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Article FS11/sep4
XUAN KONG DA GUA: MYTH OF FOUR PILLARS
Sexagenary 60 Cycle Counts not Continuous

Prof. Dr.Ong Hean-Tatt 22nd September 2011

Finally unveiled: age-old imperial deception of
creation of Qi Men Dun Jia, Liu Ren and Tai Yi divination from Zi Wei Dou Shu!



FOUR PILLARS ARE IN ERROR!

Recent reserarch shows that the 60 cycle counts for the Four Pillars are not continuous! Modern datings are in serious errors.

Issue: Continuity of 60 Cycle Counts

The semi-astrology art of Xuan Kong Da Gua applies and converts the Four Pillars system with its 60 cycle counts to get the Gua signs of the year, month, day and hour for calculations. Unfortunately, research evidence shows that the 60 cycle counts concept is a myth!

A major feature of the current Chinese arts of astrology and Feng Shui is the concept of the Four Pillars. The Chinese methods would determine the tiangan and dizhi signs of the year, month, day and hour, hence its other term "Eight Characters". The combination of the tiangan and dizhi signs composes the nayin sexagenary sign. That is, each of the Four Pillars will have one of the 60 sexagenary signs.

The modern Chinese geomancers assume that these 60 cycle counts have been continuous since the time of Yellow Emperor Huang Di and Emperor Yao. Their dating calculations will be questionable if the 60 cycle counts are not continuous.

Is the 60 cycle count continuous since the Shang dynasty?

Most of those who examined the issue took the easy way out and largely assumed the 60 cycle counts are continuous:

  • For the Western Zhou period, there is no conclusive means of demonstrating that the 60-cycle was uninterrupted, either in its progress from the earlier Shang period, or onwards to later periods when the mapping of Julian days to 60-cycle days can be performed with complete confidence. Conceivably, the 60-cycle could have been reset in an assertive act of calendrical reform. However, no trace of such a move is to be found in any text, and scholarly doubts about the continuity of the 60-cycle are seldom raised. (Adam Smith p.26. "The Chinese Sexagenary Cycle and the Ritual Origins of the Calendar," in Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World, edited by John M. Steele. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2010.).


However, Adam (2010) did note that some few scholars were skeptical that the 60 cycle was continuous:

  • 91. The only expression of skepticism regarding the continuity of the 60-cycle that I am aware of in Chinese-language scholarship is by Li Xueqin (1957), p. 122. Shaughnessy (1991), pp. 135136, and Keightley (1977), p. 267, simply note the nature of the assumption being made.


Adam (2010) also is not aware that certain Chinese historical records show that the 60 cycle counts were tampered with, as we shall see below.

There are some texts which noted the sexagenary signs of ancient dates. Calculations can be made on these dates to find out whether the 60 cycle counts for days and years have been continuous.

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As astrology has scientific basis, astrological systems of ancient cultures should be the same. An earlier article shows that Zi Wei Dou Shu, Western and Hindu astrology systems are of the same astronomical sources.





Our research has found that it is possible to examine ancient dates to determine if the 60 cycle counts were continuous.

Data: Historical Records of Signs of Days

Ancient Counts for Days

Wechsler (1985) published an analysis of the Jade and Cotton Sacrifices (Wechsler, Howard J. 1985. Offerings of Jade and Silk. Ritual and Symbol in the Legitimisation of the Tang Dynasty. Yale University Press. New York and London). In this book, he noted certain days and their sexagenary signs:

  • Dec 24 105 BC was a winter solstice and the new moon and 1st day of the eleventh month and had the sign jiazi. This date was the beginning of the Han "Great Inception" calendar.

    On June 12, AD 618 the Sui dynasty handed over the imperial emblems to the founding emperor of Tang dynasty. It was a jiazi day and the 14th day of the fifth month.

    Dec 24 AD 640 was also a winter solstice and the first day of the eleventh month. But according to the Wu Lin calendar the 2nd day of the eleventh month had the sign jiazi. The Tang emperor shifted the jia zi sign to the first day of the eleventh month.


Ssuma Qian's Shih Ji. Shih Chi 28: The Treatise on the Feng and Shan Sacrifice, page 53 also noted: On the first day of the eleventh month, the day hsin ssu (Dec 24, 113 BC) which corresponded to the winter solstice, just before daylight the emperor for the first time performed the suburban sacrifice in honour of the Great Unity

The Shih Ji also noted that May 17, 110 BC was a i-mao day (52).

According to current conventional Chinese calendar, 10 January 1965 was a jia zi day.


Ancient Counts for Years

Ssuma Qian's Shih Ji. Shih Chi 28: The Treatise on the Feng and Shan Sacrifice page 60 notes the count for a year: In addition, let a general amnesty be granted in the empire of the same kind as that ordered in the year i-mao (120 BC).

Ho (2003) noted that in 1282, during Kublai Khan time, The Tai Yi divination had a Tai Yi Dun number of Yang Dun 32.

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The new and full moons dates are critical in all astrology! The current Four Pillars system for day counts is faulty and ignores the new and full moon effects.

Calculations on the Continuity of 60 Days Counts

Assuming the above dates, we can calculate their runs through the ancient periods up to present.

December 24 113 BC to December 24 105 BC covers 8 years.

  • If the years are multiplied by 365.2421644 days, there will be 2921.9373152 days.
    If these days are divided by 60, there will be 48.6989552533333 cycles of sexagenary signs. The fraction involves 0.69896 x 60 = 41.9373 day.
    If December 24 113 BC was a hsin ssu (xin si - 18), then the calculations show that December 24 105 BC should 42 signs later, a gui hai sign (60), not jia zi (1) as noted.

May 17, 110 BC was a i-mao day (52). December 24 110 BC to December 24 105 BC covers 5 years.

  • If the years are multiplied by 365.2421644 days, there will be 1826.210822 days. With the rest of December in 110 BC, the days in months June to November and May 17 to 31, the days are 2047.210822.
    If these days are divided by 60, there will be 34.1201803666667 cycles. The fraction involves 0.1202 x 60 = 7.2108 day.
    If May 17 110 BC was a i-mao day (52), then the calculations show that December 24 105 BC should 7 signs later, a ren xu sign (59) or gui hai (60) not jia zi as noted.


Both historical dates of December 24, 113 BC and May 17, 119 BC show that December 24 105 BC was either a ren xu (59) or more likely a gui hai (60) day. This indicates that for the Han Grand Inception calendar the emperor had purposefully and artificially reset December 24, 105 BC, a ren xu or gui hai day, to become a jia zi day.

Han Kao Tsu had broken the continuity by forcing the winter solstice of December 24 105 BC to assume the jia zi sign which actually was that of December 25. Thus, the historical evidence is that by Han Kao Tsu time the 60 cycle counts were no longer continuous.

Another historical tampering of the 60 cycle count occurred in the Tang dynasty. December 24 105 BC to December 24 AD 640 covers 744 years.

  • If the years are multiplied by 365.2421644 days, there will be 271740.1703136 days.
    If these days are divided by 60, there will be 4529.00283856 cycles. The fraction involves 0.168 day.
    Hence, if December 24 was a jiazi day, then the calculations show that December 24 AD 640 should also be a jiazi day.

    However, the Wu Lin calendar actually noted that it was December 25 AD 640 which was a jia zi day. Evidently, the creator of the Wu Lin calendar was aware that the December 24 105 BC jia zi sign for the Han Grand Inception calendar was a shift and corrected it back. Only, during the Tang dynasty, the Tang court decided that for calendrical purposes, the jiz zi sign for the Han Grand Inception should be accepted and December 24 AD 640 became a jia zi day when it should be a gui hai day.


Consider June 12 AD 618, which was supposed to be a jiazi day.

  • December 24 AD 618 to December 24 AD 640 covers 22 years.
    If the years are multiplied by 365.2421644 days, there will be 8035.3276168 days.
    If these days are divided by 60, there will be 133.922126946667 cycles. The fraction involves 55.3278 days.
    The rest of December AD 618 back to June 12 covers 195 days. With the 55.3278 days this totaled to 250.3278 days. If June 12 AD 618 was a jiazi day, December 24 AD 640 should not be a jiazi day but at least 10 signs ahead! So, between June 12 AD 618 to December 24 AD 640 there was a slip of at least 10 signs!


The historical evidence is that considerable arbitrary breaks and shifts in the 60 cycle counts for the day occurred since the Han dynasty.

Now, let us take December 24 AD 640 as a jia zi day. Look at the recent Chinese calendar. January 10, 1965 was a jiazi day.

  • December 24 AD 640 to December 24 AD 1965 covers 483580.6256656 days.
    The duration involves 8059.67709442667 cycles. The fraction has 40.674 days.
    The rest of December 1964 and the next 10 days of January 1965 totaled 17 days.
    Hence, 10 January 1965 should not be a jiazi day but at least 3 signs back!

The calculations shows that there were repeated discontinuities in the 60 cycle day counts between the Han dynasty to the present.

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The Four Pillars 60 cycle counts for years have not been continuous! They cannot synchronise with the actual movements of the planets, especially Saturn and Jupiter.

Calculations on the Continuity of 60 Cycle Counts for Years

There are also calculations evidence that the 60 cycle counts are not continuous for the years. Note that 1984 was a jia zi year.

Year Case 1

Ssuma Qian's Shih Ji. Shih Chi 28: The Treatise on the Feng and Shan Sacrifice page 60 notes: In addition, let a general amnesty be granted in the empire of the same kind as that ordered in the year i-mao (120 BC).

  • BC 120 to AD 1984 = 2104 years
    Divide by 60 = 35.0666666666667 cycles
    Fraction = 4.0002 years
    If 120 BC was a i-mao (52) year, then AD 1984 should be sign 4 signs later, a Ji Wei (56) year not a jia zi year. There was a deviation of 4-5 years!


Year Case 2

Ho (2003) noted that in 1282, during Kublai Khan time, The Tai Yi divination had a Tai Yi Dun number of Yang Dun 32. The Tai Yi astrology has a 360 years cycle, where the first year is a Jia Zi Year with a Dun count of 1. There are 72 Duns.

In the current Tai Yi divination, 1984 was a Superior Epoch. The Chinese calendar shows that 1984 was Jiazi year. Let us make calculations as follows:

  • 1984 back to 1282 = 702 years.
    360 years before 1984 = 1624
    720 years before 1984 = 1264

    1984, 1624, 1264 should be Superior Epochs and Jiazi years, with Dun 1.


1264 should have Dun 1. If so, then 1282 was 18 years later and should be Dun 19. But the Yuan history noted it as Dun 32 = 13 years different. That is, Ganzhi count for years has deviated 13 years!

  • If 1924 is used as the Superior Epoch, then 1204 would be the Superior Epoch closest to the Kublai Khan incidence and will have Dun 1. Dun 1 will come again 72 years later in 1276. 1282 was 6 years later and should have Dun 7

    If 1084 was the Superior Epoch, then Dun 1 would be 1084, 1156, 1228. 1282 was 54 years after 1228 and should have Dun 55.

    They all do not fit Dun 32 as recorded.


These historical evidence indicate the 60 cycle counts for years are not continuous.

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The emperors reserved for themselves certain secrets without which the common people would be using deviated forms of astrology.

The emperors also changed the day and year signs arbitrarily. Thse create subtle unrealised errors in modern dating in astrology and Feng Shui

Conclusions

There have been misleading assumptions among practitioners of a wide range of geomancy arts that the 60 signs in the Four Pillars have continuous counts since the time of Yao back in 2400 BC or Yellow Emperor Huang Di back in 2650 BC. Evaluations of certain historical data yield the startling findings that, at least since the Han dynasty to the present, both the 60 cycle counts for the day and year were never in continuity!

  • The Stem of the hour is calculated from the Stem of the day. So, since the day counts are not continuous, the hour counts also cannot be continuous.

    It is said that the first historical record of the 60-day cycle was from March 8, 2637 BC. It also said that the Qi Men Dun Jia cycle starts from 117 BC. If calculations are made, these years 2637 and 117 BC would have complete cycles of 60 counts and seem to be jia zi years. However, this is misleading, as the calculations were made backward from the modern dates and 2637 and 117 BC will be forced to fit into the 60 cycle counts..


Date calculations in geomancy are based on the scientific premise that celestial movements exert real physical effects on human foetal development and adult behaviour. These inaccuracies had never troubled earlier emperors who had prudently resorted to direct observations of the sky, forbidden planetary tables and the actual astronomical positions of stars and planets.

It is impossible for any calendar to faithfully track the movements of the stars and planets in the long term. In due time, any calendar has to be revised and re-calibrated. Deviations in inaccurate calendars, inaccurate records keeping and the intermittent wars took their toils in the memory of astronomers trying to pick up the reins of date calculations.

Once calendars are used, the connections to the astronomical movements got lost. Geomancy practitioners cannot be certain of the 60 cycle count of any Time unit. Generation after generation of practitioners just uncomprehendingly apply the formulas, unaware of the serious errors creeping in.


next related article: Historical records of changes and breaks in 60 cycle counts!

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Read startling highlights of our findings on Zi Wei Dou Shu, including how the emperor faked the current Zi Wei Dou Shu!

Some of the faked aspects also affect the Ba Zi Eight Characters, Qi Men Dun Jia, Liu Ren, Tai Yi, which are actually inferior astrology systems extracted from a small part of Zi Wei Dou Shu.


GUI Management Centre has a special comprehensive course on the over 140 stars of Zi Wei Dou Shu astrology including detailed treatment of the 4 Si Hua stars which takes special steps to overcome the potential errors in the dating system. Practitioners should undertake this course to avoid the pitfalls in other astrology and Feng Shui systems.

Online Home Study courses are available on the methodologies of Qi Men Dun Jia, Liu Ren and Tai Yi divination and their serious errors. Write in to register your interest in our non-exorbitant courses.

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Special articles from Dr. Ong's monumental scientific astronomical research into Chinese astrology and Feng Shui. Gui Management Centre is making available preliminary findings of our highly scientific research into Chinese astrology and Feng Shui, backed up by intensive analysis of the ancient texts.

Insights from Ho Peng Yoke's "Chinese Mathematical Astrology"
QI MEN DUN JIA, LIU REN, TAI YI:

Related articles on Ba Zi Eight Characters Divination :

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ONCE KNOWN TO THE ANCIENT CIVILISATIONS!