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.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Lunar World Preview 2109 02-07

As the Lunar World Turns
Thursday, February 7, 2019
[a] Preview RF
Well, folks, we are now fully into the new year. The day columns have grown skinny (unlike the corpulent, six-wide, New Year's wonder that we saw a few days ago). Now, we are the calendrical version of the donkey going—ba-dum, ba-dum—around the pole. Normalcy has returned, so let's take a look.
Day Personality
Constellation Personality (Section Five—Character Six)
Today's "constellation personality" is Well (). 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 Receive (收). It is the ninth of twelve characters in the jianchu cycle. It is the sorta not-bad on the colloquial scale of worst to best. I mean, what isn't great about receiving, right? Well, receiving is complicated. Ever heard of "it's better to give than to receive?" Well, it comes from the same place that this character does. Receiving presents a burden to reciprocate, and so the pressure is on. It's good (you received), but there is work to do. That is the idea of this day personality.
Lucky Stars
(Section Two)
There are two beneficent asterisms today: Five Abundances (五富) and Ten Spirits (十靈). They shine over Lunar World with red-ink wonder.

Auspicious Times
(Section Three)
There are only two inauspicious (凶) two-hour periods, five in-between () times, and, yup, five auspicious () times. Having read the calendar for a quarter century, I can say that there is "auspicousness inflation" going on here. Four of each is standard—every day.
Things to Avoid
(Section Four)
It's a bad day for Planting and Cultivating (栽種) and Marriage Alliances (嫁娶). The calendar won't tell you what they "mean." You have to study history, culture, and literature to understand those matters.
[c] Fire RF
Just Plain Counting
(Section Four—Characters 1-4)
It is the third (初三) day of the twelfth lunar month. Yup, the very last day of the (lunar) year. The cycle of sixty character is #12: yihai (乙亥). 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 Fire (火). Ordinarily, the Five Phases weave their way, two-by-two, through the calendar. Yesterday was Metal. Today is Fire, and tomorrow is Fire.
Appropriate Things
(Section Six)
It's a solid day for eight activities today, including: Venerating Ancestors (祭祀), Meeting Friends (會友), and Raising Beams (上樑). Click the link to see the rest.
Thursday's Lunar Calendar
Solar Periods
(Section Six—Upper and Middle)
It's New Year's Day, at least for the cycle of solar periods. We are currently in the first of the twenty-four fifteen day solar periods (the 二十四節氣). It 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," began on Monday, February 4, and runs through Monday, February 18.
We are also 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 began 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)
The baleful asterisms (the bottom of section six) are Debt Not (債不), Doubled Days (重日), and Hog Mouth (豬口). The first is always good advice. The last is terrifying (if you've ever been face-to-face with one. As for the section on unlucky stars, my best advice for the non-specialist is to begin thinking of each 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. Imagine a movie called Hog Mouth.
Miscellaneous Omens and Activities
(Sections Seven and Eight)

Today's miscellaneous omens are White (白) and Landmass (州). The miscellaneous activities are Pestle (碓), Bed (牀), and Mortar (磨). 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. That's it. Enjoy this third day of the Year of the Pig (mouth), and I'll see you back here for the next preview soon.
[e] Reflective Pig RF

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