Ming Li Tong Shu Online: The Art of Timeliness Using Chinese Astrology
Ming Li Tong Shu Online (logo)

What is the "Tong Shu"?
The traditional Chinese Almanac -- the Tong Shu ("Collected Writings", or "Everything Book") -- has been regarded by the Chinese as an indispensable aid to daily planning for more than 2,000 years. Like many aspects of traditional Chinese culture which have captured the attention of the West, the almanac is both highly practical, and in some ways so complex and abstruse as to seem impenetrable. It is both a tool for the common use of the general populace, and a subject of profound study by scholars and students of "the Way" of life.
As a general rule, the various editions always contain the daily calendar (showing a wide array of astrological, numerological, and divinatory cycles), notations on festival and seasonal observances, advice on activities to pursue or avoid for the day, and tables of the daily "luck direction" for finances, business, health, and happiness. In addition-depending on the publisher, the times, and popular interest-they may contain sections on feng-shui, ploughing-and-planting, calligraphy, astronomy, face-reading, divining poems, advice on good house-keeping and domestic harmony, amulets against accidents and illnesses, and proper health practices to insure safe pregnancy to name but a few!

What is Tong Shu Online?
TONG SHU Online presents a compilation of many of these subject areas in day-at-a-glance format, arranged in relation to both western and traditional Chinese calendars. For easy reference, each section of the page has a help icon, which will link you to a glossary of terms, and a brief description of their relation to other parts of the calendar system. As is common to most editions in the last several centuries, it includes advisory notes on favorable and adverse activities, as well as the particulars of several systems of calendar cycles, and divination systems relating to personal welfare, feng-shui, and cycles of qi.

For First Time Users
If you're just becoming interested in Chinese Astrology, and its long tradition of attention to proper timing, you may find the abundance of information on the page intimidating.
TONG SHU Online is designed to make it particularly easy to:
Read the over-all quality of QI for the day in question.
Find the best times for planning activities and rest.
Make the best energetic use of times available.

The daily page displays twelve astrological and calendric cycles, some of prominent importance, others more limited in strength of influence, or narrower in use. A system of Dots (in red and black) indicates the quality of QI through each of the cycles. Red indicates that the QI is bright, flowing, and favorable to activity. Black indicates that the QI is soft, still, and favorable to inactivity.
Most Favorable to Action
Favorable to Action
Neutral to Action
Adverse to Action
Most Adverse to Action

Looking over the page, one can see the over-all "brightness" or "darkness" of the QI of the day. Using TONG SHU Online daily, one can see the patterns of QI as they shift and transform, and gradually learn to read their meanings and influences, particularly as they relate to one's own experience and MING.
The best instruction in the use of any Tong Shu comes through long-term comparison of the daily notations with one's own daily experiences. However, as a starting point with TONG SHU Online, or as a technique for quick reference to each day, the following steps are suggested:
1.  Note the Dots for the LUNAR LODGE and SOLAR INDEX: (Above and below the western-calendar date for the day.)These are principle cycles for the day, as they influence everyone fairly equally, and are broad in their range of concerns. The LUNAR LODGE can be viewed as a basic energy "signature" of the day, descriptive of the day's temperament and "atmosphere." The SOLAR INDEX is an indicator of how much (and in what ways) the day's energy can be put to use.

2.  Scan the FAVORABLE and ADVERSE activities. Some listings are more suggestive than exact, and can be read with creativity. An item can be indicated in more than one cycle. When it shows up twice or three times in the list, then the indication is much stronger. When it shows up in both FAVORABLE and ADVERSE lists, the cycles disagree, and the activity may proceed with balance, but also with higher internal tension (rather like driving with the parking brake on!)

3.  Note the "bright" (red) and "dark" (black) hours on the Hours-Page: "Dark" hours are particularly good for rest and recuperation; activities which fall in them go best if dealt with lightly, and with lower expectations. "Bright" hours can be used more energetically; important or strenuous activities will benefit from the "flowing" QI

There's a proverb: "Patience was invented in China." Picking one area on the page and following its indications with some consistency will prove more satisfying than trying to swallow the distillation of twenty centuries in one gulp. The daily page is like a page from a dictionary or encyclopaedia; you don't need to read the entire page to get valuable information from one entry. But the cycles do interact and influence each other. As you become more familiar with the flow-and-feeling of the changes noted in the cycle you're following, you can add attention to one or two others. A sensory and hands-on approach is much more effective in the use of the almanac than purely academic study, and is in fact the proper pre-requisite to academic understanding. If you're used to understanding by doing, this will make perfect sense. The practicality of Chinese culture has long been based upon the sweetness and simplicity of earned wisdom. As another Chinese proverb has it: "Looking long, seeing deep."

For Experienced Users
If you already have a deep interest in the study and use of China's long and inclusive astrological traditions, TONG SHU Online is an indispensable resource. It displays, on a daily and hourly basis, the flow of patterns in transformation, the energetics of "the dance of Heaven and Earth". With its direct presentation of the calendar system, TONG SHU Online makes the most daunting part of Chinese Astrology-transposing between western and Chinese dates-an accomplished task. As a number of systems are presented on each page, you will find it simple to make observation of parallel and overlapping influence in daily experience. The expanse of the data-base-from to -makes it possible to investigate the conditions of significant events in the past, as well as to make plans based on a comprehensive look at future astrological conditions. Navigation and search features make it easy to track patterns through time, and to locate favorable and adverse dates for a range of activities or astrological characteristics.

This service provides free access to today's information or subscription with the following features:
   • provides access to all dates from the beginning of to the end of
   • highlights the personally-significant characteristics of each day based on the date of your birth
   • for in-depth personal time management
   • includes personal ZI WEI Birth Chart - Note: does not include analysis by a reader

Personalized Service Highlights

   • This is the default appearance on the page
   • Conditions and cycles so noted are universal for the time indicated, and describe the atmosphere of energetics at large

   • Condition or cycle is identical to your date of birth
   • The time is "in agreement" with your nature
   • Conditions are smoother for you personally than is usual

For instance, when the LUNAR LODGE matches your birthday, it will appear on the page in red text. This means that the YIN conditions of the day match your own YIN QI, and the outer world of your experience matches your inner nature and expectations. The observable world around you is displaying a very central part of your nature, producing smoother agreement between your aims and how they work out. You'll feel less need to "push", and more room to "take it easy." If you stay engaged and active in the world, make it in the most comfortable way for yourself. This will both produce good results, as well as deepen your understanding of how to rest your QI, and add to you own longevity.
Similarly, when the SOLAR INDEX matches your birthday it will appear on the page in red text. This means that the YANG conditions of the day match your own YANG QI, and your style of using energy to accomplish things is highly suitable for the working tasks of the day. Other conditions being equal, your attention will be easier to focus, and if you apply properly aimed "push", the results are more likely to be both satisfying, and effective.

   • Condition or cycle is favorable to the date of your birth
   • The time is "in harmony" with your nature
   • Conditions are more helpful for you personally than is usual

For instance, when the BRANCH (or, ANIMAL) of the DAY PILLAR has a harmonic relationship with your birthday, it will appear with red background. This means that the character of the day is friendly to the way you think about yourself, and supportive of your "personal style". Expressing yourself will be more effective and efficient. Others around you will find it easier to help you, and to "fill in the blanks" in your actions or words.
Similarly, when the STEM (or, PHASE) of the DAY PILLAR has a harmonic relationship with your birthday it will appear on the page in red text. This means that the spirit or temperament of the day is supportive to the way you think about yourself, and will help to guide your actions and to shape your viewpoint in the world. Your vision of things will be both more open and more exact. Following your hunches is "lucky," and will most likely bring you both new information and favorable results.

   • Condition or cycle is adverse to the date of your birth
   • The time is "in opposition" to your nature
   • Conditions are more obstructed for you personally than is usual

For instance, when the BRANCH (or, ANIMAL) of the MONTH PILLAR opposes your birthday it will appear on the page with black background. This means that the flexibility or responsiveness of the QI of the month obstructs your own, making your presumptions more inappropriate, and your actions more off the mark. You may find a certain stiffness in your opinions or assessments, and a disagreement between the way things seem and the way you would like them. This is a time when your resources are "out of sync" with your sense of what is needed, and pushing your point of view will just produce more friction and disruption.
Similarly, when the STEM (or, PHASE) of the MONTH PILLAR opposes your birthday it will appear on the page in black text. This means that the atmosphere or receptivity of the QI of the month "attacks" your own, clouding affairs with crosscurrents and influences that prove difficult to read, and frustrating to try to accommodate. Other conditions being equal, it's better to avoid pressing forward, and wait for the fog to clear. Also, difficulties and annoyances are part of the natural character of the month for you. Don't make a big deal about them. This is a time for you to "eat bitter", and practice tolerance, forgiveness, and patience.

Personal ZI WEI Birth Chart
Personal ZI WEI Birth Charts include the Phase (Element) and Animal of the Year, Month, Day, and Hour of Birth, and much more. For professional astrologers, these charts ensure accuracy and save many hours of research and calculation. For students of astrology, they provide a practical and comprehensive base for learning about Chinese Astrology through deeper understanding of your own nature. For users of Tong Shu Online, they present a chart of your own Time of Birth paralleling the daily listings in the Tong Shu, in identical terminology, and similar layout, which can greatly enhance your use and understanding of the Chinese Almanac.

Acupuncture information
   • for students and practitioners of Chinese healing techinques
   • available for each level of service
   • includes the daily open channel and the hourly open channel
   • includes four systems of "open" points for each hour:
       ZI-WU LIU-ZHU
        "Midnight-and-Noon Flowing-and-Pooling"
        "Spirit Turtle Eight-part Technique"
        "Flying-Soaring Eight-part Technique"
       Husband & Wife
        Pairing of Stems and Source Points

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