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Feng Shui # of directions

To: alt.magick
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Feng Shui # of directions
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 00:34:43 GMT

Joel Biroco wrote:

Hey, Joel, after opining that your posts were often boring to me, i
decided to read every single one of your posts for two weeks, because i
pissed you off and i hate doing that to anyone. And this post was
interesting to me! (i know, whoopdedoo -- but i wanted to let you know
that i at least keep an open mind and that i am not shunning you.)

[heavy snippage follows]

> > > > 4 = the number of death (a pun)
> > >
> > > Explain.
> >
> > in many asian language death is pronounce "sa"
> > and the number four is pronounce "sa".
> Chinese for 4 is "si", and death is also pronounced "si", although
> with a different tone, and for many Chinese I agree there is a
> superstitious taboo about the number 4 in this regard, but it has
> little to do with the occult, it is just a peasant superstition. 
> There are many positive associations of the number 4 for those not 
> affected by superstition.

I think that you underestimate the cultural depth of a magical belief
when you blithely label it a "peasant superstition." If the
centuries-old Asian bias against the number 4 were really just a
"peasant superstition," then it would not have caused a mass uproar at
Sun Microsystems a few years back when a new telephone extension-number
system was installed. Within an hour or two of the new distribution of
extension numbers, the switchboard was flooded with calls from Chinese
staff mathematicians and programmers who refused to have extension
numbers with a 4 in them. As one Taiwanese man said, (and i paraphrase
here), "I don't want people who call me to have to ask the operator for
death. It would be bad luck to me, so many people calling for my death
every day." The Asians who objected to having 4s in their extension
numbers were allowed to switch their numbers with those of Anglos who
have no bad feelings about four. 

> The character for "bat" (fu) is identical in sound with the word for
> good fortune (fu), and that is indeed a common pun in China making 
> the bat a symbol of good fortune and luck

True -- and a look at Chinese pottery, textiles, and embroidery often
discloses 4 bats per group, these being representative of "the four
happinesses" of Confucian thought. 

> Diane Stein when making the
> Yijing feminist, for instance, besides making the "superior man" 
> into the "superior woman" (missing that the word is actually 
> "chuntzu"), made the stupid error of changing solar imagery into 
> lunar in the belief that this was "feminizing" the Yi. Consequently 
> a moon now appears in what is actually originally a solar eclipse 
> record. 

I hate that kinda stuff. People can get books published that are purely
garbage, it seems. Sigh. 

cat yronwode

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