Astrogeomancy and Chinese Mantic Arts

 Astro-geomancy, Feng-shui, the Tong-shu and all that stuff


In previous historical times, universally in human culture, when conditions didn’t respond to treatments, and seemed beyond the usual ’cause and effect’ of an event or habitual pattern, doctors usually  knew and often recommended a practitioner, that worked with resolving ‘spiritual’ – in ancient times ‘ancestral’ – causes and patterns. In Chinese culture scholars know this as ‘astrogeomancy’ – not exactly ‘astrology’ as it became more developed and refined it was more mathematical than planet or star based. The information was refined greatly to massive human, governmental effort by dynastic China in observing past history for its cycles, causes, and effects.


Understanding deeper ‘fated’ cycles can play a part in medical treatment.  Even if we have a View that this is superstitious and perhaps working by chance,  one might at least appreciate that there exists  a shifting in time and opportunity that might make one phase more amenable to treatment, or diagnosis (a form of divination, really), than another.  This kind of View offers different strategies than we might usually consider  – like waiting for a different time period, or using feng-shui for example to treat insomnia or chronic fatigue.  When a illness or condition seems unrelated to usual causes –  not due to injury, emotional upset, genetic factors, or dietary indiscretions –  than these suggestions or remedies can prove remarkably useful.

Rather than being just ‘useful’, from a ‘wuwei’ viewpoint this material is found to be yet another Way of entering into the continual dance of Nature and enjoyment of life.

Ken is currently offering his first introductory workshop about the Tong-shu on May 19, 2016 in Portland.



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The Tongshu almanac is one of the oldest continuing manuscripts in human history. I believe made its way out of China into Hong Kong in the early 1900s where it was maintained there. Pictured here is Robert Fenwicks’s Tong Shu website, available at . His format includes options to view 4 different systems  of ‘open points’ – where the acupuncture points are most universally amenable for treatment for every 2 hours of time:



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Liu Ming (co-founder of the Five Branches Institute of TCM in Santa Cruz) used and updated this information with Tibetan sources to come up with updates that had been previously posted on this webpage and emailed – until he passed away in 2015.  Also available now as an iOs app called “DYC TongShu” that contains Ming’s original writing about the daily indications in some depth – worth reading on an iPad!


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From Liu Mings’  2012 Chinese New Year pamphlet:


Astrology and geomancy are two premier subjects of Asia’s classical mantic arts. Their development in China over the last 2,500 years continues a tradition whose history is incalculable. Many methods of divination/calculation exist in that tradition some are planetary others are simply mathematically cyclical. The system used here and spoken about today is called the Celestial Stems (yin/yang and 5 elements) and Earthly Branches (12 animals)  and is not at all exhaustive or precise – it is offered as a very simple general guide

In the traditional Chinese mantic arts Fate is not the “whole story” because in some sense Fate and Freedom alternate. Fate’s most bitter edge is the apparently “un-learnable” lesson – repeated inauspicious conduct. We have all probably said: “I can’t believe I did that again!” Freedom’s worthless edge is sloth and complacency. Squandering freedom is common.

Most of us spend most of our time in the vagaries in between.

It is the hope that understanding will help to resolve the bitter edges of our Fate and encourage us to use our Freedom to help others (a healthy gesture that arises naturally from Freedom).






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One goal of this website is to open up looking at the world in terms of the underlying energetic principles as understood in the Classical wisdom traditions of Asia. These are the template to the structure of our Bodies, Community, and Nature.  They are not necessarily foreign concepts, nor foreign to our ordinary experience. Sometimes a glimpse of the possibility of the underlying unity of our experience shows up – perhaps while receiving an acupuncture treatment. A feeling that comes from a deep relaxed place – that we can trust that our bodies, our own appetites even, to be part of Nature. Then we can find our way to health and longevity with more ease.