S A S 31 Rm A

Only the Superior Epoch seemed to vary as in the case of the calendar-makers. We do not have much information regarding this matter. At least we know that Xiao Zixian in the fifth century and Wang Ximing in the eighth century regarded the years 237 bc and ad 364 as Superior Epochs. Those that followed would be the years 724, 1084, 1444 and 1804, to be followed by the year 2164. The Ming text Taiyi taojinge, on the other hand, gives the year 1264 as a Superior Epoch, while mentioning a difference of 60 years for the Superior Epoch in use during the Ming period. Accordingly, the Superior Epoch immediately before us would be either 1984 or 1924, depending on whether the Ming or the pre-Ming value is adopted.

The positions of the deities on the Taiyi cosmic board could also be found directly without referring to the configuration diagrams in the Taiyiju. Let us determine the position of Taiyi on the assumption that the Superior Epoch is already known. In a jiazi year belonging to the first epoch (Configuration 1), or a bingzi year in the second epoch (Configuration 73), or a wuzi year in the third epoch (Configuration 145), or a gengzi year in the fourth epoch (Configuration 217), or a renzi year in the fifth epoch (Configuration 289), Taiyi is found in Palace One by Yang order counting and Palace Nine by Yin order counting. After three years Taiyi would move to the next palace and the whole circuit would repeat itself after 24 years. In equation (3), if we know y, the epoch the year is in and also q, the order of the year within, the configuration number n can be known. Taiyi takes 24 years to do one circuit and visit eight palaces. Within 72 years, three circuits will be made. The remainder r, derived from dividing q by 24, will give the position of Taiyi. r = 1,2 and 3 show Taiyi in Palace One by Yang order counting, and Palace Nine by Yin order counting; r = 4, 5 and 6 show Taiyi in Palace Two by Yang order counting, and Palace Eight by Yin order counting; q = 7, 8 and 9 show Taiyi in Palace Three by Yang order counting, and Palace Seven by Yin order counting; q = 10, 11 and 12 show Taiyi in Palace Four by Yang order counting, and Palace Six by Yin order counting; q = 13,14 and 15 show Taiyi in Palace Six by Yang order counting, and Palace Four by Yin order counting; q = 16, 17 and 18 show Taiyi in Palace Seven by Yang order counting, and Palace Three by Yin order counting; q = 19, 20 and 21 show Taiyi in Palace Eight by Yang order counting, and Palace Two by Yin order counting; and finally q = 22, 23 and 24 show Taiyi in Palace Nine by Yang order counting, and in Palace One by Yin order counting.

Let us take an example from the first case mentioned in the Historiographer's 'Remarks' and calculate the position of Taiyi in the fifth year of Emperor Han Gaozu (202 bc), which was the cyclical year jihai, and for which we have already found Configuration 276 on the cosmic board. Dividing 276 by 72 leaves a remainder q = 60. Again dividing 60 by 24 leaves 12, placing Taiyi in Palace Four by Yang order counting, which turned out to be the one and only order of counting employed by Xiao Zixian in his 'Remarks' (see Figure 3.5).

The next step is to find the Scholar (Wenchang). The Scholar was supposed to take 18 years to make one circuit round the 16 segments, starting from the segment shen Wude xi-C® deity, and pausing one year at the segments qian and kun. First divide 276 by 18, leaving a remainder 6. Starting from shen segment, move six steps in a clockwise direction, counting one extra step on encountering qian or kun. This gives the location of the Scholar in the segment hai with Dayi deity.

To find the Attack Initiator (Shiji) first count the number of segments separating the Scholar from the Planner. In our case, the number is 4. Then starting from the gen Hede iB-® deity segment, count the same number of segments towards the direction of the Scholar. Hence we find the Attack Initiator in the segment hai Yinzhu Psi deity.

Table 3.1

Year branch

Position of Jishen

zi

yin

chou

chen

yin

zi

mao

hai

chen

xu

si

you

wu

shen

wei

wei

shen

wu

you

si

xu

shen

hai

mao

To find the Host General and the Host Lieutenant, count the numbers from the Scholar to the segment just before Taiyi, taking only the numbers of the Nine Palaces but counting the segment occupied by the Scholar as 1, if that segment does not have a number of the Nine Palaces. In our case, we take 1 from the hai segment, 8 in the zi segment, 3 in the gen segment, add them together to give 12. This number is known as the Host Count (zhusuan ). The last digit 2 shows the Host General in Palace Two. Multiplying the last digit by 3 gives 6. The Host Lieutenant is in Palace Six.

To find the Guest General and the Guest Lieutenant, count the numbers in the segments from the Attack Initiator to the segment just before that occupied by Taiyi, in the same way as for obtaining the Host Count above. Adding 1 in the xu segment, 1 in qian, 8 in zi, and 3 in gen together gives 13, which is known as the Guest Number (kesuan The last digit 3

shows the Guest General in Palace Three. Multiplying the last digit by 3 gives 9, showing the location of the Guest Lieutenant in Palace Nine.

Positions of Taiyi and the accompanying deities obtained by this method of calculation agree with those given in the Taiyiju and fit remarkably

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