An note on this translation and its appearance here may be found at this blog post.
History of the Jin Dynasty
Monographs Part One
ASTRONOMY Section A
Structure of the Heavens - Astronomical Instruments - the Stars in the Heavens - (the Central Palace) - the Twenty-Eight Lunar Mansions - Stars beyond the Twenty-Eight Lunar Mansions - the Appearance of the Milky Way - the Divisions of the Twelve Jupiter-Stations - Prefectures and Sub-Prefectures corresponding to the Jupiter-Stations
Formerly Bao Xi, observed the signs of the heavenly bodies and studied them as models of regularity in order to appreciate the virtue of the Spiritual and to account for the behaviour of the heavens and of the earth. Thus (by means of) the stored (records) of past (events), he could unfold the future, explain the nature of things and enable undertakings to be accomplished successfully. The Yi jing, says, “Heaven hangs up its symbols, from which are seen good and bad fortune, and the sage makes his interpretations accordingly.” This quotation indicates that the signs of the heavens were observed for the foreknowledge of changes. The Shang Shu (i.e., the Shu Jing) says, “Heaven hears and sees as our people hear and see.” That is to say, the affairs of the people are to be observed to see how Heaven accomplishes changes. Thus (the success and failure of) administration and instruction depend upon the nature of humanity, and all (happy) events and (unfortunate) changes have their resonation in the signs of the heavens. Although getting (the right way) or losing (it) may be hardly noticeable, the response is always quite evident. Thus when the Three Emperors discharged their duty the Seven Luminaries adhered to their courses, there was not a single occurrence of abnormalities such as veilings or eclipses and the stars were never found deviating from their proper places.
(When) Huang Di, first received the “River Diagram” (He Tu) he began to realize (the symbols of) good and evil. Hence some of the accounts of his (time) about the stars still remain up to the present day. When Gao Yang came to the throne, the chief official Zhong in the south was ordered to administer affairs pertaining to the heavens, while the chief
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official Li in the north was ordered to administer affaires pertaining to the earth.
Then at the time of Emperor Gao, the order of the Three Heavenly Bodies were also formulated. During the periods of Tang, and Yu, Xi and He, followed along the same path. In the Xia dynasty Kun Wu, continued (the same) virtuous (work). However, with regard to all the above, the length of time is so great that written documents no longer exist.
Next came the teachings and records left behind by Wu Xian of Yin, and Shi of Zhou, (-221/-249) which remain intact up to this day. In the history of the Feudal Lords, Zi Shen, of (the State of) Lu, Bu Yan of (the State of) Jin, Bei Zao of (the State of) Zhong, (Shi) Ziwei, of (the State of) Song, Gan De of (the State of) Qi,  Tang Mo of (the State of) Chu, Yin Gao of (the State of) Zhao, and Shi Shen of (the State of) Wei, all possessed deep knowledge of astronomy and all made discussions, (produced) charts, or made verifications. Among them the teachings of Wu Xian, Gan De and Shi Shen have been faithfully followed by later generations.
The tyrannical Qin emperor burnt the books and destroyed the six classics, but books on astronomy and prognostications were spared and left unmolested. During the reigns of (the two) emperors Jing and Wu of the (Early) Han Dynasty (-206/+25) (first) Sima Tan, and later his son (Sima Qian) occupied the position of Imperial Astronomer and Historiographer (taishi) and wrote the Astronomical Chapter (in the Shiji) to clarify the relationship between the heavens and men. Later, the Commandant of the Central Fortress (zhonglei xiaowei), Liu Xiang, elaborating on the section on calamities in the Great Plan Chapter, (of the Shu Jing) wrote a treatise, entitled Huang Ji Lun to interpret the happenings in the past. Then Ban Gu, composed the history of the (Early) Han Dynasty and Ma Xu, wrote its astronomical (section). Writings and records (on the same subject) were also due to Cai Yong, and Qiao Zhou. (Finally) Sima Biao, referred to them when he wrote (the
Astronomical Chapters) in order to succeed the previous Annals. Detailed accounts of the various teachings have been referred to in the compilation of (the present) work.
STRUCTURE OF THE HEAVENS
STRUCTURE OF THE HEAVENS
(According to) ancient sayings there were three cosmological schools. The first was called Gai Tian (“the Canopy of Heaven”), the second Xuan Ye (“the Announcement of the Night”) and the third Hun Tian (“the Spherical Heaven”).
At the time of Emperor Ling Di, of the (Later) Han Dynasty, Cai Dong, writing (a memorandum) to the throne from Shuofang, said, “The Xuan Ye theory is lost and no teachers of it are left, and with regard to the theory of Zhou Bei, although the method and calculations based on it still remain, many inaccuracies were discovered when the theory was put to test in explaining the structure of the heavens. It is found that only the theory of Hun Tian approximates to the truth. The bronze instruments (armillary spheres) used by the Imperial Astronomer are based on this method. A spherical object of eight feet (chi,) (diameter) is erected to respond to the shape of the heavens and the earth, and by means of it the ecliptic (huang dao, lit. “Yellow Path”) is checked (i.e. the extensions of the lunar mansions on the ecliptic are found), the rising and setting (of the celestial bodies) are observed and from which prognostications are made, the movements of the sun and the moon are followed and the paths of the Five Planets (wu wei) are traced. (The instrument has been found to yield) wonderful and accurate results. Such a method will remain unchanged for a hundred generations. Although the officials are in possession of the instrument, the original writings (on the subject) are lost and are also omitted in the previous Annals.”
What Cai Yong said about Zhou Bei is in effect the theory of Gai Tian. It was based on Bao Xi, who set up successive degrees (du) for the whole heavens, and as to its handing down, it was received by the Duke of Zhou (Zhou Gong) from the Xin and Shang people and (then) recorded by the men of Zhou. Hence it became known as Zhou Bei, (where) (the word) ‘bei’ refers to the upright side of a right-angled triangle and also the vertical gnomon (used to determine the length of the sun’s shadow).
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The (theory of Zhou Bei) says that the heavens seem like a conical bamboo hat (li) hovering above the earth resembling an inverted basin. Both the center of the heavens and that of the earth are elevated, while the outer regions are low. Beneath the North Pole lies the center of both the heavens and the earth. There the earth is highest, sloping down in all four directions. The Three Lights (san guang) (i.e. the sun, the moon and the stars, including the planets), sometimes hidden and sometimes shining, give rise to days and nights. The center of the heavens is higher than the outermost barrier (declination circle) where the sun lies at the winter solstice, by a distance of 60,000 li. The earth below the North Pole is higher than it is at the outermost barrier by 60,000 li.
The outermost barrier of the heavens is higher than the earth beneath the North Pole by 20,000 li. The heavens and the earth fit in to each other in their elevation. The constant vertical height of the sun from the earth is 80,000 li. The sun is attached to the heavens, but shifts its position with even motion between the seasons of winter and summer. Its movement (cuts across) the seven barriers (declination circles) (heng) and the six paths (jian) (between them). The diameter and circumference of each barrier in li  can be derived mathematically by using the method of similar right-angled triangles and observing the (lengths of) shadows (of the gnomon). The measurements of distance of the pole and of the motions, whether near or far, are all obtained from the use of the gnomon and the right-angled triangle which it forms. Hence this is known as the Zhou Bei method. The Zhou Bei school also asserts that the heavens are round in shape like an open umbrella, while the earth is square like a chess-board. The heavens rotate sideways towards the left like the turning of a mill-stone. Both the sun and the moon move towards the right, and at the same time they have to follow the heavens, which rotate towards the left. Hence, although in reality both the sun and the moon are moving eastwards, they are being dragged along by (the rotation of) the heavens, so that they appear to set in the west.
This is analogous to an ant crawling on a millstone, such that while the millstone is rotating towards the left (clockwise), the ant is attempting to move to the right (anti-clockwise). But the rotation of the millstone is much faster than the movement of the ant. It can be seen that the ant is compelled to follow the motion of the millstone, and that apparently it is moving towards the left (clockwise).
Now regarding the shape of the heavens, they are high in the south and low in the north (this refers to the equator and ecliptic). The sun can be seen when it is in the high heavens, but not after sunset when it has reached a position where (the heavens are) low. The heavens are tilted
like an inclined umbrella. This can be proved by the fact that the North Pole is to our north. Since the North Pole is the center of the heavens and is to our north, it can be seen that the heavens are similar to a tilted umbrella.
In the morning the sun appears in (the qi of) the Yang, and in the night enters (the qi of) the Yin. The qi of the Yin is dark and gloomy, so the sun is hidden and cannot be seen at night. In summer (the qi of) the Yang is bright and shines simultaneously as the sun. Hence the sun is seen as soon as it rises, since there is nothing to conceal it from our sight. Therefore the days of summer are long. In winter the dark and gloomy (qi of the) Yin dominates over that of the Yang and conceals the light of the Bun. Although the sun has risen, it is hidden from our view. Hence the short winter days.
Books on the Xuan Ye theory say that the teachings of the past masters are only found in the records of Qi Meng, a Librarian (mishu lang) at the time of (the Later) Han. (The theory says that) the heavens are absolutely empty and void of substance. On looking upwards the distance can be seen to be infinitely great. (Now) the (human) eye is not very sensitive (to color) at the limit of the range of vision. Hence the heavens appear blue. This resembles taking a glance at a yellow mountain from a distance and getting the impression of a blue mountain, or, when looking down a deep valley of a thousand fathoms in depth, the valley appears profoundly dark. The blue color (of the mountain) is not its true color, nor is the dark color of the valley really its own. The sun, the moon and the company of stars float in empty space, where they come into being spontaneously. To enable (the heavenly bodies) to move about in space, or to stop (their) movement qi must be present. Hence the Seven Luminaries (i.e. the sun, the moon and the five planets) sometimes appear and sometimes disappear, sometimes move forward and sometimes retrograde, and (disappear), advance and retire at irregular times, each having different modes of motion. There are no roots to bind them together, thus, explaining their different behaviour. The Pole Star remains in its position and the Dipper (Bei Dou) does not disappear in the west like the other stars. Jupiter (She Ti) and Saturn (Zhen Xing) all fall back (lit. move) eastwards. While the sun falls back by one degree (du), the moon has fallen back by 13 degrees (du) the speed depends entirely on the individual. From these examples it can be inferred that the heavenly bodies are not tied to the heavens, for it they were, the phenomena just described would not be possible.
During the Xiankang era (355-342) of Emperor Cheng, Yu Xi of Kuiaji, following the theory of Xuanye wrote the An Tian lun (Discourse on the Stable Heavens). He said, “The height of the heavens is infinite, and the depth of the earth is fathomless. The heavens  are really on high and show an everlasting stable form, while the earth stays below and shows a stationary body, one covering and embracing the other. Either both of them are square or both are round: there is no reason to assume that one is round and the other square. The heavenly bodies are scattered about, each of them is moving in accordance with its own way, like the tides and waves of the rivers and seas, and the (natural) circulations of all individual things.”
Ge Hong heard of this theory and criticized it saying, “If the stars and the lunar mansions are not attached to the heavens then the heavens serve no useful purpose, and hence we can assert that the heavens do not exist at all. What then is the purpose of postulating a heaven that remains stationary?” From this statement it is evident that Ge Zhichuan excelled in argument.
One of the elder clansmen of Yu Xi, a minister of Hejian named Yu Song, also wrote the Qiong Tian lun (Discourse on the Lofty Heavens) which says, “The shape of the heavens is lofty and concave like the membrane of an egg. The sides of the heavens meet the sides of the four seas all round. The heavens float on the primeval pneuma (qi). This resembles an inverted box floating on water, (the heavens) do not sink because the inside is filled with pneuma (qi). After passing round the North Pole the sun meets in the west. But it returns to the east without having to enter the earth. The pole of the heavens resembles the dome of a cover. The northern heavens (i.e. northern part below the horizon) is lower than the earth by 30 degrees (du). The Celestial Pole inclines towards the north, also making the angle of 30 degrees (du) as seen from the due east-west line (on the earth). Men live over a hundred thousand li south of the pole’s due east-west line (on the earth). Hence the center of the earth (i.e., oikoumene) is not below the Celestial Pole. This center just corresponds to the due east-west line and the Prime Vertical of the heavens and earth. The sun follows (the path) of the ecliptic and encircles the North Pole. (At the winter solstice) the position of the Celestial Pole is 115 degrees (du) north of the ecliptic, and (at the summer solstice) the ecliptic is 67 degrees (du) south of it. These values are determined from the positions of the two solsticial (points).”
Yao Xin, an official of the Imperial Temple (tai chang) in the kingdom of Wu (221-265) wrote the Xin Tian lun (Discourses on the
Diurnal Revolution of the Heavens) saying, “Man, being an intelligent creature, bears a very close resemblance to the heavens. The human chin points towards the chest in front, while the neck, on the other hand, does not cover the back behind. Taking the human body as a nearby example we can know the shape of the heavens. The south (pole) of the heavens is low beneath the earth, while the north, on the other hand, slants upwards. At the winter solstice the pole is low and the heavens shift nearer the south. Hence the sun is further away from us, while the Dipper (Bei Dou) comes nearer. (At the same time) the pneuma (qi) at the northern heavens arrives, and so it becomes icy cold. By the summer solstice the pole has risen and the heavens have moved northward. Hence the Dipper (Bei Dou) recedes from us, while the sun draws nearer. (At the same time) the pneuma (qi) of the southern heavens arrives, making it steamy and warm. When the pole is highest the sun moves through a shallow region below the earth. This accounts for the short nights. The heavens have also become higher, and hence the long days. When the pole is low the sun has to pass through a deep region below the earth, and hence the nights are long. The distance between the heavens and the earth has also decreased, and so the days are short.”
Yu Xi, Yu Song and Yao Xin all had a fancy for novelty, and each (of them) had propounded a strange theory. However, their descriptions of the heavens were not based on exact calculations.
With regard to the subtlety of the Hun Tian theory, most scholars are skeptical about the argument of  Wang Zhongren (or Wang Chong) of the Han period, when he attempted to disprove the theory of the celestial sphere. Basing his arguments on the Gai Tian theory he said, “The former teaching asserts that the heavens revolve and pass under the earth. Let us now dig a hole ten feet (chi) deep in the ground. Water is invariably found. How is it possible for the heavens to move through water? They could not do so. The sun follows the rotation of the heavens, but it does not enter the earth. The human eye does not see more than a distance of ten li. The heavens seem to meet the earth, but this does not actually happen: it is only distance that makes them appear so. Now when we see the sun entering (the horizon) (it) is not entering (the earth): it is also due to distance (that it appears to behave in this manner). When the sun set in the west, people (in the west) below the sun would say that the sun was in the center at their heavens. People in the four quarters would each consider what is near to be up and what is far away to be down. How can this be clarified? Let us make a person bold a large torch at midnight and walk away on level ground. When he has gone a distance of ten li, the light of the fire disappears, yet the fire has not been extinguished. Only the effect of distance has made the fire disappear from sight. How the sun moves to the west and goes out of sight similar to the disappearance of the light (or the torch). The sun and the moon are not round. The reason why they appear round is because they are so far
away. The sun is the essence of fire and the moon is that of water. Water and fire do not assume round (forms) when seen on the earth. Why then do they appear round in the heavens? (Like the Five Planets, the sun and the moon are in the heavens. The Five Planets resemble the stars, which are not round in form. It is (only) due to the distance that the sun, the moon and the planets appear round. How can we understand this? During the Spring-and-Autumn period a meteor fell on the capital of the State of Song. On examining the meteor closely, it was found to be stone, and not round in shape. Since a star is not round, it follows that the sun, the moon and the Five Planets are also not round). This was again refuted by Ge Hong of Danyang, who said:
“According to the Commentary on (Zhang Heng’s) Hun Tian yi (Manual of the Armillary Sphere), the heavens resemble an egg, while the earth is like the yolk within it, and is situated alone in the heavens. The heavens are vast but the earth small. Both inside and outside the heavens there is water. The heavens and the earth are both supported by the pneuma and water is carried (round with them) in their rotation. The whole (circumference of the celestial sphere) is divided into 365 1/4 degrees (du). If it is bisected through the center, then half the heavens would be found to cover the earth, while the other half would encircle the earth from below. Hence half of the 28 lunar mansions (xiu) are seen and the other half concealed. The rotation of the heavens is similar to the motion of the axle of a cart.”
“Although there have been many who discussed the theory of the heavens, there were few who were all well acquainted with the principles of the Yin and Yang as Zhang Pingzi (i.e. Zhang Heng) and Lu Gongji (i.e. Lu Ji). They considered that in order to trace the paths and degrees of motion of the Seven Luminaries, to observe the various aspects of the heavens and the time of dawn and dusk, and to collate these with the 48 pointer-rods (qi), to investigate the division of the clepsydra and to predict the coming and going at the shadow of the gnomon, there was no practical instrument more precise than the celestial globe. Zhang Heng made his bronze armillary sphere and placed it in the secret chamber,
where it rotated by the force of flowing water. Then the order having been given for the doors to be closed, the observer in charge of it would call out to the observer on the observatory platform, saying the sphere showed that such and such a star was just rising, such and such a star was just culminating and such and such a star was just setting. Everything was found to correspond with the phenomena like the (serrated edges of) a tally. Thus Cui Ziyu (Cui Yuan [78-143]) wrote the following inscriptions on the stele of
‘His mathematical calculations exhausted (the riddles of) the heavens and the earth. His inventions were comparable even to those of the Author of Change. The excellence of his talent and the splendour of his art were one with those of the gods.’
And indeed, this was demonstrated by the armillary sphere and  the seismoscope (di dong yi) constructed by him.”
“If the heavens are in reality what the Hun Tian theory claims, then quite definitely the heavens must enter and emerge from water. Hence the Huang di shu says:
‘The heavens are outside the earth, while water is found outside the heavens: hence it is on water that the heavens float, carrying with them the earth.’
The (following) is also written in the Yi jing:
‘Accordingly they mount the carriage drawn by the six dragons at the proper time.’
Now the hexagon of the Yang is known as the dragon, which is a creature inhabiting the water. The dragon signifies the heavens, which are a Yang object. The heavens emerge from and plunge into the water in the same manner as the dragon does. The dragon is therefore used here as a metaphor. Such are the facts which the sages found by observing the phenomena above, and looking down to investigate the happenings below. Hence in the hexagram Jin, the trigram Li is above the trigram Kun, showing that the sun comes forth from the earth. Also in the hexagram Ming Yi, Li is below and Kun above, showing that the sun enters into the earth. Again in the hexagram Xu the trigram Qian i.e. below and the trigram Kan is above, symbolizing the heavens entering the water. The heavens belong to the Metal element. Now, Metal and Water mutually generate each other. Why should we say that there is any destruction, or that the heavens do not enter the water?”
Huan Junshan (Huan Tan) made the following remarks: “At the spring equinox the sun rises from the point where the Prime Vertical begins and sets at the point where the Prime Vertical ends. This Prime Vertical is that of the observer. But the Prime Vertical of the heavens always passes through the pole star, which is the center or the heavens.
The pole star appears to the north or the observer, and not at his zenith. Moreover, at the spring and autumn equinoxes the sun rises and sets south of the pole star. If the heavens turn like a millstone (towards the right), then since the northern path is further and the southern path nearer, the number or quarter-hours (ke) in the day and in the night could be different.” Later, while waiting his turn to represent matters to the Throne
he sat in the western gallery (together with Yang Xiong). They felt cold and exposed their backs to the to the sun, but after some time the sun left the gallery and they were no longer able to keep their backs warm. (Huan) Junshan then told the follower of the Gai Tian theory (i.e. Yang Xiong) saying, “It the heavens are like the turning of a millstone in a direction towards the right, then the sun should not leave the gallery when it moves towards the west. Instead of leaving the gallery, it should be shifted slightly towards the east. The sun (light) actually leaves the gallery, its movement corresponds to the theory of Hun Tian.”
(Ge Hong continued saying,) “Hence the true shape of the heavens is spherical, and it is beyond doubt that the heavens enter and emerge from the water. Let us next look at all the stars rising in the east. At the beginning they are very near the earth’s surface. Then they pass through the heavens above us, and then gradually move towards the west. They all set in the west without going towards any other direction. The stars that were formerly seen in the west before them have also set in the same direction. None of them is found moving towards the north. The rising and setting of the sun also follow the same natural (regularity). If it is true that the heavens move like a millstone,  then the stars, the sun and the moon should follow the heavens in their rotatory motion. They would then start from the east, then pass south and west, and then north. Finally they would return to the east, but should not have moved right across the heavens. The sun rises from the east and ascends gradually until it comes to the west, where it descends and sets without going near the north. The fact is so obvious, yet Wang (Chong) insisted that it was not so. It is quite evident that he was mistaken.”
“Now the diameter of the sun is 1,000 li and the circumference 3,000 li. The sun could contain several tens of the smaller stars. If the sun was going further away, the result would be that the light of the sun would no longer reach us, but the sun itself would still be visible and not disappear from sight. Now the light of the sun is brilliant, and the sun greater in magnitude than the stars. The smaller stars in the north are quite visible, but the sun is never seen there. Hence it is evident that the sun never goes to the north. It is said that the sun can no longer be seen because it has gone a very great distance from us, then when the sun sets, on its way towards the north, its size should diminish. But, on the contrary, the sun becomes larger at sunset. This is far from being proof that the sun is moving further away when it sets.”
“Wang (Chong) then compared a fiery torch with the sun. I shall now borrow his spear to pierce his shield. As the torch-bearer recedes, the light of the torch appears dimmer. But this does not happen to the sun and the moon from the time they rise to the time they set. It was (therefore) a fallacy when Wang (Chong) tried to compare them to fire.”
“Again, if we take a glance at the sun when it is about to set in the west, it appears like a mirror broken into two horizontal halves before it disappears completely into the west. If what Wang (Chong) said is true, then when the sun goes to the north during the process of setting, it would appear like a mirror broken into two vertical halves and unlike (the normal) horizontally broken mirror setting in the west. Hence will it not be true (to say) that the argument about the sun entering the north finds little support?”
“Furthermore, the sight of the moon is dim compared to that of the sun. When the moon is full, although it may be concealed by layers of clouds, the night is still bright. This is due to the fact that the light of the moon penetrates through the clouds and reaches the earth’s surface. Now if it were true that the sun circles round the west and north, its light would behave in the same manner as that of the moon hidden by clouds, so that it would never be completely dark at night.”
“Again, when the sun sets the moon and the star rise. It is obvious that Heaven has made the sun and the moon control the day and the night respectively, so that they take their turns to shine alternately on us. If the sun were always up in the heavens, there would be no rising of the moon and the stars when the sun sets”
 “According to the writings on the “River Diagram” (He Tu) and the “Luo River Writing” (Luo Shu) water and fire are the residual pneuma of Yin and Yang respectively. Being only residual pneuma, it is clear that they are unable to generate the sun and the moon. (On the other hand) it is justifiable to say that the sun, being the essence of Yang, generates fire. If fire and water are generated by the sun and the moon, then how could they be round and take the perfectly round shape of the sun and the moon? Now fire can be obtained using the burning mirror. The burning mirror is round, but fire is not. Water is produced by means of the square vessel: the square vessel is square, but water is not. By means of the burning mirror fire is obtained from the sun, but the sun is not obtainable from fire. Thus it is clear that the essence of the sun generates fire. Again, with the square vessel water is obtainable from the moon, but the moon is not obtainable from water. It is the essence of the moon that generates water.”
“Wang (Chong) also asserted that the sun and the moon appear round because of the distance. If this is true why is the moon not round during the times of waxing and waning? During a solar eclipse, the top, or the base, or the sides of the sun may be concealed, or the sun may appear crescent, or it may totally disappear from sight. If it is due to the great distance that the sun appears round, then there is no explanation why the left or right part of the sun is seen in broken shape (during an eclipse). Hence the Hun Tian theory is to be relied upon.”
The book of Yu (in the Shu jing) stated that (Shun examined) the circumpolar constellation template, with its polar sighting tube (xuan ji yu heng), in order to obtain a harmonious system of the movements of the Seven Regulators. The (Shu wei) Kao Ling Yao, said, “The shadow (of the gnomon) in inches (cun) and tenths of an inch (fen) was used to mark the successive fortnightly periods (qi) of the heavens and to fix the square and the circle, observations were analysed and rules were formulated concerning (the alternating succession of) darkness and brightness, which determines the (passage of) time, in accordance with its meridian transits of stars, the movements of which could be observed on the jade instrument.” According to Zheng Xuan, jade was used in the making of that Armillary sphere (the xuan ji yu heng). It is (also) said in the Chun Qiu (Wei) Wen Yao Gou that when the emperor Yao of Tang came to the throne, Xi and He set up an armillary sphere. Thus astronomical instruments have been in use from very ancient days, handed down from one dynasty to another. As they have been closely guarded by official astronomers, scholars had very little opportunity to examine them. This explains why the Xuan (Ye) and the Gai (Tian theories) managed to spread and flourish.
During the Taichu reign-period (104-101 bce) of the Han (Dynasty), Luoxia Hong, Xienyou Wangren, and Geng Shouchang, constructed a spherical instrument (armillary aphere) to examine the calendar and the degrees (of motion of the heavenly bodies). Later, at the time of Emperor He (reg. 89-105 ce), Jia Kui continued with the work and added an ecliptic (circle) to the instrument. Then, at the time of Shun Di (reign 126-144 ce) Zhang Heng again constructed a celestial sphere, which included the inner and outer circles, the south and north (celestial) poles, the ecliptic and the equator, the twenty-four fortnightly periods, the stars within (i.e., north of) and without (i.e., south of) the twenty-eight lunar mansions,  and the paths of the sun, the moon and the Five Planets. The sphere was rotated by a water (clock), and was placed (in a chamber) above a (palace) hall. The transits, rising and setting of the heavenly bodies (shown on the sphere) in the chamber reflected those in the (actual) heavens. With its mechanism (one gets the same result as) to bring the steps (of the palace hall) once more the magic turning wheel and the calendar plant Ming Jia, which put forth leaves in accordance with the waxing of the moon, and shed them as it waned.
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Later, a celestial sphere was also constructed by Lu Ji (q.v.). When it came to the time of the Wu kingdom, the court gentleman from Lujiang (by the name of Wang Fan, who excelled in mathematics), had inherited the Qianxiang Calendar from Liu Hong, and adopted it to construct an armillary sphere. He established a theory on the division of the sphere into degrees (du) saying:
“According to the description of (some) previous scholars, the shape of heaven and earth resembles a bird’s egg. The heavens envelop the earth from outside like the shell enclosing the yolk. (The heavens) are round without any sign of beginning (or end) like a homogeneous chaos (hun hun ran), and so the theory is known as that of Hun Tian.”
“The whole circle of the heavens is divided into 365 145/589 (365. 2462) degrees (going round both from north to south and from east to west. As for the whole sphere) half of it is above and the other half below the earth. (Hence half of the 28 lunar mansions are seen, and the other half concealed. Measuring with instruments shows that a little more than 182 degrees (du) of the heavens are always in view. Therefore it is known that half of the heavens covers the earth and the other half lies below it. The ecliptic and the equator intersect, with the two paths at 27 degrees (du) apart. Measuring with the two instruments shows that the two paths are divided into a little more than 365 degrees (du). The portion of the equator that always is 182 5/8 degrees. The visible part of the heavens from north to south is also found to be 182 5/8 degrees. Hence we know that the heavens resemble a pellet.) The two extremities of the heavens are known as the south (celestial) pole and the north (celestial) pole. The north pole is 36 degrees (du) above the earth’s (surface), while the south pole is 36 degrees below. The distance between the two poles is 182 5/8 degrees (ban qiang). The region 72 degrees round the north pole is always visible and never concealed from (our) view; it is called the (region within the) Upper Circle (Shang Gui). The region 72 degrees around the south pole is always concealed and never visible; it is known as (that within) the Lower Circle (Xia Gui). The equator, which is the belt round the heavens, is 91 5/16 degrees (shao qiang) from each pole.”
“The ecliptic is the path of the sun. Half of it is within (i.e., north of) and the other half is beyond (i.e., south of) the equator. At the east it intersects the equator at a point 5 1/6 degrees (shao ruo) in Jiao (1st lunar mansion) and at the west it intersects the equator at a point 14 5/16 degrees (shao qiang) in Kui (15th lunar mansion). In the portion beyond (i.e. south of) the equator, the greatest distance from the ecliptic to the equator is 24 degrees at a point 21 degrees in
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(Nan) Dou (8th lunar mansion). In ths portion within (i.e., north of) the equator the greatest distance from the equator is also 24 degress at a point 25 degrees in (Dong) Jing (22nd lunar mansion).”
“At its southernmost position the sun is at (a point) 21 degrees in (Nan) Dou (8th lunar mansion), and is 115 5/16 degrees (shao qiang) from the north pole - this is its furthest excursion. Thus the shadow cast by the sun at this time is the longest. The ecliptic at a point 21 degrees in (Nan) Dou (8th lunar mansion) comes forth at (the azimuthal point) chen (ESE ¾ S) goes down at shen (WSW ¾ S). Hence the sun covers 146 1/12 degrees (qiang) at the earth’s surface. Therefore the day is short. In the night the sun covers 219 1/6 degrees (shao ruo) below the earth. Therefore the night is long.”
“After the sun has reached its southernmost position it begins to move towards the north pole. Hence ths shadow cast by the sun becomes shorter. The sun has to cover a greater number of degress over the earth’s surface. The stars, therefore, become longer. The sun moves through a fewer number of degrees below the earth and this accounts for the decrease in length of the nights. Hence the positions where the sun rises and sets move gradually northwards. This (process) continues until the winter solstice, when the sun is at 25 degrees in (Dong) Jing (22nd lunar mansion) and a distance of 6 degrees (shao qiang) from the north pole. The sun is now furthest north and nearest to the (north) pole. Hence the shadow cast by the sun is also shortest. At 25 degrees in (Dong) Jing (22nd lunar mansion) the ecliptic comes forth at (the asimuthal point) yin (ENE ¾ N) and goes down at xu (WNW ¾ N). Hence the sun also rises at yin and sets at xu. In the day the sun covers 219 1/6 degrees (shao ruo) over the earth’s surface. Therefore the day is long. In the night the sun covers only 146 1/12 degrees (qiang) below the earth, and hence the short night.”
“After the summer solstice the sun beging to recede from the north pole. Hence the shadow cast by the sun increases in length. The sun covers a smaller region measured in degrees over the earth’s surface and hence shortens the day. Meanwhile the sun covers an increasing number of degress in the region below the earth, and this accounts for the gradually lengthening of the nights. The sun also shifts progressively towards the south. Hence the positions where the sun rises and sets also move gradually southwards. This continues until ths sun reaches its southernmost position, from which the whole process is repeated all over again. (The southernmost point is) at 21 degrees in (Nan) Dou (8th lunar mansion), (while ths northernmost point is) at 25 degrees in (Dong) Jing (22nd lunar mansion). These two positions are 48 degrees apart.”
“At spring equinox the sun is at a point 14 5/16 degress (shao qiang) in Kui (15th lunar mansion), and at the autumn equinox it 5 1/6 degrees
(shao ruo) in Jiao (1st lunar mansion). These two positions are the points of intersection of the ecliptic and the equator. Each of these points is 91 5/16 degrees (shao qiang) from the north pole. They are intermediate between north and south of the 21st degree in (Nan) Dou (8th lunar mansion) and the 25th degree in (Dong) Jing (22nd lunar mansion). Hence the shadow cast by the sun at the two equinoxes is between the lengths of the shadows at the two solstaces. At 14 degrees in Kui (15th lunar mansion) and 5 degrees in Jiao (1st lunar mansion) the ecliptic comes forth at (the azimuthal point) mao (East) and goes down at you (West). Hence the sun also rises at mao and sets at you. During both day and night the sun travels above and below the earth through the same distance of 182 5/8 degrees (ban qiang).”
“Therefore, markings of 50 quarter-hours (ke) in the clepsydra can be seen and the other 50 are hidden. This means that the lengths of the day and the night are equal. The (true) day and night of the heavens are determined by the rising and setting of the sun, but day and night for human beings are delimited by darkness and brightness. It is always bright 2 ½ quarter-hours (ke) before ths sun has risen, and it does not get dark until 2 ½ quarter-hours (ke) after the sun has set. A period of 5 quarter-hours (ke) is therefore subtracted from the night and added to the day. Hence during the spring and autumn equinoxes there are 55 quarter-hours (ke) in the day, as indicated in the clepsydra.”
“The movements of the Three Lights (being incommensurable) do not necessarily follow the customary (rules). The calculations of (diverse) calendar-makers (thus) show similarities and differences. Hence the divergences in the calendrical computations by the different schools (of astronomers).”
“The Luo Shu (Wei) Zhen Lao Du, and the Chun Qiu (Wei) Kao Yi Yu, say that the circumference of the whole heavens is l,071,000 li, so that each degree would correspond to 2,932 li,71 bu, 2 chi, 7 cun 4 362/487 fen. Lu Ji stated that the diameter of the heavens from east to west and from north to south is 357,000 li in each direction. That is to say, the circumference is to the diameter as three is to one. If we consider (the roughness of) the approximation of the ratio 3 and use instead the closer ratio 142/45 (3.155) for the circumference over the diameter, we find that the diameter becomes 329,401 li, 122 bu, 2 chi, 2 cun, 1 10/71 fen.”
“According to the Zhou Li, the shadow of the sun at midday during the summer solstice was 1 chi 5 cun. (The place where this particular observation was made) was known as the ‘earth’s center.’ Zheng Zhong, said that the length of the gnomon shadow template was 1 chi 5 cun, and that the place where a vertical pole 8 chi in length at midday of the summer solstice cast a shadow the same as that of the shadow template, was called the ‘earth’s center.’ The place corresponds to the present
location of Yangcheng, in Yingchuan.”
“Zheng Xuan said that the shadow cast by the sun on the earth’s surface changed by a length of 1 inch (cun) for every change of 1,000 li in the horizontal distance (north or south). Since the length of the shadow 1 chi, 5 cun, the sun is 15,000 li away and to the south of the observer. From this it can be deduced that the vertical distance of the sun is 80,000 li from the earth’s surface. The sun shines slanting to Yangcheng, and the distance from there to the sun should be half the diameter of the heavens. Now the heavens are spherical like a pellet, with the earth at half the distance within their bounds. Yangcheng being at the earth’s center, its distance from ths sun during spring and autumn, and summer and winter, and also during darkness and brightness, day and night, is neither more or less. Therefore the distance from the sun to Yangcheng gives half the diameter of the heavens. If we consider the base and height of a (right-angled) triangle, with a horizontal distance of 15,000 li as the base and a vertical distance of 80,000 li as the height, then the distance from the sun to Yangcheng forms the hypotenuse. By determining the hypotenuse from the base and height we get a distance of 8l,394 li, 30 bu, 5 chi, 3 cun and 2 fen, which is half the diameter and is the distance from the earth’s center to the heavens. By doubling this value we obtain a distance of 162,788 li, 61 bu, 4 chi, 7 cun and 2 fen, the diameter of the heavens. Multiplying the diameter by the ratio of the circumference to the diameter, we get 513,687 li, 68 bu, 1 chi, 8 cun and 2 fen, the circumference of the heavens. This value is less than that given in the (Luo Shu Wei) Chen Yao Tu and the (Chun Qiu Wei) Kao Yi Yu by a difference of 551,312 li. By the above method it is found that the distance of each degree division corresponds to 1,406 li, 24 bu, 6 cun, and 4 19,049/107,565 fen, which is less than the old value (given in the 2 books) by a difference of 1,525 li, 256 bu, 3 chi, 3 cun and 0 16,073/21,513 fen each degree division.”
“The sphere is divided into the ecliptic and the equator, in intersecting each other at the center. These two circles are 24 degrees apart. Measuring with the two instruments shows that the two paths are both divided into just over 365 degrees. It is thus known that the shape of the heavens is spherical like a pellet or a ball. Nevertheless, Lu Ji made his celestial sphere in the shape of a bird’s egg. In this case the ecliptic ought to be longer than the equator.  He also mentioned, however, that the heavens measured 351,000 li both from east to west and from north to south. That is to say, [Lu] Ji also admitted that the heavens are spherical. He therefore contradicted himself by making his instrumsnt in the shape of a bird’s egg.”
“In the ancient celestial sphere each degree was representsd by a length of 2 fen, and the circumferenoe was then 1 chi 3 cun 0 ½ fen (about 2.02 meters). Zhang Heng altered the system by taking a scale of
4 fen to each degree (du), giving a circumference of 1 chang, 4 chi, 6 cun (and 1 fen) (approx. 3.36 meters). I, (Wang) Fan consider that the early celestial sphere was too small so that the stars were over-crowded, while the sphere constructed by Zhang Heng was too large and difficult to turn about. I have therefore re-designed the celestial sphere by talking a scale of 3 fen to each degree (du). The whole of the heavens are thus represented by a sphere with a circumference of 1 zhang, 1 chi, 9 cun and 5 ¾ fen (approx. 2.52 meters).”
THE STARS IN THE HEAVENS
The Hongfan zhuan says: “The substance of the heavens is both pure and bright. When the color of the heavens suddenly changes, it is called a mutation, a departure from the normal. When cracks appear in the heavens (tian lie) (aurora borealis), it is due to a deficiency of Yang and indicates that power is in the hands of officials. When the light from the aurora is so strong as to enable men to see one another, it presages war and the downfall of the state. When sounds are heard in the heavens, the emperor will suffer sorrow and apprehension. All these events can be attributed to the disorderly conditions of the state.”
Ma Xu said, “In the astronomical charts there can be found 118 groups of stars that can be identified inside (i.e. north of) and outside (i.e. south of) the (equatorial belt of the) lunar mansions. The total number of stars in these groups is 783. All of them are connected with particular prefectures and kingdoms, and with officials, palace (affairs) and all kinds of things.”
Zhang Heng said, “The glittering luminaries display their pattern in the heavens. Among them seven are in motion - the sun, the moon and the Five Planets. The sun is the archetype of the Yang essence, while the moon is the archetype of the Yin essence, and the Five Planets are the essences of the Five Elements. The stars spread about all over the heavenes. Materially they originated from the earth below, but their essences were perfected above. They are scattered in a confused arrangement, but every one (of them) has its own distant connections. In the countryside the stars denote articles and objects, at court they denote the officials, among the people they denote human action. The most prominent among them are five (large) groups, comprising 35 named stellar groups. One of these groups in the Central (Palace) is the Dipper (Bei Dou), while the others are distributed 7 each, in the 4 directions, forming the 28 lunar mansions. The movements of the sun and the moon reveal signs of good and evil, while the Five Planets and the lunar mansions forebode fortune and misfortune.”
Among all the star groups within and beyond (i.e. north and south of) (the equator) 124 are always bright and 320 of them can be named and identified. These groups comprise 2,500 stars. The fate of all living creatures is subject to them. If this were not so, how could the principles collected and described in what follows have been obtained?
During the time of Emperor Wu (reign 265-290 ce), Chen Zhuo, the Astronomer Royal combined together the astronomical charts made by the three (ancient) sohools of Gan (De), Shi (Shen) and Wu Xian, giving a total number of 283 star groups and 1,464 stars in (his) records. A general outline of the more significant ones is now given to complete the (following) section on the stars.
THE “CENTRAL PALACE” (Zhong Gong)
The five stars of Bei Ji, (“North Pole Asterism”) and the six stars of Gou Chen, (“Angular Arranger”) all lie within the “Purple Palace” (Zi Gong). Bei Ji ranks supreme among the stars in the north, (because) one of its stars, the Niu Xing (“Pivot Star”) (Camelopardalis 4339, or S 1694, or 322 H), forms the pivot of the heavens, and although the heavens move perpetually and the Three Lights shine intermittently, yet its stars remain (constantly in sight). Hence it has been said that (it) stays in the same place for the whole company of the stars to pay their respect. The first star, known as Tai Zi (“Crown Prince”) (UMi g ) governs the moon, while its second star, known as Di Wang (“Emperor”) (or Da Di) (“Great Emperor”) (UMi b ) governs the sun. The latter also forms the throne of (the deity) Tai Yi, and can be identified as the reddest and brightest star in that group. The third star, (known as) Shu Zi (“Son of an Imperial Concubine”) (UMi a3233, or A, or 5) governs the Five Planets. When the central star (i.e. the “Emperor”) loses or its brightness, the Emperor will lose his authority, and if the star at the right (i.e. the “Crown Prince”) looks dim the Crown Prince can expect coming anxiety. [The fourth star is called Hou Gong or Zheng Fei (“Empress”) (UMi b3l62, or b, or 4) and the fifth star Tian Shu (“Heavenly Pivot”) or Niu Xing (“Pivot Star”).]* Gou Chen represents the inner palace, the Empress and the abode of the Great Emperor. Its four northern stars, known as Nü Yu Gong (“Women Palace”) symbolize the eighty-one Imperial Concubines. The star at the mouth of Gou Zhen
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is called Tian Huang Da Di (“Great Emperor of the Heavens”), whose diety, by the name Yao Po Bao (Illustrious Soul Treasure), governs the numerous spirits and holds the chart of the ten thousand deities.
The four stars embracing Bei Ji form (the group) Si Fu (“Four Supporters”), because they help (the former) to issue orders and to conduct the administration. On top of (the star) (Tianhuang) Dadi and suspended above the Imperial Throne are the nine stars of Hua Gai (“Gilded Canopy”). Below Hua Gai and forming its handle are the nine stars of Gang (“Flagstaff”).
Beneath Hua Gai lies (another group of) five stars, known as Wu Di (“Five Emperors”), where seats are provided and arranged to comply with the Emperor’s living. When a guest starh (ke xing) trespasses against (fan) the “Purple Palace” (it predicts that) senior officials will offend the Emperor.
The six stars next to the handle of Hua Kai constitute (the group) Liu Jia (“Six Primes”). They can differentiate (the two qi of) Yin and Yang, and divide the fortnightly periods and time. Hence they are near (the group) Wu Di in order to assist it to issue instructions, to perform administrative duties and to teach (the farmers) the (correct) time (for planting).
The star at the east of (Pei) Ji, called Zhu Xia Shi (“Recorder below the Pillar”) govern the recording of offences and symbolises (the two posts of) Zuo (Shi) and You Shi (Left and Right Recorders) (in ancient times). North of Zhu (Xia) Shi lies the star Nü Shi), (“Lady Recorder”) - a minor office held by women -, which governs the adjustment of the clepsydra. Hence during the time of the Han (Dynasty) there was the post of Shi Shi (Lady-in-Attendance).
Chuan She (“Inns”), comprising nine stars and situated above Hua Gai near the Milky Way, represent the guest-houses and governs the entrance of the border tribes in the north (Hu) into the Middle Kingdom. Hence when it is guarded (shou) by a guest star, (it warns that) vigilance should be exercised against crafty envoys,  and also means that the soldiers of the northern border tribes (Hu) will take the war-path.
South of Chuan She, in the Milky Way, lie the five stars of Zao Fu, the officials in charge of horses. One of them is called Sima, and another is called Bo Le. When three stars fail to appear horses
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are in short supply. Nine stars in the shape of a hook, known as Gou Xing (“Hook Star”), can be seen to the west in the Milky Way: a straight “Hook” is a presage of earthquake.
The star Tian Yi (“Heavenly Unity”) is south of the star on the right-hand side at the gate of the “Purple Palace.” It is the Spirit of the Emperor of the Heavens. Also governing wars and combats, it knows the good and bad fortunes of men. The star Tai Yi (“Great Unity”) is south of and near (the etar) Tian Yi. It is also the Spirit of the Emperor of the Heavens, controlling sixteen other spirits, and knowing the incidences in different countries of wind and rain, flood and drought, weapons and armaments, hunger and famine, diseases and epidemics, and the harm of calamities.
Of the fifteen stars at the walls of the “Purple Palace,” seven are situated in the western wall and eight in the eastern wall to the north of Bei Dou (“North Dipper”). They are known by the name Zi Wei (This encloure) forms the throne of the Great Emperor and the dwelling place of the Son of Heaven and governs the making of decrees and regulations. (These stars) are alao known by the names Chang Yuan (“Long Walls”), Tian Ying (“Celestial Quarters”) and Qi Xing (“Banner Stars”). They represent the officers and troops responsible for the security of the frontiers. When the palace guards go to battle and (the stars of) Qi Xing arrange themselves in a straight line, the Emperor may be expected to leave his palace and lead his guards in person.
The five stars below the eastern well are the Tian Zhu (“Heavenly Pillars”). They are responsible for the establishment of administrative rules and the issuing of instructions. In the gate, at the southeastern side are five stars known as Shang Shu (“Secretaries”), they govern the work of the Na Yan (Secretary of Communication), who has to discuss and ponder over matters from morning till night. They commemorate the appointment of Long (aforetime) to the office of Na Yan. The two stars east of Shang Shu form (the group) Yin De (“Secret Almoner”) and govern the rendering of immediate aid to those in urgent need or
giving relief to the poor. Among the stara to the left of the “Palace” gate are the two stars of Da Li (“Chief Justice in Court of Revision”). They govern the redressing of penalties and the deciding of criminal cases. The six stars outside the gate, known as Tian Chuang (“Celestial Bed”) govern (the affairs of) sleeping apartments, where (the Emperor) relaxes on retiring from the day’s work. Outside the southwestern corner of the gate lie the two stars of Nei Chu (“Inner Kitchen”),
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(which cater for) food and drink within the six palaces, and govern (matters concerning) the diet of the Empress, the Imperial Concubines, and the Crown Prince. The six stars of Tian Chu (“Celestial Kitchen”) outside the northwestern wall govern grand banquets.
The seven stars of Bei Dou (“Northern Dipper”), lie north of the Tai Wei (Enolosure), forming the pivot of the Seven Regulators and the source of (the two qi) Yin and Yang. Hence they move in the center of the heavens and look down to control the four quarters in order to establish the four seasons and (to distribute) evenly the Five Elements. The four stars of the head (i.e, the “box”) are known as Xuan Ji, while the three stars of the handle are known as Yu Heng. It is also said that Pei Dou symbolizes the human sovereign -- the pereon who orders. It also represents the imperial chariot since it gives the idea of regular recurrent movement.. The first star of the head (“box”) is also known as Tian Shu (“Celestial Pivot”) ( a UMa), the second Xuan (b UMa), the third Ji (g UMa), the fourth Quan (“Ba1ance”) (d UMa), the fifth Yu heng (e UMa), the sixth Kai Yang (“Unfolded Brilliance”)( z UMa) and the seventh Yao Kuang (“Glittering Light”) (h UMa). The head (“box”) includes (four stars from) the first to the fourth, while the handle (three) from the fifth to the seventh. (Tian) Shu signifies the heavens, Xuan the earth, Ji man, Quan time, Yu Heng sound, Kai Yang the musical notes (of the standard pitch-pipes) and Yao Guang the stars. Shi (Shen) said that the first star may be called Zheng Xing (“Principal Star”), which governs the virtues of Yang and symbolises the Son of Heaven. The second star (he said) may be called Fa Xing (“Legal Star”), which governs the punishment of Yin and is the seat of the Empress.  The third may be called Ling Xing (“Order Star”), which governs internal chaos. The fourth may be called Fa Xing (“Penalty-Inflicting Star”), which governs the retribution of the natural order of things against those who oppose the Dao. The fifth may be called Sha Xing (“Execution Star”), which governs the support of (the Emperor) at the center accorded to the (vassal states at the) four quarters (in imposing the) death (penalty) upon transgressors. The sixth star may be called Wei Xing (“Hazardous Star”), and controls the five grains in the store-house of the heavens. The seventh star rnay be called Bu Xing (“Departmental Star”) or Ying Xing (“Responsive Star”), controlling weapons. It is also said that the first star governs the heavens, the second earth, the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh stars the (Five Elements of) Fire, Water, Earth, Wood and Metal respectively. It is also said that the rirst star governs
(the State of) Qin, the second Chu, the third Liang, the fourth Wu, the fifth Yan, the sixth Zhao and the seventh Qi.
The four stars enclosing the head (“box”) of Bei Dou represent the prison for the nobility and are known as the Tian Li (“Celestial Pattern”). The star Fu (“Assistant”) assists Kai Yang, thus helping Bei Dou to fulfil its functions: it symbolises the Prime Minister. When the seven regulating stars (of Bei Dou) are bright they bring prosperity to the country, but brightness of the star “Assistant” signifies that high officials are in power. The three stars to the south of the handle (of Bei Dou) and the three stars west of the first star of the head (“box”) (of Bei Dou”) are both known as San Gong (“Three Dukes”), the groups that govern the propagation of virtues, the change of customs, the harmony of the seven Regulators, and the compensation of (the two qi) Yin and Yang.
* * *
The six stars stars of Wen Chang (“Literary Brilliance”) are in front of the head (“box”) of Bei Dou, forming the six departments (liu fu) of the heavens. They govern the computations of the Dao of the heavens. The first of these is known as Shang Jiang Da Jiang Jun (“Commander-in-Chief”), who gains military honour and upholds dignity. The second star is known as Ci Jiang Shang Shu (“Lieutenant-General”), in charge of discipline among the ranks. The third is Gui Xiang Tai Chang (“Noble Minister of Ceremonial Rites”), who takes charge of documents. The fourth star is Si Lu Si Zhung Si Li (“Officer in charge of Establishments, Internal Affairs and Labour”), who awarda merits, and presents scholars and virtuous candidates) to the throne. The fifth star is Si Ming Si Guai Tai Shi (“Imperial Astrologer, Prognosticator and Interpreter of Strange Events”), who governs the evasion of calamities. The sixth star is Si Kou Da Li (“Attorney General”), who helps to look after the imperial seal. What is called the first (star) is in front of the head (“box”) of Bei Dou near (the constellation) Nei Jie (“Inner Steps”). When all the six stars are lustrous, they show that Heaven is extremely auspicious.
The six stars to the north of Wen Chang form (the group) Nei Jie (“Inner Steps”), the steps used by the Emperor of Heaven. South of Bei Dou lies the star Xiang (“Minister”). The Minister leads the hundred officials, controls the teachings (in the country), and assists the Emperor to maintain peace and in all other affairs. Hence brightness of the
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(“Minister”) star can be regarded as a good omen.
Tai Yang Shou (“Guardian of Tai Yang”) is found west of (the star) Xiang, symbolizing the Chief General and the Chief Minister. It governs the readiness of the country to withstand attack, and the preparation of armaments. The four stars to the northwest of Xiang are known as Shi (“Eunuch”), representing the person who has survived the punishment of castration, Beneath the head (“Box”) of Bei Dou lie the six stars of Tian Lao (“Celestial Prison”), (governing) the gaols for the nobles,
Tai Wei (“Supreme Subtlety”) (Enclosure) is the court of the Son of Heaven, (containing) the throne of the Five Emperors and the palaces of the twelve Feudal Princes. By its walls are the Nine Ministers. Tai Wei is said to be the balance,  governing fairness and justice. It is also the heavenly court, where legal matters are attended to, disputes are settled, and virtues diffused and promoted. It is also where the lunar mansions accept the tallies of their commissions and the spirits receive instructions, make their reports and settle doubtful matters.
Between the two stars at the center of the southern wall (i.e. between b and h Virginis) is the “Main Gate” (Duan Men) - (the star) on the east is called Zuo Zhi Fa (“Left Keeper of the Law”) (h Virginis), symbolising the Chief Justice in the Court of Revision (Ting Wei), and (that) on the west is You Zhih Fa (“Right Keeper of the Law”) (Zavijava or b Virginis), symbolizing the Imperial Censor (Yu Shi Da Fu). The duties of the two “Keepers of the Law” include the investigation and punishment of the cruel and wicked. East of the Zuo Zhi Fa is the “Left Gate” (Zuo Yi Men) and west of You Zhi Fa is the “Right Gate” (You Yi Men).
Beginning from the south, the first of the four stars at the eastern wall is called Shang Xiang (“First Minister”) (Porrima or g Virginis), north of which is the “Eastern Tai Yang Gate” (Dong Tai Yang Men), the second star is called Ci Xiang (“Second Minister”) (d Virginis), north of which is the “Eastern Gate of the Elegant Center” (Zhung Hua Dong Men), the third star is called Ci Jiang (“Lieutenant General”) (Vindemiarix or e Virginis), north of’ which is the “Eastern Tai Yin Gate” (Dong Tai Yin Men) and the fourth star is called Shang Jiang (“Cornmanding General”) (a Comae Berenices). These four stars are known by the name Si Fu (“Four Assistants”).
When the stars at the eastern and western walls of the Tai Wei (Enclosure) appear pointed and scintillate, or glitter, expect conspiracy among ths Feudal Princes (against the Emperor). When the two “Keepers of the Law” shift their positions, there will be complaince against some of the penalties imposed. But the path of the moon or one of the Five Planets entering the Tai Wei (Enclosure) can be regarded as a good omen. When (the moon or one of the Five Planets) trespasses upon the central throne it tells that all the punishments are completed.
The three stars outside the southwestern corner of the Tai Wei (Enclosure) form (the group) Ming Tang, (“Bright Hall”), the palace whence the Son of Heaven rules. The three stars west of Ming Tang form (the group) Ling Tai (“Astronomical Observatory”), the tower from which observations are made. They govern the inspection of clouds and other things, when good omens are awaited and calamities and changes prognosticated.
The solitary star east of Zuo Zhi Fa is called Ye Zhe (“Guestmaster”), which governs the arrangements tor the guests. The three stars at the northeast of Ye Zhe form (the group) San Gong, (“Three Dukes”), who sit within the palace at the imperial court. The three stars of Jiu Qing, (“Nine Ministers”) lie north of San Gong, and residing within the imperial court they take charge of all (its) affairs. West of Jiu Qing are the five stars of Nei Wu Zhu Hou, (“Five Inner Feudal Princes”); they attend the Son of Heaven within the palace, never departing to go to (their estates in) their country. When the ritual ceremonies in the Imperial College are duly observed (the star of) Nei Wu Zhu Hou in the Tai Wei (Enclosure) shine with all their brilliance.
* * *
The star Huang Di (“Yellow Emperor”) (b Leonis) is situated within the Tai Wei (Enclosure). Huang Ti is the god who occupied the key
position in the heavens. When the actions of the Emperor (on earth) correspond with the measured motions of the heavens, when his ceasing to act coincides with the meaning of the earth, and when (this alternation) naturally and easily follows the Dao, then the stars of Wu Di (“Five Emperors”) in the Tai Wei (Enclosure) shine with all their brilliance. When the star of Huang Di is dim, it becomes advisable for the Emperor to search for virtuous and talented scholars to assist him in his rule; failing this, his power will soon decline. The Huang Di (star) is enclosed by four other “Emperor” stars. In the east is Cang Di (“Azure Emperor”), the god of which is known as Ling Wei Yang. In the south is Chi Di (“Red Emperor”), the god of which is called Chi Piao Nu. In the west is Bai Di (“White Emperor”), the god of which is called Bai Zhao Ju, (Finally), in the north is Hei Ti (“Black Emperor”), the god of which is called Xie Guang Ji.
 North of Wu Di lies the star Tai Zi, (“Crown Prince”), the person next in line to the Emperor. North of Tai Zi lies Cong Guan, (“Aide-de-Camp”), the offioer in attendance. The star to the southeast of the Emperor star is called Xing Chen (“Favourite Courtier”).
The four stars of Ping, (“Screen”) within the “Main Gate” near You Zhi Fa (Zavijava) serve to protect the court of the Emperor. The two stars of “Keepers of the Law” govern the investigation of the demeanour of officials. When the officials are loyal and respectful towards the Crown the stars of “Keepers of the Law” appear bright and lustrous.
The fifteen stars of Lang Wei, (“Seats at the Court Gentlemen”) are situated to the northeast of the “Emperor” stars. (They are) also called Yi Wu, (“Splendour”), (which arises from the description of) the hall of the Court-Gentlemen. Lang Wei correponds to the official rank of Virtuous Scholar (or First Scholar) (Yuan Shi,) in the Zhou (period), and to the posts of Gentleman-on-Duty at the Side Gates (Guang Lu), Imperial Body-Guard (Zhong Lang), Body-Guard in Reserve (San Lang), Counsellor (Jian Yi), Adviser (Yi Lang), Gentlemen of the Three Offices (San Shu) and Gentlemen on Shift Duties (Lang Zhong) in (the time of) Han. Lang Wei governs the guards. When the stars at Lang Wei fail to appear altogether, they presage the death of the Empress, or an Imperial Concubine, or the execution of a favourite
[79 - notes only]
courtier. When these stars appear large and bright, or when a guest star is found in their midst, one may expect a senior officer to rise againat the throne.
The star Lang Jiang (“Captain of the Body-Guard) lies north of Lang Wei. It governs the examining of weapons, in other words, the making of military preparations. The star Wu Ben (“Great Warrior”), north of the western wall of the Tai Wei (Enclosure), also known as Nan Jing Shi (“Southern Chamber of Quietness”) represents the Cavalry Officer who holds the standard. The seven stars of Chang Zhen (“Steady Formation”) appear in the shape of a fork at the north of the “Emperor” stars. (These are) the guards of the Son of Haven. (Such) brave warriors (are appointed) to strengthen the defence. When the stars of Chang Zhen scintillate, expect the Son of Heaven to leave (the palace), when they are lustrous expect soldiers to be called to arms, and when they are dim expect (to find) a weak army.
Arranged in pairs, the six stars of San Tai (“Three Platforms”) begin from Wen Jiang and end near the Tai Wei (Enclosure), and are also known by the name Tian Zhu (“Heavenly Pillars”). They repreaent the seats of the three Dukes; among men are the three Dukes, but in the heavens are (the stars of) San Tai. They govern the promotton of virtues and the issue of instructions and orders. At the west, near Wen Chang are the two Shang Tai (“Upper Platform”) stars, the Controllers of Fates (Si Ming) governing the life spans (of the Emperor and the Empress); the next two are the Zhong Tai (“Central Platform”) stars, the Controllers of Interior (Si Zhong) governing the imperial household, and the two stars at the east are those of Xia Tai (“Lower Platform”), the Controllers of Emoluments (Si Lu) governing soldiers and the promotion of virtues and suppression of vices. The San Tai stars are also said to form the steps of the heavens - the steps on which Tai Yi, the Emeror of the heavens sets foot when he ascends and descends (from his throne). They are also known as Tai Jie (“August Steps”). The upper star of the “Upper Step” represents the Emperor and the lower the Empress. The upper star of the “Central Step” represents the Prince and the Three Dukes, while the lower the ministers and the Grandees. The upper star of the “Lower Step” reprsent the Scholars, and the lower one the common people. (The stars of San Tai) set (the two qi) Yin and Yang in harmony and regulate all things (er li wan wu). When the Emperor and his subjects are in harmony the stars of San Tai carry out their
normal measured motions. Whan any change occurs among these stars it relates to the person (occupying the particular office represented by the star concerned).
The four stars to the south forming (the group) Nei Ping (“Internal Justice”) represent the executive of the law and the criminal justice nowadays. The single star north of the “Central Platform” known as Tai Zun (“Grand Noble”) represents the nobilities.
The six She Ti (“Supporters”) stars lie in the south following the direction of the handle of Bei Dou. They fix the seasons and the fortnightly periods, and give warnings of fortune and misfortune. They also form a shield, enclosing the protecting the throne of the Emperor and govern the Nine Ministers. When they are large and brilliant (they signify that) the Three Dukes are giving way to license, and when a guest star enters into their midst the mission of a sage is expected to be hindered.
The three stars to the West, known as Zhou Ding (“Tripod of Zhou”) govern refugees. The star Da Jiao (“Grest Horn” ) (Arcturus or a Boötis) lies within (the) She Ti (stars), forming a throne for the Emperor of the heavens.  It is also a pillar of the heavens, and tells whether (right) principles are being maintained.
The three stars to the north, known as Di Xi (“Royal Banquet”) govern banquet and reception. The three stars further north form the spear of the heavens, by the name Tian Feng (“Celestial Spear-Head”). Besides governing the soldiers of the northern and western border tribes (Hu), they also indicate mourning. Hence any variation (observed) among these stars would predict casualties in battle; when the stars are not visible military plots within the empire can be expected.
The star to the north of Tian Feng is called Zhao Yao (“Glittering Indicator”), also known as Mao Dun (“Spear and Shield”). Another star further north is called Xuan Ge (“Black Halberd”). All three stars govern the soldiers of the northern and western border tribes (Hu) in about the same manner as Geng He. Between Zhao Yao and the handle of Bei Dou is the space Tian Ku (“Celestial Granary”) (between g Boötis and h Ursae Majoris). Absence of a star in its place presages the opening of granaries. When Zhao Yao, the “Pillar Star” (Arcturus), Geng He and Bei Dou all appear in their respective positions responding to one another one may expect the soldiers of the northern and western border tribes
(Hu) to come and take orders in the Middle Kingdom. Xuan Ge also governs the border tribes (Yi) trom the north. When guarided by a guest star it presages that the border tribes (Hu) will suffer a great defeat.
The three stars of Tian Qiang (“Celestial Javelin”) found to the east of tha handle of Bei Dou, and alao known as Tian Yue (“Celestial Halberd”), depicts the military might of the heavens. Hanoe they exist to the left and right sides of the “Purple Palace” in order to safeguard the 1atter against dangers. The three stars of Nü Chuang (“Female Couch”) found north of Ji Xing (“Record Star”) represent the ladies of the inner palace, and govern the affairs of women.
The five stars or Tian Pou (“Celestial Club”), situated north of Nü Chuang, (represent) the advance guards of the emperor. They govern the settling of disputes, the imposition of punishments and the amassing of armaments so as to ward off invasion and to protect against dangers. Both Tian Qiang and Tian Pou stand for the preparation (of the empire) against emergencies. Absence of one of their stars predicts that the State concerned will take up arms.
The seven stars of Fu Kuang (“Lifted Basket”) -- a container for mulberry leaves govern the promotion of the art of agriculture. To the east of Zhao Yao lie the seven stars of Qi Gong (“Seven Duks”), the Ministers of the heavens. They symbolize the Three Dukes and govern the Seven Regulators.
Guan Suo (“Chaining Rope”), consisting of nine stars in front (of Qi Gong) represents the gaols for the common people. It is alao called Lian Suo (“Connected Rope”), or Lian Ying (“Connected Barracks”) or Tian Lao (“Celestial Prison”). (Its stars) govern the maintenance of law and order and the suppression of violence. The star at the mouth of the “(Celestial) Prison” forms the door, which should preferably remain open. Brightness in all the nine stars points to the lack of vacant places in the gaols throughout the empire. Expect a small-scale amnesty at the appearance of only seven (of the nine) stars, but a general amnesty at the appearance of only five or six stars. Scintillation of these stars, however, presages the application of the headsman’e block. Absence of stars at the center of the group suggests the change of the reign-title. The Annals of Han (i.e., the Han shu) mention fifteen stars in this constellation.
The nine stars of Tian Ji (“Celestial Records” (= Ji Xing) at the west of Guan Suo represent the Nine Ministers and govern the recording
of innumerable events and the investigation of complaints about court settlements. Brightness of this star (group) indicates that most people will avoid being involved in litigation. Absence of the stars shows the inefficiecy of the administration and negligence of the prinoiples of the empire. Scattering of the stars predicts earthquakes or landslides.
Situated at the eastern end of Tian Ji, the three Zhi Nü (“Weaving Girl”) stars -- the damsels of the heavens -- govern fruits, melons, silk, cloth and treasure. When the Emperor shows great filial piety, all the gods rejoice and the Zhi Nü stars shine with all their brilliance, and peace will reign throughout the empire. When the largest star (of Zhi Nü (i.e., Vega) sends out pointed beams, the price of cloth and apparel will rise.
The four stars of Jian Tai (“Water Balcony”) a platform overlooking the water -- at the eastern foot of Zhi Nü govern time-keeping by sundials and water-clocks and matters concerning the musical scale and shandard pitch-pipes. Nian Tao (“Carriage Route”), consisting of five stars at the western foot of Zhi Nü represent the ‘drive’ along which the Emperor takes pleasure to travel in his outings. The drive of the Han (period in fact) linked the southern with the northern palace, as symbolized by these stars.  The two stars between the left and the right stars of Jiao (1st lunar mansion) form (the group) Ping Dao (“Level Road”). Jin Xian (“Presentation of the Virtuous”), the star to the west of Ping Dao, governs the recommendation of hidden talents by the Ministers and other officers (to the throne for appointment).
(The two stars north of the Jiao (1st lunar mansion) are called Tian Tian (“Celestial Farm”). The six stars north of Kang (2nd lunar mansion) form the Kang Chi (“Sailing Lake”). (Since the word) ‘kang’ means a boat sailing and ‘chi’ means water, (the group) governs sending off and welcoming arrival. The single star at its mouth is called Tian Ru (“Celestial Milk”) which governs dew. The single star among the Fang (4th lunar mansion) is called Ri (“Sun”), which when guarded by Jupiter shows the equality of (the two qi) Yin and Yang. The two stars at the west of Fang (4th lunar mansion) and arranged in a row from south to north are called Tian Fu (“Celestial Bliss”), which governs the officer in
charge of coach and carriage, like the Carriage Officer (Jin Ju) who supervised the official coaches as mentioned in the (Zhou) Li. (The same star group also) governs matters pertaining to worshipping.)
To the north of Fang (4th lunar mansion) and Xin (5th lunar mansion), and on the paths of the sun, the moon and the Five Planets, lie (the groups)
Dong Xian (“Eastern Code”) and Xi Xian (“Western Code”), each comprising of four stars. The door at the room serves to guard against impropriety. Brightness in these stars brings good omen. A conspiracy against the Emperor can be expected when the moon or one of the Five Planets guards them or trespasses upon them. (The three stars arranged in a row from south to north at the west of Dong Xian are called Fa Xing (“Penalty Stars”), governing redemption by money. The star Jian Bi (“Lock and Key”) lies in the northeast of Fang (4th lunar mansion). (The group) Gou Qian (“Lock”) represents the lock.
The twenty-two stars at the Tian Shih Yuan (“Celestial Market” Enolosure) in the northeast of Fang (4th lunar mansion) and Xin (5th lunar manaion) govern steelyards and balances, and also assemblies of people. Also known as Tian Chi Ting (“Court of the Celeatial Flag”), it governs affairs concerned with executions. When many of the stars
(in the group) appear bright they forebode a year of plenty, (but when only a few of its stars are visible a lean year is predicted). When Mars guards (shou) the group, it warns of the execution of a disloyal officer, (but if pointed beams are alao visible it means an execution where the Emperor will become victim to a minister). When a comet leaves (the Enclosure) one may expect the shifting of market-places or changing of the capital. A guest star entering (the Enolosure) warns a large-scale mustering of troops, while a guest star leaving (it) forebodes the death of some noble person.
(Six stars within the (Tian) Shi (Enclosure) overlooking the Chi (7th lunar matsion) form (the group) Shi Lou (“City Tower”) representing the city hall and governing market prices and weights and measures. Its south(ern) (stars) represent money and its north(ern) (stars) pearls and jades. If any change is observed (among these stars) then prognostioations are made depending upon what (the stars concerned) govern. The four stars (further) north are called Tian Hu (“Celestial Corn Measure”), which governs the corn Measure. The two stars to the northwest of (Tian) Hu. are called Lie Si (“Row of Shops”) governing such commodities as precious jades. The two stars within the ‘entrance’ of the (Tian)
Shi (Enclosure) and near its left star form (the group) Che Si (“Mobile Stall”), which governs the assembly places of merchants. The star Di Zuo (“Imperial Throne”) lies at the center of the Tian Shi (Encolosure), and west of it is the court of the heavens. When it shines brightly and smoothly, it brings good omens for the Emperor for (he will be able to maintain his) dignity and have his orders carried out. (A small star would be an ill omen - disaster will fall upon the person holding position.)
The single star of Hou (“Observer”) at the east of the “Imperial Throne” governs (those who) keep watch over the (two qi of) Yin and Yang. A large and bright star indicates excess power in the hands of senior officers and that communications with the four barbarian peoples are open. When the star appears tiny and delicate peace in the empire
can be expected, and when it disappears from sight the emperor is expected to lose power. Scintillation (observed in the star) predicts unrest (in the empire).
The four stars of Huan Zhe (“Court Eunuchs”) taking their places at the southwest of the “Imperial Throne” govern the eunuchs. It is auspicious when they appear very small, [but ominous when they are bright].* Abnormalities observed among these stars will bring disaster upon those servitors. [The five stars of Dou (“Peck Measure”) are to the south of Huan Zhe governing the level of the measure. If tilted upwards they indicate that the grain measures throughout the empire are uneven, and if’ turned upside down they forebode a bad year.]*
The two stars of Zong Zheng (“Supervisors of the Nobility”) southeast of the “Imperial Throne” reprseent the officials in charge of the nobility. When a comet guards theas stars, while their color also fades they predict that these officials will be busily engaged. When a guest star guards them change of ranks and titles are to be anticipated. The four stars of Zong Ren (“Relations”) to the east of Zong Zheng govern the order of precedence among the relations of the Emperor at times of official sacrifices. When good order exists in the imperial family the Zong Ren stars appear gorgeous and lustrous. When they scintillate expect changes among the relations (of the Emperor). A guest star guarding them presages the death of some nobleman. To the east of Hou are the two stars called Zong Xing (“Ancestor Stars”), the symbols of the ancestral line of the Emperor. These stars represent the close relatione of the Emperor in their official capacities as the Emperor’s assistants. A guest star found guarding them shows discord among the Emperor’s relatives.
[The two stars in the northeast are called Bo Du (“Silk Measure”), while another two stars in the northeast are called Tu Si (“Butcher”), each ot these groups governing what it represents respecotively.]*
Tian Jiang (“Celestial River”), consisting of four stars north of Wei (5th lunar mansion) govern the (cosmological force of) Tai Yin. Absence of any of the stars predicts closure of the waterways, rivers, roads and passes to traffic. When they scintillate with all their brilliance expect heavy floods and mobilination of troops on a large scale. Disorder in the arrangement of these stars presages a shortage of horses. When guarded by
Mars they herald the installation of a new Emperor. A guest star entering the group presages the obstruction of rivers and waterways.
The eight stars of Tian Yue (“Celestial Lock”) at the west of the ‘handle’ of Nan Dou (8th lunar mansion) govern the closing of gates. Six stars called Jian Xing (“Establishment Stars”) at the north of Nan Dou, and also known as Tian Qi (“Celestial Flag”), represent the gate of the capital in the heavens. They are the Organiser (mou shi),  the Celestial Drum (tian gu) and the Celeatial Horse (tian ma). The “two stars to the south denote the Celestial Arsenals, the two in the center the Market-Place and the Anvil, and the upper two stars the reversed side at the Flag. The paths of the Three Lights pass between Nan Dou and Jian Xing. Scintillation of the stars foretells coming hardships for the people. When the trail of the halo of the moon appears among these stars beware of epidemics among horses and cattle. When the moon or the Five Planets trespass among these stars one may expect senior officers to conspire against and defame one another, [or the Ministers to plot againat the Emperor],* or bridges and gates closeded to communication owing to flood.
To the southeast there are four stars known as Gou Guo (“Dog Kingdom”), governing the Xianbei, Wuwan and Wuqie tribes. When guarded by Mars the group presages uprisings among foreign people. [When Venus retrogrades and guards this star group there will be chaos in those countries. A guest star trespassing againat and guarding it forebodes robbers, who will come accompanied by their leader.]* The two stars ot Tian Ji (“Celestial Cock”) to the north of Gou Guo govern time.
Nine stars in Tian Bian (“Celestial Dispute”) north of Jian Xing represent the chief officials in charge of markets [and govern the rows of stalls, the ring and gate of the market-place and matters pertaining to the market register.]* They know all delicacies and valuable commodities. It is a good omen when these stars wish to be bright. When a comet trespasses against them or guards them, expect shortage of food, uprisings among prisoners, and raising of troops.
The three stars of He Gu (“River Drum”) and the nine stars of (You) Qi (“Right Banner”), both north of Qian Niu (9th lunar mansion), represent the drums of the heavens. They govern the drums and iron halberds of the army. Also known as San Wu (“Three Warriors”), (the constelltion) He Gu governs the Emperor’s three Generals -- the central star the Commanding General, the left star the General of the Left and the
right star the General of the Right. The left star is the southernmost star. It represents the construction of gates and brides on difficult routes, the fortification and defense of strategic positions and the detection of intrigues. The “(Right) Banner” goes together with the “Celestial Drum” and serves as a signal.
The nine stars of Zuo Qi (“Left Banner”) are found at the left of (He) Gu. The stars of (He) Gu bring good tidings to the General when they seek to arrange themselves in a straight line, and when they show bright and yellow color. Disarrangement of these stars predicting military debacle. When one of these stars appears ‘angry’ (i.e., sending outpointed beams), expect horses to be in short supply; when the stars scintillate, expect soldiers to be on the march. When the “Banners” are crooked they augur failure of projects and loss of power. When (the stars of) the “Banners” do not all appear, calamities and rebellions will follow one after another in succession.
The four stars at the tips of the “Banners” and extending from north to south, are called Tien Fu (“Celestial Baton”), i.e., the drum-stick. Fading of these stars would cause the clepsydra to lose count of time. The forward star (of this group) is near He Gu. When (the stars of) Tian Fu and (those of) He Gu form a straight 1ine, expect (battle-)drums to
be in action.
Li Zhu (“Glittering Pearls”), consisting of five stars at the north of Xu Nü (10th lunar mansion), forms the storehouse of the latter. These stars pertain to women. [Abnormalities among these stars forebode chaos within the inner palace (i.e., the harem). A guest star trespassing against them is an ill omen for the harem. The two stars north of Xu (11th lunar mansion) are called Si Ming (“Controller of Fate and Destiny”), north of which are two stars called Si Lu (“Controller of Rank and Emolument”). The two stars further north are called Si Wei (“Controller of Dangers”) and again north of which are the two stars called Si Fei (“Controller of Misdeeds”). Si Ming governs the disclosing of misdeeds, the inflicting of penalties and the eliminating of all inauspicious (matters or things); Si Lu prolongs (human) life spans and propagates virtues, and hence it finds its place among the six deities (who are commonly) worshipped; Si Wei governs conceit, profligacy and disregard for the subordinates; and Si Fei governs partiality in the legal service. The five stars of Hu Gua “Gourd” are to the north of Li Zhu, governing sinister plots, the inner palace (i.e., harem) and edible fruits. Brightness of these stars forebodes a good harvest, but dimness
a lean year and the empress losing her influence. Abnormalities (observed) among these stars are signs of mountain tremour and flood in the valleys. The five stars by the side (of Hu Gua) are called Bai Gua (“Fallen Gourd”), governing planting.]*
Nine stars in (the group) Tian Jin (“Celestial Ford”) stretch across the Milky Way. Also known as Tian Han (“Celestial Brook”), or Tian Jiang (“Celestial River”) they govern the four rivers (du), fords and bridges, and provide the gods with facilities to reach the four quarters. Absence of one of the stars (in the group) forebodes the closing of the fords, passes and highways to traffic. [When these stars scintillate brightly they predict that soldiers will come in large number like shifting sands and many people will be slaughtered like tangled hemp. Smallness and random scattering (of these stars) presage scarcity and death among horses. If they are ‘lost’ among the ‘River’ (i.e., the Milky Way) then flood should be expected. Some say that (this is a sign of) pirates proclaiming their own chieftain. At the east, the seven stars near the side of the Milky Way are called Che Fu (“Chariot Department”), representing the officer in charge of chariots. The five stars to the southeast of Che Fu are known as Ren Xing (“Human Stars”), governing the pacification of the people, making them affable and friendly. Also known as Wo Xing (“Crouching Star”), they govern the prevention against debauchery. Their three southern stars are separated from one another. (Two star groups each comprising of) four stars to the southeast are called Chu (“Peatle”) and Jiu (“‘Mortar”), governing the food supply of the army. A guest star entering (these groups) presages soldiers taking up arms and (people) everywhere storing up rice (to prepare for war). The four stars at the north of Tian Jin and appearing like balance form (the group Xi Zhong (“Director of Chariots”), (representing) the Director of Chariots (aforetime).]*
Teng She (“Flying Serpent”), the snake of the heavens, comprising of twenty-two stars to the north of Ying Shi (13th lunar mansion), govern the reptiles of earthly waters. [Brightness in the stars brings uneasiness; a guest star guarding them presages the calamity at (heavy) rain and flood and a poor harvest of sea-products.]*
Wang Liang, comprising five stars north at Kui (15th lunar mansion) lies at the center of the Milky Way and (denotes) the charioteer of the Son of Heaven. Four of these stars are known as Tian Si (“Celeatial Quadriga”), while the one by the side is called Wang Liang, or sometimes Tian Ma (“Celestial Horse”). Scintillations of these stars indicate the
whipping up of horses and the driving of war-chariots all over tbe country. It is also said that (Wang) Liang represents  the bridge of the heavens, and governs all forms of protection againet wind, rain and the water of the rivers. Hence it is sometimes used for prognostication about cbariots and horses, and sometimes for prognostication about fords and brides. [If its stars are found shifted from their positions expect war or pestilence among horses.]* When a guest star guards the “Bridge” expect bridges and roads to become impassable.
The single star star called Ce Xing (“Whip Star”), the whip used by Wang Liang, governs the servants of the Emperor. It is found by the side of Wang Liang. If it shifts to the front of Wang Liang and behind the “Horse,” the configuration so formed is called “whipping the horses,” which presages great movements of chariots and horeses all over the country.
Ge Dao (“Hanging Gallery”), consisting of six stars in front of Wang Liang, like a flying path (across mountains), stretched from the “Purple Palace” to the Milky Way, and forms the route along which the gods ride. It is also said that the Ge Dao stars (represent) the way taken by the Emperor on his visits to his villas. [Again it is said that the function of the “Hanging Gallery” includes the offer of protection (in time of) trouble and the riddance of inauspicious omens. Alse known by the name Wang Liang Qi (“Flag of Wang Liang”) and Zi Gong Qi (“Flag of the Purple Palace”) it serves as an insignia of merit (conferred by the Emperor). Scintillation of the stars is undesirable, as the “Flag” stars bear close relation to the employment of military forces.]* The star Fu Lu (“Auxilury Road”) south of Ge Dao (represents) the alternative side-routes. [It becomes useful should the “Hanging Gallery” fail to be of service. Also known as Da Pu (“Head Servant”), it governs the protection against rain and wind and a1so represents the followers.]*
The ten stars to the north of Dong Bi (14th lunar mansion) form (the group) Tian Jiu (“Celestial Stable”) and govern the officials in charge of horses. Their office resembles the present (office of) Despatch Officer (Yi Ting), who governs the conveyance of edicts and the setting up of post-stages. (The despatch-rider) ‘chases the clepsydra’ on his mission, that is to say, he travels with such speed as if to be racing against time and competing with the sundial and the water-clock.
The twelve stars of Tian Jiang Jun (“General of Heavens”) at the north of Lou (16th lunar mansion) govern all military affairs and soldiers. The large star at the center represents the Great General in the heavens, [the smaller stars outside the minor officials. Scintillation of the Great General presages soldiers up in arms and the
General leaving (for battle). Expect (also) soldiers to be sent out when some of the smaller stars are not visible.]* The star at the south called Jun Nan Men (“South Military Gate”), governs the guards who keep watch over people passing in and out of the gates.
Tai Ling (“Imperial Tombs”) consisting of eight stars north of Wei (11th lunar mansion), (where the word ‘ling’ refers to the tombs, is situated at the mouth of Juan She (“Curly Tongue”). Tai Ling is) also called Ji Jing (“mortuary”) and governs state funerals. Death will knock frequently at the doors ot the Feudal Princes, disease will be rife among the population and soldiers will be in action whenever a large number or stars (in this group) are seen. (Expect also very little cereals in the storehouse to meet a great demand for food. Guarded by another celestial body it will mean labour spent in reclaiming land.) Many deaths are predicted when Ji Shi (“Cemetery”), the star at the center of Tai Ling, shines brightly.
[Found in the midst of the Milky Way],* the nine stars to the north of Tai Ling, called Tian Chuan (“Celeatial Boat”) or Zhou Xing (“Boat Star”) [govern the crossing of the rivers and thus]* surmount these obstacles. [They also govern drought. If they are not visible in the Milky Way, expect the fords and rivers to become impassable. Peace will reign throughout the empire should their four central stars show uniform brightnes, but war and death are presaged if they behave otherwise. A comet entering or leaving the group forebodes flood and war.]* The star enclosed by (Tian Chuan), called Ji Shui (“Accumulated Waters”) presage the occurrenoe of floods.
West of Mao (18th lunar mansion) lie the two stars of Tian Jie (“Celestial Street”), the throughfare of the Three Lights. They govern those who guard gates and bridges and the frontier of the Middle Kingdom. [The star to the west of Tian Jie is called Yue (“Moon”).]*
Juan She (“Curly Tongue”), consisting of six stars at the north of Mao (18th lunar mansion) governs speech-making and the discerning of flattery and slander. It brings good omens when it appears curled, but when it appears straight or scintillates the empire will be ruined by verbal disputes. Tian Chan (“Celestial Slander”), the star enclosed by Juan She, governs wizards and leeches.
The five stars of Wu Che (“Five Chariots”) and the nine stars of San Zhu (“Three Pillars”) are at the north of the Bi (19th lunar mansion). The “Five Chariots” represent the vehicles and the thrones of the
Five Emperors and govern the five (kinds of) weapons of the Emperor’s (army). They are also said to govern the harveat of the five grains. Among them the largest star at the north-west, known as Tian Ku (“Celestial Armoury”) governs the planet Venus (Tai bo) and the State of Qin; the next star to the north-east, called Yu (“Prison”) governs Mercury (Chen Xing) and the States of Yen and Chao; the star at the east, called Tian Cang (“Celestial Armoury”), governs Jupiter (Shui Xing) and the States of Lu and Wei the star at the south, called Si Kong (“Minister of Works”), governs Saturn (Chan Xing) and the State of Chu; and the next star to the south-east, called Qing Xing (“Minister Star”), governs Mars (Yong Huo) and the state of Wei. Any variation observed among these stars is used for prognostication concerning the respecive planets (they govern). San Chu is also known (by the names) San Chuan (“Three Springs”), [Xiu (“Rest”) and Qi (“Flag”). It is desirable to see the Wu Che stars with uniform brightness and at normal spacings between them.]* When (the stars of) Wu Che and San Chu shine with steady brightness they show that the Emperor is duly carrying out the rites of the Imperial Observatory.
Tian Huang (“Celectial Lake”) consists of five stars within the region (of Wu Che). Three stars called Xian Chi (“Broad Pool”) south of Tian Huang represent the fish-pond. The moon (or any of) the Five Planets entering Tian Huang forebodes movements of troops, blockages of communications, chaos throughout the empire, [and change of government. Brightness among the Xian Chi stars presage a dragon falling down dead, people menaced by wild animals and wolves and also movement of troops.]*
 Zhu Wang (“Feudal Princes”) consists of six stars to the south of Wu Che. These stars are watched for prognostioations about the Feudal Princes. West of these [are five stars called Li Shi (“Sandstone”), which, when guarded either by Venus or a guest star, predicts the movements of troops. To the north]* lie the eight stars of Ba Gu (“Eight Grains”), which govern the year. Abcence of any one of them foretells failure of one of the crops. A single star, known as Tian Guan (“Celestial Gate”) or Tian Men (“Celestial Door”) lies south of Wu Che on the paths of the sun and the moon. It governs affairs concerning the frontiers and the shutting of gates and predicts war whenever it sends forth pointed beams. When (any of) the Five Planets guards the “Celestial Gate” many deaths among the nobility may be expected.
In front of Dong Jing (22nd lunar mansion) and (the star) Yue (“Halberd”) are the four stars of Si Guai (“Watchers for Strange Phenomena”), which govern those who observe all phenomena occurring in the heavans and on earth, among sun, moon and constellations, together with auguries from birds, animals, plants and trees. Wise Emperors, on noticing any sign or prediction of calamity, (hasten to) enhance their virtue in order to maintain their blessings. In their north-west, the nine stars called Zuo Chi (“Seat Flag”) show the arrangement of stars for the Emperor and his officials.
Four stars to the west of Zuo Chi, known as Tian Gao (“Sky Tower”) for they are high like a tall terrace – govern towers used for the forcasting of weather from a distance. West of Tian Gao lies the star Tian He (“Calestial River”), which governs those who prognosticate from untoward phenomena occurring in mountains and forests.
Nan He (“Southern River”) and Bei He (“Northern River”), each consisting of three stars, enclose Dong Jing (22nd lunar mansion). It is also said that Tian Gao represents the gate of the (heavens) and that it governs gates and bridges. Nan He, (alao) known by the names Nan Shu (“Southern Sentry”), Nan Gong (“Soutbern Palace”), Yang Men (“Gate of
Brightness”), Yue Men (“Gate looking towards Yue") and Quan Xing (“Steelyard Stars”), governs fire. Bei He (also) known by the names Pei Shu (“Northern Sentry”), Bei Gong (“Northern Palace”), Yin Men (“Gate of Darkness”), Hu Men (“Gate looking towards Hu”) and Heng Xing (“Balance Star”), governs water. Between Nan He and Pei He are the regular paths taken by the sun, the moon and the Five Planets. Any movement or scintillation at these stars predicts the taking up of arms by the soldiers of the Middle Kingdom. Three stars to the south of Nan He forming (the group) Que Qiu (“Door”) govern (matters concerned with) the notice-boards outside the palace gates.
North of Dong Jing (22nd lunar mansion) lie the five Wu Zhu Hou (“Five Feudal Princes”) stars, which govern the prosecution of offenders and the preparation for emergencies. They are said to regulate the (two qi of) Yin and Yang, and discrimate between success and failure, and (also) said to influence the will of the Emperor. One of the stars among them is called Di Shi (“the Emperor’s Teacher”), another called Di You (“the Emperor’s Friend”), a third called San Gong (“Three Dukes”), a fourth called Bo Shi (“Professor”) and a fifth called Tai Shi
(“Astronomer Royal”). The five normally assist the Emperor in the discussion and clarification of doubtful matters. Peace will come to the country when these stars appear large, bright and lustrous, but internal trouble will start when they send out pointed beams. The three stars to the south at Wu Zhu Hou, known as Tian Zun (“Celestial Jar”), govern the distribution of food among the poor and the hungry. The single star of Ji Shui (“Accumulated Waters”) at the north-west of Pei He (represents) the river, from which water is takenv for the proper making of wine. North-east of Ji Shui lies the star Ji Xin (“Wood Store”), which (represents) the proper ordering of supplies for the kitchens. Shu Wei (“Water Mark”), consisting of four stars to the east of Ji Xin governs all water levels. If a guest star, or either Mercury or Mars were to guard or trespass among them, floods along the many rivers and streams can be expected.
Xian Yuan consisted of seventeen stars to the north of Qi Xiang (25th lunar mansion). Xian Yuan is the spirit of the Yellow Emperor and the body of the Yellow Dragon. The stars govern the (court) secretary (who attends to the needs) of the Empress and the Imperial Concubines. Also called Dong Ling (“Eastern Moulds”) or Quan Xing (“Steelyard Stars”), they govern the spirits of thunder and rain. The largest star at the south is called Nü Zhu (“Female Ruler”). North of it are Fu Ren (“Lady-in-Waiting”), Ping (“Screen”) and Shang Jiang (“Commanding General”). Still further north are Fei (“Imperial Concubine”)  and Ci Jiang (“Lieutenant-General”). The other stars follow the ranks of the Imperial Concubines. The small star south of Nü Zhu (Regulus) is called Nü Yü (“Waiting-Maid”). To its left is the star Shao Min (“Lesser Notable”), which represents the ancestors of the Empress, while to its right is the star called Da Min (“Greater Notable”), which represents the ancestors of the Empress Mother. The color of these stars should be yellow and their magnitude small, and they should all shine brightly.
The three stars of Jiu Qi (“Wine Pennant”) at the south in the right hand corner of Xian Yuan represent the flag of the official in charge of wine. They govern banquets, food and beverages. When one of the Five Planets guards Jiu Qi expect people to aesemble together to feast on wine and meat, while (the Emperor) will confer money and properties upon them making their households comparable to those of princes. The three stars called Tian Xiang (“Celestial Minister”) situated
at the south of Jiu Qi symbolizes the Prime Minister.
In the west of Xian Yuan lie the four stars of Guan (“Torch”), representing the torch used for lighting beacons, which give news of happenings on the frontiers. Four stars north of Guan form (the group) Nei Ping (“Inner Justice”), representing theofficial whoimposes just punishments on convicts.
The four stars called Shao Wei (“Lesser Subtlety”) at the west of Tai Wei form the seats of the Scholars and Grandees. They are also known as Chu Shi (“Scholars”) – also the assistants of the Son of Heaven – or Bo Shi Guan (“Learned Professors”). Some say that these stars govern those who guard the side-gates. The first star from the north is Chu Shi (“Scholar”), the second is Yi Shi (“Councellor”), the third Bo Shi (“Professor”), and the fourth Da Fu (“Grandee”)(according to another saying). When these stars appear large, bright and yellow they forebode that virtuous scholars will come to power. When the moon, or (one of) the Five Planets trespasses among them it is a presage of great anxiety for the scholars and the Empress, and a warning that there will be a change in the Prime Minister.
Four stars to the north form the Chang Yuan (“Long Wall”), which governs happenings along the borders and in neighboring countries, and the activities of the northern and western border tribes (Hu and Yi). When Mars enters (the group) beware of the entrance of the Hu tribes into the Middle Kingdom. When Venus enters it beware of Ministers engaging in conspiracies.
Translated by Ho Peng Yoke
full citation may be found here