From Round to Square (and back)

For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project:

A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again).
*Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

China's Lunar Calendar 2018 06-30

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Calendars and Almanacs" 
***Check out the full explanation of today's lunar-solar calendar translation*** 
⇦⇦⇦⇦⇦ From right to left: ⇦⇦⇦⇦
This is one in a never-ending series—following the movements of the calendar—in Round and Square perpetuity. It is today's date in the Chinese lunar-solar (or "luni-solar" calendar; I call it the "lunar" calendar in order to distinguish it from the kinds of calendars most Westerners use. It has a basic translation and minimal interpretation. Unless you have been studying calendars (and Chinese culture) for many years, you will likely find yourself asking "what does that mean?" I would caution that "it" doesn't "mean" any one thing. There are clusters of meaning, and they require patience, reflection, careful reading, and, well, a little bit of ethnographic fieldwork. The best place to start is the introduction to "Calendars and Almanacs" on this blog. I teach a semester-long course on this topic and, trust me, it takes a little bit of time to get used to the lunar calendar. Some of the material is readily accessible; some of it is impenetrable, even after many years.

As time goes on, I will link all of the sections to lengthy background essays. This will take a while. In the meantime, take a look, read the introduction, and think about all of the questions that emerge from even a quick look at the calendar. You will likely find that several of the translations seem quite "fanciful" in English. I am simply trying to convey that they also sound fairly fanciful in Chinese.
Section One
Solar Calendar Date

Sixth Month, Thirtieth Day  
Saturday, June 30
***Check out the full explanation of today's lunar-solar calendar translation*** 
Section Two
Beneficent Stars 
(top to bottom, right to left)
Generational Virtue
Linked Days
***Check out the full explanation of today's lunar-solar calendar translation*** 
Section Three
Auspicious Hours
(top to bottom, right to left
23:00-01:00 Inauspicious
01:00-03:00 In-Between
03:00-05:00 In-Between
05:00-07:00 Auspicious

07:00-09:00 Inauspicious
9:00-11:00 Auspicious
11:00-13:00 In-Between
13:00-15:00 Inauspicious

15:00-17:00 Auspicious
17:00-19:00 In-Between
19:00-21:00 Auspicious
21:00-23:00 Inauspicious

The hours above are for Hong Kong. It is up to you if you want to recalibrate or to assume that the cyclicality of the calendar "covers" the rest of the world. This is a greater interpretive challenge than you might think.
***Check out the full explanation of today's lunar-solar calendar translation*** 
Section Four 
Activities to Avoid  
(top-to-bottom; right to left) 

Lawsuits and Litigation
Distant Journeys

Seventeenth Day (Fifth Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: guisi (30/60)
Phase (element): Water
"Constellation Personality" Cycle: Willow (24/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Closed (12/12)
Section Six
Appropriate Activities
and Miscellaneous Information  
(top-to-bottom; right to left)

Appropriate Activities
Cutting-out Clothing
Moving Soil
Constructing Dikes
Patching and Plugging

Baleful Astral Influences
Snake Mouth
Doubled Days
Blood Branch
Repeat Mourning
***Check out the full explanation of today's lunar-solar calendar translation*** 
Section Seven
Inauspicious Stars
***Check out the full explanation of today's lunar-solar calendar translation*** 
Section Eight 
Miscellaneous Activities

牀 房
Bed, Edifice

Lunar World Preview 2018 06-30

As the Lunar World Turns
Saturday, June 30, 2018
[a] Foreboding Willow RF
Well, people, the preview is back, and what a bleak day for a return it is. It is darkly foreboding on the surface, but not a third bad if we look closer, so let's do that.
Day Personality
Constellation Personality (Section Five—Character Six)
Today's "constellation personality" is Willow (柳), and it is about as bad as constellations get. It is the twenty-fourth of twenty-eight "lunar mansions" (宿) or "constellations." Traditional calendars state that its stars look like a weeping willow, and it forebodes misery in almost all activities.
Jianchu Personality (Section Five—Character Seven)
[b] Cicada RF
The jianchu "personality" is Closed (閉). It is the twelfth of twelve characters in the jianchu cycle. Experienced readers of the calendar already know that "Closed" isn't at all bad if you "use" the day correctly." Look inward. Binge watch or, better yet, binge read. Enjoy a day away from the flow, beyond the riff-raff.
Lucky Stars
(Section Two)
There are two beneficent asterisms today, and they are among the most common found on the calendar: Generational Virtue (歲德) and Linked Days (合日).

Auspicious Times
(Section Three)
There are four inauspicious (凶) two-hour periods, four in-between () times, and four auspicious () times.
Things to Avoid
(Section Four)
It's a bad day for Litigation (詞訟) and Distant Travels (遠行). Of course, litigation on a "Willow" day would be problem, but what, exactly, does "distant" mean with regard to travel. I am traveling within Germany (Köln to Nürnberg). That's not distant, is it?
Just Plain Counting
(Section Four—Characters 1-4)
[c] Train Travel RF
It is the seventeenth (十七) day of the fourth lunar month, although the moon was "full" over Köln last night. Every coming day will take a slice out of it. The cycle of sixty character is #30: guisi (癸巳). The days cycle—1, 2, 3, 58, 59, 60, 1, 2, 3...—in perpetuity. 
Elemental (and Phased)
(Section Five—Character 5)
Today's slice of the "Five Phases" (sometimes called the "Five Elements") is Water (水). Ordinarily, the Five Phases weave their way, two-by-two, through the calendar. Yesterday was water. Today is also water, and tomorrow is Metal.
Appropriate Things
(Section Six) 
It's a solid day for four big things today: Tailoring (裁衣), Moving Soil (動土), Constructing Dikes (築堤), and Patching and Plugging (補塞) those gaping holes on your vast, sprawling estate.
Saturday's Lunar Calendar
Solar Periods
(Section Six—Upper and Middle)
[d] Dike RF
We are in the tenth of the twenty-four fifteen day solar periods (the 二十四節氣), which began on Thursday, June 21 and runs through Friday, July 6. It is called Summer Arrives or, of course, Summer Solstice (夏至). We are in the twenty-seventh of the seventy-two five-day solar micro periods (the 七十二候). It is called Cicadas Begin to Sing (蜩始鳴). It began on Tuesday, June 26 and runs through Sunday, July 1.
Fear Your Unlucky Stars 
(Bottom of Section Six)
The baleful asterisms (the bottom of section six) are Snake Mouth (蛇口), Doubled Days (重日), Blood Branch (血支), and Repeat Mourning (復喪). As we have discussed on these pages, try to think of them as movie (or manga) titles. In a way that is much more serious than it might seem from such advice, they really are titles, of a sort. Just imagine watching previews for movies like Snake Mouth and Blood Branch. If you are "artistic," draw the movie posters. I'm serious.
Miscellaneous Omens and Activities
(Sections Seven and Eight)

Today's miscellaneous omens is White (白) 而已 (that's all). The miscellaneous activities are Divination (占), Bed (牀), and Edifice (房). Nobody knows what they mean.
[e] Willow RF
See You Tomorrow
O.k., hunker down, folks, and no picnics under the willows (its windy there...and gloomy). If you make it, I'll see you back here on Saturday night for a preview of Sunday in Lunar World.
xxxday's Lunar Calendar