Thursday, May 26, 2011

Predictions of Gin Chow & The Sexagenary Cycles

In The Best of the Illustrated Astrological Journal (1933-35), an old volume I picked up in an antique store some time ago, a brief article Gin Chow, Chinese Prophet of Lompoc -by Thomas F. Collison, caught my interest.

Gin Chow, an immigrant from China, lived in Lompoc in the Santa Inez River valley, Santa Barbara county, California. He gathered the reputation of being a sage and prophet due to an ability to accurately predict the weather and timing of earthquakes.

The article tells that Gin Chow made no claim to be clairvoyant, and denied that he was a soothsayer, yet his fame spread. He used Chinese astrological doctrine, "The Yellow Road zodiac", ancient lore touching on the "fates of men and the fates of nations, and the way of the rains and the droughts and the hot spells and cold spells and earthquake phenomena", using cycles of 60 years.

Gin Chow correctly predicted that Yokohama would quake in 1923 and that Santa Barbara would fall in ruins in 1925. He believed that the destiny of China and United States "They tied up together....China is old man, Amelica is infant, but wise baby. China not been wise. She pay too much 'tention to ancestors, by Amelica she benefit much if she help China".

Other predictions by Chow cited by Thomas Stroke in his 1958 book California Editor include a a 1932 prediction of a United States war with Japan that would end in 1946 (World War II ended in 1945).

Wikipedia has a page on Gin Chow, and records that
Chow's last prediction came in 1932. He had been seriously gored by a bull and doctors believed him to be on his deathbed. Chow assured them that he would die one year later. He died in June 1933.

Chinese Astrology follows the cycles of the Moon. A complete cycle of sixty lunar years is made up of five twelve year cycles. The twelve-year cycle is sometimes called "The Yellow Road of the Sun".

I searched online for more information and found this. I suspect some astrologers might argue with the first sentence!

All astrology derives from ancient Chinese philosophy developed between 4000 and 2000 BC. At its heart is the concept of complementary opposites, and the interaction between elemental forces within a 60 year cycle dominated by the Moon. No one force or element dominates another, but each requires the others for its existence. As time progresses through the cycle, life forces change, but are always held in balance by an opposing force.
The present 60 year cycle started in 1984 – the year which George Orwell foresaw as a new world dominated by what he believed to be the dark forces of information technology in an age of fearsome new weaponry – and will end in 2044.

Hmm. Using that 12-year count we are currently in the span 2008 to 2020, the third of five 12-year segments since the previous cycle ended in 1983. I feel no affinity at all to Chinese astrology, so am drawing a blank here. There's more detail on the Sexagenery Cycle in Chinese astrology at Wikipedia


Gian Paul said...

Chinese, Hindu, sideareal, tropical astrology, numerology etc. are all viewing the same "reality" from so to say different angles.

My experimenting with Chinese techniques culminated with the encounter I had with a Hong Kong Chinese, half Malayan, who in not more than 10 minutes gave me a run-down of my then most important relationships: He explained, I was most impressed, why I could not prevail over my then boss, saying "iron cuts the wood" (me being "wood")and some other of my relations, each different. But all very accurate and extremely subtile.

The Chinese use 5 instead of 4 elements in their astrology. Also their cycle being mostly Lunar and their years (cycles of 12 years corresponding to the 12 basic characters of the I-Ching) are immensly rich in teaching and wisdom. Conversely also open to much abuse, I understand.

From my limited experience I would say that probably each culture responds best to it's own type of "esoteric science". But there is no harm in studying those of others, obviously.

Twilight said...

Gian Paul ~~ I'm sure you're right GP. I've only been exposed to the most basic variety of Chinese astrology - Year of the Dog, Tiger, Horse etc. etc, futher broken down by Wood, Metal, etc. years.

I found that even less persuasive than the most basic Sun sign version of western astrology....the idea that whole years would endow certain traits on those born during their spans.

But obviously there's so much more to it - just as Sun signs are the tip of the iceberg, so are Chinese Year labels.

I have read that both Indian and Chinese versions of astrology are better equipped to predict future events than western astrology is.
In which case, maybe western does a better job on the personality side of astrology? I don't know.

Wisewebwoman said...

Fascinating, T. I had my complete horoscope (Including Chinese) cast by a woman who dabbled in both several years ago. I remember it as being eerily accurate. It wasn't a good feeling.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Really? Hmmmm. Many people do seem to find that it works at some level, even for we westerners.

I've always studiously avoided "Eastern stuff" in the past, but am beginning to feel a little more interest in it these days - albeit a fairly superficial interest, especially the historical side of it.