On Some Issues Related to the Shifa Chapter on the Tsinghua Bamboo Slips
LIANG Wei-xian;School of Sociology and History,Fujian Normal University;
The diagram of the trigrams in the"Divinatory Method"(Shifa 筮法)and the inscription of the hexagrams in the"Sixty-four Hexagrams"(Biegua 别卦)on the bamboo slips collected by Tsinghua University can indeed assure us that the lines of a hexagram had been written by two numbers or symbols in pre-imperial era of China. As most of the images taken by the diagram and the mantic art according to four positions in the"Divinatory Method"are consistent with those mentioned in the"Discussion of the Trigrams"(Shuogua zhuan 说卦传),it can be seen that the latter had come into being earlier than the former. The diagram of the trigrams in theShifademonstrates that the correlation of the eight trigrams with the four seasons and the five agents had been accomplished in the pre-imperial times. The correlative structure of the four seasons,the five agents,and the eight trigrams in theShifaand the"Biography of Wei Xiang"(Wei Xiang zhuan 魏相传)in theHanshu(History of the Western Han Dynasty)actually exposes the incompatibility between the eight-trigram positions in theShugua zhuanand the five-agent positions in the"Monthly Ordinance"(Yueling 月令). The"Divinatory Method"should be attributed to a more pure divination manual based on theChanges-oriented mantic arts.