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Tai Xuan Jing
Canon of Supreme Mystery
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese太玄經
Simplified Chinese太玄经
Hanyu PinyinTàixuánjīng
Literal meaning"Classic of Supreme Mystery"
Korean name
Japanese name

The text Tài Xuán Jīng ("Canon of Supreme Mystery", Chinese: 太玄經) is a guide for divination composed by the Confucian writer Yang Xiong (53 BCE – 18 CE). The first draft of this work was completed in 2 BCE (in the decade before the fall of the Western Han dynasty). During the Jin dynasty, an otherwise unknown person named Fan Wang (Chinese: 范望) salvaged the text and wrote a commentary on it, from which our text survives today.

The Taixuanjing is a divinatory text similar to, and inspired by, the I Ching (Yijing). Whereas the I Ching is based on 64 binary hexagrams (sequences of six horizontal lines each of which may be broken or unbroken), the Taixuanjing employs 81 ternary tetragrams (sequences of four lines, each of which may be unbroken, broken once, or broken twice). Like the I Ching it may be consulted as an oracle by casting yarrow stalks or a six-faced die to generate numbers which define the lines of a tetragram, which can then be looked up in the text.[further explanation needed] A tetragram drawn without moving lines refers to the tetragram description, while a tetragram drawn with moving lines refers to the specific lines.

The monograms are:

Numerically the symbols can be counted as ⚊ = 0, ⚋ = 1, 𝌀 = 2, and grouped into sets of four to count from 0 to 80. This is clearly intentional as this passage from chapter 8 of the Tài Xuán Jīng points out the principle of carrying and place value.

Chinese English

家 一置一,二置二,三置三。
部 一勿增,二增三,三增六。
州 一勿增,二增九,三增十八。
方 一勿增,二增二十七,三增五十四

Push Profound Calculation:
First Part: one sets one, two sets two, three sets three.
Second Part: one doesn't add, two adds three, three adds six.
Third Part: one doesn't add, two adds nine, three adds eighteen.
Fourth Part: one doesn't add, two adds twenty-seven, three adds fifty-four.


An English translation by Michael Nylan was published in 1993.

  • Nylan, Michael (1993). The Canon of Supreme Mystery: A Translation with Commentary of the T'AI HSÜAN CHING. SUNY series in Chinese philosophy and culture. Albany: State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-1395-0.


Tai Xuan Jing Symbols
(96 code points)
Symbol setsTai Xuan Jing
Assigned87 code points
Unused9 reserved code points
Unicode version history
4.0 (2003)87 (+87)
Note: [1][2]

In the Unicode Standard, the Tai Xuan Jing Symbols block is an extension of the Yì Jīng symbols. Their Chinese aliases most accurately reflect their interpretation; for example, the Chinese alias of code point U+1D300 is "rén", which translates into English as man and yet the English alias is "MONOGRAM FOR EARTH".[1]


Tai Xuan Jing Symbols[1][2]
Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+1D30x 𝌀 𝌁 𝌂 𝌃 𝌄 𝌅 𝌆 𝌇 𝌈 𝌉 𝌊 𝌋 𝌌 𝌍 𝌎 𝌏
U+1D31x 𝌐 𝌑 𝌒 𝌓 𝌔 𝌕 𝌖 𝌗 𝌘 𝌙 𝌚 𝌛 𝌜 𝌝 𝌞 𝌟
U+1D32x 𝌠 𝌡 𝌢 𝌣 𝌤 𝌥 𝌦 𝌧 𝌨 𝌩 𝌪 𝌫 𝌬 𝌭 𝌮 𝌯
U+1D33x 𝌰 𝌱 𝌲 𝌳 𝌴 𝌵 𝌶 𝌷 𝌸 𝌹 𝌺 𝌻 𝌼 𝌽 𝌾 𝌿
U+1D34x 𝍀 𝍁 𝍂 𝍃 𝍄 𝍅 𝍆 𝍇 𝍈 𝍉 𝍊 𝍋 𝍌 𝍍 𝍎 𝍏
U+1D35x 𝍐 𝍑 𝍒 𝍓 𝍔 𝍕 𝍖
1.^ As of Unicode version 14.0
2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points


The following Unicode-related documents record the purpose and process of defining specific characters in the Tai Xuan Jing Symbols block:

Version Final code points[a] Count L2 ID WG2 ID Document
4.0 U+1D300..1D356 87 L2/02-089 N2416 Cook, Richard; Everson, Michael; Nylan, Michael (2002-02-11), Proposal to add monogram, digram, and tetragram characters to the UCS
L2/02-166R2 Moore, Lisa (2002-08-09), "Consensus 91-C4", UTC #91 Minutes, UTC accepts the 87 tetragram and related characters for encoding at 1D300..1D356.
L2/05-267 N2998 Proposed annotations for Annex P -- reference N2988, 2005-09-15
L2/05-260 N2988 (pdf, doc) Kawabata, Taichi (2005-09-21), Proposal to correct the Character Names for Tai Xuan Jing (U+13D00 ~ U+13D05)
L2/05-281 N2998R Proposed annotations for Annex P -- reference N2988, 2005-09-28
N2953 (pdf, doc) Umamaheswaran, V. S. (2006-02-16), "M47.15 (Defect in names of Tai Xuan Jing symbols)", Unconfirmed minutes of WG 2 meeting 47, Sophia Antipolis, France; 2005-09-12/15
L2/06-088 "11.4", Unconfirmed minutes of WG 2 meeting 47, 2006-02-22
  1. ^ Proposed code points and characters names may differ from final code points and names

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Unicode character database". The Unicode Standard. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
  2. ^ "Enumerated Versions of The Unicode Standard". The Unicode Standard. Retrieved 2016-07-09.

External links[edit]