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Article FS08/1
ERRORS IN COMPUTATION OF
FENG SHUI AND ASTROLOGICAL YEARS
1. ISSUE OF PRECESSION OF THE EQUINOXES
Prof. Dr. Ong Hean-Tatt 10th January 2008


Introduction

Most are using the wrong Year Sign for both Feng Shui and astrology purposes.

As each Chinese New Year approaches, there would be a spate of forecasts about the coming year by both astrologers and Feng Shui masters. The forecasts can be conflicting or do not fit what eventually happened in the said year. There can be good reasons why this is so, which are generally that the current masters failed to take into account the "precession of the Equinoxes" in their dating methods!


Shift of Full Cycle through 12 Zodiac Signs Every 25,800 Years

The rotational axis of Earth wobbles, making a full circle through the 12 Zodiac signs once every 25,800 years. This is known as the "precession of the Equinoxes". The Vernal Equinox point is where the ecliptic intersects with the Celestial Equator. It is the point when the Sun stands on the first day of Spring.

Some 2,000 years ago this intersection point was seen against the background of the stars of Aries the Ram. Since that time, this point has always been referred to as "The first point of Aries"... nowadays the intersection point is seen against the background stars of Pisces, the Fishes. This is due to a movement called the precession of the Equinoxes, caused by a top-like wobble of the Earth. In another 2,000 years the first point of Aries will be in Aquarius, the Water Carrier, another 20 centuries will bring it to Capricornus, the Seagoat, and so on around the Zodiac until after 25,800 years it will be back again in Aries. (Staal 1961p.39-40).




Axis of Earth's Rotation Wobbles a Full Round every 25,800 years

The Earth rotational axis now points to Polaris, the familiar North Pole Star. However, this rotational axis does not always point to Polaris as the Earth wobbles. The wobble of the Earth causes the rotation axis to shift in a circle taking 25,800 years to return to the same spot.

  • The furthest point of the Earth's orbit around the Sun is the aphelion which is now around early July 4 and the nearest point is the perihelion which is now around 3rd January. Aphelion 4th July is near the Summer Solstice (23 June) and perihelion 3rd January is near Winter Solstice (22nd December).

  • The ancients used to take the perihelion to start the New Year. However, due to the wobble of the Earth and the precession of the equoinox, each time the Earth arrives at the perihelion point, the season will advance from Winter towards Spring, then towards Summer and so on. That is the season will arrive at a precise point on the orbit faster and faster.

The perihelion is close to the star constellation of Aries. As the ancients used Aries to start the New Year, over the span of the past 4,000 years, the season of the New Year shifted from Winter to Spring. This is why the ancient Chinese New Year was in winter but has now shifted into Spring.

The interactions of the seasons with the planetary positions will experience shift changes.



Correction of One Zodiac Sign Every 2,000 Years

"The opinion has been very generally held and expressed by Chinese scholars that at some remote date the new year's festival was held in China at the season of the winter solstice." (Plunket 1903 p.190).

The New Year conjunction of the sun and moon close to the Lunar Constellation Siou Hiu occurred in Winter Solstice (Branch 1 Tzu) during Emperor Chuen Ho time in 2500 BC. The New Year was still around Winter Solstice (Branch 1 Tzu) during the Hsia dynasty (2205 to 1700 BC) and at the beginning of the Shang dynasty (1700 to 1126 BC), but changed closer to Spring during the Chou dynasty (1126 to 251 BC) to Branch II, Chou, and then Spring (Branch III, Yin) in the Han dynasty (251 BC to AD 220).


No Corrections since End of Han dynasty

But the Chinese had lost this knowledge of the precession of the Equinoxes and have not adjusted the Zodiac signs since the end of the Han dynasty (250 BC to AD 220): "The Chinese, not knowing of the precession of the equinoxes, are rather perplexed by the discrepancy, but caring less for accuracy and more for ancient tradition, ignore the actual discrepancy, and still represent the twelve signs, not as they appear now, but as they appeared to their ancestors two thousand years ago." (Eitel. 1873)


Need for Adjustments of Years in Feng Shui and Astrology

That is, now, already more than 2,000 years since the Han dynasty, the sign should be adjusted from Yin (Tiger) to Mao (Rabbit). This means that the Year 2007 dubbed Year of Boar was actually Year of Rat. Hence, 2008 which would conventionally be Year of Rat is actually Year of Ox! Many modern masters would be actually telling your sister's or brother's fortune!

In a research analysis into several people, it was found that over 80% of the persons required a shift of one year to get a much more accurate horoscope forecast, the remaining 20% being neither here or there. In another analysis of a few thousand people listed in a biography book, it was also found that, for several professions, the Chinese Zodiac signs need to be shifted one year to get the accurate forecast. In the case of the lady reporter who interviewed me, a shift of one year also yields a better horoscope.

There will be a need to shift the animal signs one year ahead. It also means that, in the geomancy and astrology use of annual Guas, the Gua number has to be shifted one more year backward.

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