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Bagua (right trigrams)

Two diagrams known as bagua (or pa kua) loom large in feng shui, and both predate their mentions in the yijing (or I Ching). The Lo (River) Chart (Luoshu) was developed first, and is sometimes associated with Later Heaven arrangement of the bagua. The Luoshu and the River Chart (Hetu, sometimes associated with the Earlier Heaven bagua) are linked to astronomical events of the sixth millennium BC, and with the Turtle Calendar from the time of Yao. The Turtle Calendar of Yao (found in the Yaodian section of the Shangshu or Book of Documents) dates to 2300 BC, plus or minus 250 years.

In Yaodian, the cardinal directions are determined by the marker-stars of the mega-constellations known as the Four Celestial Animals:

arrow East - The Green Dragon (Spring equinox)—Niao (Bird), Hydrae

arrow South - The Red Phoenix (Summer solstice)—Huo (Fire), Scorpionis 

arrow West - The White Tiger (Autumn equinox)—Xu (Emptiness, Void),Aquarii

arrow North - The Dark Turtle (Winter solstice)—Mao (Hair), Tauri (the Pleiades)

The diagrams are also linked with the sifang (four directions) method of divination used during the Shang dynasty. The sifang is much older, however. It was used at Niuheliang, and figured large in Hongshan culture's astronomy. And it is this area of China that is linked to Huangdi, the Yellow Emperor, who allegedly invented the south-pointing spoon.

 
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