Sunday, April 19, 2009

Daily Tibetan Astrology: An Introduction

I have long thought to do daily notices in the context of Tibetan astrology, but it isn't as easy as it seems. Tibetan astrology being as it is, these notices can be as brief as a sentence or run to several pages in length. There is also the matter of which flavor of Tibetan astrology to employ. I have been struggling with the best way to approach this for some time, and now I have decided to try an experiment.

Every day for the next week or so, I'll auto-post a notice at 12:01 a.m. (Hong Kong time), and we will see how it is received. As a basis, we're going to reckon the days according to the Chinese calendrical system, and we will draw inferences according to the generally expressed conventions of Sangs-rgyas rGya-mtsho's Vaidurya dKar-po. Why? Desi Rinpoche's White Beryl is perhaps the best all around study of 'bying-rtsis, or method of the elements, to be found in the Tibetan language. This is also known as Chinese (black) astrology, or nag-rtsis, as distinct from dkar-rtsis, or Indian (white) astrology. By the way: the colors "black" and "white" refer to the color of clothes, and nothing more.

At the outset, you may with some justification wonder why I am using the Chinese system to calculate the days, and then the Tibetanized Chinese system to draw the inferences. Can this be done? Should this be done? What happened to the Indians?

Through the years, I have come to realize that everyone has his or her own methods of doing things. For example: some current Tibetan astrologers in India use the Chinese methods to calculate days and the Kalachakra system to draw inferences. I cannot say that either of us are right or wrong: these are just technical or personal preferences.

Anyway, we'll try to have some fun with this. The search title will be in the format "Daily Tibetan Astrology: Month, Day, Year," and there will be a link back to this post. I will warn you in advance that some of our information will not agree with information published elsewhere. Again, this won't be an issue of "right or wrong," but will be a matter of preference. The main thing is that we have worked out the daily parkha (trigrams) and the daily mewa (magic numbers) for you, and you can thus (for example) easily consult a copy of Philippe Cornu's book, Tibetan Astrology, for further information.

A personal note: The various forms of Asian astrology and divination have been my hobby since I was a child. I used to love going to the Yau Ma Tei fortunetellers with my amah, who visited them every week on her way to the Jade Market over on Kowloon side. I have kept up this interest for over fifty years, and it is something I do not regret. Even today, my happiness is to visit the various Tin Hau temples, and of course my favorite is the one on Temple Street that I visited as a boy. It is the one you see in all the movies. Above is one over in Causeway Bay that I also like. It is tucked up a side street, on a little hill. Hardly anyone comes here anymore.

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3 reader comments:

Fishy said...

How long did you live in Hong Kong? I was born there and lived there until I was 5. Even though I've spent most of my life in Australia I still feel that Hong Kong had a great influence on my world-view.

Anonymous said...


j'ai un questin cruciale pour vous. j'ai construit un petit stupa et il me faut refaire la partie superieure.

je vous serais tres reconnaissante de me dire s'il serait benefique de le faire le jour de la prochaine eclipse lunaire en sacant que le jur 6 du prochain mois n'est peut-etre pas ideale pour le faire. merci infiniment pour cette information si vous reussissez a me faire parvenir cette precieuse reponse. j

Editor said...

25 juillet serait le meilleur jour.