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Chinese Occultism

by Paul Carus


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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.

Title Page

Chinese Occultism

The Yih System
The Tablet of Destiny
Urim and Thummim
The Five Elements
Systems of Enumeration
The Mariner's Compass a Chinese Invention
The Personification of Stars
Prehistoric Connections