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Taiyin

eben Warrior

mao yin Minister Tiger

Chen interpreted the Three Messages to make his forecast in the following manner:

Shen, being the mother of Water, is the initiating factor of prognostication (fayong fstffl) and produces hai Water in the Second Message. At the same time shen is riding upon the Soaring Serpent, forming a double-headed curling motion for snow. Hence there will be snowfall for tonight and tomorrow.

Normally, shen Metal above either hai Water or zi Water would be considered as a preliminary condition for rain. However, the Serpent would not be a sign of rain but, rather, of wind or lightning. Furthermore, the Third Message was riding upon the Metal White Tiger, which again would produce Water. Water would therefore not fall in the form of rain but of snow. The dates were determined from the nearest days with the branches shen Metal and you Metal, which were the day jiashen when the forecast was made and the following day yiyou, New Year Day for that particular year in the Chinese calendar. As can be expected, there were no hard and fast rules but only general guidelines with a number of exceptions. If one goes by Zhang Chunzhao's "MMlM Daliuren xunyuan (Search ing Sources in the Great Liuren System), for example, one would use the White Tiger in the Third Message for snow forecasting, following what the book says that 'the White Tiger riding upon shen or yin is a sign of snow' instead of using the Serpent which the book says to be a sign of 'no rain' or 'lightning'.31

Here one can see the relations of the branches and deities with the wuxing shown in Table 5.12 and Table 5.13 coming into play. For example, when the Rising Serpent or the Vermilion Bird (both of which were of the Fire xing) encountered (the Wood branch) mao, lightning and thunder would be expected. When the Metal White Tiger met one of (the Wood branches) yin or mao, (the Earth branch) chen, and (the Fire branch) si, it would be known as 'the Tiger emerging from the wood and crossing the Mountain'. This would be taken as a sign of wind.

Table 5.12

Terrestrial branch

Spirit of the Month

Yin/Yang

xing

zi

Monarch Spirit (Shenhou)

Yang

Water

chou

Major Auspices (Daji)

Yin

Earth

yin

Merits Recorder (Gongcao)

Yang

Wood

mao

Grand Collision (Dachong)

Yin

Wood

chen

Heavenly Spirit (Tiangang)

Yang

Earth

si

Great One (Taiyi)

Yin

Fire

wu

Winning Light (Shengguang)

Yang

Fire

wei

MinorAuspices (Xiaoji)

Yin

Earth

shen

Messenger (Quansong)

Yang

Metal

you

Aide-de-Camp (Congkui)

Yin

Metal

xu

River Chief (Hekui)

Yang

Earth

hai

Rising Brightness (Dengming)

Yin

Water

Heavenly General

Yin/Yang

xing

stem

branch

Noble One (Guiren)

Yin

Earth

i'

chou

Rising Serpent (Tengshe)

Yin

Fire

ding

si

Vermilion Bird (Zhuque)

Yang

Fire

bing

wu

Six Encompasser (Liuhe)

Yin

Wood

yi

mao

Angular Arranger (Gouchen)

Yang

Earth

wu

chen

Azure Dragon (Qinglong)

Yang

Wood

jia

yin

Celestial Queen (Tianhou)

Yang

Water

ren

zi

Ultimate Yin (Taiyin)

Yin

Metal

xin

you

Sombre Warrior (Yuanwu)

Yin

Water

gui

hai

(Xuanwu)

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