Negate it.
- Forget about style and just answer the content (if any), even if it is a poor question or just obvious provocation.
As you may guess already, #7 is the best response. Negate the style but not the content.
The other 6 possibilities only lead to the complaints and questions growing louder and getting repeated. When a person is silenced in one place, he will just take his criticism elsewhere on the internet. Even well known companies have learned that the hard way. For example Paypal didn’t respond well to customer complaints and criticism in the beginning. This led to the creation of a complaint site, which still exists: http://www.paypalsucks.com Paypal tried to close down that website on the basis of slander and copyright, but they lost in the court (as did many other companies). The judge considered a space for public complaints and criticism very important for proper consumer information. Many such sites exist and they can be against companies (e.g. http://www.homedepotsucks.org ) or persons ( like http://www.oreilly-sucks.com/ ). So, most companies and organizations have by now understood that if they fail to address criticism, then all they achieve is that the material gets pushed unto websites that are completely outside their control.
What to do when a certain piece of criticism is being repeated over and over? It probably means it was never addressed properly. When I get questions/criticism that keep coming back, then I just address them in detail on my blog once, explaining my opinion and my reasons. The next time the same question appears I respond with a link to my blog article. There is no need to have the same discussions every week. But that also doesn’t mean that a given topic should never be revisited.
Gandhi mentioned these seven perils:
- Wealth without Work
- Pleasure without Conscience
- Science without Humanity
- Knowledge without Character
- Politics without Principle
- Commerce without Morality
- Worship without Sacrifice
Have we solved any? Or has it become even worse?
Many people believe that “everything happens for a reason”.
But is that so? Or is it that people hope to live in a “fair” and intelligent universe in which there is a “reason” for everything? That there is some plan? Is it perhaps too scary to think that a lot of things may be happening for no reason at all?
So, an earthquake strikes, or a good friend dies in a car accident, or money is lost in the stock market… and people pull up all kind of astrology charts to find a “reason” for it… looking for consolation.
And of course, astrologers always manage to find a reason, no matter what form of astrology they are practicing. Maybe Saturn was transiting, or there had been an eclipse, or Pluto was rising, or the Snake year was clashing their month Branch, or the #5 star had come to their Ming gua number, or the green plant in their “friends and family” corner had died,… A reason is always found.. and the client pays for the astrology “service” and goes home in the comfort of knowing some “why” for what has happened.
And that seems to have become the main usage of astrology, not to predict the future, but to find “reasons” for what has already happened in the past. Just watch astrology forums. A plane falls from the air, a pope resigns, a singer dies, and the activity starts: looking for reasons in the stars… That’s at least 90% of the activity in those groups.
Of course there are many things that DO happen for a reason. Some things do “rhyme” with natural cycles, including planetary cycles.
But I think that at least as many things happen for no reason at all. And if years of practicing astrology have brought you to that understanding, then your study of astrology has been useful. Then you have learned to relax and enjoy a world that doesn’t always listen to the “charts” you have made for it..
Existence has this tendency to always make a mockery of our plans and charts..
I don’t think so.
The first half of the month is considered to be dominated by the element in the Stem, the second half of the month is more under the influence of the Branch. That’s all.
On March 20th is the March (Vernal) Equinox. The three days before and after the Vernal equinox are considered as a valuable time for more meditation. As the qigong saying goes: “the six days around the Vernal Equinox are the most important for the first half of the year”. This is a good opportunity to stimulate the opening of the meridians and achieve a better balance in the body.
The Governing and the conception channels form the Small Heavenly Orbit. At the different 15-day solar terms the energy is concentrated and active at a certain area on the Small Heavenly Orbit, thus making a complete circle in the whole year.
At the Vernal Equinox the energy is concentrated at the Jia Ji points (Hua Tuo Jia Ji points of the back). You can easily feel the flow of qi inside this area now.
Enjoy the meditation in the Spring!