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Paths to Asian Medical Knowledge$
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Charles Leslie and Allan Young

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780520073173

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520073173.001.0001

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Winds, Waters, Seeds, and Souls: Folk Concepts of Physiology and Etiology in Chinese Geomancy

Winds, Waters, Seeds, and Souls: Folk Concepts of Physiology and Etiology in Chinese Geomancy

Chapter:
(p.74) Four Winds, Waters, Seeds, and Souls: Folk Concepts of Physiology and Etiology in Chinese Geomancy
Source:
Paths to Asian Medical Knowledge
Author(s):

Charles Leslie

Allan Young

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520073173.003.0005

Chinese geomancy has at least two faces. One is that of the learned professor, who uses pseudoscientific texts to articulate a theoretical model relating physical features of the environment to categories of space, time, and energetic forces. The other face of geomancy is that of the craftsman who applies geomantic principles to common problems. According to Chinese geomantic thinking, the nature of human fate is determined by the interaction of heaven and earth, of what is above with what is below. This chapter examines this aspect of geomancy among the rural Chinese of Taiwan. It discusses the relation between the living and their ancestors' graves from the perspective of the craftsman who actually exhumes the bones during the secondary burial. It shows how individual and familial well-being depend on the transformation that the bodies of one's ancestors experience in the grave.

Keywords:   Chinese geomancy, pseudoscientific text, geomantic principle, Taiwan, ancestor

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