Lo Shu Turtleback Diagram, Post-Heavenly Pa-Kua

Lo Shu - Turtleback Diagram

Lo Shu Diagram Turtleback DiagramAt around 2283 B.C., during the period of floods, Chinese saw a colorful turtle with unusual marks on its back that crawled out from the Lo River.

9 marks are close to the head; 1 mark is next the tail; 3 is on the left; 7 is on the right; 2 and 4 are close to the shoulder; 6 and 8 are close to the back legs; 5 is in the center.

These marks on the turtle back were called Lo Shu or Book of Lo. This magical square has influenced Chinese philosophy for more than 4000 years.

1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 are Yang numbers. 2, 4, 5 and 8 are Yin numbers. Yang numbers can represent the sunlight and Yin numbers can represent the ground heat. 

4 9 2
3 5 7
8 1 6


Sun is in the east in the early morning. 30% of sunlight reflects 20% of ground heat in the southwest direction. Sun closes to the center of the sky at 10-11 o'clock; 50% of sunlight reflects 40% of ground heat in the southeast direction. Sun goes south at noon, and 90% of sunlight reflects 80% of ground heart in the northeast direction. Sun goes northwest in the afternoon; 70% of sunlight reflects 60% of ground heat. Sun goes north at night; 10% of sunlight reflect zero percent of ground heat in the center, because 10 is hidden. Therefore Lo Shu Numbers are a natural phenomenon on the ground. 

The sum from 1 to 9 is 45, which is called Earthly Number. The total of Heavenly Number and Earthly Number is 100, which is called Yin Yang Full Number. Once Chinese divided one day into 100 marks. One mark is equal to 14.4 minutes. One of Chinese astrology systems still uses the mark of birth time to predict the birth years of family members very accurately.

Number and Five Elements From the knowledge of River Diagram,
  • 1 and 6 are related to Water
  • 2 and 7 are related to Fire
  • 3 and 8 are related to Wood
  • 4 and 9 are related to Metal
  • 5 and 10 are in the center, stands for Earth

The counter-clockwise direction of Five Elements shows the Five Elements Destructive relationship in the Lo Shu.

I-Ching Pa Kua (Eight Trigrams)

The River Diagram derived the Pre-Heaven Pa Kua.

Simple Pre-Heaven Pa Kua Fu Xi used a solid line to stand for one, sky or yang; a broken line to stand for two, earth or yin. One pluses two is 3, which is a number to stand for sky and earth. The symbol of three solid or broken lines combination can represent the yin yang changes between sky and earth. The symbol is called Trigram. is three Yang, stands for Heaven on the top of sky. is three Yin, six bars, stands for earth on the ground bottom. 

6 stands for most Yin. Also, 6 is the center number of 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 yin numbers. Therefore 6 becomes an Secret Index of Earth. 6 is the cycle on the ground. It applied on the Chinese calendar and Chinese medicine area.

Pre-Heavon Pa Kua
2 1 6
3 5 7
4 9 8
Base on the knowledge of astronomy and the River Diagram, Fu Xi created a diagram of Eight Trigrams, which is called the Pre-Heaven Pa-Kua

Lo Shu derived the Post-Heaven Pa Kua.

Chou dynasty, after flood period, the relationship between Pre-Heaven Pa Kua and the natural phenomenon of universe had changed. King Wen changed, the Pre-Heaven Pa Kua to Post-Heaven Pa Kua. The Chi (air energy) cycle of Pre-Heavn Pa Kua starting from stands for a growing/producing (Wood) cycle. The Chi (air energy) cycle of Post-Heaven Pa Kua starting from stands for a shrinking/concentrating/overcoming (Metal) cycle.

Post-Heaven Pa Kua
4 9 2
3 5 7
8 1 6
Base on the knowledge of Lo Shu, Chinese developed a new a diagram of Eight Trigrams, which is called the Post-Heaven Pa Kua. Later Chinese applies this 9-Squares-8-Kua diagram on in medicine, architecture, arts, astrology and many areas.

The position of 1 Sky in Pre-Heaven Pa Kua becomes 9 Fire in the Post-Heaven Pa Kua. Therefore, 9 can represent strongest and oldest Yang.

The position of 2 Earth in Post-Heaven Pa Kua was for 6Wind in the Pre-Heaven Pa Kua.  Therefore, 6 can represent weakest and oldest Yin.

I-Ching 64 Hexagrams

Dung his 7-year jail time, King Wen (11052-1056 BC) of the Chou Dynasty used double Trigrams to create 64 combinations of hexagrams in a fixed order. This is called the King Wen sequence (文王卦序). The interpretation of 64 hexagrams are widely used in oracles to make predictions. I-Ching doesn't give people specific answers to their questions, but rather reveals signs to help people to find the answer they are seeking.

Hexagram Yao Position Sequence Yin or Yang Position


Yang 6 Yin Position Sky Upper Trigram
Yin 5 Yang Position Human
Yang 4 Yin Position Earth
Yang 3 Yang Position Sky Lower Trigram
Yin 2 Yin Position Human
Yang 1 Yang Position Earth

The upper line of the Trigram is connected to Sky; the middle line is connected to Human and the lower line is connected to Earth. Sky, Human and Earth are a set. They need another set to present in different Yin Yang positions. Yin Yao (broken bar) or Yang Yao (solid bar) in different position sequences have different meanings. Yin Yao or Yang Yao in wrong Yin or Yang position is one of the factors to determine good or bad signs. Therefore we need hexagrams to do the oracle.

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