D.卡尔顿 罗西
D. Carlton Rossi

Ta Tsun

大尊 天空的 狮头人像   (D. Carlton Rossi copyright 2014)   Chinese
Extremely Honourable Celestial Sphinx   (D. Carlton Rossi copyright 2014)

Ta4 Tsun1 (Wade-Giles) Tian1 Kong1 de Shi1 Tou2 Ren2 Xiang4  

Dedicated to Sun Dawu

Royal 太尊   (Royal or royal ancestor)

Purple Enclosure of Great Bear Constellation  

大尊 (Extremely Honorable) is located at the paw of the Sphinx

                                                         Ta Tsun

Psi Ursae Majoris (Psi UMa, ψ Ursae Majoris, ψ UMa) is a star in the northern circumpolar constellation of Ursae Majoris. In Chinese astronomy, Psi Ursae Majoris is called Tien Tsan or Ta Tsun, "Extremely Honorable". The name was possibly derived from the word 太尊, pinyin: Tàizūn, meaning Royals, because this star is marking itself and stands alone in the Royals asterism, Purple Forbidden Enclosure.

Royal 太尊  (Royal or royal ancestor).


Psi Ursae Majoris (Psi UMa, ψ Ursae Majoris, ψ UMa)

There may be those who wonder why the l’mage called 大尊 天空的 狮头人像 which may be translated as “Extremely Honourable Celestial Sphinx” was dedicated in Chinese to Sun Dawu. First, it is a universal symbol which represents a direction. Second, it features the ancient Pole Star called 11 Draconis which was used as a guide to the north. Bear in mind, that the I’mage could also have included the current polestar--Polaris; although, it would not be quite symmetrical at the base. Next, it is the only Celestial Sphinx which features a Chinese star called Ta Sun (known as “Extremely Honorable) in the Great Bear Constellation.The I’mage also shares other stars of The Great Bear Constellation which was revered by the Bear Clan and other tribes which were united under Huangdi.


                         Courtesy Smokey Mountain Observatory

In fact, a straight line can be drawn from the Pole star through the left-side of The Cup of the Big Dipper then on to Ta Tsun and finally to the heart of the constellation Leo. In addition, a straight line can also be drawn from Polaris (current Pole Star) in the Little Dipper through the right-side of The Cup then closely to Ta Tsun and finally to Leo. The poet has redrawn this constellation as Neo Leo which is a crystalline Sphinx.

It is conjectured by the poet that an image similar to 大尊 天空的 狮头人像 (based on the circumpolar stars) was used as a blueprint for The Great Sphinx. This sphinx was the earthly representation of the heavenly pattern. It derived its power through harmonization with its heavenly form. Other images similar to the I’mages (I’m ages) of the Elegant Celestial Giza series inspired earthly counterparts on the Giza Plateau derived from celestial sphinx, pyramids and sacred animals. Of course, one cannot deny that the I’mages are subjective projections and representations of the poet; however, it is contended that they originate from stars reflecting and referencing Platonic forms. 

While Banpo Pottery of Yangshao, Neolithic culture inspired the poet’s Banpo Poetry series it is seen that the patterns of the pottery may have been based, in part, on geometric and zoomorphic patterns perceived in the circumpolar stars—particularly the Dippers. It may be that these patterns can be interpreted as proto yin-yang symbols. If recollection is correct, Banpo Village (5600-6700 years ago) located east of Xian was set out on a grid of five directions with the fifth one in the center.  

From Platonic forms, to reflections of them in the stars, to images similar to the I’mage of The Great Sphinx were derived The Great Sphinx at Giza. Yet, the I’mage of The Great Sphinx dedicated to The Great Noon (Sun Dawu) also represents a riddle since it is the earthly representation of five Celestial Sphinx. The Great Sphinx, too, was a composite of five animals; namely, lion, falcon, cobra, ram and man. It reminds the poet of the nature of Sun Dawu who seems to be a personification of the riddle. Is he an entrepreneur, farmer, philosopher, poet or dreamer?

                                                The NCP Rectangle   


The harmonization of opposing lines of the Sphinx and Qilin was done by the rectangle. The rectangle is not a natural shape found on the earth. It was though found in the heavens. Of paramount importance was the North Circumpolar Rectangle. This rectangle was located between the Big and Little Dipper.  The highest Egyptian and Chinese gods were found there. At the top and middle of this rectangle were the paired pole stars observed around 3000 B.C.E. in Egypt and China. This event was of critical circumstance and pivotal importance for both civilizations.   


                      Illustration of the  NCP Rectangle



The NCP Rectangle was identified by John C. Didier in terms of its importance to ancient cultures. Two stars of the Big Dipper are found on the left corners of the rectangle and two stars of the Little Dipper are found on the right corners. At the top of the rectangle is shown 11 Draconis (Thuban) or the former pole star.  It was actually paired with 10 Draconis as was the Dragon and Phoenix in both the celestial and terrestrial realms of  Chinese civilization.                                 

In both civilizations it might be speculated that there was a duality between the numbers one and four.  These numbers may have represented birth and death respectively. One began the sequence and four ended it. In China, April 4th or the fourth day of the fourth month is still celebrated as Tomb Sweeping Day.

It might be guessed that the number five (or four plus one) represented rebirth.  This may be suggested because both the Qilin and Sphinx may be regarded as composed of five parts that were reassembled. In the case of Egypt, the body of Osiris after dismemberment was reconstructed through a rebirth. The Qilin was said to have parts of maybe ox, horse, deer, carp and dragon. The earliest mention of the five elements “wuxing” can be found in the Shu Jing. The first model for the perfect government of a nation discusses the five elements.

Their beliefs of rebirth differed. If one wishes to oversimplify them it might be said that the soul or spirit would return from the celestial rectangle. For the Egyptians it seems to mean that the soul would return to a reassembled body.  For the Chinese it seems to mean family worship of the deceased in the underworld and a kind of immortality when a son carried on the family name.  Today, of course, officially speaking, if you intend to be reborn you must fill out a form under State Religious Affairs Bureau Order No. 5.


The NCP Rectangle was important for several reasons to these civilizations and others about five millenia ago.

a)  the stars of the north rotated about a pivotal point which was 11 Draconis or the pole star which served as a guide

b)  11 Draconis (big) and 10 Draconis (little) were a binary pair

c)  the pole stars were located at the same distance by way of the NCP between the Big and Little Dipper asterisms

d)  the pole stars were located at the tail of the Dragon (specifically, they were in third place from the end of the spear)

e) at this time, both the Eqyptian and Chinese civilizations undertook the transition from a lunar to a solar calendar so that their time seemed to pivot around the pole stars ie. there was balance in the lunar-solar calendars

f)  it may be that 11 Draconis was recognized as an equivalent of the sun and 10 Draconis a counterpart of the moon

g) both the Big and Little Dippers consisted of seven stars where geometric relations were recognized which included the pole stars

h)  four star configurations were seen in both Dippers which appeared as geometric rectangles (cups)

i)  the Big  Dipper asterism was part of the Great Bear Constellation


John C. Didier, "In and Outside the Square: The Sky and the Power of Belief in Ancient China and the World, c. 4500 B.C. --AD. 200, Sino-Platonic Papers 192, September 2009.