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, May 31, 2018

Lunar World Preview 2018 05-31

As the Lunar World Turns
Thursday, May 31, 2018
[a] Cat Preview RF
Well that Gregorian month of May wraps up with a "leans inauspicious" 50-50 day that combines "so-so" with "really terrible. Let's take a closer look.

Day Personality
(Section Five—Characters Six and Seven)
Today's "constellation personality" is Well (). Calendrical interpretations stress that it is the widest of all the constellations. It is a good day for some things (taking exams, building, raising silkworms) and not for others (funerals, especially).
[b] Well, it's really a fountain RF

The jianchu "personality" is Destroy (破), and it's as bad as it sounds. Even normal conversation turns to quarrels, and even good friends can turn on each other. Conflict is around every corner.
Lucky Stars
(Section Two)
There are two beneficent asterisms today: 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)
[c] Litigation RF
It's a bad day for Litigation (詞訟) and Marriage (嫁娶). And don't even think about making a pre-nup today.

Just Plain Counting
(Section Four—Characters 1-4)
It is the seventeenth () day of the fourth lunar month. The cycle of sixty character is #60: guihai (癸亥). 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 Water (水). Ordinarily, the Five Phases weave their way, two-by-two, through the calendar. Yesterday was Water. Today is Water, and tomorrow is Metal.

Appropriate Things
(Section Six) 
[d] Bed RF
It's a solid day for only wreckin' stuff: Destroying Rooms (破屋) and Smashing Embankments (壞垣). Just make sure that what you break is your own, tough guy.
Solar Periods
(Section Six—Upper and Middle)
We are in the eighth of the twenty-four fifteen day solar periods (the 二十四節氣), which began on Monday, May 21 and runs through Monday, June 4. It is called Grain Full (小滿). We are in the twenty-first of the seventy-two five-day solar micro periods (the 七十二候). It is called Harvest Season Arrives (麥秋至). This is an odd phrase for the beginning of June, and it is usually written Slight Heat Arrives or Grain Ripens (小暑至). It began on Thursday, May 31, and runs through Monday, June 4

Fear Your Unlucky Stars 
(Bottom of Section Six)
The baleful asterisms (the bottom of section six) are Lunar Destruction (月破) and Doubled Days (重日). 
Miscellaneous Omens and Activities
(Sections Seven and Eight)

Today's miscellaneous omens are Bifurcation (丫) and Spirit (神). The miscellaneous activities are Divination (占), Bed (牀), and Edifice (房). Nobody knows what they mean.
[e] Grain Ripens RF
See You Tomorrow
O.k., get a good workout smashing stuff, and I'll see you back here on Thursday night for a preview of Friday in Lunar World.

China's Lunar Calendar 2018 05-31

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

Fifth Month, Thirty-First Day 
Thursday, May 31
***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 In-Between
01:00-03:00 In-Between
03:00-05:00 Auspicious
05:00-07:00 Auspicious

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

15:00-17:00 In-Between
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
Marriage Alliances

Seventeenth Day (Fourth Lunar Month)
Cyclical day: guihai (60/60)
Phase (element): Water
"Constellation Personality" Cycle: Well (22/28)
"Day Personality" Cycle: Destroy (7/12)
Section Six
Appropriate Activities
and Miscellaneous Information  
(top-to-bottom; right to left)


Appropriate Activities
Destroying Rooms
Smashing Embankments

Grain Ripens
(the twenty-fourth of seventy-two five-day solar periods on the agricultural calendar)

Baleful Astral Influences
Inauspicious Stars
(top-to-bottom; left to right)
丫 神
Bifurcation, Spirit
***Check out the full explanation of today's lunar-solar calendar translation*** 
Section Eight 
Miscellaneous Activities
(top-to-bottom; left to right)

牀 房
Bed, Edifice