Lingqijing

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Lingqijing (or Ling Ch'i Ching; 靈棋經 lit. "Classic of the Divine Chess") is a Chinese book of divination. It is not known when and by whom it was written. Legend has it that the strategist Zhang Liang got it from Huang Shigong (黃石公), a semi-mythological figure in Chinese history. The first commented edition of the work appeared in the Jin Dynasty.

As the name of the work suggests, the work tells of how to divine with tokens like Chinese chess or xiangqi (象棋) pieces, instead of with the traditional turtle shells or yarrow stalks used in I Ching.

Twelve chess pieces[a] are used; each is a disc with a character on one side, and unmarked on the other. Four have the character for "up" (, pronounced shang), four have the character for "middle" (, zhong), and four have the character for "down" (, xia), representing the Three Realms: Heaven (, tian), Humanity (, ren), and Earth (, di), respectively. The pieces are cast and the resulting combination is looked up in the text of the Lingqijing for what fortune the combination means.

The text of the Lingqijing has an entry for all 125 combinations (i.e., three kinds of pieces, times the five possibilities for each kind: one through four pieces landing face up, or none).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ As can be seen in entry "Chinese chess", none of these characters 下, 上, or 地 actually occur as characters on chess pieces. The pieces for Lingqijing look like chess pieces, except for having these special characters.

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