The Complexity of Chinese Astrology

Master Wu 3Since 1988, Master Zhongxian Wu has instructed thousands of students, both Eastern and Western. He synthesizes wisdom and experience for beginning and advancing practitioners, as well as for patients seeking healing, in his unique and professionally-designed courses and workshops.

Master Wu is the author of several Singing Dragon books including, The 12 Chinese Animals: Create Harmony in your Daily Life through Ancient Chinese Wisdom. Here, he answers a few questions about the book.

How did this book come about?

I grew up in a traditional fishing village in southeast China, and for my entire upbringing, I saw that people commonly used astrology to help make decisions about important events (finding a spouse, setting a wedding date, building a house, opening a business, health issues, etc). Because our village had no electricity, pipe water, or roads larger than a foot path, we all lived very closely with the rhythms of nature.

Chinese astrology is the art of living in harmony with the hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly cycles of life. When I was young, my mother always consulted the people living in the local temple when she needed help. I was astonished by the accuracy of their advice and their ability to predict outcomes. I became interested in learning more about astrology and its connection to Chinese medicine and the Yijing prediction system. My main focus is teaching Qigong, Taiji and the Yijing to help others to create harmony in their life. Through over 20 years of teaching these ancient Chinese wisdom practices, I realised that Chinese astrology is a great tool to help guide people through their life and their inner cultivation.

Chinese astrology is far more complex than most people realise. What accounts for this misconception, and how does your book contribute to a deeper understanding?

In the West, most people think Chinese astrology is only about their yearly animal sign. The knowledge of Chinese astrology system is extremely complicated, and I think perhaps difficult for most people to understand. In China, we call astrology BaZi (8 characters) or MingLi (principle of your karma), but only a small amount of people actually understand how to put together and interpret a chart. Most Chinese have to find an expert to help them, and finding someone really qualified and skillful can be challenging. Of course, you may easily find a fortuneteller on the street, but they are usually not very accurate.

I think the misconception in the West is mostly for convenience sake, to make it more simplified, more available for the general public and more for entertainment value. The yearly animal sign is a small percentage of what influences your entire chart. In my book, I also discuss the monthly and daily animal sign, which will help people develop a fuller understanding of their chart. It is important to realise that the 12 animals is just one aspect of Chinese astrology – creating and understanding a whole chart for the sake of prediction is a much more complicated process.

Most people do not realise that the 12 animals also relate to the 12 tidal hexagrams of the Yijing. The Yijing, of course, is a method of understanding the rhythms of nature and of life. When I wrote this book, I wanted people to get a little taste for the complexity behind the Chinese astrological system.

What does it mean to have an energetic month, day or year?

The energetic day, month and year are based on the rhythm of the sun and moon, which is different from the Gregorian calendar. For example, the energetic year is not from January 1 (the Gregorian new year) or the first new moon of the first lunar month (the Chinese new year), but rather, it the begins at the time where the sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 315 degrees, which usually occurs on Feb 4th or 5th in the Gregorian calendar.

How does understanding one’s Chinese animal symbols help them make better choices?

The use of Chinese animal symbols is a key to understanding the principles of your life and of your karma. They can help you understand your strengths and your weaknesses. Becoming conscious of your own patterns will give you information about how to cultivate your gifts and refine your challenges, which will help make your life flow more easily, with less struggle, and bring you success in your pursuits.

In the final chapter of the book, you discuss the Daoist concept that ‘life is not controlled by fate or karma alone’. What does this mean in the context of astrology?

If you want to change your karma, you have to know what your karma is.

A good understanding of Chinese astrology doesn’t only help you understand your karma and predict the future. The purpose of the reading is to guide you to make changes in your life, from daily lifestyle habits to larger life decisions that will allow you to change your karma, to help you remain centered when something unexpected happens, to steer clear of trauma, and put you on on the path of health, prosperity, and longevity.

How do you integrate your Chinese animal symbols into your own daily life?

I use the practices to guide my inner cultivation in order to balance and strengthen my astrological chart (which varies depending on the hour, day, month, season, year, or external life event), so that I feel more harmonious with my self, my family, and with nature. For example, I will check the Chinese calendar to pick out dates for travel or signing a contract. Based on the animal symbols, I also chose special colours for home and office in order to create the right fengshui for those environments. My wife and I make meals according the the principles of the Chinese animal clock to create a healthy daily rhythm for our family.

The 12 Chinese Animals: Create Harmony in your Daily Life through Ancient Chinese Wisdom and Master Wu’s other books on Qigong and ancient wisdom traditions are available from www.singingdragon.com

Singing Dragon complete 2014

This fully interactive brochure has all of the new Singing Dragon titles for the spring and summer of 2014 as well as our complete backlist. In here you will find books on Chinese medicine, complementary therapies, martial arts, nutrition, yoga, ayurveda, qigong, Daoism, aromatherapy, and many more alternative therapies and ancient wisdom traditions.

Click on the covers or titles to be taken to the book’s page on the Singing Dragon website. If you would like to request hard copies please email hello@singingdragon.com with your details and the number of copies you would like.

Review a set of the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches – TianGan DiZhi study cards

Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches

Would you like to review one of our newest resources? Enter now to get a free card set of Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches – TianGan DiZhi by Master Zhongxian Wu and Dr Karin Taylor Wu.

This complex calendrical system was created in ancient times to codify the patterns of life and of the universe itself, and is as relevant today it ever was. Through better understanding TianGan (Heavenly Stems) and DiZhi (Earthly Branches), you can deepen and expand your practice of Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, Fengshui and Chinese astrology, as well as internal cultivation practices such as Qigong, Bagua and Taiji.

This set of study cards decodes some of the fundamental messages from the 22 GanZhi symbols. The Chinese character and key characteristics of each Stem or Branch are shown, providing insights into their symbolic and numerological meanings. For calligraphers and those who want to draw the characters correctly, the stroke order is clearly illustrated on separate cards.

Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches

We have 5 copies to give away to anyone interested in writing an online or offline review.

If you’re interested add a comment to this post saying why you want to review this book. The deadline for submitting your request is May 31, 2013.

We will select 5 winners and get in touch after this date.

This giveaway is now closed – thank you to all who entered.

© 2013 Singing Dragon blog. All Rights Reserved

Request a copy of the UK Singing Dragon Complete Catalogue

Cover of the Singing Dragon UK Complete CatalogueMake sure not to miss Singing Dragon’s latest UK Complete Catalogue. If you have not yet received a copy, please sign up for our mailing list and we’ll send a free one out to you ASAP.

Readers in the UK and Europe who request a copy of the catalogue before February 15th, 2013 will also receive a voucher for a 15% discount on the entire Singing Dragon list of books, with free postage and packing.

Take advantage of this opportunity to find new, forthcoming and classic books on Chinese Medicine, Holistic Health, Taiji, Qigong, Herbal Medicine, Yoga, Spirituality and more. Also, sample health-promoting recipes with The Functional Nutrition Cookbook, and Make Yourself Better with Philip Weeks’ books. Delve into the history of Ayurvedic Medicine and the Mudras of India, and discover the Five Levels of Taijiquan, Daoist Nei Gong and Chinese Medical Qigong.

To request your copy of our Complete Catalogue, please click here. To receive your 15% discount voucher, please be sure to click the checkbox for “Singing Dragon” under area of interest or else mention this offer in the “any further comments” section.

If you have previously received a copy of the catalogue, and would like to take advantage of the 15% discount, please feel free to request a voucher via email at post@singingdragon.com.

VIDEO: “Heavenly Stems, Earthly Branches” – Master Zhongxian Wu & Damo Mitchell in conversation

In this final instalment of their discussion, Masters Zhongxian Wu and Damo Mitchell turn their attention to a fundamental aspect of Chinese philosophy which is often neglected in both Qigong practice and Chinese Medicine – the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches.

Watch Video #1: The foundation form as the most advanced – true learning in Qigong »

Watch Video #2: “The Art of Stop Fighting” »


Master Zhongxian Wu is the lineage holder of four different schools of Qigong and martial arts. While in China, he served as Director of the Shaanxi Province Association for Somatic Science and the Shaanxi Association for the Research of Daoist Nourishing Life Practices. He has now been living and teaching in the West for just over ten years.

Damo Mitchell has studied the martial, medical and spiritual arts of Asia since the age of four. His studies have taken him across the planet in search of authentic masters. He is the technical director of the Lotus Nei Gong School of Daoist Arts, and teaches Nei Gong in the UK and Sweden.

Copyright © Singing Dragon 2012.

VIDEO: “The Art of Stop Fighting” – Master Zhongxian Wu and Damo Mitchell in conversation

In this second of three videos, Masters Zhongxian Wu and Damo Mitchell look at the potency of softness in internal cultivation.

 
Watch Video #1: The foundation form as the most advanced – true learning in Qigong »


Master Zhongxian Wu is the lineage holder of four different schools of Qigong and martial arts. While in China, he served as Director of the Shaanxi Province Association for Somatic Science and the Shaanxi Association for the Research of Daoist Nourishing Life Practices. He has now been living and teaching in the West for just over ten years.

Damo Mitchell has studied the martial, medical and spiritual arts of Asia since the age of four. His studies have taken him across the planet in search of authentic masters. He is the technical director of the Lotus Nei Gong School of Daoist Arts, and teaches Nei Gong in the UK and Sweden.

Copyright © Singing Dragon 2012.

VIDEO: The foundation form as the most advanced: On true learning in Qigong – Master Zhongxian Wu and Damo Mitchell in conversation

Master Zhongxian Wu is the lineage holder of four different schools of Qigong and martial arts. While in China, he served as Director of the Shaanxi Province Association for Somatic Science and the Shaanxi Association for the Research of Daoist Nourishing Life Practices. He has now been living and teaching in the West for just over ten years.

Damo Mitchell has studied the martial, medical and spiritual arts of Asia since the age of four. His studies have taken him across the planet in search of authentic masters. He is the technical director of the Lotus Nei Gong School of Daoist Arts, teaches Nei Gong in the UK and Sweden.

In this, the first of three videos, the two authors provide key insights and advice for the Qigong practitioner on the steps necessary to move forward in practice, and on the gradual nature of learning and the importance of taking pleasure in repetition.

Copyright © Singing Dragon 2012.

Singing Dragon and Authors attend the National Qigong Association (NQA) Conference 2011

Singing Dragon was thrilled to attend the 16th annual conference of the National Qigong Association (NQA) in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, USA, from August 19-21.

We were so pleased that our distinguished author and Tai Ji Master, Chungliang Al Huang, was asked to give the keynote address on the Saturday night. During his presentation, Master Huang painted some beautiful calligraphy and demonstrated his joyful style of Tai Ji. Immediately following the talk, Singing Dragon was honored to host a reception where Master Huang signed dozens of copies of his four new perennial editions: Quantum Soup, Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain, Essential Tai Ji, and The Chinese Book of Animal Powers.

Master Huang signs a copy of 'Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain' with his distinctive calligraphy for Jeannie Peck.

Singing Dragon author Solala Towler was also a presenter at NQA this year. His book, Cha Dao: The Way of Tea, Tea as a Way of Life, drew considerable interest at our stand.

Singing Dragon author Master Zhongxian Wu was unable to be with us this year, but in his absence two of his senior students stepped into the breach and led the workshop on the Mother Form. Master Wu’s new book, Chinese Shamanic Cosmic Orbit Qigong, and his DVD, Hidden Immortal Lineage Taiji Qigong, were very well received by the attendees.

We had a phenomenal time at NQA this year and we wish to thank the organizers, presenters and attendees for their good will and positive energy!

Copyright © Singing Dragon 2011.

VIDEO: Master Chungliang Al Huang on Living Your Own Tao

This month, Singing Dragon was honoured to host an afternoon talk by author and Tai Chi Master Chungliang Al Huang during his visit to London for the launch of his four new perennial editions: Quantum Soup: Fortune Cookies in CrisisEmbrace Tiger, Return to Mountain: The Essence of Tai Ji; Essential Tai Ji; and The Chinese Book of Animal Powers.

We are very pleased to share this edited video of that event below.

Master Chungliang Al Huang is the founder of Living Tao Foundation, an international cultural-arts network for lifelong learning, and the director of the Lan Ting Institute, a cross-cultural study and conference center at the sacred and historic Wu Yi Mountain, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the People’s Republic of China, and at Gold Beach on the Oregon Coast in the USA. He has written many classic books including the four named above, all of which are now brought back into print by Singing Dragon.

Part 1: Master Huang shares the background behind each book and demonstrates his beautiful calligraphy.

 


Part 2: Master Huang shares some stories about his amazing life’s journey and the larger-than-life people he has befriended along the way – including Sammy Davis Jr. and Alan Watts.


 
Part 3: Master Huang shares with us the essence of the Tao and how we can lead more balanced lives.

Copyright © Singing Dragon 2011.

Singing Dragon Wins Gold at the 2011 Living Now Book Awards

We are pleased to announce that four Singing Dragon books have won prizes at the 2011 Living Now Book Awards, including two first place Gold prizes!

Singing Dragon received the Gold prize in the Enlightenment/Spirituality category for The 12 Chinese Animals: Create Harmony in your Daily Life through Ancient Chinese Wisdom by Master Zhongxian Wu.

Singing Dragon also received the Gold prize in the Yoga/Pilates/Bodywork category for Yoga Therapy for Every Special Child by Nancy Williams.

And in the Exercise/Fitness category, Singing Dragon scooped two prizes: the Silver for Vital Healing: Energy, Mind and Spirit in Traditional Medicines of India, Tibet & the Middle East – Middle Asia, by Dr Marc S. Micozzi, and the Bronze for Managing Stress with Qigong by Gordon Faulkner.

The Living Now Book Awards celebrate the innovation and creativity of new books that enhance the quality of our lives, from cooking and fitness to relationships and mature living. Visit www.livingnowawards.com for more info.

Congratulations to the authors, contributors, editors and everyone who worked on the winning books! Click below to learn more about each one.

Copyright © Singing Dragon 2011.