Ah! Ba Zi stars are actually from Zi Wei Dou Shu!
Planetary Tables Forbidden
The use of planetary tables is common in Western and Hindu astrology. However, it was forbidden for ordinary people to use them:
- ... 'Fate Calculation'. This is a method of looking into future events by means of a complex system of numerology which is peculiarly Chinese, having no parallel in any other culture. A by-product of astrology, its calculations are based directly on the calendar rather than the astronomical events on which the calendar is based. The reasons for its creation stem from the fact that Grand Astrology was reserved for the Imperial Court, and there was a demand for a Lesser Astrology which could be used to determine the destinies of the common people. Although the use of tables of planetary positions was forbidden on pain of death, it seemed to some astrologers that so regular and ordered were the motions of the Heavens that it was no longer necessary to observe them. Walters (1987 p.89-90).
The Chinese imperial circles would use the planetary tables for their astrological evaluations. But the people would not be able to use the planetary tables. Hence, the people could only use the calendars to determine dates for predictions.
If the calendars were as accurate as the planetary tables, why forbid the planetary tables? It is evident that the imperial circle did not intend that the people should have so accurate a dating system as the planetary tables. Scientifically, calendars are only approximations of actual astronomical movements and their accuracies to determine proper dates will deviate and deteriorate with Time. This means the emperors knew that the calendars were faulty and that the people would be using faulty datings in their astrology! It is amusing that modern practitioners would boast of the accuracies of their methods when they are just using faulty calendars.
In the past, the Chinese geomancers were aware of the differences. Tang patriarch Yang Yun Sung stressed the importance of using astronomical indices to track astrological Time:
- Xiong and Ci are calculated from the Gua.
Mountain and water are necessary to understand this theory
Water and mountain are closely related to the good and bad fortunes.
Understand Xuan Kong within the Five Elements.
Understand these methods, need not have to find the Na Jia.
Qing Nang Aow Yi 3.15-3.24
Once again you are advised to identify the constellation, so that the good and bad, disaster and prosperity would happen like a miracle. Qing Nang Aow Yi 3.85, 3.86
Ming master Jiang Da Hong also mentioned this doubt about the accuracy of the Na Jia, as indicated by the document, "Notes While I Studied With My Master, Part 3" by Jang Yao (another name is Ru-Kau). Jang Yao had recorded:
- I asked the way of Na Jia if it matches with the way of setting the stars?
Master said: "One is one, two is two. Now, people who talk about Na Jia only use the base/body. Only Xuan Kong is the true Na Jia."
Ho (2003) did indicate the inaccuracy of the currenr calendar:
- The theoretical discussion in the above passage emphasizes the dependence
of the Liuren system on accurate astronomical observations while pointing out the inaccuracy of the current calendar. (Ho, 2003, p.115)
It appears that of all techniques, preventing usage of actual astronomical movements was one potent way to trick the people. Despite their usages of planetary tables, the imperial circle themselves was not always able to use the right timing.
- In Taiyi divination one sequence of the Superior Epoch would be"724, 1084, 1444 and 1804, to be followed by the year 2164. The Ming text Taiyi taojinge, on the other hand, gives the year 1264 as a Superior Epoch (following 360 years cycles would be 1624, 1984) while mentioning a difference of 60 years for the Superior Epoch in use during the Ming period. Accordingly, the Superior Epoch immediately before us would be either 1984 or 1924, depending on whether the Ming or the pre-Ming value is adopted (Ho. p.60).
Hence, the Chinese astrology is in need of revamping their dating systems.