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Our selection of books about Asia hopes to promote peace through a better understanding between cultures. Adults will enjoy our books on Asian philosophy, art, religion, and literature, and may find our dictionaries especially useful. Children will find delight in our colorful fairy tales and nature stories.

Matrix Software's Tibetan Astrology Program : Matrix Software's Tibetan astrology program is the first ever made using the richly complex system of Tibetan astrology. It covers all the major techniques. Drubgyud Tendar. H the Dalai Lama. We promote Tibetan Culture, religious medicine and astronomy. We also organise group tours and Buddhist rites in India, Nepal and Tibet and even Buddhist teaching and meditations.

The Institute provides meditation and philosophy courses, as well as charitable health care projects for local community. Templeinfo : The complete information about Indian temples. He can be a rough character. He likes to eat. He causes others no harm, but does not sacrifice himself for them either. He is generally good tempered and good hearted. Always relaxed, he does not rush. He is not lazy, but can't get things done on time.

He does not show either like or dislike. He is a good provider Current Day: A good day for high-level ceremonies, marriage, any work on the land, and work around the house. Not a good day for medicine and medical operations, ordination, important issues, petitioning, and attacking your enemies. Monkey Monkeys are very smart, not very talkative and tend to have bad tempers. They have lightweight, weak bodies. They are not always open minded and are said to have "small" mind power. Not noted for their sense of responsibility, they like to play and enjoy themselves. Their words are not to be trusted and they talk, gossip and lie too much — are surface oriented.

They look clean but tend to eat dirty things. Very ambitious, they always have great plans. They like to praise themselves. Current Day: A good day for having fun, entertaining, going to festivals, taking in sports, gambling, music, and the arts. Also good for both marriage and funerals and removing obstacles. Travel to the East or North is favored. Not good for taking on additional responsibilities.

Bird It is easy for the bird to lose his possessions, legacy, inheritance, what-have-you? They are always advising others, but seldom take their own advice. Possessing a very strong sexual desire, they always need company. They like to be neat and clean, and don't require much sleep. They are prone to blindness. They love style, dressing up, and tend to smile a lot.

They enjoy walking and stylish movement. Good with friends. Current Day: A good day for healing and the preparation of medicines, agriculture, helping others, business, and making requests. Not a good day for festivities, celebrations, making gifts, good acts, or any rituals for removing negativity. Dog The dog is proud, mean, and somewhat wrathful. He can't seem to get kindness from others no matter how hard he tries. He is self-interested, does only for himself, and never for others. His mind is always filled with lots of thoughts.

He tries to do things right, but they tend turn to out bad or wrong. He likes meat. He is a fast walker. Very sexual. A traveler. He is high or good minded, and elegant people tend to like him Current Day: A good day for becoming more prosperous, business, making things, and offering up criticism. Not a good day for marriage, planting, violent acts, making war, making serious requests, and work around the house. Pig The pig is not bright.

He likes to eat but is not concerned with what type of food. He eats everything. He likes yoga. He has good self-discipline. Can be greedy and often takes advantage of others. He does not benefit himself. He lies. He has a big stomach. He is good with the good people, and bad with the bad people. He seldom smiles and is often mean.

Current Day: A good day for ceremonies and transferring power. Not a good day for working with the earth, beginning school of studies, painting, and any rituals to remove obstacles. The above twelve descriptions are pretty much direct translations from the Tibetan. This cycle is also called the Great Cycle of Jupiter. In this cycle the 12 animal signs follow one another in strict sequence, with each animal sign taking one year, and these are paired with the five elements, but the elements are repeated twice, so that one element is the same for two successive years.

It may be easier to just look at the list as shown below. Sixty Element-Animal Combinations As you can see each year the male and female polarity alternates. The 12 animals rotate in strict sequence, while each of the five elements persists for two years, and then rotate to the next in the element series.

These year Tibetan cycles are measured from the year , the year that the Kalachakra teachings are said to have come to Tibet, although the similar cycle from the Chinese version of this cycle marks the year as the start. The difference is three years and that is why the list above starts with the year of the Female Fire-Hare, rather than the Male Wood Mouse. In any case, the difference in starting points does not change what animal-element combination goes with which year.

At the close of each sixty-year cycle, the entire cycle begins again. These are translations directly from the Tibetan. Please not that some of the statements appear very matter of fact, like that you will live 75 years, etc. Tibetans take these with a grain of salt and understand them to be general statements that give a flavor of what this combination is all about. They possess good skills in arts and crafts and are very bright. Their wealth will be average, children three or five in number, and their lifespan is 75 years.

There will be seven obstacles. They are very intelligent. Their lifespan is said to be 60 years and they will face six obstacles. They will have many enemies, and their life spirit La will be attacked by various Earth Lords, as punishment for having disturbed tombs in the past. They will harm those who refuse to assist them, have short tempers, and little faith. They will suffer from internal ailments. The lifespan is 79 years, and they will face five obstacles. They are very educated and upper middle class. They love the opposite sex, and like to be well educated.

Their lifespan is 75 years and they will face seven obstacles. The Earth Lords will attack them, and their parents may suffer as a result. They will suffer from diseases of the heart and wind disorders. They will be wealthy. They will be light hearted, very healthy, and generally joyful. They will be lazy, love alcohol, and enjoy many partners. Their lifespan is 55 years and there will be six obstacles. They will be well-to-do, educated, and have much wealth.

Their wealth may decline in time and be slowly lost. They are very skillful and have strong minds.

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Having great pride, it is said that they are black-hearted, dark-complexioned, and both passionate and jealous. They enjoy the company of lazy and bad-intentioned friends. Their average lifespan is 79 years and they will face four obstacles. There will be six children. They are easily injured, and may commit suicide. Males may die overseas. They love their spouse, and will have four children, which they will have trouble raising. They love to find faults in others, while ignoring their own. Their average lifespan is 57 and they will face nine obstacles. They will be attacked by the Earth Lords, and will be susceptible to wind and cold disorders.

They are slow to react and have poor memories. Their average lifespan is 81 years and they will face four obstacles, not to mention more than their share of enemies and disputes. Very few children. They will have great wealth and own much property. Their average lifespan is 57 years and they will face seven obstacles. There are three children. They may succumb to muggings and family feuds. They have the protection of the Earth Lords. They have poor memories and are considered somewhat unreliable, and very impressionable.

They enjoy deceiving others. Their average lifespan is 60 years and they will face nine obstacles. They may have disputes with neighbors and friends. Two children. They may become elected officials. They have considerable wealth in the short term, but may suffer long-term losses. Their average lifespan is 79 years and there are five obstacles which they will face. There may be family feuds. Three children. They are easily deceived by both lovers and friends, and suffer from too much food and sex.

Their average lifespan is 64 years and they will face five obstacles. They will accumulate wealth, but have few or no children. They have good memories, like to think, and are not above revealing the faults of others. They may steal and kill. Their average lifespan is 68 years and they will face five obstacles. They are garrulous. Poor eyesight. They will have moderate wealth and well-furnished homes.

Their average lifespan is 71 years and they will face eight obstacles. They will have one son and two daughters. There will be some slight harm from enemies. They love food and are very skilled as writers and speakers, not always telling the truth. They will have little harm from enemies. Their average lifespan is 72 years and there will be seven obstacles. They will have few material resources, and enjoy gambling, adultery, and the like, possibly affecting their relatives.

Their average lifespan will be 50 years and they will face six obstacles. One child. They love to eat, and actually enjoy lying and dwelling on the faults of others. They will be very wealthy. Very skilled as speakers, they like to put off doing the right thing, and act negatively. Through this, they will suffer great losses of wealth, and still not reform.

Their gentle words betray darker intentions. Their average lifespan is 80 years and they will face three obstacles. There will be one or five children. They are very critical of others and can incite theft and create enemies due to association with bad friends. They will have more wealth later in life, than when they are young. Their average lifespan is 78 years and they will face six obstacles.

They will be three children. Quite naturally aware, they don't stoop to pointing out the faults of others, and are for the most part virtuous. They have very little anger and no guile, and like to be independent. They will have considerable wealth. Their average lifespan is 57 or 77 years and they will have three or four children. They are said to have small intelligence and many cravings. Their average lifespan is 73 years and they will face five obstacles. They fear thieves and their enemies. Very few children, if any. They are very bright and mentally very adept. They are of average wealth, and may have two homes.

They enjoy bad companions and could have many ailments. Their average lifespan is 78 years and they will have many enemies. There are one or five children. There may be many disputes. The average lifespan is 60 years and they will have one or three children. There is danger of fevers and bile disorders, and their house may burn down. The average lifespan is 68 years and they will face seven obstacles. There will be three children. There is danger of superiors becoming antagonistic and also of their home burning. They are very soft spoken, but never lose track of their own advantage. The average lifespan is 68 years and there will be seven obstacles.

They will have few resources and little wealth. Mentally, they are ponderous. Their average lifespan is 50 years and they will face seven obstacles. There is one child. They are brusque in speech, love food and alcohol, and are generally of a fair complexion. They have an average lifespan of 60 years and will face five obstacles. Their wealth will be somewhat unstable, and they will have two or four children. Despite more than their share of suffering, nevertheless, they are kind and generous to others. Their average lifespan is 61 years and they will face five obstacles. They will have an average amount of wealth and five children.

They love sports and tend to be very wealthy, although they will manage to lose most of it to relatives. Their average lifespan is 62 and they will face six obstacles. They chose their friends more for their wealth than for their friendships, and are not above slander. They have an average lifespan of 68 years and may have to struggle to sustain the family line.

They will have few children.

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Yet, they have great strength and require little. They do not make friends easily, but love the few friends that they have. They have an average lifespan of 60 years and face threeobstacles. Their average lifespan is 60 years and they will face two obstacles. Their average lifespan is about 67 years and they will face five obstacles.

Five children. They have many ideas, and delight in promiscuity. They fear being harmed. Their average lifespan is 65 years and they will face six obstacles. Their average lifespan is 70 years and they will face seven obstacles. Several children. Possessing little knowledge, they will bring little good to their friends and relatives.

Their average lifespan is 77 years and they will face six obstacles. They love playing games and being the darling of the social scene. They have plenty of material wealth, but they like to cause arguments and the ensuing fights will deplete their wealth. Others respect them and they respect others, putting their own ambitions to the side.

The average lifespan is 57 years and they will face six obstacles. There will be five children. They have generally good health and are ethical in their behavior. They are ever stubborn, even to the point of fierceness. They like their sleep and the company of superiors. The average lifespan is 55 years and there will be seven obstacles.

Tibetan Astrology: The Astrology And Geomancy Of Tibet

They completely ignore their own faults. Quite promiscuous, they are gifted speakers, but their intentions are not good. The average lifespan is 71 years and they will face seven obstacles. Divorce is likely, and there will be one child. They tend to squander their wealth.

Their co- workers tend to distrust them. They tend to be stingy, and easily forget what they should remember. Their paternal home may be taken from them. The average lifespan is 72 and their children may be destined for great things. They are easy to get to know. They will have above average wealth, and be envied by others.

Their average lifespan is 66 years and they will face six obstacles. Few children. They are said to be physically tall, mentally small. Very healthy. They are very talkative, always self-involved, and mostly narrow minded. The average lifespan is 77 years and they will face four obstacles. They will have sons. They love animals, especially horses and dogs, but may have trouble making friends, since they are rough with people. They tend to lose their wealth over time.

They love their partners. Their average lifespan is 78 years and they will face seven obstacles. They are strong willed and able to achieve whatever it is they set their minds to. They are pleasant spoken and mentally pleasing. Their average lifespan is 77 years, love to accumulate wealth, and will face many obstacles.

Many children and grandchildren. They are refined in their conduct and skillful in speech and make friends easily. They have considerable wealth and are very deliberate in their actions toward goals. Their average lifespan is 78 and they will face nine obstacles, some life threatening. However, they have a short temper and tend toward jealousy, pride, and too many desires. Six children. They say little.

Their hearts are pure and they indulge in virtuous actions. They love to sleep and they tend to be wealthy and to prosper. It is said that they are very deluded when it comes to worldly things. Their average lifespan is 77 years and they will face seven obstacles. Three or four children. They may become priests or high officials, worthy of respect. They tend to have two partners.

Their average lifespan is 70 years and they will have seven obstacles. Two or four children. They appear very refined - cool, calm, and collected. They have many desires, tend to promiscuity, and are easily led astray into deceit. Their average lifespan is 72 years and they will face seven obstacles. Two or five children. They tend to foolishness, are lazy, and love their sleep. They speak gently, but engage in many deceitful actions, have evil intent, and this results in harsh language. Their average lifespan is 70 years and they will meet seven obstacles. They will have abundant wealth.

They have very strong desires, are forever stingy, and they are jealous, selfish, and stone-faced when dealing with others. They tend to marry toward the latter part of life and may have many illegitimate children. They love promiscuity and staying out all night. Their average lifespan is 66 years and they will face five obstacles. They love to play, sing, and dance. Their minds are crafty and they fear both ill- health and many enemies. Their average lifespan is 67 years and they will meet six obstacles. They will have children both early and late in life. They have great appetites and manage to acquire great wealth and resources.

They tend to be combative with their relations, and will suffer much from thieves and enemies. They may marry a widow. They are very skillful. Their average age is 71 years and they will meet seven obstacles. They will be very wealthy, perhaps becoming an elected official, provide support for many others, and will be well respected. They may take five or seven spouses. The average lifespan is 71 years and they will meet seven obstacles. They don't always tell the truth, and tend to develop a bad reputation.

Others will put their hope and trust in them, but little will come of it. They have many obstacles and will be picked apart by enemies and illness. The average lifespan is 75 years and they will meet seven obstacles. Their reputation is generally poor. While outsiders will respect them, those closest to them will not. There may be great loses, but one descendant, and other bad luck. They have a great fear of their enemies, and are subject to many illnesses.

Males will be drawn to their daughters, and females to their sons. The average lifespan is 60 years and they will face four obstacles. They will have a great amount of wealth and resources. They are naturally ambitious, but may suffer losses or get involved in family feuds. If they work hard for success, it is said that they will be happy in old age. Their average lifespan is 70 years and they will meet eight obstacles. One of five children. They are natural leaders, have strong attachments, but can even love their enemies.

They may be afflicted by family feuds. Four children. They don't give up performing negative actions. Their wealth is little and they tend to be ignored by both friends and family. It is said that they have ugly marks on their body and succumb easily to injury and ill health. Their average lifespan is 73 years and they will meet many obstacles. They will have a generous amount of wealth and property, and they like to expose the pride and jealousy in others.

There is a risk of suicide or fatal falls. Their average lifespan is 60 years and they will meet five obstacles. There are four children. The Twelve Lunar Months Tibetan astrology is primarily lunar based, rather than solar based as is our astrology here in the West. In Tibet and many other Asian countries, although the Sun is also important, it is the Moon that rules and the cycles of the Moon. However, Tibetans might want to know what lunar day you were born in.

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In other words, Tibetan months should not be confused with months as we have them in calendars here in the West January, February, etc. Tibetans have a year of twelve or thirteen lunar months, and the starting and ending times and dates for these lunar months their New Year is not fixed. They vary. As mentioned earlier on, Tibetans have special lunar almanacs to keep track of this.

Instead, the beginning of the year in Tibet is a fluctuating point that in general starts with the day after the New Moon that is nearest to the beginning of February. But even that is not written in stone. For example, the Tibetan and Chinese New Year celebrations can differ by an entire month!

Even the two Tibetan-style calendars covered here, the Tsurphu Karma Kagyu Lineage and the Phugpa Gelugpa Lineage can, on occasion, differ by one whole month! It can only differ by an exact lunar month because no. For those of us used to calendars being absolute, this can be very confusing. How can New Year be off by an entire month? Here again I must point out that there is not complete agreement among Tibetans as to just how this should be done.

In fact, there are several schemes for assigning elements and animals, and the differences are much too complicated to go into here. One established method of naming the Tibetan months is where the animal for the first month of the year is always the Tiger, and the rest of the months follow in the standard order of the Tibetan animal cycle Tiger, Hare, Dragon, etc.

As for determining the element that goes with the animal or branch for each month, again there are differences. The Phugpa tradition states that the element that goes with the first month is always the son of the element of the year. For example, using the sexagenary cycle, I was born in , the year of the Iron-Snake, so Iron metal is the element for the year , and the son or child or Earth is the element Water. Each element holds for two months, and the order of the element is in the standard order: iron metal , water, wood, fire, and earth. To recap: the son of the element of the year is the element of the first two months Tiger and Hare.

Then, the son of the element used in the first two months becomes the element used in the third and fourth months, and the son of that element third and fourth months becomes the element for the fifth and sixth month, and so on for the rest of the year. However, according to Edward Henning, the above- described method is not that much used in almanacs.

What is used is the following method, based on the animal-gender combination the stem for the current year. Remember that the animal signs go in order, one for each month, but the elements are doubled.

After these first two, we follow the rule given earlier that the son of the element used in the first two months becomes the element used in the third and fourth months, and so on. And so it goes. The Lunar Month For starters, as mentioned, it is important to understand that Tibetan astrology is lunar based the Moon , rather than solar based like the calendar we are used to here in the West. What is of interest to Tibetans is the lunar month, which is on average The lunar month is based on the solunar angle, which is the ever increasing or decreasing angle between the Sun and the Moon, as the Moon makes its monthly journey around the earth from New Moon to the next New Moon.

Tibetans divide the dgree lunar cycle into 30 days, each day lasting for the time it takes for the solunar angle to increase by 12 degrees of arc. Because the Moon moves in an ellipse going faster or slower at different parts of its orbit , some lunar days take less time to cover those 12 degrees, while others take more.

Tibetan Astrology: The Astrology And Geomancy Of Tibet by Erlewine, Michael for sale online

They do not measure an even 24 hours, like conventional clock time. This varying speed of the Moon allows for the double and omitted lunar days in the Tibetan almanac or calendar. The Phases of the Moon The phases of the Moon have been observed for ages. The Moon, from a Sanskrit term for measure, is still the primary means by which the majority of the people in the world even in this 21st century!

I am referring here to the Asian countries, where astrology is an accepted part of society. Although measuring time and life by the Moon is ancient, it is not just some primitive sort of clock. The very sophisticated concept of lunar gaps springs from centuries of painstaking psychological observation by the lamas of Tibet, and the Hindu sages. They practice it today with the same vigor and intensity as they did a thousand years ago. Unlike many other traditions, where the line of successors lineage has been broken due to various events, the dharma and astrological tradition of Tibet remains pure and unbroken to this day.

Although much of the Tibetan dharma tradition requires dedication and intense practice, learning to use the Moon's phases and the concept of lunar gaps is easy to get into. The theory is simple. It involves the ongoing relationship between the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth -- the monthly cycle of the phases of the Moon. We already know about the Moon cycle, and can even walk outside at night and see which lunar phase we are in. We are always in the middle of the lunar cycle. This is not the place and I am not the expert to describe to you either the very complicated astronomical motions these three heavenly bodies produce, or the profound theories of what all of this motion means in a.

What is quite accessible is the concept of lunar gaps. As we know, the Moon cycle goes through its phases from New Moon to Full Moon, back to New Moon in a cycle of about one month, some 30 days. This is seen as an ongoing cycle of activity -- endless in extent. It goes on forever. However, although the Moon cycle is unending, it does have distinct phases, such as the Full Moon, New Moon, the quarters, and so on.

In Tibet and India, the monthly lunar cycle is divided into 30 parts called lunar days. There are thirty lunar days cumulative degree angular separations of the Sun and Moon starting from the New Moon considered the 1st day , counting through the waxing half of the Moon cycle to the Full Moon start of the 16th day and on around through the waning cycle, back to the New Moon again. What is interesting about the Tibetan view of this day cycle is that the 30 lunar days are not considered all of equal importance. Here in the West, we note difference between New Moon and Full Moon, at least some folks do, but not much else.

To the Tibetans, the monthly lunar cycle has many more event points within it other than those of the Full and New Moons. These lunar gaps or openings that occur in each day moon cycle are opportunities waiting to be observed and perhaps taken advantage ot. It is at these lunar gaps or openings in this endless cycle that it is often possible get a glimpse or some insight into various areas of our own life or to have certain kinds of experiences.

In fact, the Tibetans take full advantage of these very regular lunar gaps to perform very specific practices. In the East, they speak of mental obscurations that tend to cloud our minds, but that can sometimes clear up, just as the Sun comes out from behind the clouds. These moments of clarity are the gaps in the clouds. From a reading of the Eastern literature on this subject, one gets the sense that in general life is perceived as being filled with the noise of our own problems obscurations , making clear insight often difficult for us. These obscurations can be many and their accumulation amounts to the sum total of our ignorance -- that which we at present ignore.

They amount to opportunities for change. Much of the day-to-day practice in Eastern religions amounts to a scheduling of precise times for personal practice or activity around the natural cycle of the moon — lunar days. In its own way, this is a very scientific approach. In the East, they have been astute observers of the mind for many centuries. Here in the West, we are no stranger to clear days in our mind. We have those too!

The only difference, is that we tend to believe that these so-called clear days appear randomly -- every now and then. The more sophisticated and ancient psychological analysis of the East has found that these clear days are for the most part anything but random events. They have their own internal ordering, and often times this ordering can be associated with the phases of the Moon. In summary, there are times each month when it is more auspicious or appropriate to perform or be involved in one kind or another of activity.

There come gaps in the general obscuration or cloudiness of our mind when we can see through the clouds -- when penetrating insight into our own life is possible. Most of us could benefit from that insight. I know I need it. As noted, the times when one can see without obscuration see clearly are very much valued in the Tibetan dharma tradition.

These are viewed as real opportunities for insight and the subsequent development such insight generates. Knowing when and where to look for these insight gaps has been the subject of study and research in Tibet and Asia for centuries. Lunar gaps are used to plan a wide variety of events in the Tibetan calendar, everything from finding a time to perform a simple healing ceremony to full scale life empowerments.

Aside from knowing when these lunar gaps can be experienced, the other major thing to know about this subject is what to do when the gaps occur. As you might imagine, there are a wide range of practices, depending on the particular lunar gap phase and the personal needs of the practitioner.

However, in general, these lunar gaps are times to be set aside for special observation. Tibetans observe these days with great attention and care. In fact, in many Eastern countries they don't have Saturday and Sunday off. These are days that are set aside for observation of our own mind. In the Western tradition, holidays are observed, but not astronomical moments.

This word "observation" is worth mentioning, for this is what takes place at these times. In the West, we might use the catch-all word meditation. In Tibet there are many words that come under the general concept of meditation. The word "observe" is a lot closer to what happens during these lunar gaps. Observe the nature of the day. Observe your mind at these times. Be alert, present, and set that bit of time aside just to examine yourself, your mind, the time -- what-have-you?

It is while being present -- observing these seed times -- that the so-called lunar gap can present itself, that we can glimpse or see through that window in time. Many great dharma teachers have pointed out the existence of gaps in our life, moments when clarity and real insight is possible. And lest we get too far afield, sitting there waiting for a gap in time or space to occur, let me restate: The gap that appears is a gap in our particular set of obscurations, our own personal cloudiness.

When such a gap takes place, there can be an intense insight into some particular aspect of our life situation, the effects of which may stay with us for a long time. One moment of real insight or vision can take weeks or months to examine in retrospect. Each time we bring such an insight experience to mind, its richness is such that it continues to be a source of inspiration. This is what lunar gaps are all about. At this point, it is hoped that you have some general idea of what lunar gaps are and how you might go about.

It remains to give you a schedule of when they will occur. The solunar angle between the Sun and Moon is the basis for much of Tibetan astrology and the key to measuring the start and end of each of the 30 lunar days. The Tibetan month begins at the moment New Moon, which is the start of the 1st lunar day.

When the angle between the Sun and the Moon reaches 12 degrees, it is the start of the 2nd lunar day and so on. Each successive degree arc of angular separation marks succeeding lunar days… on to the end of the 30th day, which is the next New Moon. However, the celebration or listing of the event may occur on the following day. One source of possible confusion to keep in mind mentioned earlier in this text is that Tibetan practice calendars are geared for group practice, which means that if the moment of the New Moon is at 2 A.

For convenience purposes, the lunar day of the month at sunrise about 5 A. For example, Losar, the Tibetan New Year is celebrated on the day following the day on which the actual New Moon occurs. In contrast, the Chinese celebrate the New Year on the actual calendar date on which the New Moon occurs. The point here is that most Tibetan almanac or calendars are geared for group practice. Here in the West, many solitary practitioners keep to the lunar calendar and observe the time when the actual lunar day changes.

Below you will find a list of the major lunar days in the Tibetan practice calendar and what they are about. There are still further divisions that we have not included here, to keep this simple. These are the days observed by most Tibetan lamas in one form or another. These lunar opportunities are sometimes referred to as gaps or openings in the otherwise continuous stream of our lives — windows in time. The Tibetans conceive of these gaps as articulation points, much like an elbow is where the arm is articulated.

In other words, we can see beyond our personal obscurations at these times. These lunar opportunities are sometimes referred to as gaps or openings in the otherwise continuous stream of our lives -- windows. These can be conceived as articulation points, much like an elbow is where the arm is articulated. The idea here is that we are each in the midst of our lives, surrounded by the cloud of our own personal obscurations. As one Tibetan rinpoche put it to me: those of us living today are the ones who through all this time have never managed to get enlightened, the hard cases.

Surrounding us, but ignored by us until now, are all the hints, teachings, suggestions, pointers, etc. We have managed to ignore almost every opportunity for insight. Therefore, the fact that these lunar gaps or openings exist should be welcome news to us, opportunities for us to see more deeply into our condition and get a better handle on things. Dharma Protector Days Both East and West lunar traditions agree that the two or three days preceding the moment of the New Moon can be difficult ones, days which require special observation and care.

In the West these days have been called the dark of the Moon, or devil's days -- days when the so-called darker forces are said to have power. Both traditions affirm that we sort of survive these final three days each month. We wait them out. Check it out for yourself. The three days before New Moon can be a hard time.

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The East is in total agreement on this point, and the days prior to New Moon are set aside for invoking the fierce dharma protectors, those energies that ward off harm and protect us during the worst of times. It is a time given over to purification and preparation for the moment of New Moon. Ritual fasting, confession of errors, and the like are common practices. Purification Days In a similar vein, the days just prior to the Full Moon the 13th and 14th are also days of purification, days in which the various guardian and protector deities are again invoked, but in a somewhat more restrained way.

For example, the 14th day is often given over to fire puja -- a ritual purification. In fact, these days are set aside for special rituals and worship. As pointed out, Full and New Moon Full more than New are times of collective worship and public confession. In many traditions, the monks and priests assemble for a day of special observance.

In the East, the Full Moon celebration and the entire waxing lunar fortnight are oriented to the masculine element in consciousness, what are called the Father-Line Deities. The New Moon and the waning fortnight are given over to the Mother-Line Deities and the feminine element. To my knowledge, this kind of analysis does not exist in the West to any real extent. It is quite clear from the Eastern teachings that the moments of Full and New Moon are times when the various channels in the psycho-physical body are somehow aligned.

This is not to say the New or Full Moon days are days of peace and quiet. It is taught in the East that, although a New or Full Moon day may tend to be wild or hectic, any patience or forbearance we can muster at that time will be much rewarded. In other words, there can be deep insights available to us at these times. That is why they are set aside for observation; they are observed. Solar and Lunar Eclipses According to these same teachings, an eclipse at the Full or New Moon is even more auspicious. In the teachings it is said that during these very special events that the winds and the drops, both male and female energies the inner channels , are in simultaneous alignment -- the ultimate opportunity for observation.

As you can gagther, the lunar cycle and its effects and opportunities have been analyzed in great detail in the Eastern teaching. Tsok: Feast Days Aside from the New and Full Moons, the two most auspicious lunar days in the East are the 10th and the 25th lunar days. These two days, the 10th and the 25th, are formal feast days, days of observation when extra offerings are made and increased attention is given to what is happening. There is some sense of celebration at these points in the month, thus the feat or Tsok. In many respects, these two days even rival the New and Full Moon days in importance.

The fact is that these four days New, Full, 10th, 25th are the primary auspicious days as practiced in many Eastern rituals. They are observed religiously. Healing Days There are many other days of lesser importance which might also interest Western astrologers. Health and healing are important in Eastern ritual, and the 8th and 23rd days of the lunar month are auspicious for this purpose.

It is these days that straddle the first and last lunar quarters. Again this occurs in the male, or father-line, half of the month. Tara is the female deity connected to health, long life, and healing in general. More Protector Days Earlier we mentioned the days given over to purification, are most prominently the 13th and the 29th.

In addition, on a lesser scale, the 9th and the 19th days are also noted as days when the protector deities should be invoked and kept in mind. These, too, are days of purification. And there are more, still finer, subdivisions that are made.


This brief overview should give you a general idea of how the monthly lunar cycle is broken up into days during which certain kinds of activities or observances are appropriate. Lunar Practice Days Below you will find a list of some of the major lunar days in the Tibetan practice calendar for each month, followed by activities for specific lunar months.

There are still further divisions that we have not included here, in order to keep this simple. In the first column is the number of the lunar month, and in the second column the lunar day of the month. These are the days observed by Tibetan lamas of one lineage or another. What follows is a somewhat extensive list of Buddhist practices for specific months. This list contains many saints and lamas from different lineages.

It would take an entire book to describe who these saints are. Those of you in a particular lineage will recognize the teachers in your lineage. Otherwise, a web search may help. The 30 Lunar Days or Tithies Tibetans operate on lunar days, rather than the solar days we use here in the West. Actually, they use both solar and lunar days, but the lunar day is usually considered the more important of the two. Each lunar day has a distinct meaning, and most Asians plan events around the particular lunar day and its qualities.

Here is a brief description of all thirty lunar days, something about what they might be good for. Lunar Day 1: Increase This lunar is said to be favorable for most activities, including performing rituals and religious festivals, in general, and taking initiations. Travel is to be avoided Favorable for Building Favorable Marriage Those born on this lunar day may have to be careful of the company they keep. Overall, they are very serious, and lacking in simple enjoyment. There may be some disgrace or scandal.

Lunar Day 2: Auspicious This is a good lunar day for laying foundations and building things, in general. Also good for marriages, initiation, rituals, and religious ceremonies. This is good for giving and making offerings, resolutions, and spiritual practice of all kinds. But in all this, it is said that very little comes of any activity and the result is generally unproductive. However, there can be success from traveling on this day. Those born on this lunar day may be lacking in friends, love, and in affection, and may like spouses other than their own.

There is a lack of pure virtue and cleanliness. Lunar Day 3: Powerful This lunar day is good for cutting the hair and finger nails, and anything related to caring for the body, beauty, and health. Good for undertaking projects and building things. Favorable for Building Those born on this lunar day may may lack motivation and be lazy and, in general, restless.

Wealth is obtained and the direction north-east is favored. Lunar Day 4: Cruelty On these days, te favorable direction is the West, but travel is to be avoided, and, if taken, may bring the fear of death. This is not good for undertaking construction or new projects. Not Favorable for Hair Cutting Those born on this lunar day may be very competitive and fierce about taking on a challenge and removing whatever obstructs them. Enjoyment of food, drink, and sex. Often rich, educated, and generous, but with a cruel streak. Lunar Day 5: Prosperity A lunar day of excellent qualities, education, and obtaining wealth.

Very good for helping and giving to others, but not likely to receive the same in return.