by Paul Carus
This is an extended excerpt from a collection of essays by Paul Carus on Chinese topics. Carus discusses the I Ching and other methods of divination, the five Chinese elements (water, fire, wood, metal and earth); the Chinese Zodiac, Fung-shui, the Lo-pan, the Chinese invention of the magnetic compass, and the personification of constellations. He gives ancient near eastern parallels, and proposes a speculative diffusionist thesis for some aspects, particularly the calendrical system. This essay serves as a good introduction to these topics, with numerous illustrations and tables to fill in the details.