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Figure 5.2 Determination of the position for yuesa, from Xieji bianfangshu, ch. 6; p.16 [Qinding siku quanshu edition].

Evil Spirit) with its opposite part yuekong M ^ (Moon Void). Its predictions, whether auspicious or ominous, are all void, except in cases where meeting (of the sovereign) is sought for the purpose of seeking redress for miscarriage of justice.

Yuesha, also known as Yuexu, was an imaginary evil object found in one of the 12 branches. Its position is governed by the particular branch of the year concerned. For example, if the year branch were one of sben, zi and chen, it would be at the branch xu (see Figure 5.2). It played a minor part in the almanac and in the modern Ziwei doushu system of astro logy referred to in Chapter 3, but had nothing to do with the Liuren cosmic boards in Song China. According to Huang Yi-Long (1999) Yuesha already appeared in the wooden strip manuscripts excavated in 1993 at the Yinwan Han tomb of the first century bc and was used in Chinese calendars until the end of the Yuan dynasty. Similarly, yuekong is also not concerned with the Liuren cosmic boards. To locate this imaginary body, see Figure 5.3.

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