D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi


                       The Qilin and Kongzi

“Master Sun, what is virtue?”

“Virtue is the headspring of eudaemonia and pleasure because the person is social and virtue is a social norm”. 孙大午, September 20, 2006, Xushui County, Hebei


The mystical Qilin
麒麟 was a celestial animal representing the west quadrant in Chinese mythology. Later, it appeared on rare occasions –particularly at the time of a solar eclipse-- in order to announce the birth or death of a sage or emperor. In China, it was second only to the dragon in its power. “The Qilin was believed to have sprung from the centre of the earth and was the first and most perfect of the 360 land creatures”. (1) This mystical animal gave gift of the art of writing from the time of Fu Hsi to the time of Kongzi. It was closely associated with Kongzi  孔子 since it manifested itself to his mother who carried him in her womb and to the sage himself.

Fu Hsi 伏羲 was the first of the five emperors during the golden age of antiquity. It was this emperor that saw a Yellow dragon-horse. “A native commentary on one of the Classsics, written in the second century BCE describes the dragon-horse as the vital spirit of heaven and earth fused together.” (2) The dragon-horse may have been a kind of Qilin or even a tortoise that emerged from the Luo He which is a tributary of the Huang He. This was around the year 2852 BCE. In that year, there was an eclipse of the sun on April 23rd according to modern retrocalculations. (3)

On the animal’s coat, Fu Hsi saw markings. The emperor perceived those symbols as a written language. (4) According to legend, this was the origin of Chinese calligraphy. Tradition though mainly credits Fu Hsi with the discovery of the trigrams and invention of knotted cord records which led to written script.

Mythology also attributes the invention of the Qin (lyre) to Fu Hsi who wished to harmonize mind-heart with the universe. By the late Zhou period it played an important role in ritual music. Its seven strings were tuned to the five pitches of the natural pentatonic scale.

In the year 2697 BCE, there was a solar eclipse. This may be the oldest preserved account of a solar eclipse. A Qilin was spotted in the hall of Huangdi 皇帝 (Yellow Emperor) at this time. Qilins were seen in the park during the 20th year of the emperor. Legend says that a Qilin took the emperor to the land of the dead. (5)

The Yellow Divine Ancestor was credited with the invention of the calendar in the 61st year of his reign. The first historical record of the 60 day cycle began on March 8, 2637 BCE. This year was designated as year one of the Chinese calendar. The calendar was based on precise astronomical observations of the longitude of the sun and phases of the moon.

It was said that a partial eclipse of the sun heralded the forthcoming birth of Kongzi. The sage was born on the 20th day after the eclipse of the sun. This took place in the 10th month of 552 BCE, or the 27th of the 8th moon as worked out today. (6) The Julian date based on Oppolzer’s system was August 20th, 551. There was also an earlier eclipse in the 9th month of 552. It is no wonder that two azure dragons came from the sky to his mother’s house on the night when Confucius was born. (7)

Kongzi himself recorded thirty-seven eclipses of the sun between 720 and 481 in the Chun Qiu 春秋. The eclipses of 709, 601 and 549 were total. Of course, he primarily recorded eclipses as seen from his own vassal state of Lu in Shandong Province (lat. 35” 40’N, 117 E).

Apparently, another rarity in terms of astronomical phenomenon coincided roughly with the birth of Kongzi. This was a coming into conjunction of the major planets. "This had happenened previously at the founding of the Xia Dynasty. While the five century interval between Confucius and the Duke of Zhou was noted it was not not normally linked to the motion of the planets, perhaps because Confucius’ invention of philosophy provided a substitute for literal representation of the movements of the heavenly bodies”. (8)

There were several conjunctions of major planets “wandering stars” in the years 552 and 551 BCE according to Dr. John Harper at Wychwood Observatory. In March 552, there was a conjunction of Mars and Jupiter. In February of 551, Jupiter was in conjunction with Venus rather near to the sun. Finally, in June 551, there was a conjunction between Mars and Jupiter west of the sun and visible in the morning sky. (9) Conjunctions involving the planet Jupiter may have been important to the ancestors of the Zhou and possibly to the Xia and Shang before them. (10) Of course, the moon would align on a monthly basis with each planet throughout this period of time.

Han astronomy asserted that the ultimate conjunction took place at time zero. This was before the cycle of Heaven, Earth and Man were set in motion. It involved the five planets, Sun and Moon. (11)

It was Kongzi who revised the Shu Ching 書 經 which the Chinese consider their most ancient of books. In paragraphs 3 to 8 of the first section, the Emperor Yao gives instructions to his astronomers, under the designations of He and Ho. These instructions are probably the earliest relating to astronomy on record in China. For example, the emperor directs them to receive the rising Sun with due respect. (12)

One of the classics of the Ru Jia “School of the Learned” is the Lun Yu : 論語 or 论语 or The Analects. In a famous quotation, Kongzi said that “One who rules through the power of virtue 德 might be compared to the Pole Star, which simply remains in its place while receiving the homage of the myriad lesser stars. (13)
(第一章) 子曰、為政以德、譬如北辰、居其所、而眾星共之。

According to Edward Kaplan, “Kongzi began the process of turning “de” 德 into a metaphor. In his hands de came to be used in the sense of “virtue” as we now use that term—meaning moral goodness—but without losing just yet its magical power”. (14)

It is appropriate here to consult a modern Confucian philosopher regarding the definition of virtue 德. A question was posed to Sun Dawu 孙大午 who is Head Master of the Dawu High School in Xushui County, Hebei. “Master Sun, what is virtue?” “Virtue is the headspring of eudaemonia and pleasure because the person is social and virtue is a social norm”.

Ursa Major or the Great Bear 小熊座 is a circumpolar group of stars. One part of the configuration or seven stars is pictured as the tail of the Great Bear. The two stars known by the Chinese names of Twinkling Brilliance 搖光 and Assistant 輔 point to Polaris “Tsze-wei” or the North Star. This is the location of the Emperor’s Seat 帝座 .

The star constellation Beidou 北斗 is referred to on oracle bones as dou 斗. The 甲骨文字典 explains dou as "疑用為星名,即北斗,夕至翌日祭之.", probably the name of a star (constellation), namely Beidou, from the evening to the next day sacrifices are made to it”. (15)

The star called Lingxing 棂星 is found in the Great Bear constellation. According to legend, the star represents talent. When emperors offered sacrifices to heaven, the sacrifices were offered firstly to Lingxing 棂星. (16) They also offered sacrifices to Confucius. The fact that the southernmost gate at the Temple of Confucius is named Lingxing suggests that Confucius is a star from heaven. (17)

Kongzi also edited an official collection of poetry of the Zhou Dynasty that constitute the Shih Ching 詩經 (Book of Odes). Some of the 311 poems had astronomical themes or references. One poem begins with the following lines: “The Milky Way in Heaven shines on all brightly. The Weaving-Lady labors there, beside the River …”.

The Weaving- Lady (She-niu or Zhinu) is found in the constellation called Lyre 天琴座. She is the brightest star called Vega and the Chinese refer to as 織女. About 10,000 years from now, the earth’s North axis will point at Vega due to a motion called precession. (18)

A fabulous creature called a Qilin represents rui (serenity and prosperity). Its origin is described in the Huainanzi 淮南子
that was compiled around 140 BCE. Hairy Heifer gave birth to Responsive Dragon that gave birth to Establish Horse that gave birth to Qilin. (19)

There are four spiritual creatures known as Si Ling 四霛/四灵 in Chinese mythology. In the mist of pre-history, they are found in the four quadrants that represent directions and seasons. The four celestial animals are the Qing-long, Feng-huang, Ch’i-lin and Gui-xian. The Qing-long 青龍 or dragon (east) is a bringer of good fortune and symbol of the emperor’s power. The Feng-huang 鳳凰 or phoenix (south) is a propitious sign.. The Ch’i-lin
麒麟 (west) represents benevolence and harmony. The Gui-xian 玄武 or tortoise (north) symbolizes longevity and happiness.

It appears that the perception of the Qilin underwent a change over time, but it is difficult to trace the exact development. Originally, there may have been only three celestial emblems. The earliest bronze mirrors show the Qinglong, Feng-huang and Ch’i-lin on the reverse side. (20). The Qilin then may have joined a group of four that included the Qinglong 青龍,Feng-huang 鳳凰 and the Gui-xian 玄武. Finally, the Qilin may have spiritually harmonized the five elements represented by Qing-long 青龍 yellow dragon, Zhuque 朱雀 red sparrow, cauldron 鼎, Baihu 白虎 white tiger and Black tortoise 玄武 (some later mystical texts refer to the Xuan Wu 玄武 or Black Warrior).

The Qilin became associated with the number five. The Qilin radiated five colours. They correspond to the basic elements; namely, wood (green), fire (red), earth (yellow), metal (white) and water (black). The system of five elements (Wu Xing) and classifying things by five was already evident in the Tao Te Ching 老子道徳經 and the Shu Ching 書 經,

In astronomical terms, the colours are associated with the five planets. They are Jupiter “Soui-sing”, Mars “Ying-houo”, Saturn T'ien-sing” or Genie of the Pivot “Tchou-niou-tchi-chin”, Venus “Ying-sing” and Mercury “Chin-sing”. In the heavens, the colours also correspond to the heavenly dragon (east), phoenix (south), cauldron (centre), tiger (west) and tortoise (north).

There are also five different types of Qilin. Each has a correspondingly different color.
1. Jade
2. Fire
3. Golden (most popular)
4. White
5. Dark or Black

Indeed, the Qilin is a combination of five animals. It has the face of a dragon, the body of a deer, the mane of a lion, the tail of an ox and the hooves of a horse. In a sense, the Qilin symbolizes the harmonization of these disparate elements, colors and parts.

The spiral horn of the Qilin faces backwards. This indicates its peaceful intentions. Its horn may be a kind of fertility symbol because it represents the wish for a son. It is the male Qilin that has a horn. Its horn may also symbolize an eclipse of the sun because the horn is the same shape as the crescent of the sun. The gender of the Qilin is both male and female as indicated by the Chinese name
麒麟 which is a combination of the two characters chi (male) and lin (female).

The Qilin appears on special occasions to announce the imminent birth of a sage or ruler. It is believed that Confucius’ mother saw a Qilin. This was prior to the birth of her son. It presented a jade tablet to Ching-tsae that proclaimed all the great things that her son would accomplish. Furthermore, it declared that he would be a King without a throne.

One may easily dismiss the story about his mother's long gestation period as mere hyperbole. It was said that it lasted twice the normal time. However, a simple explanation may suffice to account for this belief.

The length of the gestation period roughly matches the Greater One-Horned Asian Rhinoceros. The gestation period of Rhinoceros unicornus lasts between 15-18 months. To some degree, the rhinoceros resembles the fabled unicorn with its horn. In fact, one of the five types of Chinese unicorns was called the liniu (hsi-niu) which is usually translated as "rhinoceros". The other four were named the Qilin, the Xie Chai, (often called the Xie Zhi), the Bai Ze (Pai Tsê), the Xie Niu and the Ki-Lin. (21)

Today, this rare rhinoceros is an endangered species. There may be only 2400 in existence. Its habitat may extend to southern China. Unscrupulous poachers shoot to kill this beautiful animal for its horn which is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The long human gestation period of Kongzi is not unique among the ancient Chinese. It is said not only that Lao Tze's gestation period was 81 years, but that he gave birth to himself and was born an old man. Does the number 81 suggest that he was 81 when he died and/or that it took 81 years to write his philosophy and/or that the length of the Tao Te Ching is 81 verses?

The facial appearance of Kongzi is singular. His face was homely; although a pleasant smile diverted attention from his looks. There were several warts on his cheeks. Furthermore, there was a large bump on his forehead. In a metaphorical sense, his looks may suggest that of a Qilin.

It is written in the Lun Yu
論語 that Tsze-chang asked Kongzi about perfect virtue. Kongzi replied as follows:

"To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue." He begged to ask what they were, and was told, "Gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness” (22)

The appearance of a Qilin may also announce the death of a ruler or sage. A dead Qilin was identified by Kongzi in his 70th year. He immediately recognized the creature and cried: "It is a Ch'i lin. The Ch'i lin, benevolent beast, appears and dies. My Tao is exhausted. (23)

As a magical master of naming, he also correctly identified the source of the giant bone of a dinosaur. The bone was uncovered by a landslide at Kuaiji. (24) Was the account of the naming of the Qilin inspired in part by the earlier discovery of this giant dinosaur bone and its identification?

After Kongzi had sighted the dead Qilin, he completed his compilation of the Spring and Autumn Annals of the Zhou Dynasty or Chun Qiu 春秋. However, it may be that he wrote a final poem on the theme of the Qilin.

In the age of Tang and Yu the Unicorn
and the Phoenix walked abroad.
Now when it is not their time they come
And what do they seek?
The Unicorn, the Unicorn, my heart is sad. (24)

麒麟啊 ,麒麟啊,我的心很悲伤。

Kongzi lived for seventy-two years. He had seventy-two excellent students who mastered the six arts. It also so happens that the number 72 has astrological significance. "If the sun is watched on the vernal equinox every year for a period of 72 years, the Zodiacal sign that aligns with the rising Sun has shifted one degree". (25)

In order for the sign to complete a full circle, it would require 72 years times 360 (degrees) equals 25,920 years. This number represents the period of the luni-solar precession or what is known as the Great Year. Plato believed that the perfect harmonius number was 25,920.

It should be noted though that precession of the equinoxes was discovered in China at a later date. It is attributed to Yu Xi in 320 CE. He found a value of about 72 arc seconds per year or two times the value found by Hipparchus. (26) However, "astronomers as early as the Han era noted that the winter solstice shifted with respect to lunar lodges". (27) "Even then, though, they did not recognize it (precession) as a continuous phenomenon, and it was called an "annual difference". (28)

Music was one of the arts that Kongzi mastered. He played the seven string lyre called the ch'in while he compiled the Book of Odes. Also, his sixth classic was called The Classic of Music or 乐经­ Yue Jing. It was Kongzi's view that wholesome music was conducive to harmony within the individual and order within the state.

In the Li Ji 礼记 (Book of Rites), Kongzi expounded that each of the five notes of the pentatonic scale or C, D, E, G and A stood for a cosmic element. The five notes are Gong (Kong, Kung), Shang, Jiao, Zhi and Yu. They represent respectively the ruler, ministers, people, world affairs and 10,000 things. Harmony will prevail in the land if the notes are clear.

According to Kongzi, the physical structure of the Qin related to the cosmos to which it resonated. The top surface was rounded like the heavens. The underside was flat like the earth. The space was the emptiness of the Dao. The seven strings represented societal strata.

The ancient Chinese believed that the Primal Sound was called Kung or Huang Chung. While this sound is inaudible, it is present everywhere. The Kung corresponds to the western modern pitch of F. For the ancient Chinese, the alignment with the divine prime tone was the emperor's most important task". (30)

In Hans Cousto's The Cosmic Octave Tuning Forks , the author relates the Kung to the frequency of the Platonic Year. He calculates the note of F in Western Equal Temperament pitch which is found in the 48th octave with a frequency of 344.12 HZ. In the 47th octave it is 172.06 HZ. (31) In addition, Thomas Vaczy Hightower notes that the Chinese continued the cycle of fifths up to 25,524 notes with basic intervals of 0.0021174 savarts. This cycle is very near to that of the precession of the equinoxes or the Pythagorean great year, which is of 25,920 solar years. (32)

A bamboo rod tuned to the Kung was used by Ling Lun (who was a minister of Huangdi) to discover twelve tones that were made by taking two-thirds of each successive tone. In their 2:3 proportions as "fifths" the seven notes appear as F, C, G, D, A, E and B. (33) The twelve tones could be subdivided into 12 lesser Tones associated with the twelve Zodiacal regions.

According to Hightower, the introduction of the factor of five brings us to the harmonic modal scale. (34) He lists the intervals as the harmonic major sixth (5/3),the harmonic major third (5/4), the minor third (6/5), the major half tone (16/15), the minor half (25/24) and the syntonic comma. In this music expert's opinion, the number 5 harmonizes the music while the number 7 may transport it to heavenly regions. Is it any wonder that at Kongzi's birth music floated from heaven and five immortals descended sedately from the clouds?

It seems that Kongzi knew that his death was imminent. It is interesting to note that there were two eclipses recorded prior to his birth in the year 552 BCE and another eclipse in the year 481 (two years prior to his death at the age of 72). In both years, a Qilin was sighted. It was probably the same Qilin since they live for a thousand years. Or was it that his mother saw a male Qilin (sun) and Kongzi saw a dead female Qilin (moon) and metaphorically himself as the last sage?


1. "Unicorn Legends: The Chinese Unicorn"


2. John Bruno Hare, Sacred Texts, Chapter Four, The Divine Spirit of the Waters, 2006


3. John Harper, "Ask John Harper", Wychwood Observatory September 6, 2006


4. Andrew Bennett, "The Phoenix in Earliest Chinese History", Seminar at Okanagan Centre, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, January 25, 2005
Source: The Chinese Classics, Part III, The Annals of the Bamboo Books, p.108.


5. Ibid.,

6. Edward Harper Parker, Ancient China Simplified, Chapter V, Evidences of Eclipses,


7. The Divine Spirit of the Waters, Chapter Four


8. Edward Kaplan, Confucius: The Last Sage and First Political Philosopher, Washington State University: 1989


9. John Harper, "Ask John Harper", Wychwood Observatory September 2, 2006


10. Edward Kaplan, The Confucian Myth Cycle On the Formation of the Chinese State


11. http://saturniancosmology.org/files/slujis/chinasat.txt

12. John Williams, Observations of Comets from B.C. 611 to AD 1640, Digital Library of India, extracted from the Chinese Annals, introduction ix, London: 1871.


13. Kongzi 孔子, Lun Yu, The Analects 2:1

14. Edward Kaplan, Confucius: The Last Sage and First Political Philosopher


15.  Harmen Mesker, "The Shen Sacrifice at Qi Shan"


16. http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/en_travel/2003-09/24/content_34594.htm

17.  Qufu


18. Starry Skies, "Constellation Lyre"


19. Roel Sterckx, Animal Classification in Ancient China, EASTM23 (2005): 26-53, Di Xing, Huainanzi, translated in Major (1993), pp. 208-209.


20.  Derek Walters, Chinese Mythology: An Encyclopedia of Myth and Legend.

21.  Chinese Unicorns


22. Confucius, The Analects, Section Four, Part 16

23. "Unicorn Legends: The Chinese Unicorn",


24. Michael Nylan, Endnotes: The Five Confucian Classics, Chapter 6, The Spring and Summer Annals, p. 298, GY5:73 (Lun Yu B)

http://yalepress.yale.edu/upbooks/pdf//nylan6notes.pdf (p. 22 of 25)

25. "Unicorn Legends: The Chinese Unicorn"


26. Spiralling Evolution, Chapter 10


27. Observations, p.13

http:://arxiv.astro-ph/9902030v2 2 March/99


28. Other Ancient Astronomy,


29. Chapteer 2, Three Streams, Two Approaches to Musuc. 


30. John B. Henderson, Cosmology and Concepts of Nature in Traditional China


31, 32, 34. Thomas Vaczy Hightower, The Creation of Musical Scales, part II


Thomas Vaczy Hightower, The Tone Zodiac


The Platonic Year of the Earth


33. Music-- A Divine Art
THEOSOPHY, Vol. 42, No. 4, February, 1954 (Pages 175-179)




据说是一次日食预示着孔子的出生。在日食后的第20天孔子出生了。如今计算出来就是发生在公元前552年10月份或者是8月27日的事。而从另外一个历法 系统推算出来是公元前551年8月20日。在公元前552年9月早些的时侯也发生了一次日食。毫无疑问,在孔子出生的那天晚上,两条蓝色的龙从天空中来到 孔子母亲的房间里。
从公元前的720年到公元前的481年的这段春秋时代里孔子一共记录了37次日食。789,601,552年的是完整的记录。当然他所记录的日食仅仅是从 山东鲁国视角观察到的。(东经117,纬度35,40),显然,另一个罕见的天文现象几乎与孔子的诞生同时发生,那就是五大行星的会合。


根据Dr. John Harper的Wychwood(无毛树木)的观察,在公元前552年和公元前551年有过几次五大行星的会合。公元前552年3月,火星和木星会合。公 元前551年2月,木星与离太阳更紧的金星回合。最后,公元前551年6月,在早晨可以看见火星与木星在太阳西部会合。

这些会合,包括木星,可能对周朝的祖先、夏商朝的祖先或者更早的祖先是重要的 。 当然,在此期间,月亮会在每月有规律地和每一个行星在一条直线上。




Edward Kaplan 认为,是孔子开始了将“德”转为象征的过程。是他,“德”在被用作“道德”之意时,不仅具有品行端正之意,而且没有失去它的魔力。

北斗星座的含义是:圣人的骨头叫做“斗”。甲骨文字典解释“斗”为:疑用為星名,即北斗,夕至翌日祭之.。星座的名字之所以叫做“北斗”,或许是以 从晚上到第二天早上的祭品的名义来命名的。


同时,孔子也编辑了周朝官方诗集------诗经,其中311首诗是以天文学为主题或参考的。由首诗就是这样开头的:“ 乳白色的路在天上明亮的闪耀着。织女站在银河的旁边。“


传说中的麒麟象征着瑞(平和与繁荣)最早见于公元前140年前的《淮南子》。毛茸茸的小母牛赋予敏感的龙生命,敏感的龙赋予 神马 生命 , 神马 又赋予了麒麟生命。



在天文学术语里,这些颜色是与木星 火星 土星 金星 和水星 五大行星联系在一起的。在天上,这些颜色也相当于龙(东),凤凰(南),鼎(中心),虎(西)和乌龟(北)。
实际上,麒麟是5种动物的混合体,它有着龙脸,鹿身,狮毛,牛尾和马蹄。从某种意义上来说,麒麟象征着不同部分和 颜色的和谐化。

作为一个命名魔术师,他也发现了一块巨大的恐龙骨头的出处,那块骨头在一次 塌方中被发现。难道麒麟的名字是来自早期发现这块巨大恐龙骨头和对它的鉴定吗?

应该指出的是在晚些的时候中国人发现了春分点,这应该归功于生活在公元前320年的于西。他发现一个数值是72弧度每年或者是(144弧度每年被 一个骑士发现的)然而,“天文学家在汉朝就发现冬至要随着星宿而改变”“即使那样他们并没有意识到这是一个连续的过程,它仅仅被叫做是”年差“。
中国古人认为最初的声音叫做Huang Chun .但是这种声音是听不见的,而它又处处存在。这种声音相当于现在西方的F音调。对中国古人而言,与神圣的音调结盟是皇帝的最重要的任务。
在Hans Cousto的/The Cosmic Octave Tuning Forks/,作者把Huang Chung与柏拉图年的频率想联系起来了。作者计算了F音符在第48个八读音阶里的频率是344。12赫兹,在第47个八度音阶里是172。06赫兹。另 外,Thomas Vaczy Hightower指出中国人继续the cycle of fifths up to 25,524 notes with basic intervals of 0.0021174 savarts.。这个周期非常接近于Pythagorean大年的周期。
中国古代的一个宰相叫做Ling Lun用竹器发出了声音Kung,同时他发现了12音阶通过发出Kung里面的2/3的音阶。这个比例2/3作为七音节里面的第五个音阶(分别是:F, C, G, D, A, E, B)这12音节与黄道带联系起来可以分成更细化12音阶。
根据Hightower所言,5的引进把我们带到了一个新的模式标准。他例出了第六个大调的距离是5/3,第三个大调是5/4,第三个小调是6 /5,半大调是16/15,半小调是25/24以及共振音阶。根据这个音乐专家的观点,音阶5协调着音乐,而音阶7使它更加完美。难怪当孔子出生的时候, 音乐从天而降,五阶音乐从云层中倾泻到人间。

无论如何,孔子是指导他的死期将至了,令人感觉有趣的是在公元前552年他出世以前有一次日食,在公元前481年(孔子72岁逝世前两年)又第二 次日食。而在这两年里,一只麒麟出现了,也许是同一只麒麟,因为他们生活了一千年。难道是他母亲看见了一只雄麒麟(代表太阳),孔子看见了一只死麒麟(代 表月亮),就把自己看作最后的圣人吗?

D.  Carlton Rossi copyright 2006   

Chinese Cosmology and Mythology


                                                  D. Carlton Rossi  (copyright 2007)

1.Chinese View of the Constellations


** Aquila Constellation: Chinese text around 500 B.C. identifies pattern of Aquila with the draught ox.

In Chinese myth, the herdsman Ch'ien Niu (the star Altair) is separated from his lover Chih Nu (the star Vega) by the Sun King or T'ien-tsin for their neglect of their duties. They are separated by the river (Milky Way). The princess is sorrowful and asks help of the birds (Aquila and Cygnus "swan"). In Chinese tradition, the magpies form a bridge with their wings over the river. It is also said that the magpies may have built the bridge out of small twigs they carried. The lovers are able to meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month. A third star or Deneb represents the "tai bai" fairy or the chaperone of the two lovers. The cowherd carries their two sons (the two stars on either side of Altair or Alshain and Tarazed) to reunite with their mother.

The Lovers Chih Nu and Ch'ien Niu

"Brilliant show the Draught Oxen, but they do not serve to draw our carts". The three bright stars were their Cowherd from whom the Magpie's Bridge gives access to the Spinning Damsel (Lyra) across the River of the Sky; the Milky Way. [SLM p.58].

古詩十九首 GUSHI SHIJIU SHOU (Nineteen Old Poems)

之十 ZHI SHI (no.10)

迢迢 颗P牵ê訚h女。





Poem #10:

Far away twinkles the Herd-boy star;
Brightly shines the Lady of the Han River.
Slender, slender she plies her white fingers;
Click, click goes the shuttle of her loom.

At the end of the day she has not finished her task;
Her bitter tears fall like streaming rain.
The Han River runs shallow and clear;
Set between them, how short a space!
But the river water will not let them pass,
Gazing at each other but never able to speak.

古詩十九首 GUSHI SHIJIU SHOU (Nineteen Old Poems)之十 ZHI SHI (no.10) SHI (no.10)


From 詩集 Shi Jing (Shih-ching), Book II,5.(203) ("The Book of Songs" ed. Waley,A.,1937.L.21954) hymns of the Zhou Dynasty, sixth to the third centuries B.C.E

2.The Pleiades

The Pleiades marked the beginning of the rainy season. They could be found in the heart of the Chinese Dragon constellation.

"On the Frontier" by Li He.

In the still of autumn see the Pleiades.
Far out on the sands, danger in the furze.
North of their tents is surely the sky's end
Where the sound of the river streams beyond the border.

The mao2 tou2 refers to yak-tail, and also to a kind of ancient flag, decorated with yak tail at the top. However, mao2 tou2 (mao head) actually referred to the Pleiades. The modern Chinese name is mao3. As Graham points out, the flickering of the Pleiades was an omen of invasion by the northern barbarians.


3. Confucius

He was born on the 20th day after the eclipse of the sun which took place in the 10th month of 552 B.C., or the 27th of the 8th moon as worked out to-day.
(for the year 2005 this means September 30 and for year 2006 it means Oct. 18)

8th month Osmanthumens (osmanthus month) 宩寧: osmanthus blossoms.

Ancient China Simplified, Edward Harper Parker, Chapter V, Evidence of Eclipses.
Confucius' birthday Confucius himself records thirty-seven eclipses of the sun between 720 and 481, those of 709, 601, and 549 being total. Of course, Confucius primarily recorded the eclipses as seen from his own vassal state of Lu in Shan Tung province (lat. 35” 40’ N., long, 117” E.).

Ancient China Simplified
Edward Harper Parker

4. Confucius Star

The architecture of the Temple of Confucius resembles that of the Forbidden City in many ways....
The first (southernmost) gate is named "Lingxing Gate" after a star in the Great Bear constellation, the name suggests that Confucius is a star from heaven.


5. Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star. (Confucius)

6. He who exercises government by means of his virtue may be compared to the north polar star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn towards it. (Confucius, Analects)

7. "In about 12,000 years, the brightest star of the Constellation Lyre will become the North Star. A slight wobble in Earth's daily rotation causes our north pole to trace a circle among the stars every 26,000 years. This motion is called precession and it causes the pole to point at different stars over this 26,000 year period."

8. "The Polar Star is the Centre of Heaven. Shang-te's
throne is in Tsze-wei,that is, the Polar Star. Immediately over the central peak of Kwen-lun appears the Polar star, which is Shang-te's heavenly abode. In the central place the Polar star of Heaven, the one Bright One, the Great Monad, always dwells.

The Polar Star in Chinese Mythology

9. Starry Skies, Constellation Lyre

The parallelogram shaped Lyre may be seen in the map of the early autumn skies where it is positioned at a higher latitude, but between a line running through the Constellation Hercules and Aquila.

The Constellation Lyre

North Circumpolar Stars which include Hercules and Lyre

10. About 350 B.C., Shih Shen compiled a list of stars containing 122 constellations and 809 stars

11. In 352 B.C. Chinese observers report a supernova--the earliest recorded sighting.
This sighting may have inspired Shih Shen to create his star map.

12. The Early Chinese Constellations


Star Lab Planetarium

Refer to the The Chinese write the Book of Silk, which is the earliest known atlas of comets. The book is discovered in a tomb in 1973.



The Chinese called Sirius by the name of 天狼星 (tiān láng xīng; tenrōsei) or literally the heavenly wolf star. They knew this place as the bridge between heaven and hell, the bridge of the gatherer, the judge. In the higher mind are gathered the results of the experiences of the personality. Between each life, the soul judges its past progress and the conditions needed to aid its future growth. As long as it is attached to desire, sensation, and needs experiences, it takes a body. The soul cannot pass over the "bridge" until it is perfected.

天狼星 is the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere. It appears as a white star about 10 times brighter than our sun. It was described by Sima Qian in the Shih Chi-day Official Book written around 100 B.C. as "White than wolf".

Sirius Color of Ancient Chinese Records
written by Jiang Xiao Yuan, 1992

Sirius -- The Heavenly Wolf Star


In the Soochow Astronomical Chart, an eight-centuries-old inscription in stone, in a section that deals with past irregularities in the heavens, there is the following statement: “Once T’ai-P’ai (Venus) suddenly ran into Lang Hsing (Wolf Star, Sirius), though it is more than 40 degrees south of the Yellow Road.”6 The Yellow Road is the ecliptic.7 The same ancient tradition was referred to by the early eighth-century A.D. Chinese astronomer Y-hang. As told by Gaubil,8 Y-hang wrote that “in the time of Tsin one saw the star Sirius eclipsed by the planet Venus. Y-hang, after having reported this alleged observation, assures that Sirius has 40 degrees south latitude, and that therefore Heaven changed the course of this planet in the time of Tsin.

As the Chinese astronomer correctly observed, the ancient records of Venus' movements cited by him would require the planet to travel outside of the ecliptic, on an orbit quite different from its present course. Whereas the Soochow Astronomical Chart might leave the impression of a one-time event, the more detailed records cited by Y-hang tell of a regular phenomenon. The brightest of the planets approaching the brightest of the fixed stars and merging its light with the heavenly wolf star, if that is the correct interpretation of the texts, must have been an impressive sight.

Venus and Sirius
Ancient Cosmologies, Jan Sammer

The ancient Chinese regarded the planet Venus as a male warrior, so Venus' occultation of Sirius would herald a time of strife. Venus is ten times brighter than any star and Sirius is the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere. They must have been quite a brilliant pair as Venus approached Sirius.


A main-sequence star with this mass would have emitted a few times more light than Regulus in Leo, which a 2005 study found has 3.4 solar masses. If Sirius B shone so brightly today, it would look brighter than Venus or bright enough to cast shadows.

The Life and Times of Sirius B
Ken Croswell, July 27, 2005

Sirius B shone as a main-sequence star and then a red giant for 101 to 126 million years or the expected lifetime of a star born with about 5 solar masses.

Every 49.9 years, Sirius A and B, come as close together as their orbits allow, creating huge magnetic storms between them. As they approach each other, the stars both begin to spin faster as tidal forces become stronger, finally flip-flopping over, actually trading places with each other.

每隔49.9 年,天狼星 A 和B, 在它们的轨道允许的情况下尽可能亲密接触, 从而在它们之间造成巨大的磁性风暴。当它们互相接近时,随着潮汐力量的加强,两颗星星的转速不断加快, 最后突然翻转, 实际上相互交换位置。 中国人把Sirius 命名为天狼星。他们把这个地方作为天堂和地狱之间的桥梁, 召集人和法官之间的桥梁。在较高级的头脑里,汇集了个人的经验的结晶。在每一个生命之间, 灵魂会判断有助于他未来成长的过去的进步及境况。只要它和欲望, 灵感相结合并且需要体验, 就会形成肉体。一个人的灵魂无法通过这座"桥梁" ,除非他的灵魂达到了完善的程度。 天狼星是北半球最明亮的星。它看起来是一个白色的星球,大约比我们的太阳亮10倍。大约在公元前100年,司马迁在《史记•天宫书》中描述它“白比 狼” 。

14. The Ancient Chinese View of Eclipses

To the ancient Chinese, solar eclipses meant that dragons were devouring the sun.

Observing total solar eclipses was a major element of forecasting the future health and successes of the Emperor, and astrologers were left with the onerous task of trying to anticipate when these events might occur. Failure to get the prediction right since the pattern of total solar eclipses is erratic in any specific geographic location resulted in the beheading in 2300 B.C of two astrologers.

Ancient Chinese Solar Eclipses

15. Mawangdui or Horse King Hill Texts (Book of Silk)
Other cultures have not been so optimistic. The Chinese, known for their meticulous observations, have left such fabulous relics as the Mawangdui silk, a textbook of 29 different cometary forms and the various disasters associated with them.

The Great Bear Constellation

The Big Dipper or Ursa Major Asterism

"Already on oracle bones is dou 斗 used to refer to the star constellation beidou 北斗, the Northern Ladle, in the West known as Ursa Major or the Great Bear. The 甲骨文字典 explains dou as "疑用為星名,即北斗,夕至翌日祭之.", "probably the name of a star (constellation), namely beidou, from the evening to the next day sacrifices are made to it".

The Sheng Sacrifice at Qi Shan

written by Harmen Daboek

There are other heavenly bodies which likewise exercise an influence upon the earth. As the five planets form, in addition to the sun and moon, the seven rulers of the seasons, thus also the seven stars of the Great Bear contribute their quota to the direction of the seasons. This splendid constellation has attracted the attention and poetical fancy of almost every nation on earth; but I never heard of any people that turned this remarkable cluster of stars to such a practical account. The Chinese look upon the seven stars of the Great Bear as forming a natural clock. For the body of the Great Bear being in ancient times considerably nearer to the North Pole than it is now, the tail appeared to move round the pole somewhat like the hand of a clock or watch. Considering then the earth's surface to form the dial-plate and dividing the horizon into twenty-four equal parts, whilst the tail of the Great Bear acts as the hand of the clock, we have a simple method to determine the above mentioned twenty-four seasons of the year. When the tail of the Great Bear points, at nightfall, to the East, it is spring to all the world. When it points to the South, it is summer; when it points to the West, it is autumn; and when it points, at nightfall, to the North, it is winter. The light of these seven stars is supposed moreover to exercise a great influence upon the earth and upon all dwellers on earth, and these seven stars are, therefore, combined with sun and moon, called the nine luminaries of the world.

The Great Bear Constellation also represented the government in ancient Chinese culture.

see Confucianism folder, Feng Shui file, The Laws of Nature, Chapter II, Ernest Eitel, 1883

On Chinese Astronomy

written by S. Y. Ho

List of Chinese Constellations and their Western Equivalents.

Jiao (Spica), Kang (Virgo), Di (Libra), Fang (Libra), Xin (Antares), Wei (Scorpius), Ji (Sagittarius), Dou (Sagittarius), Niu (Capricorn), Nu (Aquarius), Xu (Aquarius), Wei Aquarius/Pegasus, Shi (Pegasus), Bi (Pegasus), Kui (Andromeda), Lou (Aries), Wei (Aries), Mao (Pleiades), Bi (Taurus), Zi (Orion), Shen (Orion), Jing (Gemini), Gui (Cancer), Liu (Hydra), Xing (Alphard), Zhang (Crater), Yi (Corvus), Zhen (Corvus)

Chinese Names of the Twenty-Eight Constellations


名称 角. 亢. 氐. 房. 心. 尾. 箕. 斗. 牛. 女. 虚. 危. 室. 壁.
星期 木. 金. 土. 日. 月. 火. 水. 木. 金. 土. 日. 月. 火. 水.
编号 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

名称 奎. 娄. 胃. 昴. 毕. 觜. 参. 井. 鬼. 柳. 星. 张. 翼. 轸.
星期 木. 金. 土. 日. 月. 火. 水. 木. 金. 土. 日. 月. 火. 水.
编号 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28.


Constellations Catalogued at a Later Time
As far as cataloguing went, Shi Shen, Gan De, and Wu Xian (370-270 B.C. in sum) recorded 1464 stars in 283 constellations. This is 200 years before the first western catalogue (by Hipparchus). In A.D. 310, Astronomer Royal Qian Luozhi had a bronze celestial globe made with stars that were color-coded as to their source. From the Han Dynasty, there are carvings that show constellations and asterisms with stars linked to delineate the various groups.

The Chinese constellations were in the form of Five Palaces; the number five possibly results from the five elements of earth, fire, water, metal, and wood.

The Palace of Purple Tenuity was the circumpolar area.
The Palace of the East was the Azure Dragon.
The Palace of the South was the Vermillion Bird.
The Palace of the West was the White Tiger.
The Palace of the North was the Dark Warrior, represented by an intertwined turtle and snake.

Historical Supernovae observed by Humanity

2241 BC ?? ? -10 Dubiously listed in some source
352 BC ? CHINESE; "first such record" according to Hellemans/Bunch
4 BC spring AQUILA Chinese
185 AD Cen -2 G315.4-2.3 CHINESE
386 Sgr G11.2-0.3? CHINESE
393/396 Sco -3 SNR 393 CHINESE
437 ? Gem
827 ? Sco/Oph -10
902 ? Cas 0
1006 Apr 30 Lup -9+-1 SNR 1006 Arabic; also CHINESE, Japanese, European
1054 Jul 4 Tau -6 M1 CHINESE, North American (?); also Arab, Japan
1181 Aug 6 Cas -1 3C 58 CHINESE and Japanese
1203 ? Sco 0
1230 ? AQUILA 1572 Nov 6 Cas -4 Tycho SNR Tycho Brahe's SN
1592 ? Cet Korean; probably Nova
1592 ? Cas Korean; probably Nova
1592 ? Cas Korean; probably Nova
1604 Oct 9 Oph -3 Kepler SNR Johannes Kepler's SN
1680? 1667? Cas Cas A Flamsteed ? not seen ?

Historical Supernovae which include those observed in Aquila


Hartmut Frommert,Christine Kronberg, April 2005

Star Maps from Dunhuang

Tang Dynasty 618 - 906 A.D.
This section of the scroll depicts an anthropomorphic figure holding a bow, labelled 'God of Lighning' in Chinese.

A Chinese star chart possibly dating from the 7th century AD mapped the heavens with an accuracy unsurpassed until the Renaissance, according to research.

The Dunhuang chart is the oldest manuscript star map in the world and one of the most valuable treasures in astronomy.

The fine paper scroll, measuring 210 by 25 centimetres, (82 by 10 inches) displays no less than 1,345 stars grouped in 257 non-constellation patterns.

Solving Scientific and Medical Problems in General Research on China, Nathan Sivin, Draft 4, 2005.11.8

This webpage provides ways to research Astrology and Astronomy among other areas of scientific interest that include the following areas:

1. Orientation
2. Han cosmology
3. Stars as Tang authors saw them
4. Converting old Chinese dates to new modern ones
5. Archeoastronomy in China
6. Collection of rare early star maps
7. Detailed and up-to-date history
8. Comparing Chinese eclipse records with those of other cultures

Chinese Astrology and Astronomy Research Materials

Ancient Chinese Star Charts of the 283 Constellations


Three Enclosures

紫 微 垣 Purple Forbidden Enclosure
太 微 垣 Supreme Palace Enclosure
天 市 垣 Heavenly Market Enclosure

Each of these enclosures contains a number of asterisms and some named stars. Then there are twenty-eight mansions that contain a number of asterisms and a few named stars.

Complete Listing of Enclosures, Mansions, Asterisms and Stars are found at the link below.

English-Chinese Glossary of Chinese Star Regions, Asterism and Star Names.
Hong Kong Space Museum

The Nested Rectangles and Triangles of the NCP

While the rectangle is not a natural shape on the earth nevertheless it is perceived to be found in the heavens. For example, it is found as the North Circumpolar Rectangle (NCP). On one end it is composed of the stars Alcor-Mizar and Alioth of Ursae Majoris (Big Dipper) and on the other end Pherkad and Kocab of Ursae Minoris (Little Dipper). The dipper asterisms revolved once a year about the polestars 11 Draconis and 10 Draconis—its binary companion.  In the early Egyptian lunar calendar this revolution took 360 days.  The author contends that in the same way it may have been seen that 10 Draconis orbited seven times in 359.8 days around 11 Draconis. To be more specific, they orbited each other in a gravitational embrace. 

Both polestars were visible to the naked eye. It was reported that in the past 11 Draconis (the Alpha star of the constellation of Draco) was actually brighter than it is today. Currently, its apparent magnitude is 3.65 while the magnitude of 10 Draconis is 4.62.  The polestar today is called Polaris which is brighter than both although it will never be as close to the northern pole. 


Mirovlav Verner who was author of The Pyramids used a simulated reconstruction of the sky over Giza in 2,500 BCE. He shows that the north shaft in the King's Chamber was aimed at Alpha Draconis (Thuban) ... while in the Queen's Chamber the north shaft was aimed at Beta Ursae Minoris (Kochab). It is conceivable that these shafts directed the souls of the pharaoh and his queen on their solar boats to the afterlife.

An Overview of the History of Ideas on the Shafts in Khufu's Pyramids


The Nile Decoded:  Revealing the Secret of the World's Longest River, Goro Adachi, 2003

In 2787 BCE, 11 Draconis (Thuban) lay just 1/180 of the width of the full moon from the northern pole.  Both 11 and 10 Draconis remained pole stars from around 4000 to 1900 BCE. These pole stars were also known respectively by the Chinese as Taiyi and Tianyi which according to Didier "are none other than those that sat at the pole during the 3rd millennium B.C." (Didier, "In and Outside the Square", p.82.  Taiyi was called Taiyi (太一) or the Great One and Tianyi (天一) or The Heavenly One. It is likely that Tianyi was another name for Taiyi when the god toured.

It is conjectured by the author that the perceived distance between 11 Draconis and 10 Draconis at its furthest point within the North Circumpolar Rectangle at the tail of Draco served as approximate measurements for the original heights of The Great Pyramid (Khufu) or 481.4 feet and Khafre or 471 feet. It is further hypothesized by D. Carlton Rossi that there is a smaller nested rectangle within the NCP marked on one side by Draconis 11 and on the other side by Draconis 10 that may also have been appreciated by the ancients.  He terms this the Binary Star Nested Rectangle of the NCP. (D. Carlton Rossi copyright 2014)

The three sides of the The Great Pyrmid are as follows: 1) Pherkad to 11 Draconis to Alcor -Mizar  2) Alcor-Mizar to  Merak  3)  Merak to Pherkad. The three sides of the Khafre pyramid are as follows: 1) the 10 Draconis line   2) down to Merak  3) towards the baseline of the nested rectangle of the NCP and pointing to Pherkad.

This means that the Khufu pyramid (triangle) is the largest of the nested triangles. The royal falcon which represents the pharaoh is a nesting bird. From the 
Sacred Celestial Falcons (D. Carlton Rossi copyright 2014) one can see a falcon on the left which might be superimposed upon the nested triangles. The feature of nesting indicates close family ties between father,son and grandson.

 Himmelsk nestede pyramidene  (D. Carlton Rossi copyright 2014)
 The Nested Celestial Pyramids

The pyramid of Menkaure (grandson)is a nested pyramid (triangle) of both Khafre and Khufu.  It runs as follows:  1) one side from Megrez to the base of Khafre and Khufu  2) the other side from Megrez to Merak while the base runs toward Pherkad. It means effectively that one side of Khufu and Khafre are pointing toward the cup of the Little Dipper while another side of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaura are pointing to the cup of the Big Dipper.  All three bases of the pyramids (triangles) link the cups of the Big and Little Dippers. All three pyramids (triangles) sit on top of the solar boat of Ra.

The terms triangles and pyramids have been used interchangeably; however, while they may be similar they are not the same. Therefore, another I'mage (D. Carlton Rossi copyright 2014) is introduced for clarification. It is from the pyramid series and called  Die Himmilishcen Fundamente der Pyramiden  (D. Carlton Rossi copyright 2014).  It shows what might be called an aerial or celestial view of the pyramids with the solar boat on its side.  The three pyramids have four sides and square bases. Also, they are notable in that there is an equalization of their size which might indicate pyramids and pharaohs of equal importance in contrast to the nested version.

This equalization is also reflected in the interlocking triangular version called El Enclavamiento Pirámides Celestes (D. Carlton Rossi copyright 2014). Equalization promotes harmonization while differentiation supports stratification. It is apparent that both equalization and stratification exist simultaneously in an ideal reality. Its purpose might be to achieve a cosmic balance. 

Die Himmilishen Fundamente der Pyramiden

German  (D. Carlton Rossi  copyright 2014)

The Celestial Foundations of the Pyramids  (English)

In geometric terms one can see how the large triangle associated with Ra or the sun god may be reflected in the triangle belonging to Hathor or the moon goddess which is opposite to it.  (see Le Bateau Lunaire d’Het Hert (D. Carlton Rossi copyright 2014) of the pyramid series). Together, the two triangles can be viewed as a square.


                      I'mage of the Ages (D. Carlton Rossi  copyright  2014)

I'mage of the Ages (D. Carlton Rossi copyright 2014) is a detailed mandala which in part represents the attempt to square the circle. As you can see though it can provide a basic template for the two asterisms.
 This poem also illustrates how the NCP Rectangle is located at the top of the second square from the centre. It should be noted that The Elegant Celestial Giza series is black on white (with the exception of the vulture) whereas the Banpo series is white on black.


                                    Poem 29  

The triangle and square patterns are not exclusive to The Elegant Celestial Giza series (D. Carlton Rossi copyright 2014). They are also prevalent in the Banpo Poetry series (D. Carlton Rossi copyright 2014) as mandalas and other poems. This particular pattern combines the frog-fish images. In the celestial versions of both series the frog and fish are sacred animals.                                                                       


天空的 狮头人像        


     Ta4 Tsun1 Tian1 Kong1 de Shi1 Tou2 Ren2 Xiang4

     Extremely Honourable Celestial Sphinx


            Greek Cosmology and Mythology

1. The Lost Histories of Alexander the Great
, Lionel Pearson, p.145.

According to Strabo, Nearchus started on his coastal voyage at the time of the evening rising of the Pleiad in the autumn. Arrian gives the Athenian date (just before the rising) of the twentieth of Boedromion which according to Beloch's calculation would be September 20th or 21st in the year 326 B.C.

2. "Nearchus says that when they were sailing along the coast from Kyiza, just at daylight they saw a stream of water spurting out from the sea as though it were being forced up by squalls of wind; and alarmed at this they asked the guides what this thing was and what caused it; and they replied that there were whales moving along under the surface spouting water. Nearchus says that the oars fell from the hands of the sailors in fright; and he went along the line of ships to rouse their spirits and cheer them, and all the crews that he came to as he sailed along he told them to raise the battle cry in line with their stroke and to row at full speed and splashing furiously. So they plucked up courage and at the signal they moved away all together, and when they came near the monsters they shouted with all the strength of their lungs and the trumpets sounded, and the splash of theirr oars could be heard for a great distance and so it happened that the whales, just as they became visible ahead of the ships took fright and dived down into the depths and afterwards came up to the surface astern and again set up a great spout of water. Then there was a clatter of applause from the sailors at their remarkable escape and praise for the courage and cleverness of Nearchus"

The Lost Histories of Alexander the Great, Lionel Pearson, pp.136-137.
Anabasis of Alexander and Indica, Chapter XXX, p.436.

3. Orcinus

The orca "killer whale" is the largest member of the dolphin family. It has a tall, falcate (sickle-shaped dorsal fin and large paddle-like flippers. Orcas eat a diverse diet of fish, squid, sharks, marine animals, turtles, octopi and birds. Orcas commonly breach.

Orca Whale

Order: Cetacea (whales and dolphins)
Suborder: Odontoceti (toothed whales)
Family: Delphinidae (oceanic dolphins)
Genus: Orcinus
Species: Orca

a. Orca Whale Breaching

b. Orca Whale Breaching

4. Right Whale

The Right Whale is a baleen whale that filter feeds plankton and tiny crustaceans like copepods, krill and pteropods from the water. It has no dorsal fin. It is one of the largest animals on the planet.

The Right Whale often breaches; for example, Eubalaena Australis breaches commonly. A true breach is when the whale breaks the water. twists in the air and lands on its back. Whales breach about 80% of the time in this way; otherwise, they do what I call a false breach or a belly flop.

Right Whale

Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetacea (whales and dolphins)
Suborder: Mysticeti (baleen whales)
Family: Balaenidae
Genus: Eubalaena


Southern Right Whale or Baleana Australis Breaching

b. Southern Right Whale Breaching


5. Bottlenose Dolphin

Delphinus or The Dolphin is modelled on the common Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. It is also found in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Atlantic Bottlenose is a small cetacean. It is one of 76 cetacean species. It has a long, beaklike snout, a facate (sickle-shaped) dorsal fin, and sharp teeth. It lives in small group called a pod. The dolphin grows to be at most 12 feet (3.7m) long and may weigh as much as 1,400 pounds (635 kg.) It has a streamlined body and a rounded head. It also has slightly pointed flippers. It is a hunter that eats mostly fish and squid. Orcas and sharks are its natural enemy.

Bottlenose Dolphin Breaching

Bottlenose Dolphin, Southern Right Whale and Orca Pictures

6. "Moreover, Nearchus says that when the king was completing his journey he himself began the voyage, in the autumn, at the time of the rising of the Pleid in the west".

Strabo, Geography,Loeb Classical Library, 1932, Book XV, Chapter 2

7. Constellations of the Autumn season include Aquila, Hercules, Delphinus and Orion

8. Homer refers to the star Sirius of Canis Major as the "autumnal star" in The Iliad.

"And Pallas now the ennoble Diomed

Amongst the Greeks, with force did him inspire,

Whereby his heart and hands were strengthened;

And on his shield and helmet stood a fire."

[ The first battle continued, wherein Pallas strengthened Diomedes to supply the absence of Achilles.

Bright as the autumnal star above his head.]

Homer, The Iliad, ed. Molesworth, Book Five, lines 1-5


Heracles, in mythology, is best known for his twelve labors, which are thought to represent the Sun's passing through the twelve constellations of the zodiac.

Named Stars of Hercules

Alpha 1 Her (RASALGETHI)
Double Star 1. orange 2. emerald

Beta Her (Kornephoros)

Delta Her (Sarin)
Double Star 1. greenish white 2. grape red

Kappa Her (Marfik)
Double Star 1. yellow 2. orange

Lambda Her (Maasym)
Omega Her (Kajam)

Her 113 (yellow color)
Her 110 (white color)
Her 111 (white color)

Hercules Constellation as presented by Starry Skies


Milky Way Hercules Constellation

Hercules the Kneeling Man

Star Diagram of Hercules

10. The Supernova of M13 Hercules Globular Cluster M1

This cluster is known as the Crab Nebula. The supernova remnant is one of the most famous in the night sky. It was discovered by Edmond Halley in 1714.

Supernova in the Crab Nebula of the constellation Hercules


Aquila (the Eagle) is the messenger from heaven, leading souls to immortality.

Named Stars of Aquila

Alpha Aql (ALTAIR)
1. yellowish white to white, Spectral Class A
- eagle's breast

Beta Aql (ALSHAIN)
Double Star 1. yellow 2. red

Gamma Aql (TARAZED)
1. bright orange to reddish
- eagle's back

Epsilon Aql (Deneb el Okab) (Deneb Australis) 13 Aql
1. orange color
- eagle's tail

Zeta Aql (Deneb el Okab) ((Deneb Borealis) 17 Aql
1. white color
- eagle's tail

Bordering Constellations
* Sagitta
* Hercules
* Ophiuchus
* Serpens Cauda
* Scutum
* Sagittarius
* Capricornus
* Aquarius
* Delphinus

I. Description of Stars in Aquila

a)ALTAIR: also called Alpha Aquilae, is the most southerly of the three stars of the Summer Triangle. It is also the most similar to our Sun, being only 1.5 times larger, and 10 times more luminous. It's also closer to us than either Vega or Deneb only 17 light years away. Altair is part of the Aquila (Eagle) constellation.

b)TARAZED: The name of this star, Tarazed, comes from the Persian name for the constellation of Aquila, Shahin tara zed, "The Star-striking Falcon."

Milky Way Aquila Constellation


Aquila the Eagle

Star Diagram of Aquila

12. Supernova observed in the Aquila constellation at the birth of Christ

A supernova explosion (lasting a couple of months) was observed by Chinese astronomers and is also mentioned in the Korean chronicles. This supernova was presaged by a triple conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars in February of 6 BC.

Interestingly, according to Matthew 2:9, the three Magi (Zoroastrian astronomer-priests) first witnessed the nova event in the eastern sky (over Iran) but then, having completed their long journeyed down to Jerusalem, they saw the Star appearing in the southern sky over Bethlehem at dawn: '… they (the Magi) departed (from Jerusalem) and, lo, the Star which they (first) saw in the east went forth (southward) before them until it came and stood over where the child was'. Kidger has determined that the heliacal rising of the Aquila supernova shifted in the sky from east to south over the seventy or so days it took the Magi to reach Palestine - in accordance with Matthew's gospel.


Supernova observed by Chinese in constellation H0-Ku (Aquila)

"However, Ho Peng Yoke in his catalogue of "Ancient and Mediaeval Observations of Comets and Novae in Chinese Sources" lists two objects in 5 and 4 B.C. in the Chinese constellations Chhien-Niu and HO-KU, respectively. These small configurations correspond to regions in Capricorn including beta and xi Caprircorni, and in AQUILA including alpha (Altair), gamma, and phi Aquilae".

Star of Bethlehem

In the book called the "Ch'ien-han-shu", we find the following reference:

"In the second year of the period of Ch'ien-p'ing, second month, a hui-hsing appeared in Ch'ien-niu for more than 70 days"

Chinese and Babylonian Observations

13. Novae and Supernovae in Aquila

Supernova 2004dc was discovered by Tom Boles in the constellation Aquila

Picture of SN2004dc Supernova

Two early Novae were recorded in Aquila. The first one appeared in 389 A.D. was as bright as Venus. The second one shone brighter than Altair (the brightest star of Aquila).

Nova Aquila was an aged white dwarf star that exploded in late 1999. It put out more than 100,000 times more energy than our sun. Eight months after the initial explosion the activity was still not over. It had taken 100,000 years to get enough energy to trigger a thermonuclear explosion.

Going Nova: New Surprises from an Ancient Star

by Robert Roy Britt

14. Named Stars of Delphinus

Alpha Del (Sualocin)
Beta Del (Rotanev)
Epsilon Del (Deneb Dulfim)
Gamma Del
Double Star 1. gold 2. bluish green


Milky Way Constellation Delphinus

Delphinus the Dolphin, Rescuer of Poetry

15. The Pleiades

October 10th Rise of the Vergiliae (Pleiades)

"When the Pleiades Atlagenes (born of Atlas) are rising [early May], begin your harvest, and your ploughing when they are going to set [November]. Forty nights and days they are hidden and appear again as the year moves round, when first you sharpen your sickle." - Hesiod, Works & Days 383

And so up to this time Orion seems to be following them (Pleiades) as they flee towards the west. "The Pleiades, fleeing adread from glorious Orion, plunge beneath the stream of tireless Okeanos." - Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 5.367

16. The Forty-Eight Constellations Listed in Ptolemy's Almagest

***21 Northern Constellations***

Andromeda, AQUILA, Auriga, Boötes, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Corona Borealis, Cygnus, DELPHINUS, Draco, Equuleus, HERCULES, Lyra, Ophiuchus, Pegasus, Perseus, Sagitta, Serpens, Triangulum, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor

***12 Zodiacal Constellations***

Aries, Aquarius, Cancer, Capricornus, Gemini, Leo,
Libra, Pisces, Sagittarius, Scorpius, Taurus, Virgo

***15 Southern Constellations***

Ara, Argo Navis, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Centaurus, Cetus,
Corona Australis, Corvus, Crater, Eridanus, Hydra, Lepus, Lupus, Orion, Pisces Austrinus



Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander and Indica, translator Edward Chinnock, London: George Bell and Sons, 1893.

Homer, The Iliad and The Odyssey in the English Works of Thomas Hobbes, editor Sir William Molesworth, (London:Bohn, 1839-45) Vol. 10

Pearson, Lionel, The Lost Histories of Alexander the Great, , The American Philological Association, New York, N.Y. 1960

Strabo, Geography,Loeb Classical Library, 1932

Eighty-Eight Modern Western Constellations and their Chinese Names

Andromeda 仙女座 | Antlia 唧筒座 | Apus 天燕座 | Aquarius 寶瓶座 | AQUILA 天鷹座 | Ara 天壇座 | Aries 白羊座 | Auriga 御夫座 | Boötes 牧夫座 | Caelum 雕具座 | Camelopardalis 鹿豹座 | Cancer 巨蟹座 | Canes Venatici 獵犬座 | Canis Major 大犬座 | Canis Minor 仙后座 | Centaurus 半人馬座 | Cepheus 仙王座 | Cetus 鯨魚座 | Chamaeleon 蝘蜓座 | Circinus 圓規座 | Columba 天鴿座 | Coma Berenices 后髮座 | Corona Australis 南冕座 | Corona Borealis 北冕座 | Corvus 烏鴉座 | Crater 巨爵座 | Crux 南十字座 | Cygnus 天鵝座 | DELPHINUS 海豚座 | Dorado 劍魚座 | Draco 天龍座 | Equuleus 小馬座 | Eridanus 波江座 | Fornax 天爐座 | Gemini 雙子座 | Grus 天鶴座 | HERCULES 武仙座 | Horologium 時鐘座 | Hydra 長蛇座 | Hydrus 水蛇座 | Indus 印第安座 | Lacerta 蝎虎座 | Leo 獅子座 | Leo Minor 小獅座 | Lepus 天兔座 | Libra 天秤座 | Lupus 豺狼座 | Lynx 天貓座 | Lyra 天琴座 | Mensa 山案座 | Microscopium 顯微鏡座 | Monoceros 麒麟座 | Musca 蒼蠅座 | Norma 矩尺座| Octans 南極座| Ophiuchus 蛇夫座| Orion 獵戶座| Pavo 孔雀座 | Pegasus 飛馬座 | Perseus 英仙座 | Phoenix 鳳凰座 | Pictor 繪架座 | Pisces 雙魚座 | Piscis Austrinus 南魚座 | Puppis 船尾座 | Pyxis 羅盤座 | Reticulum 網罟座 | Sagitta 天箭座 | Sagittarius 人馬座 | Scorpius 天蝎座 | Sculptor 玉夫座 | Scutum 盾牌座 | Serpens 巨蛇座 | Sextans 六分儀座 | Taurus 金牛座 | Telescopium 望遠鏡座| Triangulum 三角座 | Triangulum Australe 南三角座 | Tucana 杜鵑座 | Ursa Major 大熊座 | Ursa Minor 小熊座 | Vela 船帆座 | Virgo 室女座 | Volans 飛魚座 | Vulpecula 狐狸座

Aquila 天鷹座

This constellation exhibits 70 stars visible to the naked eye.

It includes five Chinese constellations.

1. Market Officer
2. Celestial Drumstick
3. Pearls on Ladies' Wear
4. Right Flag
5 Drum at River

Delphinus 海豚座

This constellation exhibits 30 stars visible to the naked eye.

It includes two Chinese constellations.

1. Good gourd
2. Bad gourd

Hercules 武仙座

This constellation exhibits 140 stars visible to the naked eye.

It includes nine Chinese constellations.

2. Patriarchal Clan
3. Left Wall
4. Textile Ruler
5. Eunuch Official
6. Celestial Discipline
7. Celestial Flail
8. Woman's Bed
9. Butcher Shop


Generally speaking, all material things change and are in a process of flux.  How does one achieve some measure of certainty in uncertain times and places?  This paper will look at some methods to achieve a degree of certainty either directly or indirectly through astronomy while concluding with possible consequences of uncertainty.

The flooding of the Nile River was important to ancient Egyptian civilization. The silts brought by the river nourished the land.  In terms of certainty of time, a method was devised to predict the onset of flooding.  It was realized that there was a connection between our sun (a star) and the distant star of Sirius.  On a certain date every year our sun eclipsed Sirius.  It hid Sirius for 70 days or during the time of flooding.  (It no longer predicts flooding because of precession).

In China, the flooding of the Yellow River was not so benign. These destructive floods seemed unpredictable and irregular. Therefore, a great degree of uncertainty arose. 

However, Huangdi devised two ways to establish certainty in other areas. The first method was the invention of the south-pointing chariot. There had been an uncertainty in warfare regarding directions. If the sky was overcast and one’s position could not be set by the sun during the day or by the stars at night then one was at a great disadvantage. Also, if natural phenomenon like fog obscured one’s view then one could not advance against the enemy. A geared mechanism allowed Huangdi to direct his army through heavy fog.  It was a scientific invention that allowed Huangdi to defeat his enemy.  The direction of the pointer could also be verified in clear skies with positions of the sun and stars.  

The second invention of Huangdi which led to certainty was the calendar based on the solar year.  The lunar calendar varied too much and its accuracy was deficient. If one wished to understand the heavens and one’s relation to the stars then a lunar-solar calendar was needed. Civilization, too, was advancing from a nomadic to a sedentary society based on agriculture and aquaculture. Farmers had a better idea when to plant and harvest crops in the fields and rice in the fish ponds, based on the new calendar. 

Confucius established certainty with his reference to the Pole Star which shows the north direction. He said that the Pole Star is regarded as the one around which all others pivot. Over the millennia, the position of the pole star varies. In 2700 BCE, it was Thuban of Draco, in Confucius’ time it was Polaris while in the year 13,727 BCE it will be Vega. It will return to these stars, too.  Whatever the name of the pole star, it will serve to guide in uncertain circumstances and provide certainty for many in many ways.

The character “ru” is said to have come from the character “xu” which was composed of two parts or cloud and sky. The meaning of the character ru has also changed over the centuries, as has the position of the pole star; but, the importance of both has not changed. The shamans of the Shang Dynasty studied rituals, but they also needed to familiarize themselves with astronomy/astrology to predict rain or drought.  Ritual dances were performed in rain-making. This is reflected in the poem called  where there was a ritual dance of a shaman to bring rain.


            chì rì yán yán  xià  pù  wū

            qī  qiú  huò  cuì  niǎo  Tāng  tīng

            bīng  hé  tǔ  zhǐ  gān  yīn  wǔ

            wǔ dǎo  zhī  xiāng kè  lǚ xíng


             shaman exposed under hot scorching sun

             long awaited sound of rain heard by kingfisher Tang

             ice and earth stopped aridness because of dance

             dance of mutual conquest performed

Later, ru applied to professionals in rites, rituals and ceremonies.  By the time of Confucius, ru referred to ritual masters who became teachers in official education.  They mastered six areas of skills.  One of the skills was astrology/astronomy.  For example, Confucius recorded thirty-seven eclipses of the sun between 720 and 481 BCE. 

Yao, Xinzhang, An introduction to Confucianism, Yao, Xinzhang, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge:2000, pp.19-20.

It seems that there are at least three ways to establish certainty. They are related either directly or indirectly to the stars. The first way is the invention of a calendar. It may be a solar calendar, used by the Egyptians, based on the heliacal rising of Sirius along with the flooding of the Nile or the Chinese calendar based on longitude of sun and lunar phases. The second way is through a design or physical invention that shows direction such as the south-pointing chariot in China. The third way is the study of astrology/astronomy. It was said, for example, in Egypt that the Nile mirrored the Milky Way while in China the Yellow River mirrored the river of stars. In particular, though, it was the recognition by many civilizations that stars pivoted around the Pole Star and the Big Bear pointed to it.    

The poet wished to honor Confucius.  He decided to design a full constellation or asterism called 至聖 星座  (© D. Carlton Rossi).  It would combine seven stars from two different constellations and also add our sun. The number of stars would coincide with the number of stars in Ursa Major plus the Pole Star in Ursa Minor.  While the poet’s “Golden Sol” deals directly with the new constellation; nevertheless, its precedent was a reference to the Big Dipper and Polaris in an earlier poem called “The Question Mark”.  Notice that in the second line there are eight words of two letters each. As the question mark mimitates the pattern of Dipper and Polaris, so, too, does the new constellation imitate it. 

                               Interrogate point might mimitate
                               distant Dipper and Polaris.

                               Or no to do so is of
                               an arbitrary pattern.


The new constellation would include opposite kinds of whales in a harmonic dance. The idea of “harmony” is a key concept of Confucianism. It is no accident that the painting depicting the ritual dance of the male and female whale is called harmony.

Our sun would hold a special place in the constellation at the tip of the arc of the dorsal fin of the Orca whale. Of course, we are able to establish direction with our sun because to us it rises in the east and sets in the west. This new constellation could be seen under special circumstances from the earth during a predicted eclipse of the sun or could be viewed from a hypothetical planet revolving around Sirius B. One of the stars of KGSC (© D. Carlton Rossi) or Altair is important for directions as a first magnitude star and as part of the Summer Triangle. It lies virtually overhead during the summer months in mid-northern latitudes.

In a more general way, today, the issue of certainty is also reflected in the stars and planets. What is the purpose for any nation(s) to visit the red planet if we cannot breathe on planet Earth because of uncontrolled automobile, industrial and power pollution?  Every breath we take becomes a struggle. Our enemy is the by-product of an industrialized civilization.  It enwraps everything. It insinuates itself into every crack and crevice. Human beings face great uncertainty,for example,with every breath they take.

It may not bother many if they can neither see the planet Mars nor know its direction by sight.  However, if one cannot see what one has built or created on the planet Earth or see nature’s creation then what is the purpose?  If one cannot see one’s own children and grandchildren because of smog then what is the meaning? If one celebrates one’s accomplishments through a display of fireworks, but cannot afterwards see them because of smoke clouds of burnt powder, then wherein lays the victory?  One is lost when one cannot see one’s goal and in what direction one is going to meet it.

It may be that we have reached the tipping point in terms of extinction of the human race. In that case, perhaps only a selected few will survive on a distant planet. The selected few will be able to see the stars and our sun. The few will be able to see our Earth which we could not see ourselves.

Heavenly Rule