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.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Lunar World Preview 2019 02-04

As the Lunar World Turns
Monday, February 4, 2019
[a] Double Fun (RF)
Well, folks, it's both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day at the same time. Huh? How is that possible? Well, the luni-solar calendar is a fascinating one, and few days are as jam-packed as Monday. It's hard to imagine that a skinny little day column (check it out by clicking the link, below) can hold multiple New Year's events.
The trick is this: the new lunar year begins tomorrow. Today, however, an endlessly-repeating string of solar periods begins again (as it does every single year, precisely on February 4).
Day Personality
Constellation Personality (Section Five—Character Six)
[b] Net (RF)
Today's "constellation personality" is Net (). It is the nineteenth of twenty-eight "lunar mansions" (宿) or "constellations." Traditional calendars state that it portends hours and hours of family happiness. It's a good day for marriage, and children born of marriages on this day will fill their pockets with precious stones. On top of it all, the divinity associated with this constellation possesses the recipe for longevity.
 Jianchu Personality (Section Five—Character Seven)
The jianchu "personality" is Destroy (破). It is the seventh of twelve characters in the jianchu cycle. It is the worst-of-the-worst, and there is nothing good about it. Everything that can go wrong...will (in Lunar World). Worse yet, it was also a Destroy day yesterday, and the calendar has (as it occasionally does) carries it forward for another day. Be afraid; be very afraid (and then get over it).
Lucky Stars
(Section Two)
There are two beneficent asterisms today: Generational Equinity (er, Horse) (歲馬) and Phoenix (鳳凰). They shine over Lunar World with red-ink wonder.

[c] Irrigation RF
Auspicious Times
(Section Three)
There are three inauspicious (凶) two-hour periods, three in-between () times, and, yup, six auspicious () times. Having read the calendar for a quarter century, I can say that there is "auspicousness inflation" going on here.
Things to Avoid
(Section Four)
It's a bad day for Opening Irrigation Sluices (開渠) and Positioning Beds (安牀) for geomantic (fengshui) efficiency.
Just Plain Counting
(Section Four—Characters 1-4)
It is the thirtieth (三十) day of the twelfth lunar month. Yup, the very last day of the (lunar) year. The cycle of sixty character is #9: renshen (壬申). 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 Metal (金). Ordinarily, the Five Phases weave their way, two-by-two, through the calendar. Yesterday was Earth. Today is Metal, and tomorrow is Metal.
Appropriate Things
(Section Six)
It's a solid day for only one thing today: Destroying Rooms (破屋). Please make sure that you only smash things that you own.
Monday's Lunar Calendar
Solar Periods
(Section Six—Upper and Middle)
It's New Year's Day, at least for the cycle of solar periods. Today, we begin the first of the twenty-four fifteen day solar periods (the 二十四節氣). The first is called "Beginning of Spring" (立春) which might seem a bit ironic, since we are many weeks away from the equinox. Still, there is a logic to the Chinese calendar dates that begin the seasons. Pay attention to these posts, and you will begin to see it. In any case, "Beginning of Spring," begins today, on Monday, February 4, and runs through Monday, February 18.
Today (Solar New Year's Day), we also begin in the first of seventy-two five-day solar micro-periods (the 七十二候). It is called East Wind Melts the Ice (應始摯), and you will begin to get the idea of "spring" this early by that term. It begins today, on Monday, February 4, and runs through Friday, February 8. You can learn more about these solar periods by reading Liza Dalby's East Wind Melts the Ice.
Fear Your Unlucky Stars 
(Bottom of Section Six)
[e] Furnace RF
The baleful asterisms (the bottom of section six) are Lunar Destruction (月破) and Water Scar (水痕). My advice for the non-specialist to begin thinking about these unlucky influences is to think of them as movie titles (for really scary movies). It works pretty well to get a sense of both the fear and irony built-into these terms.
Miscellaneous Omens and Activities
(Sections Seven and Eight)

Today's miscellaneous omens are White (白) and Ghost (鬼). The miscellaneous activities are Edifice (房), Furnace (爐), and Storehouse (庫). Thirty years of ethnographic fieldwork surrounding this section (asking calendrical experts and ordinary people alike) has resulted in extremely ambiguous answers.
See You Tomorrow
O.k., folks. It's a New Year's Day/Eve that is packed with potential. Weave your way through it, and prepare for New Year's (lunar) celebrations tonight!

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