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Rare Esoteric Chinese Life Guide Calendar In Ancient Obsolete Language
8vo. Sixty-one (61) separate calendar leafs, printed early 1800s on laid paper, each providing guidance and outlining instructions, warnings, and superstitions for a specific calendar day. Fine, delicate translucent laid paper, leafs measure approximately 25 x 21cm, with a scant few which are half sized. Folded and housed together in an English marbled paper portfolio, with ownership inscribed to inner front board, Isabel Fane Febry. 25th 1875. Perforations to margins indicate that these were once bound. Most leafs printed in blank ink, two are printed in red ink, the most interesting of the latter being a semi-circular diagram, and a single leaf, which appears to be an index of sorts, is covered in bright yellow ink. Occasional creasing or fraying, particularly to the yellow leaf, otherwise very good condition. Produced in ancient obsolete Chinese characters, approximately one millennium past, the text provides daily predictions and advice, most pertinent to heed, such as the most optimum time to marry or have children, as well as the least advisable time to undertake these and innumerable other activities. The instructions are daily. Further research by a specialist in linguistics or etymology may best interpret this unusual calendar. Possibly an early form of a Discordian (Erisian) calendar, these were used originally in religious and subsequently in philosophical sects, known today as Discordianism, which is based on veneration or worship of Eris, the Greco-Roman goddess of chaos. The Discordian calendar has five 73-day seasons: Chaos, Discord, Confusion, Bureaucracy, and The Aftermath (The yellow index leaf has 73 similar characters neatly printed in ten rows following a left margin). The Discordian year is aligned with the Gregorian calendar and begins on January 1, repeating its cycle 5 times to the end of the year. The Erisian week consists of five days which are named after the five basic Discordian elements: Sweet, Boom, Pungent, Prickle, and Orange (The five characters in the upper margin of the yellow index leaf may represent the five elements). There are 73 of these weeks per year and every year begins with Sweetmorn. Although Discordianism was officially founded circa 1958-1959, ancient versions of the philosophy may have existed long ago. The religion has been likened to Zen, based on similarities with absurdist interpretations of the Rinzai school, as well as Taoist philosophy. Most likely to be based on ancient legends, mythology, and celestial connections, it could also be an early example of the sexagenarian cycle - the 10 'heavenly stems' and the 12 'earthly branches' which form a title for every year depicted by one of twelve animals. This ancient Chinese calendar represented a means for people to act appropriately to developments in nature and the cosmos and assured them a secure, happy life. .
      [Bookseller: Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts, ]
Last Found On: 2013-09-02           Check availability:      Biblio    


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