Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Chinese Rituals

Michael Lyons got my attention years ago with some of his research and work. It was almost in parallel with Nibley (and yes, Michael did end up illustrating some of Nibley's work, so they drew together a bit over time).
An ancient painting of Nüwa and Fuxi unearthed in Xinjiang.
In the underground tomb of Fan Yen-Shih, d. A.D. 689, two painted silk veils show the First Ancestors of the Chinese, their entwined serpect bodies rotating around the invisible vertical axis mundi. Fu Hsi holds the set-square and plumb bob … as he rules the four-cornered earth, while his sister-wife Nü-wa holds the compass pointing up, as she rules the circling heavens. The phrase kuci chü is used by modern Chinese to signify “the way things should be, the moral standard”; it literally means the compass and the square. (Temple and Cosmos pages. 91-132 at page 115)

 There is a good deal more on the topic, though not Michael's research, at:


I also ran across the original printed volumes of
But fascinating.  Ward was a colonial official and a Mason.  He joined the Triad lodges in Hong Kong, and then, when the British made them illegal, participated in confiscating their material and regalia.  He felt no remorse at publishing a three volume set on their rituals, which I later reworked as a heroquest for a project I was working on.

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